Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So Who Exactly Is Selling?

The price of land on the moon is rising. I'm curious who is buying, but I'm more curious about who is selling. At this point, I can't really imagine anyone making a legitimate claim to lunar property to sell it in the first place. Of course, I can't imagine people are paying for nothing.

Would you buy property on the moon?


P. Knox said...

This reminds me of people paying to get a star named after them, as if scientists one day turn their telescopes heavenward and say, “oh there’s the Ashley I love you star”. Interestingly, if you google “name a star” there are actually three different sponsored websites willing to let you buy a star. Selling moon land could be problematic if multiple sellers are distributing rights to the same parcels. The proper way to allocate property on the moon would be by reinstituting the Homestead Act: any person at least 21 years of age, who builds a house and farms his land for five years shall receive the title to 160 acres of lunar real estate.

Pete Abbate said...

Do you think the United States government has the only legitimate claim to the moon, because it has landed the only men on the moon?

Josh Knox said...

Seeing as it is our flag stuck in the moon, I say the moon is property of the United States of America until the Chinese put up a flag of their which point both sides will be free to fight over it like a barren, unpopulated colony.

Zachary Piso said...

You mean until the Chinese film what appears to be landing two men on the moon installing a flag waving in the lunar wind? Sounds much like the South Park "Ladder to Heaven", with the Japanese "proving" they had made it there first.

Honestly though, I don't see much difference between this speculation and real estate speculation on Earth. Often times a buyer has no intentions of using the land he or she purchases, only projecting a rise in value and a profit at selling. Unfortunately, I am then reminded of the great Tulip fiasco, where much value can be lost as soon as people realize their riches are useless.

What worries me is the inevitability of imminent domain on the satellite. If the land is ever useful, it will be useful only for the extremely wealthy, and by extremely I don't mean Bill Gates style, but The United States of America style. If a country is the only agent capable of using the land, it has no value to the individual owners. At a normal, non-speculated price, the US may buy the land off the owner. However, if people expect the land to be purchased by a wealthy (read: trillions of dollars in debt) country, they may begin buying it at values the government may find unreasonable to incur. I have no idea what this threshold might be, but I expect there would be one.

Pete Abbate said...

Eminent domain is certainly possible on the moon, but it's technically possible everywhere in the United States. Truthfully, if you're buying in a market and surrounded by many people purchasing land, aren't you likely to suffer from eminent domain to build roads? How about Wal-Mart, Target, or Home Depot? There are plenty of examples of this phenomenon. Speculating there should not be, in my opinion, vastly different than speculating on this planet.

Steven rogers said...

I saw a site where you could buy property on the moon. I thought it was interesting.

Compared with the totality of knowledge which is continually utilized in the evolution of a dynamic civilization, the difference between the knowledge that the wisest and that which the most ignorant individual can deliberately employ is comparatively insignificant. ~Fredrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty