Landed on the moon and it didn’t help to feed a single hungry person or improve the educational system or cure disease. The endeavor did make companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman and stockholders wealthier with major assistance from tax dollars. But it was fun to watch and it diverted attention from such other aspects of American society the abject poverty of some and the nation’s rampant racism that caused some to feel so disenfranchised, so marginalized, so dehumanized that they took to the streets to let loose upon the state the anger they felt for their ill treatment.
The dynamics of then are the dynamics of now except that the very wealthy are making themselves into heroes to cover their thievery and the mask the vast inequities in both wealth and power, wealth and power they use rather freely to manipulate both the economic system and the political system to suit their desires at the expense of most others.
We need a hell of a lot more socialism and a hell of a lot fewer diversions from the shithole reality so many face on earth. If we cannot feel all of the people well, provide them with good health care and good education, we cannot afford rocket ships even if they are being built by so generous a private sector, a private sector that knows how to get a lot of government help be it massive tax breaks, ability to pay low wages, or exploit the resources that belong to all and should be used wisely and not for the sake of the greed of a few.
It should be mentioned too that much of the incentive for a space program was to build more lethal weapons. The bulk of what has been learned has been applied mostly for such purposes.
Three people, including Jeff Bezos, own more wealth than the bottom half of America. While the rich continue to get richer, 40 million live in poverty and 40% of our people cannot afford basic needs. The level of inequality we are facing today is an emergency. Instead of allowing people like Bezos to hoard more and more wealth to spend on space travel, we must make the wealthy and massive corporations like Amazon pay their fair share in taxes and invest in our people.