Will the Moon be our 51st state? Call it visionary, call it grandiose, this is one of Newt Gingrich's blueprints for the future. When his lunar position came up during Republican debate XIX, it was disdainfully dismissed by Mitt Romney as a foolish pipedream. But Gingrich would not back down from his lofty dream. He also denied it was political flimflam to win votes from the Florida Space coast. It would not depend on NASA. It would be led by private enterprise--- like the joint-stock companies of 17th-century England. By a consortium of individuals and businesses. What Gingrich envisions is a Kennedy- era redux---with minimal government involvement--- that would stimulate the juices of entrepreneurs and inventors alike. Our nation would reap a new wave of life-changing technology.
According to Newt, 21st-century Americans would be neo-Pilgrims braving a harsh forbidding environment in search of new opportunities and possibilities for success. As the lunar settlements grew, they would establish a territory and eventually apply for statehood.
This reminds me of what Daniel Burnham said about planning Chicago's development. "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood." Statehood for the Moon may be just a sideshow for this election year. A grandiose chimera. But at least on the Moon a housing bubble may not only be something you have to live with, but something you can actually live in.