|Interactions With Existing Systems|
To the author, the Free Enterprise System Theory generally is that, wherever there is any human need, there exists the potential for other people to make money by supplying that need. Therefore all human needs are supplied thereby, money being an intermediate swap for all goods and services.
In reality, however, there are some very important needs that don't get supplied thereby. One example is that when a large corporation has effective control over some economic domain, that if there are two potential new products that it can create and provide to people, and people will likely buy only one of them, the one that supplies the company with the most profit is the only one it will make available to the customer; the other product does not come into existence and thus is not available to fulfill human need. Even if the less-profitable-to-the-company product far more efficiently fulfills human need, even if it alleviates human suffering more than can its competitor, it will become buried, owned by the company but not produced by it, and the customers have to exist without that product's availability.
The FES Theory says that some other company would then produce and sell that better product. But in reality, the system which protects corporations from theft of their ideas by employees, also prevents other corporations from making such a product as it is patented (but not produced) by the rival corporation which is not providing it to people, unfortunately.
And if a far superior potential product not controlled by the corporation appears on the horizon, those who have fortunes invested in the current product type understandably will probably do everything legal to suppress the potentially superior product from being noticed by the customer base, to starve out the potential rival and then eventually take over the new potential product line as if it were created by themselves, and all remains stable in the system. If the new concept is not successfully starved out, but finds a haven for development into a useable and salable product, then a different economic struggle ensues, such as when railroad technology was created in Great Britain to a useable level, then was taken to the United States where it competed with animal-powered transportation systems in bringing the fruits of agriculture and natural resources in the interior of the country to the markets in the eastern and western developed areas. This elbowed out much of the old animal powered transportation systems, and also immensely improved the utilization of the interior of the country. It was not that ox drawn wagons and horse drawn stagecoaches were not capable of doing the task, and were adapted to the environment insofar as forage and water needed to "fuel" the beasts of burden; it was the amount of work that could be done and over much greater distances in much less time, that enabled the railroads to become dominant for large scale movement of materials and people.
The stagecoach and other animal powered transportation enabled a few people at a time to move through the nation, and prove there were thngs out there worth having or places to live and work. Those trips provided many adventures to be retold and fantasied about for generations afterward.
Similarly, the chemical fueled launch vehicles such as Atlas/Mercury, Saturn5/Apollo, Proton, and the Space Shuttle, all have proven that it is worthwhile to go out into nearby space, that we can live and work there, and that the environment has immense resource potential for humanity up there. Their rides to space are spectacular and thrilling, sometimes too much. The need to lift and carry along all their fuel for the trip to orbit creates an extreme energy ineficiency for that mode of travel. What if executives working on the 50th story of a skyscraper office building had to ride on a fiery rocket up the side of the building each morning to work, and parachute out to the ground when it was time to go home each evening. The energy cost of the fuel would be many thousands of times the energy cost of the electric elevators actually now used in such buildings, and it is likely that the business executives would eventually tire of the thrill of the fiery roaring rocket ride up the side of the building each day, and the parachute jump in the evening, particularly when they are having a bad day. Such a prospect would probably have prevented most skyscrapers from being built in the first place. The International Space Station now in use and being built is a lot like that hypothetical skyscraper problem. The energy cost of getting there, and the adventurous nature of each commute, will likely greatly limit how many such space stations will be built, to what applications will they be dedicated, and who will use them.
Just as the electric elevator makes executive use of offices in high buildings routine and economical, so theoretically could transportation systems analogous to electric elevators make practical far more uses of nearby orbits in space. Yet the KESTS to GEO conceptual design for such elevator technology to high earth orbit has been around for over a dozen years, and the immense industrial base founded on rocket technology transportaation has ignored, even ridiculed and hid the existence of KESTS to GEO, so that the public did not know there was an option avoiding a world limited by rocket transportation to orbit and resultant extremely limited application of space high orbital resources. If the space industry had welcomed the KESTS to GEO concept starting back in 1988-89 when it was first publically shown in the GEnie Space Library to the public by the author, there likely would already be a small KESTS to GEO operating right now, continuously delivering construction materials to GEO at a high rate, 24 hours a day. However, aerospace chose the other path it was already heavily invested in, no doubt seeing KESTS to GEO technology as if it were a competitor's challenge instead of a great opportunity for all concerned to be of service to civilization's robust continuance.
Private industry usually has to wait for the joint resource financial base of federal government to do the expensive basic R&D, usually justifiable for development of something for national security, such as military aircraft, before the technology can be eased into the commercial sector of the industry. Indeed, NASA started funding develpment of the anchored space tether type of elevator in 2000, when it looked like tether material was in sight, utilizing carbon nanotubes in matrix. However, NASA has been totally ignoring the KESTS to GEO concept, despite frequent appearances surely noticable to NASA, as well as the author's efforts to gain a grant for work on the conceptual design. As to why, the indication is that since the author is not a notable academic figure, and not operating a small business to develop it, there is an immense belief system in this country that the only way to knowledge is through formal education, and that only PhDs can come up with breakthrough concepts. Many prominent jobs are based on these assumptions, and so the author's efforts do not fit the pattern that sustains those decisionmakers. All this is understandable, and usually valid. The question is, how to proceed under these circumstances? How to fit KESTS to GEO into the existing business system, such that it has an optimum chance for long term success, for all concerned?
This is a "work in progress," doing my best for the vision.
Copyright © 2005 James E. D. Cline