Updated: Aug 20, 2019
Elon Musk and SpaceX began another Earth-changing journey late last week.
On Thursday, the first 60 (of hundreds) "Starlink" Satellites were launched into orbit. What's the purpose? To bring affordable broadband internet to the entire world.
Right now only about half the population of the planet has access to the internet, and to put it lightly, changing that statistic will drastically change the world. Access to the internet could create $2.2 trillion in economic growth, and create 140 million new jobs, according to One.org. The opportunities that open up when the population has access could lift hundreds of millions out of poverty, and that's just the start.
You might be thinking, how will access to Snapchat and Twitter help the poor?
Well, it isn't just those platforms, though there is an argument to be made that some social networking could help distant regions of the world. But the rest of the internet would mean access to education, most of all. Information for those practicing medicine. Information for farmers, like market prices, and weather projections (growing up on a farm, I cant imagine not having access to weather forecasts).
So why link this to Capitalism?
Elon Musk is a smart guy. He's doing this in an effort to raise SpaceX's yearly revenue from $3 billion, to $50 billion. Yet again, we see that a Capitalist in search for new ways to make money has been incentivized to change the world for the better. This isn't the first time this has happened. In fact, it's what has changed the situations of ordinary individuals over the last hundreds of years. It's natural to have some angst towards the motive for profit, but the profit motive is more-than-likely why most of us are still here.
An easy example of this is Henry Ford. The automobile was invented in 1769 by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot. Obviously the idea did not take off worldwide for quite a long time. By the early 1900's, numerous individuals had built their versions of a moving carriage, but it took the profit motive to create the first affordable automobile.
Henry Ford did not invent the first car, but he did find a way to produce it so efficiently so that it would be affordable to ordinary people- all in a search for more money.
The rest of the story is even better..
Elon Musk isn't the only one in a race to provide affordable internet to the world. OneWeb, Telesat, and Amazon ----- are currently working on projects to provide broadband as well. As usual, this will be great for the consumers. Each company will be fighting to offer the cheapest and most valuable product on the market. Thank God for Capitalism.