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#126 2016-10-16 20:58:27

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,161
Website

Re: Corporate Government

Bump!

With Elon Musk's Mars Colonial Transport, this discussion is again relevant. Please read the initial post. I corrected spelling of a few words, but only spelling. Under this plan, the corporation that initiates settlement of Mars is the one that will become rich. Primary income will be transport of settlers. So Musk announced a vehicle to transport settlers. Hmm...

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#127 2016-10-16 23:57:51

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Corporate Government

It remains to be seen whether anyone will become rich. Like any capital venture, there are risks. In order to be successful, Elon Musk needs to make money, if he doesn't make money, then the project is a failure. The only way a Mars Colony can sustain itself is if it produces a Gross Domestic Product, it the colony needs constant support from Earth, then its GDP is negative.

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#128 2016-10-17 00:17:33

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,161
Website

Re: Corporate Government

You missed the whole point. The business model is customers pay a huge sum in Earth currency, but the spacecraft is operated and maintained by the Martian economy. That currency is used to repay Earth investors, then pure profit. As long as there is a continuous stream of large numbers of settlers, you don't need to export any product to Earth.

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#129 2016-10-17 03:59:55

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Corporate Government

No, that's not how GDP works.  When countries in Western Europe got substantial financial support under the Marshall Aid Plan it didn't mean their GDPs were negative. And aid money boosted their GDP. In fact GDP can't be negative.

It's the same as with Musk's Tesla cars. They get a huge state subsidy as I understand it in various forms. Mars could be the same for several decades - attract lots of support from Earth in different ways.



Tom Kalbfus wrote:

It remains to be seen whether anyone will become rich. Like any capital venture, there are risks. In order to be successful, Elon Musk needs to make money, if he doesn't make money, then the project is a failure. The only way a Mars Colony can sustain itself is if it produces a Gross Domestic Product, it the colony needs constant support from Earth, then its GDP is negative.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#130 2016-10-17 04:05:47

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Corporate Government

A couple of points.

At some point that business model might work, but initially the colony will not be in a position to service and supply the spacecraft except in a very basic way e.g. fuel.

I think for the first few decades the business model that will work is commercial sponsorship, space agency payments (basically prestige of getting your nationals on Mars carrying your flag), university research payments (paying for transit and life support for researchers), and sale of Mars meterorites, regolith and (this would be a biggie!) possibly fossils.  All that will generate billions of dollars per decade.


RobertDyck wrote:

You missed the whole point. The business model is customers pay a huge sum in Earth currency, but the spacecraft is operated and maintained by the Martian economy. That currency is used to repay Earth investors, then pure profit. As long as there is a continuous stream of large numbers of settlers, you don't need to export any product to Earth.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#131 2016-10-17 06:57:16

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Corporate Government

Government support means that the plug can be pulled at any time, it also means that the pressure is off to generate revenue for as long as that government support exists. So the colonists won't care about revenue so long as the money keeps flowing from the Federal Government, and when that money stops, they will be forced to abandon the colony and return to Earth, or else they will die! Government subsidy I not the best way to get a colony going. Governments are regulators, not producers. Remember when the government was operating the shuttle and selling launch services off of it? In those days, you could pay the Federal government to launch your satellite out of the Shuttle's cargo bay, and the other launch service providers were complaining, because the prices NASA was charging was an afterthought. Some commercial satellites got launched off of the shuttle, NASA was paying for the shuttle operations, and launching those satellites was a little incidental revenue which defrayed some of the costs of operating he shuttle, after the Challenger accident, this stopped, but for a time, the US Government was in the satellite launch business, and all its competitors were complaining, because of the unfair advantage NASA had in subsidizing its shuttle launches with taxpayer's money. If a Mars Base is operated this way, it would be vulnerable in just the way the shuttle was. If you had an accident which resulted in the deaths of astronauts, support from the government would dry up and the colonists would be forced to return to Earth.

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#132 2016-10-17 07:15:08

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,161
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Re: Corporate Government

Elon is trying to jump straight to the colonial transport. I've always believed we need a small exploration mission first, about the size of Mars Direct. Then several missions to build a small base and explore Mars. Then use in-situ resources to build the base larger, to accommodate more people. Then use those people as a work force to build a larger base, able to accommodate the first 100. So ability to produce not only propellant but food would already exist by the time the first colonial transport arrives. Once they arrive, use those people as a work force to build up ability to manufacture replacement parts for maintenance of the ship.

The real big thing is a propellant depot in Earth orbit filled from a location off-world. Do you transport propellant from Mars all the way back to Earth? Or one of the Martian moons? Or an NEA?

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#133 2016-10-17 10:17:24

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Corporate Government

RobertDyck wrote:

Elon is trying to jump straight to the colonial transport. I've always believed we need a small exploration mission first, about the size of Mars Direct.

Why? Don't we already know what we need to about Mars? This has been put off for far too long! All you have to do is prepare for what you don't know. Probes can find out all sorts of things, and they are cheaper to send than people.

