Billionaires in Space

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

As we all know, last year Jeff Bezos finally achieved his childhood dream of going to space, just after Richard Branson has his own space flight. Since then, all the envious ones have whined that “only billionaires” can go to space. Perhaps they forget we had astronauts in the past who trained hard to be the best of the best to make it into the space program. These weren’t billionaires — NASA astronauts worked hard to get into the program, and they studied hard to make it a worthwhile scientific achievement. People thought it was a waste of money to continue the shuttle program, and so it ended, putting the space program into the hands of billionaires to help balance the government budget. To help keep the programs that people said they wanted; programs that help people. We want space exploration without using tax dollars, so this is how it happens: billionaires.

Did you honestly think that a simple person could make it into space? That you could sit behind your computer and bitch about billionaires and somehow be chosen for a space program? You want to complain about the costs to get a Bachelor’s Degree, and yet you would have needed more than that to be part of NASA’s space program. You would have needed hard physical training, not angry rants on social media about how it isn’t fair. You could have joined the United States Air Force to have a better shot at your desire to go into space, but you didn’t.

No, you didn’t really want to go through everything you would have needed to go to space. You are just angry that people made money on a good business idea that didn’t exist at the time. They filled a need that consumers didn’t even realize existed, and they made a fortune on that need. Because that’s what businesses do: they fulfill needs in exchange for profits.

You want to claim that people like Bezos made their fortunes “off the backs” of everyday people, and yet you want to defend women with “Only Fans” accounts and Twitch “thots.” They do exactly the same thing, except they do so in a way that demeans women overall. They do so in a way that keeps women from being viewed as serious business people, continuing to force the idea that women are to be looked at and nothing more. That women are to look pretty and be thin, not to be smart and successful. These women that you defend sit in a hot tub and do nothing while those “everyday people” give them money, like a junkie on heroin. They take advantage of lonely guys to make millions, and yet you defend them. What about when they are the next ones to go into space, paying for their tickets with money conned from teenagers? Will you still defend them?

It isn’t space that you want. It isn’t even equality. It’s all about the money.

Don’t like Jeff Bezos? Then be different. The truth is many people who claim to hate the man are also addicted to shopping on Amazon, the company that made him a billionaire. He had a great idea and ran with it, and it is because of him that we love shopping there. Yes, brick-and-Mortar stores suffer, but why are you shopping online? Convenience? Price? Or is it a lack of options? Perhaps you wanted something and cannot find it anywhere…except Amazon. Or perhaps you are supporting a small business that sells through Amazon. Anyone can start a business and sell in Amazon’s Marketplace, you just have to have some knowledge and entrepreneurial passion. Is it really Amazon that you hate, or do you hate that someone made a fortune off of an idea that seems so simple? That you didn’t come up with it first?

There is far too much negativity and hostility in the world. Perhaps we need to step back and look at what makes each of us the same, not the differences that drive us apart. I’m sure many people disagree with me on this, anger building within as they exclaim “no, no, no!” while reading this opinion piece. I will admit that I am biased in favor of Jeff Bezos. In college, I chose Amazon for a business research project and learned a great deal about how he built Amazon and how Amazon has changed over the years. Yes, he did get a head start beyond most of us, but that isn’t his fault. He still worked hard to build Amazon into the company we all know and love, focusing on customer service above everything else. I already understood this concept after years of working for small businesses: customer service is how you make or break a business. I would never want to be as rich as him, attracting hatred from so many people just for being wealthy. He has donated to many good causes over the years, and yet people never think it is enough. If it were me, I would give up, taking an attitude of “why bother?”

To those who actually are trying to save the world: I am with you. But we cannot save the world by attacking the rich men who just want to achieve their childhood dreams. It does nothing to help our cause. Would we not do the same if we were in their shoes? We claim that we would do more to help society as a whole, but would we? If we had worked hard to gain our wealth, knowing that our dreams were within reach, would we save the world or reach for the stars? Would I have helped the less fortunate instead of saving my beloved Toys R Us, the one place I loved more than anything? I can’t say that I would, and I’m sure that there is something in your life that you would do anything to achieve.

That is what drives us.

To do better; to achieve more. We should never forget these ambitions as they are what keep us going. To work toward something important. Most of us will likely never become rich and famous — I can honestly say that isn’t something I ever wanted. Could these space billionaires do more to help our society? Probably, but that isn’t for us to decide. Would we want a stranger to tell us how to live our lives? How to spend our fortune? We make our choices and we must live with our decisions, just as they do. Compassion and empathy are infectious traits that we need to spread, more so now than ever before.

We must choose our battles, and a space war with billionaires seems to be less important than our ongoing battle against racism, injustice, and the ongoing pandemic. But go ahead — keep complaining about how billionaires are going to space. You didn’t care about NASA’s shuttle program, so why care about space flight now? Keep drawing attention from the real problems for something that you think is unfair, as if it will do anything to help unite the American people and resolve social inequality.

Originally published at https://vocal.media.

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Jen Sullivan

Jen Sullivan

I am a gamer, a geek, and a gardener, among many things. I enjoy writing as a way to share my opinions, stories, and life experiences with others.