Why are these men in strange space suits smiling?


It can’t be because three of them are paying $55 million for the luxury of going into outer space to spend ten days on the International Space Station, can it? One might think spending that kind of money should only be done for a necessity, a matter of life or death thing or maybe to improve the condition of a loved one or another member of one’s human family. It’s the luxury of having that kind of cash available to do something one likes that causes them to smile and it’s a good thing to be able to do something you want and like to do.

Let’s be clear however, space travel is a luxury that only a few can afford but is not necessary for life on earth, like good health care or a safe, healthy place to live with a sustainable income. Here’s my cue to be a debbie downer because as much as I like the idea of them enjoying the moment of this accomplishment I also hope that in the case of the American civilian astronaut, Larry Connor, a member of The Connor Group which touts assets of $3.5 billion in 10 states throughout America I hope he’s equally excited about paying his fair share of taxes that allows him such financial security in America’s democracy. Over 50% of America’s wealth is controlled by 1% of the American population and 10 percent own 70 percent of the country’s total wealth, which means 90% of Americans work and produce for America while the upper 10% enjoy the fruits of their labor and get to go on space adventures and have other such luxuries. That is the definition of an oligarchy, not a democracy.

No one wants to ‘redistribute’ Connor’s wealth. He along with all the Americans he employs worked for and possibly earned it. What he must do is pay his share of being an American citizen who enjoys the benefits of an infrastructure that takes people to and from his businesses or supplies them with public utilities. He has to contribute equitably for a health care system that keeps his employees healthy enough to sustain his profits, and an educational system that gives them the skills to run his businesses while he takes his space adventures. I hope he’s willing to sign on to that and will encourage his fellow one percenters to do so as well.

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