Then several missions to build a small base and explore Mars. Then use in-situ resources to build the base larger, to accommodate more people. Then use those people as a work force to build a larger base, able to accommodate the first 100. So ability to produce not only propellant but food would already exist by the time the first colonial transport arrives. Once they arrive, use those people as a work force to build up ability to manufacture replacement parts for maintenance of the ship.

The real big thing is a propellant depot in Earth orbit filled from a location off-world. Do you transport propellant from Mars all the way back to Earth? Or one of the Martian moons? Or an NEA?

Looks like you are asking for a lot of side trips. Do you intend on living forever? Elon Musk is a lot like me in this respect, we have limited time to get things accomplished. Doing it the government way, just won't do.

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#134 2016-10-17 21:25:23

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,161
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Re: Corporate Government

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Looks like you are asking for a lot of side trips. Do you intend on living forever? Elon Musk is a lot like me in this respect, we have limited time to get things accomplished. Doing it the government way, just won't do.

And there are members of the Mars Society who disagree with me when I said we need to start the first human permanent base with the very first human mission. Robert Zubrin's idea of scouting several locations across Mars was a good idea for 1990, his argument to send human explorers instead of robots was sound, but it didn't happen. NASA/JPL sent multiple robotic explorers instead. So my assertion is that phase is done/finished/over. We still need to send a robotic orbiter to demonstrate aerocapture. And we need to demonstrate ISPP end-to-end, that's best achieved by robotic sample return. We will need to prove resources for the base location, primarily ice. As GW Johnson said we need ground truth. That means a rover with a drill that can go deep. Then we need to prove humans can live on Mars with our technology.

But we discussed all this elsewhere. This thread is about government on Mars. For a phase of settlement where we have the first small city. Building something that big will take money. There are many corporate projects that cost multiple billions of dollars, but they all pay for themselves plus profit. No one is going to invest the kind of money it will take to settle Mars unless it's profitable. As GW said, conventional resources can be harvested here on Earth for a lot less money. I propose a business model that is profitable. Yes, it will take time.

Elon built a megafactory to build electric cars. He didn't do it right away. First he built a small factory to build a sports car to compete with leading sports cars: Porsche, Ferrari, etc. It had to be high performance and pretty. And very expensive, targeted at the rich. He used that to build a factory for cars for middle class customers. Still not large scale. He then used those profits to build a factory to mass produce the Tesla Model 3. There was no supplier who could provide batteries in the required volume, so his factory has a section to make those.

With SpaceX, he built the Falcon 1. First two launches failed. He only had enough money to build 3, so the 3rd had to succeed. But the 3rd failed too. Lucky for him, NASA ponied up money for a 4th launch. That succeeded. He was that close to bankruptcy. He used the money from Falcon 1 launches to develop Falcon 9. Initially just expendable, able to launch satellites. Then expanded Falcon 9 to have enough propellant for return and landing. Each test of landing Falcon 9 was done with a first stage that was used to launch a commercial payload, paid by a customer. So he needed paying customers.

Notice the pattern: start small, then use profits to grow. I suggest starting with a mission the size of Mars Direct, but each mission landing at the same location to the site builds up hardware. Both constructions built by previous crews, and simply landed equipment.

Elon himself said his colonial transport may appear big to us now, but future spacecraft may be even bigger. So how is all that going to be paid? I proposed a business model to pay for it.

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#135 2016-10-17 21:51:08

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,719

Re: Corporate Government

Musk is providing the boat to travel accross the ocean of space and not the people or funds to use it. Thats coming from the ticket sales. At this point the only people that can afford the ticket is the government and not the people.

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#136 2016-10-19 17:49:10

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Corporate Government

I have a similar vision of how to grow the colony.

I don't think it's that difficult to support human life on Mars importing probably only something like 95% of mass that is utilised by the colony (excluding the spacecraft). PV Panels can be laid out and later can be substituted by ISRU solar reflectors and similar to power steam engines. Habitation can be hewn out of the regolith in large part. Water can be mined as can a range of useful materials like iron ore, silica and basalt. Food can be grown indoors under artificial light as well as useful crops like bamboo.  Scaled down machines, 3D printers and so on can be used to replicate on a small scale on Mars an Earth-style advanced industrial base.

Supporting a colony of 100 or even 1000 should present few difficulties.

The limiting factor on growth of the colony I believe is really transport.

Musk claims to have cracked even that problem with the MCT.

But there is one further problem that will restrict growth I believe, and that will be the shortage of colonists who have the right skills and the right mindset to become permanent colonists to Mars, giving up all that Earth has to offer, including friends and families. I don't think Musk has really addressed that yet.

Mars will only become an attractive permanent settlement prospect for highly skilled technicians from Earth when we (a) can be sure that people can safely reproduce on the planet and (b) there are attractive Earth-analogue spaces on Mars (e.g. large domes, large pressurised canyons with lush vegetation and so on).

