On February 13th, President Barrack Obama proposed his 2013 budget for NASA. While made to believe this is a good idea for everyone, the east coast surrounded by the Kennedy Space Center is seeing different results. By decreasing NASA’s overall budget by $59 million, the local economic forecast tied to this budget keeps growing bleaker. With this proposal to retire the shuttle program and cancel the development of new rockets and spacecraft’s, projections show that about 23,000 workers at and around the space center are being drastically affected. Specific numbers range around 9,000 direct workers of the space station that have lost their jobs and a whopping 14,000 indirect workers at hotels, restaurants, stores and other business’ that thrive off of tourist activity. Along with all of these lost jobs, the end of the shuttle launches will cost Brevard County $90 million in annual tourism dollars and $5.6 million in annual sales and resort tax collections. In October, more than 2,000 people arrived at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville to rally in support of manned space travel. Their aim was to call attention to the extreme number of job losses at Kennedy Space Center and support a new and stronger manned spaceflight program that would help create jobs since only those effected are informed of the drastic impact Obama has caused on their community.
Florida Today [Viera] 26 Feb. 2010, sec. Shuttle Shutdown: n. pag. Florida Today. Web. 10 Nov. 2013.
Wlliam Harwood, “Obama ends moon program, endorses private space flight,” CNet, February 1, 2010. http://news.cnet.com/8301-19514_3-10445227-239.html
Student Researcher: Jenna Smith, Indian River State College
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot Cohen, Indian River State College
As stated in the synopsis above, an immense number of individuals have lost their jobs due to the plan proposed by President Barrack Obama regarding the shuttle program. While the decrease of budget is an executive decision, this is not the issue I have with this story. I believe that the ethical issue raised in reference to this series of events was made when Barrack Obama stated, “Jobs must be Washington’s priority.” This strikes confusion when mentioned to the 23,000 who lost their jobs on account of a government proposal.
From an ethical perspective, I believe the government should plan their ideas with a utilitarian approach. If shutting down the shuttle program helps create a couple thousand jobs in one state yet takes 23,000 direct jobs away then this action should not be followed through with because the outcome is not beneficial with everyone considered. It seems however, government decided to take a non-consequentialist approach because they are disregarding the outcome of their decision. The major impact this has had on the American people is an overall negative one when you review the numbers. About 9,000 jobs directly related to the space program will be lost and an estimated 14,000 jobs indirectly related to the space program will be lost do to this motion. Instead, Obama wants to give federal money to private corporations to advance the space program. It thus appears that the powerful, self-serving influence of private corporations and government quid pro quo is behind the phasing down of NASA. While they may claim the effects of these actions to be positive and create a greater scheme for the economy, they are essentially bringing down others to reap the alleged benefits.
To continue, government should be trusted and as President Obama states, “If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists- to protect them and to promote their common welfare- all else is lost.” However, I believe it is extremely safe to say that public trust of government has been lost. Areas that have lost so many jobs and businesses because of these actions do not and should not trust government. These citizens are seeing the exact opposite of what their government is promising them. Even if these actions create jobs in other areas, those who are losing their jobs should not be expected to trust that this is beneficial with everyone considered. This story presents a large amount of deception to the public and has not been given the coverage it deserves because of that deception. This story is a prime example of core reason, which is the law of non-contradiction. You cannot create more jobs by taking jobs away. This is a one step forward and two steps back approach that is leaving families without income. As I mentioned before, President Obama emphasizes the fact that “Jobs should be Washington’s priority.” From my personal experience, since I live where this problem is occurring, people take out of that statement that self-serving government corporate collusion is behind Obama administration’s plan to privatize the space program, disregarding the jobs of individuals who thrive off of the tourism the Kennedy Space Center brings to the community. To government, taking away one aspect of a program may seem miniscule but it has drastically affected my community and has continued to share its effects on us for almost three years. This is not a one-time story that will eventually blow over. This decision has continued to hinder our society and it is not being recognized as an important factor of our local economy as it should.
In final regards, this story covering rallies in reference to all of the jobs and money Brevard county has lost and will continue to lose because of the decreased budget of the shuttle program should have reached national headlines. It seems as though in this day and age, issues that will raise questions about authority are covered in such a minute fashion that only those directly affected know the true impact the decisions are making, regardless of the ethical issues they raise.