The United States of America sent men to the moon. The last man to walk on the moon was Eugene Cernan back in December of 1972, nearly forty-four years ago. The United States no longer even has a national space program. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has not launched a rocket into space since March 13, 2015, nineteen months ago. The US is now completely reliant on Russia and the European Space Agency (ESA) to ferry our astronauts back and forth from the International Space Station (ISS).
While the US was not the first country to put a man in space, the USSR beat us to that, we have the most experience at it. We've done it the most. We are the richest, most powerful nation on Earth and we can't even take our astronauts up into orbit and dock with the ISS. We can't even go up and fetch them if they need it. NASA is working on a way to return to space but that could be years away, and with the way government agencies work, maybe longer than that thanks to delays and cost overruns. And then there's Congress and the US is coming up on a Presidential election. Presidents can be fickle.
The next president may not see NASA, and returning to space, as a priority. The next president may cut NASA's funding even further, delaying that next space launch another handful of years down the road. It has become clear that privatization of the space launch industry is the way to go. Organizations like Elon Musk's SpaceX, Bigelow Aerospace and Excalibur Almaz, and others all have ships in various stages of development. SpaceX and others are already selling their services to NASA to deliver cargo to the ISS, as well as bringing back garbage and completed scientific experiments.
These companies are, for the most part, doing it better, faster and cheaper than NASA can. Why should we, the American taxpayer, continue to pay NASA millions, or even billions, of dollars, when SpaceX is doing it cheaper? And it isn't just our space industry. There are numerous areas where privatization would save the American taxpayer money, save the American federal government money, and do the same job better and cheaper. The American National Parks system was a great idea. Yellowstone, our first national park, in Montana was signed into law in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. The National park system has been a boon to the United States. They are places where people who live in big cities can go to “get back to nature.”
They are places where the American people can see what this land looked like before we came here and tamed it into submission. Then there is all of that tourist money. For a hundred years, the National Park Service, created in 1916 by President Theodore Roosevelt, an agency within the Department of the Interior, has done a remarkable job of preserving these wild areas for the American people. The National Park Service has been under withering fire though for their handling of a variety of issues, including wild fires as well as closing parks, or trails, for unknown, and unexplained reasons. Maybe it would be a better idea to keep the parks in the hands of the US government but turn over the day-to-day operations of the parks to a private company.
The US government could oversee this organization and if they fail to do their job, they could easily be replaced. The government could even have a different organization or corporation running each park so if one organization fails, there is always another who can immediately step up and take over. Another good place to think about privatization is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA has become vitally important, and has been in the news almost constantly, usually for less than stellar reasons, since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
The TSA has been caught up in controversy after controversy. Everything from poor customer relations, humiliating elderly women, groping young women, long lines at security checkpoints, scanners that don't do what they say, other scanners that practically show almost pornographic pictures of those being scanned, missing bombs and weapons that are secreted onto planes