Until both those criteria are met I think highly skilled would be colonists will only want to live on Mars for a few years at most, just as few people have any desire to settle on Antartica permanently.

RobertDyck wrote:

Elon is trying to jump straight to the colonial transport. I've always believed we need a small exploration mission first, about the size of Mars Direct. Then several missions to build a small base and explore Mars. Then use in-situ resources to build the base larger, to accommodate more people. Then use those people as a work force to build a larger base, able to accommodate the first 100. So ability to produce not only propellant but food would already exist by the time the first colonial transport arrives. Once they arrive, use those people as a work force to build up ability to manufacture replacement parts for maintenance of the ship.

The real big thing is a propellant depot in Earth orbit filled from a location off-world. Do you transport propellant from Mars all the way back to Earth? Or one of the Martian moons? Or an NEA?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#137 2017-03-10 15:09:12

JohnX
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From: Thunder Bay
Registered: 2017-03-10
Posts: 77
Website

Re: Corporate Government

louis wrote:

I have a similar vision of how to grow the colony.
...



But there is one further problem that will restrict growth I believe, and that will be the shortage of colonists who have the right skills and the right mindset to become permanent colonists to Mars, giving up all that Earth has to offer, including friends and families. I don't think Musk has really addressed that yet.

Mars will only become an attractive permanent settlement prospect for highly skilled technicians from Earth when we (a) can be sure that people can safely reproduce on the planet and (b) there are attractive Earth-analogue spaces on Mars (e.g. large domes, large pressurised canyons with lush vegetation and so on).

Until both those criteria are met I think highly skilled would be colonists will only want to live on Mars for a few years at most, just as few people have any desire to settle on Antartica permanently.

Good points. There is a lot of enthusiasm about 'going' to Mars, but how many will stay. Optimistically, when a real crewed mission is underway, perhaps a new generation of school children will be inspired to study more technical subjects and excel in them, so there *will* be a glut of suitable, motivated people. But perhaps not.


-- Because it's there! --

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#138 2017-03-10 16:46:15

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Corporate Government

I think as always we need to distinguish between the early colony and a later planet-wide civilisation.

In the early colony, it will be much more like the Apollo missions, nuclear submarines or Antarctic bases.  People will need to be highly skilled and highly disciplined. It will be no place for mavericks or people of modest educational attainment.

As Mars becomes a much more sophisticated planet-wide community, then I can imagine it becoming more hospitable those with more modest scientific or technical skills. There will be more opportunity for homesteading a range of jobs on offer.


JohnX wrote:
louis wrote:

I have a similar vision of how to grow the colony.
...



But there is one further problem that will restrict growth I believe, and that will be the shortage of colonists who have the right skills and the right mindset to become permanent colonists to Mars, giving up all that Earth has to offer, including friends and families. I don't think Musk has really addressed that yet.

Mars will only become an attractive permanent settlement prospect for highly skilled technicians from Earth when we (a) can be sure that people can safely reproduce on the planet and (b) there are attractive Earth-analogue spaces on Mars (e.g. large domes, large pressurised canyons with lush vegetation and so on).

Until both those criteria are met I think highly skilled would be colonists will only want to live on Mars for a few years at most, just as few people have any desire to settle on Antartica permanently.

Good points. There is a lot of enthusiasm about 'going' to Mars, but how many will stay. Optimistically, when a real crewed mission is underway, perhaps a new generation of school children will be inspired to study more technical subjects and excel in them, so there *will* be a glut of suitable, motivated people. But perhaps not.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#139 2017-03-13 22:16:29

IanM
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: Corporate Government

I think that RobertDyck's idea of having a corporation having ultimate sovereignty over Mars can work when put into a system of restraint from day-to-day governance and gradual patriation to Martians loosely analogous to the United Kingdom and its Dominions prior to and ultimately leading to the Statute of Westminster. The corporation's Board of Directors would probably appoint a President/Governor General and a few other key officers to stay on the planet throughout their terms and keep things operating smoothly while taking care of most of the areas of foreign policy on behalf of the nascent state. From the beginning land owners would inherently be shareholders in the company, and as the planet becomes bigger and more self-sufficient officers start becoming elected. I can get into more detail on such an idea if people want.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

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#140 2017-03-13 22:31:12

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Corporate Government

louis wrote:

I think as always we need to distinguish between the early colony and a later planet-wide civilisation.

In the early colony, it will be much more like the Apollo missions, nuclear submarines or Antarctic bases.  People will need to be highly skilled and highly disciplined. It will be no place for mavericks or people of modest educational attainment.

As Mars becomes a much more sophisticated planet-wide community, then I can imagine it becoming more hospitable those with more modest scientific or technical skills. There will be more opportunity for homesteading a range of jobs on offer.

...

