With every situation there are the pros and the cons where one can ‘outweigh’ the other, and thus give the stated situation more value and worth in continuing or expanding. Throughout the history of the United States, there is a variety of perspectives and situations in which the cons outweigh the pros: and such an example would include that of space exploration. Although governmental programs such as space exploration, a form of human creativity and expansion, is beneficial for both mankind itself and for the human imagination, the negative financial and ethical consequences of such governmental programs exceed the favorable benefits of it due to the federal government’s priority between the people and the nation as a whole and the federal government’s focal point on either expanding outwards or ameliorating internally.
Numerous times throughout the history of the United States, it was evident that the federal government prioritized the possible benefits of the expansion of the nation both literally and mentally rather than the consequences that may result from such actions. This clash in priorities between the American people and the nation itself has led more and more families to suffer, especially those from the lower classes or from the minorities of society. Such a medium that shows the problems of governmental prioritization between the people and the status of the country is with the spending of money. The financial consequences of space exploration and other governmental programs convey the country’s priority in maintaining its global position instead of ameliorating and maintaining the nation’s internal welfare. In comparison to the combination of social security, national defense, and income security with the rest of the various federal programs, is 7 cents less in pennies of each federal dollar spent on these programs. (Source C) And so with these negative financial aftereffects, governmental explorations and programs that do not ameliorate the living conditions of the people are not valuable.
Furthermore, this prioritization by the government on federal programs that are more beneficial for the global status and position of the country deteriorates the social conditions and attitudes of the people. This conflict between idealism and realism continues to persist in various period throughout American history such as the Civil War and the revival of the Cold War. During the revival of the Cold War, U.S. president Ronald Reagan believed that in order to make America great again, he needed to continue to increase the various amount of defensive and offensive technology the United States had. This focal point on these certain governmental programs cause negative ethical effects on both humanity and the world itself, where “…the smoke from the Saar Valley may pollute half a dozen other countries, depending on the direction of the wind.” (Source G). Thus these negative ethical aftereffects on not only the people but also the environment, shows that governmental explorations and programs that do not ameliorate the conditions of both the people and the planet are not valuable.
However there may be some who believe that although the financial and ethical consequences of such federal programs may negatively affect the conditions of both humanity and the planet, that the advantages outweigh the negatives. As stated by David Livingston in “Is Space Exploration Worth the Cost?”, the money that is used goes to the development of city utilities and the city themselves. (Source A) Yet this money does not directly and immediately benefit the American populace, as it was evident during the revival of the Cold War that though Reagan’s administration spent the majority of federal funds on national defense, that American society did not change and did not progress for the better, especially with gender-defined roles and civil rights. So, federal explorations and programs that do not have a positive effect on the conditions of the country and its people is not beneficial and is not worth the consequences.
Therefore, the negative financial and ethical consequences of such governmental programs exceed the favorable benefits of it due to the federal government’s priority between the people and the nation as a whole and the federal government’s focal point on either expanding outwards or ameliorating internally.
What do you think is more important for a national government: getting involved in external affairs to better the nation’s status? Or ameliorating and resolving the problems of the nation?
What do you think?