The internet and television, BTW, were not invented through research donations. And most medical research would choke, if it relied on donations. Most of that was and is done at taxpayer expense - both fundamental research and capstone research for corporate profit...
Yes, let coerce individuals at gunpoint to spend money on medical research projects for the GOOD of humanity. That sound nice doesn't it.
But of course, all those things ARE UNSEEN. We don't know what kind of technology might emerge if the US doesn't "invent" the internet, which by the way, required entrepreneurs to make the internet USEFUL.
Right you are, and we spend the rest of that on bigger and bigger SUV's, 100$ baseball tickets, wall-size plasma screens, etc.
My point in this thread is not that, but rather that we should not send donations into outer space for some pie-in-the-sky reasons, when we can't even pay for the basic societal necessities today, right in the next neighborhood...
With all due respect, they spend their OWN MONEY. You might hate me for spending my money on manga, good science fiction shows, and so on. But so what? All I am arguing is that the space program needs some modicum of funding. This is not about some nebulous "researching Uranus" that have little impact on our lives.
This is about knowledge, the fate of humanity as a whole, and the ability to control our own destiny.
Asteroid impact resulting in extinction level event is a very low probability but it doesn't mean it won't happen. There WILL BE smaller asteroid that will cause devastating damage to cities. It may happen once in a century. It may happen once in a thousand years. But there will be TONS of lives lost ESPECIALLY if it hit a city.
Your basic needs are met, and so are those of millions, or even billions of others. Then needs off the rest can also be met, IF we don't squander our limited resources on constant war, standing armies, endless corporate welfare, space programs, the list goes on and on...
No, stop wasting money on government! Stop voting! And stop believing that you're not in control of your own government, because technically YOU ARE.
You can vote. You can throw out elected officials. You believe in this fairy tale called Democracy Make Good Government(TM).