Are you sure that a higher education isn't simply being used as a selection criterion and for no other purpose? Do you want to have a bunch of professors, engineers, and mathematicians shoveling dirt? I think a lot of people would be underemployed if we send the smartest and brightest to Mars, so they can then shovel dirt and do needed menial labor and routine maintenance of all the equipment keeping them alive. You know sending people to Mars is expensive, so would you send Elon Musk, as he is a smart guy? Should be he on Earth building new rockets and running his company or on Mars shoveling dirt? Imagine sending a talented engineer and inventor to Mars and him getting all frustrated because he can't fabricate the stuff he wants to build his latest invention. Imagine an astrophysicist that wants to publish a paper for an astronomical journal, but instead he has to do routine maintenance around the base because he is the only one around who can do it. Do you see the problem here?

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#141 2017-03-14 21:13:40

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,719

Re: Corporate Government

But do you want another planet with an entitlement system for just those that are smart?
I do agree that not all of the 8 hour or shift day unknown duration should have a set aside period of time for just that acedemic journal and so much more.

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#142 2017-03-16 08:07:24

JohnX
Member
From: Thunder Bay
Registered: 2017-03-10
Posts: 77
Website

Re: Corporate Government

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Are you sure that a higher education isn't simply being used as a selection criterion and for no other purpose? Do you want to have a bunch of professors, engineers, and mathematicians shoveling dirt? I think a lot of people would be underemployed if we send the smartest and brightest to Mars, so they can then shovel dirt and do needed menial labor and routine maintenance of all the equipment keeping them alive. You know sending people to Mars is expensive, so would you send Elon Musk, as he is a smart guy? Should be he on Earth building new rockets and running his company or on Mars shoveling dirt? Imagine sending a talented engineer and inventor to Mars and him getting all frustrated because he can't fabricate the stuff he wants to build his latest invention. Imagine an astrophysicist that wants to publish a paper for an astronomical journal, but instead he has to do routine maintenance around the base because he is the only one around who can do it. Do you see the problem here?

IanM wrote:

From the beginning land owners would inherently be shareholders in the company, and as the planet becomes bigger and more self-sufficient officers start becoming elected. I can get into more detail on such an idea if people want.

I'm uneasy with the idea of a corporation running Mars, even in the beginning stages. These entities don't relinquish power easily, and they tend to be less accountable than a democracy. If it operates in order to make a profit for shareholders, where do all our other higher visions come in - scientific discovery, freedom, expanding the human horizons?

However, since Big Money is the most able to get a settlement started, there may not be much choice. In which case, everything should be done to create a culture of transparency and working for the common good, a common goal.


-- Because it's there! --

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#143 2018-03-18 04:31:09

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,161
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Re: Corporate Government

We're running out of things to talk about. NewMars is a place for people to design ways to get to Mars. We aren't here to sit on the sidelines, watching while someone else does it. We're here to do it. Recent discussion has returned to the first large settlement. Not the first human mission to Mars, not science, but permanent settlement. So this is my idea; read the first post.

The response immediately above has been typical. However, NASA will never do it. I posted the history of St. John's, Newfoundland, the first European settlement in North America. At least, the first since the Vikings. It was more than a century before the first government settlement. The point is government funded explorers can do a great job of discovering new things, but really suck at establishing profitable enterprise. This is a way to pay for it. Without a way to pay for a settlement, it won't happen.

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#144 2018-03-18 12:33:58

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Corporate Government

There are many ways that colonisation might go from hereon in.

It certainly looks like the initial effort will come from Space X (though I still expect bureaucratic attempts to stop them, co-ordinated by the scientists in charge of the -very slow - NASA exploration efforts).

I am a complete optimist when it comes to paying for Mars settlement.  I believe the money will flow freely into Mars colonisation from:

1. Space X itself (which if all goes well will be generating huge profits from orbital and lunar tourism, satellite launches, orbital internet service and ISS supply). I expect them to be putting in billions over the next few decades.

2. Private donors.  Musk himself is likely to be a huge donor. Again billions.

3. Commercial sponsorship. Again billions. If NBC can pay $4billion for a few weeks of Olympics sport over 8 years, there is no reason a Mars Mission can't raise similar sums.

4. Space Agencies, who will wish to use Space X infrastructure for their own "national presitige" missions. They have deep pockets. Why wouldn't NASA pay Space X hundreds of millions of dollars to take rovers to Mars?.

5.  Private investors, finance loans and entrepreneurs. Again, billions of dollars potentially. If Space X can get a regular profit of $ 1 billion per annum from Mars, it means they could borrow ten times that amount. It's difficult to imagine now, but entrepreneurs will find ways to make money off Mars. I have mentioned Rolex watch production as a possibility. There will be many failures but the successes will generate huge amounts of revenue.

6.  Sales of a range of goods ( mineral samples, meteorites and any fossils found).

7. Mars media (copyrighted film, photos and so on) used by news, documentary companies etc.

8.  Science research.

9.  University institute.

10.  Life support revenue.

I really don't think money will be a worry.


