This thought came to me in the shower, as most good thoughts do, and I thought it was a shame I didn't include it in my previous post:
Consider for a moment the capital expended to mass produce the first automobiles. Now think of how quickly they were adopted, how drastically they changed human activity and productivity and how unbelievably quickly they improved with respect to speed, mobility, style, reliability and efficiency. All of that was produced with hard-earned capital, voluntarily given in expectation of profit, and a healthy dose of enterprising individuals employed for the same cause. Now compare this with NASA's history. The expenditure has been enormous, not to mention it was all taken by force, and the payoff relatively small. The so-called "spin-off" technologies and secondary externalities created by the agency seem paltry compared to the advances in technology Ford alone developed. I encourage anyone to look them up. While you're at it, read Garet Garett's The Wild Wheel.
Freedom, Peace and Liberty - 1
Tyranny, Force and Plunder - 0
Pennies for Flying Cars - Another Tale of the Unseen
Pennies for NASA - Ignoring Cost at all Cost