I have started to cringe when Chris says “libertarians” because I realize he’s about to attribute something he views as negative to libertarians that probably should be attributed to conservatives instead. One of the prior interviews he said that the anti-global warming trend is a libertarian one, but he has also interviewed Michael Shermer, who identified himself as a libertarian and has said that he believes in anthropogenic global warming. Additionally, there are a lot of prominent conservatives who regularly call global warming a hoax (Rush Limbaugh for example).
Further, the prepper community tends to lean libertarian and yet is heavily focused on individual energy independence using renewable forms of energy, local produce and many other darling ideas of the conservationist left. Whether or not they believe in anthropogenic climate change, they behave in a way that—according to most proponents of the anthropocentric climate change view—works towards solving the problem.
This time he allows Tyson to set up a largely straw man argument, but then since neither of them are libertarians or sympathetic to their ideas none of their ideas are given a fair defense.
Also, I have the utmost respect for Tyson as a physicist, but he is a poor economist (and given that I don’t think he was trained in it then there is nothing wrong with that). There is a tendency to assume jobs into existence with such programs. No doubt that if more money was spent on space exploration and that the program was expanded that they would create some specific jobs. However it does not follow that it would create net jobs. The NASA jobs would be ones requiring high skilled, highly educated people, but that is precisely the sector that has the lowest rate of unemployment. What is more likely to happen is that people hired for those positions would already be employed in another position somewhere else, not from unemployed people. The positions they leave open will have to be filled with other people from the same pool of labor. The point I am trying to illustrate that there are lots of factors involved in any given sector of the economy and it’s not just as simple as spending money on something to “create jobs.”
Further, he makes a lot of claims regarding positive economic benefit, but never cites any research backing these claims up. I can only surmise that he has assumed that these will be the benefits without ever researching it. This standard would never be accepted in his own field of expertise and I am disappointed that it is the standard he uses for a different field. We need to hold all types of analysis to a high standard.