RobertDyck wrote:

We're running out of things to talk about. NewMars is a place for people to design ways to get to Mars. We aren't here to sit on the sidelines, watching while someone else does it. We're here to do it. Recent discussion has returned to the first large settlement. Not the first human mission to Mars, not science, but permanent settlement. So this is my idea; read the first post.

The response immediately above has been typical. However, NASA will never do it. I posted the history of St. John's, Newfoundland, the first European settlement in North America. At least, the first since the Vikings. It was more than a century before the first government settlement. The point is government funded explorers can do a great job of discovering new things, but really suck at establishing profitable enterprise. This is a way to pay for it. Without a way to pay for a settlement, it won't happen.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#145 2018-11-10 14:17:43

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Corporate Government

From the Martian government and importance of communication thread:

RobertDyck wrote:

Hi Big_Al, and welcome. IanM mentioned corporate government; I started that discussion, initial post is my idea. I'll try to very briefly describe key features. If you want to continue discussion of that proposal, we should really do it in that thread.

Ensure no war
Leaders have engaged in war as far back as we have any history. That goes back over 15,000 years, before the end of the last ice age. We don't want to export war into space. So my proposal is very simple: no nations. There will be one Mars government, I called it a "federal government" but some have pointed out what I describe is a unitary government. So it's best described as a "national" government, not federal. This one "national" government will have jurisdiction over the entire planet Mars. All of it's surface from pole to pole, from the prime meridian around the planet back to the same prime meridian, solid matter from the surface down to the core, the atmosphere, orbital space, and even both moons. Everything. And if I didn't include anything, that's included too. There shall be just 2 levels of government: national, and municipal. That's it, nothing more. No countries, no states or provinces, no counties, shires, townships, rural municipalities, or "oblast". The last is a Russian term, used by former members of the Soviet Union. Furthermore, towns/cities will only be allowed to declare territory of a town or city, certainly not territory of a county or state or province. No backdoor method of creating a state or province. Towns will have authority of a town, nothing more. Only the national government will be allowed to have a military, and only that national military will be allowed to posses weapons of war. That means police and individuals can own a hand gun, but only the military will be allowed to own a carbine (sometimes called assault rifle) or tank or fighter jet, etc. If towns try to engage in war against each other, the national military will intervene and stop it. If a town builds a military, the national police will arrest the town mayor and councillors, arrest soldiers of that town's military and seize all weapons of war.

Minimal regulation / Libertarian
The point is maximum freedom. You can do anything you want, as long as you don't harm someone else. If you do something that harms yourself, you're on your own dude! National laws shall be very minimal, general principle is: Thou shalt not kill. That shalt not steel. Other than that, you're on your own dude! Of course there's going to be details to that: assault, battery, breaking-and-entering, theft, robbery, embezzlement, extortion, etc. Once lawyers get involved, something that was very simple becomes very complex. But if more than one person wants to marry each other, it's up to them. Age of consent will be set by municipalities, not the national government. Jewish tradition holds a "bar mitzvah" for boys or "bat mitzvah" for girls at age 13. That's passage from childhood to adulthood. You're not expected to know everything required to be an adult at that age, rather you're treated as an adult and expected to start to learn how to be an adult at that age. In Canada in the late 1800s, age of consent was 14. Young women in their late teens were expected to get married and start a family. The term "maid" meant a young woman who isn't married. The term "old maid" meant a woman over the age of 18 who still isn't married, and was considered unlikely to ever get married because she's too old. Today marriage before age 18 is considered a problem; how cultural morals have changed. My point is it isn't the job of the national government to enforce cultural morals. Furthermore, in the late 1800s men were required to wear a shirt in public. A man not wearing a shirt in public was considered indecent exposure. Polynesian culture had women walking around topless. Which is right? Why do men or women need a shirt when inside a pressurized, climate controlled environment? That's up to the town to decide, not the national government. When I was a child, my parents purchased headache pills called 222 or the stronger ones 292. These were aspirin with codeine. Why are they regulated today? If someone wants to buy prescription drugs, it's up to them.

No Tax
That means no tax. At all. Period. None. Full stop.
No income tax, no sales tax, no property tax, no import tax, no export tax, no excise tax, no luxury tax, no payroll tax, no business tax. No capital gains tax, no corporate tax, no dividend tax, no flat tax, no gift tax, no inheritance tax, no windfall profits tax, no alcohol tax, no sin tax, no carbon tax, no capital tax, no land transfer tax. No stamp duty. No medicare premium, no medicaid, no healthcare premium. No social security, no employment insurance premium, no pension plan premium. No federal/national license fees or permits. If I missed something, none of that either.

However, a pressurized habitat may charge a service fee. A town could be a pressurized dome, but more likely will be a pressurized building similar to a major shopping mall today. Rent for space in that pressurized building would pay for all the services that municipal property tax pays for today, and more: pressure, heat, oxygen recycling. But also security (police), garbage collection, public corridors (instead of streets). Utility bills would charge for water (with a surcharge for sewage based on water usage), electricity, internet.

