Can technology revolutionize aviation or will it remain a hobby of rich boys?
Anand Giridharadas, in his 2018 book “Winners Take It All – The Charade of the Elite to Change the World” argues that the world would not need the charities (or foundations) of the rich, if they simply paid their dues. taxes like the rest of us. He named the Clinton Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative among those whose services might not be needed if the government of the day tightened the tax loophole on homeowners.
Working with the respective governments, the three organizations – Space X, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin – will likely charge the wealthy a lot of money to (literally) provide them with an ‘out of the world’ experience, giving them a view of Earth that only NASA astronauts and the very wealthy had it. Will the view and experience be worth it, probably in millions of US dollars?
It sounds like the fetish of a billionaire, who probably doesn’t know what to do with the money he’s already made. But can their intervention help the ongoing research carried out by the governments in place?
In any case, such explorations add millions to the brand values of their respective companies. A subsidiary of its core business, Bezos’ Prime Video broadcast a live broadcast of his flight, Outskirts of the Universe and back, adding another dimension to his business and personal brand.
Considering the number of millionaires in the world today, this space tourism will likely only be open to a few. There are 56 million “millionaires” in the world today, or 1.1% of the world’s population. It then looks like a game for the rich.