All communication on Mars will be internet. Smartphones will be IP phones that use Wifi. No LTE cell service, no CDMA, TDSCDMA, EvDo, GSM, or WCDMA. No need because we can use Wifi. No landline telephone, just various capabilities of Wifi IP phone. No cable TV, instead streaming internet services including YouTube and the Mars equivalent of NetFlix.

How it's paid for
This leads the question: how is it paid for. I based this on what Robert Zubrin wrote in his book "The Case for Mars", but with more detail. He said the price of a ticket to Mars will be the life savings of a middle class family. Sell your house, sell your car(s), liquidate your pension and life insurance. This includes a typical modern suburban house. Sell everything, and you get a ticket for husband, wife, children, and room for some luggage. That's all. I expect a colonial transport ship would be reused, travelling from Earth orbit to Mars orbit and back. A reusable shuttle on Earth would transport settlers to the interplanetary ship, and a shuttle on Mars would transport them down. The corporation that owns the interplanetary ship would establish a city on Mars, and all settlers would arrive there. Propellant for the interplanetary ship would either be produced on Mars and transported to a fuel depot in Earth orbit, or ice on one of Mars moons (Demos ro Phobos), or a C-type near-Earth-asteroid. The same corporation would own/operate the propellant operation to supply their own ship. The city on Mars would mine resources on Mars, smelt, refine, and manufacture spare parts to maintain the ship. The city on Mars would also have greenhouses to grow food to supply the ship. So once this is set up, all costs to operate the interplanetary transport come from the Mars economy, but settlers pay in Earth currency. No need to transport any goods back to Earth, as long as settlers stream to Mars, investors who established this corporation get a massive stream of Earth money.

Secondary economy on Mars will be to supply settlers with everything you need: habitat, life support, power supply, everything required to build a homestead in the "outback". That's an Australian term. We can't use the term "wilderness" because Mars doesn't have wildlife. The corporation will strongly encourage homesteaders to establish a cottage industry to produce something. Can you build a spacesuit helmet better than the one the Corporation makes in their factory in the city? Great! You built greenhouses that grow cacoa trees, and you process the seed pods to produce cocoa, and then further process that to make chocolate? Wonderful! The Corporation will simply reconfigure it's factory or greenhouse to grow something else. Mars will need so much stuff that it'll be a long time before it's able to produce everything it needs. Besides, the Corporation will use your success as marketing to encourage more people on Earth to buy a ticket to Mars. Oh, you didn't notice that your ticket to Mars includes a clause that grants the corporation the right to use your story and your image for their sales marketing? Without paying you a thing. smile So out-compete the Corporation, the Corporation really wants you to, they'll make more money from settler tickets than they lose from manufacturing crap on Mars. big_smile

And the Corporation will establish an employee recruitment centre, right where new settlers arrive. Just came to Mars, spent everything you have on the ticket? No money to buy a homestead? No problem! We're hiring. We offer free accommodation in employee housing, with free utilities. The Corporation has a company cafeteria with free meals (for employees only). Free transport to work, but that's probably just a corridor you walk down from company housing to the factory. Mars rover bus for miners to the mine site. And free medical insurance for company employees, their spouse and children. Oh, did we mention? After all that free stuff, your pay is peanuts. But you can save up for a homestead! Groceries for your apartment you pay for yourself. Restaurant meals anywhere other than the company cafeteria are not free. Etc. Watch how much you spend. But you too can eventually be the proud owner of a homestead, where nothing is free!

Towns can establish their own system of government. Will town councillors/aldermen/mayor be elected? Or a religious colony? It's all up to the town. But town bylaws only apply within the town. The town could have their own police, but only municipal police. Initially, city police for the Corporate city will double as national police, but city bylaws only apply within the city, not the "outback" or other towns/cities. Outside boundaries of any city or town, the only laws that apply are national laws, and they're minimal. For example, a town may choose to be "dry", meaning no alcohol allowed, but if they do that only applies to that one town. No restriction in the "outback". A town may choose to outlaw marijuana, but no restriction outside that one town. A sealed pressurized habitat may ban smoking anything, after all it'll clog CO2 removal equipment of the life support system. And whatever you smoke, others in the same sealed habitat will have to breathe too. But outside in your pressurized rover, do whatever you want. In fact, driving high or drinking while driving won't be regulated. Inside a pressurized settlement it sure will! You don't want someone crashing a vehicle into people or a shop; it could do a lot of damage. But outside in the "outback", do whatever you want. If you crash your Mars rover into a crater, just remember there's no vehicle insurance and no AAA on Mars. I expect the city will require a driver's license to operate a motor vehicle inside the pressurized habitat, but outside in the "outback" no license required.


-Josh

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#146 2018-11-10 16:38:58

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,161
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Re: Corporate Government

Yea, it got way too long.

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#147 2018-11-10 17:47:40

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,723

Re: Corporate Government

It's interesting that in the section entitled "Ensure no war", the end of the paragraph describes exactly how so many wars have started.  I guess we should "Ensure no human nature" while we're at it.  I think that pretty much covers it.  I think a "no weapons period" law is perfectly reasonable in a civilization surrounded by delicate and highly-pressurized structures that are the only thing between their inhabitants and a swift death.  Unfortunately, that cat is already well and truly out of the bag here on Earth.  There's no reason why anyone needs firearms on Mars if better technology becomes available.  If you really want to "ensure no war", then there can be no military at all.  Organized and armed factions are kinda required for wars to happen.  Eliminate that and wars become exceptionally unlikely and difficult to prosecute.

I'm still unclear about what's funding the government, but will wait for further explanation.  Right after you said "no tax", in the very next paragraph you talked about assessment of what is essentially a property tax.  I think fees (taxes) for usage or consumption are fair enough ways to fund public entities entrusted with protecting the public.

I disagree with the idea of permitting local laws to deviate from national law.  There doesn't need to be local laws against theft, rape, robbery, or murder.  There could be local laws defining what's permissible behavior that affects public health, such as smoking or drinking.  A town's censorship laws shouldn't be an excuse for limiting freedom of speech, though.  That's exactly what the leftists here in America and Canada are trying to do.  There can be no freedom without the right to live and the right to speak your mind without retribution.  Again, that doesn't mean yelling fire when there is no fire is permissible.  It's hard to legislate common sense or morality, though.  We've tried to do far too much legislating of morality here in America, for example.  A very simple rule to live by would be the golden rule.  Everyone understands it perfectly well, even if they don't always practice it.

Anyway, I like the overall idea but think some of it needs more work.

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#148 2018-11-10 18:33:23

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Corporate Government

I think you are confusing war for conflict.

In war you have to overcome nature, so that people "stand and fight", rather than run away. In war you have to persuade people to carry on with conflict even though they might have a 25% chance of death or serious injury that reduces their chance of mating successfully.

On Earth we have seen, since the rise of genuine democracies starting in the 19th century really, that democracies never go to war with one another.  Wars since 1800 have nearly always been a democracy v a tyranny or a tyranny v. a tyranny. You might be able to find one or two exceptions but that is basically the rule.

So "Ensure No War" seems to me an entirely realisable objective in the context of a reset for humanity on a new planet.

The issue of firearms is an interesting one...I think we are going to have to accept that firearms cannot be allowed on Mars.

There is no need for them that one can see.  This is where libertarianism becomes somewhat threatening I would say...Libertarians would he happy with humans setting up a "Shoot all you can see" animal dome on Mars.  We have to take the libertarians on trust when they tell us they won't use their guns to harm us - the rest of the Mars population.

Do the government need firearms?  I'd say no.  So let's have a total ban.

Government would need Tasers or the equivalent to subdue people who go ape-shit and threaten public safety. Of course individuals might download how to print a gun...so we need to be aware of that. But I think a person with a gun can be overcome quickly by people with tasers and other non-lethal weaponry (stun grenades, gas and so on).



kbd512 wrote:

It's interesting that in the section entitled "Ensure no war", the end of the paragraph describes exactly how so many wars have started.  I guess we should "Ensure no human nature" while we're at it.  I think that pretty much covers it.  I think a "no weapons period" law is perfectly reasonable in a civilization surrounded by delicate and highly-pressurized structures that are the only thing between their inhabitants and a swift death.  Unfortunately, that cat is already well and truly out of the bag here on Earth.  There's no reason why anyone needs firearms on Mars if better technology becomes available.  If you really want to "ensure no war", then there can be no military at all.  Organized and armed factions are kinda required for wars to happen.  Eliminate that and wars become exceptionally unlikely and difficult to prosecute.

I'm still unclear about what's funding the government, but will wait for further explanation.  Right after you said "no tax", in the very next paragraph you talked about assessment of what is essentially a property tax.  I think fees (taxes) for usage or consumption are fair enough ways to fund public entities entrusted with protecting the public.

I disagree with the idea of permitting local laws to deviate from national law.  There doesn't need to be local laws against theft, rape, robbery, or murder.  There could be local laws defining what's permissible behavior that affects public health, such as smoking or drinking.  A town's censorship laws shouldn't be an excuse for limiting freedom of speech, though.  That's exactly what the leftists here in America and Canada are trying to do.  There can be no freedom without the right to live and the right to speak your mind without retribution.  Again, that doesn't mean yelling fire when there is no fire is permissible.  It's hard to legislate common sense or morality, though.  We've tried to do far too much legislating of morality here in America, for example.  A very simple rule to live by would be the golden rule.  Everyone understands it perfectly well, even if they don't always practice it.

Anyway, I like the overall idea but think some of it needs more work.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#149 2018-11-10 21:02:18

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,723

Re: Corporate Government

Louis,

It's cute that you think all that stuff, but then there's reality.  If the result wasn't so obvious and lethal, it'd be downright funny watching someone with a taser try to subdue someone with a firearm.  I love the ideas people have stuck in their heads about the way the world should work, but again, there's this thing called reality.

Do you have a clue about how a stun grenade works?

It creates a substantial blast overpressure wave.  Just what we need inside a pressurized structure.  What could possibly go wrong?

Here I thought the firearms would be a problem, but you want to introduce grenades?

Jeez...

Tear gas might work, but the idiot armed only with tear gas might also get shot.  After the circulation system sucks up that stuff, it then has to get rid of it.  Sometime tells me you really haven't thought this stuff through.  Might be a good point to go back and re-think.

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#150 2018-11-10 21:29:34

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Corporate Government

As I said in the other thread, I believe that your post started out in a good place but went rapidly downhill once you started getting into the details of how your proposed society would work.  Before I get to responding to what you said, I want to talk about how I think about the ideals of government.  It's hard to design a good society from scratch, after all, and I don't think it's entirely fair to criticise without proposing an alternative.

In my opinion, a good society is one which maximizes freedom, democracy, justice, and prosperity.  These ideas are all related, but can also be in conflict and require choices to be made for one over the other.  Here's how I look at each of those terms:

Freedom: Freedom is the ability to do the things you want to do.  Freedom has both positive and negative aspects, meaning that you are both not prevented from doing those things and that you are able to do them.  The important aspects of freedom are different for different people.  What this means is that freedoms in the abstract are different from the freedoms that actually matter to people in a specific place and time.  Both are important but I would say the latter is more important.

Democracy: As Abe Lincoln described it, democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Democracy means that the people affected by something get to make the important decisions about it.  Democratic governance is what happens when a group of people make decisions about matters as a group. In some sense, freedom is for an individual, and democracy is a corresponding attribute of a group.

Justice: Justice can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, but fundamentally I think it means living in a society where ideas triumph over power dynamics.  Justice is the foundation for things like peaceful conflict resolution, fairness, and the rule of law.

Prosperity: Freedom, democracy, and justice exist in the real world, where human beings need food to eat, air to breathe, and homes to live in, and where the fruits of a well-functioning economy can enrich the lives of their beneficiaries.   Freedom, democracy, justice, and prosperity can exist alone but each is more meaningful in context and balance with the other three.

Anyway, I'll start with the good: I absolutely agree with the idea that the main levels of government should be local and global.  Most functions of government like education, infrastructure, safety, health, and community planning make sense as things that should be handled locally.  Then, there are some things like long-term planning, common defense, rights enforcement, etc. that should be handled at the highest possible level.  There's not much need for something in between, although towns and cities may want to form common councils or leagues for specific purposes.

Preventing war is a valiant goal, and designing a good political system to resolve tensions can go a long way to help it out.  But looking forward to hundreds of years of the future there's no way to guarantee a war can't happen.

On the topic of libertarian government: It's important, of course, to distinguish between the local and planetary government, which you have done.  And I think in the abstract "you can do whatever you want as long as you're not harming anyone" is a reasonable-sounding rule.  The thing is that every action every person takes affects other people for better and for worse.  You suggested, for example, that people should be able to buy and sell codeine without regulation or prescription.  I don't feel the need to say that it should necessarily be handled at a planetary level, but I would say absolutely that highly addictive substances like opioids (of which codeine is one) should have limited circulation.  If a town did want to make drugs legal and available, well--that would be a good example of freedom, democracy, justice, and prosperity coming into conflict.

Speaking more generally, again, I like the idea that each town can follow its own path and I think we would all agree that there would need to be limits.  I think the problem comes from the idea that, whatever limits are set, there won't be constant transgressions.  Most cases will be gray areas, and this becomes a trickier and trickier problem the more different the different towns are.

On the topic of taxation: All individuals and businesses exist in a society and benefit in various ways from the existence of that society.  Having a society costs money.  Therefore, members of a society pay taxes into a common treasury to support the institutions that make their way of life possible.  Charging citizens and businesses for use of public resources such as living quarters may or may not be good policy, but I take no issue with it.  Fundamentally, though, all wealth is created from common property (the land) and common labor.  The choices people make about how to use those resources affects other people, both in the positive sense (if you build a settlement somewhere, there is a settlement in that place) and the negative sense (if you build a settlement somewhere, I cannot build a mine on that same spot).

I think the place where I disagree most strenuously is your description of how it is to be paid for.  The claim that the colony will become profitable by overcharging immigrants for transportation seems questionable.  If a settlement isn't profitable on its own terms, wages likely won't be very high, and a family or individual won't drop everything to go.  Such things may have worked before the telegraph and the internet; they won't work now.

Broadly speaking, the society you've described seems to be one where the Corporation spends a lot of time bilking its employees and uses its power to profit off the acts of government.  Such a thing may come to pass but it's nothing to aspire to and indeed is a great reason to be skeptical of private space colonization as something that's worthwhile.


-Josh

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