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Space Homestead Act

homesteading space asteroid mining

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#1
Jakob

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One thing I've been thinking about lately is whether something similar to the Homestead Act could end up applying to outer space in the future. For those who aren't familiar, the Homestead Act guaranteed tracts of public land to homesteaders who agreed to live there any improve upon it. Of course, most celestial bodies may not be under the jurisdiction of Terran nations, but there are still ways this could work.

 

Perhaps some future governments could have policies wherein they could grant their citizens ownership of asteroids and comets up to a certain size, provided they agree to live there and do something useful with the asteroid or comet. They might even cover the cost of transport to the asteroid. As I said, such small celestial bodies aren't likely to be government land, except in unusual circumstances, so there wouldn't be any law preventing randos from grabbing territory without observing any of the agreement's conditions. But in that case, it wouldn't be recognized as their private property, so the government wouldn't defend it from claim jumpers and the like.

 

Like the original homestead act, that would encourage a nation's citizens to settle large volumes of space, giving the nation a better foothold there. Profits from mining might also be taxed, allowing nations to recover the cost of transport/protection.

 

Does any of this make sense?


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#2
Jakob

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#3
Yuli Ban

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One thing I've been thinking about lately is whether something similar to the Homestead Act could end up applying to outer space in the future. For those who aren't familiar, the Homestead Act guaranteed tracts of public land to homesteaders who agreed to live there any improve upon it. Of course, most celestial bodies may not be under the jurisdiction of Terran nations, but there are still ways this could work.

 

Perhaps some future governments could have policies wherein they could grant their citizens ownership of asteroids and comets up to a certain size, provided they agree to live there and do something useful with the asteroid or comet. They might even cover the cost of transport to the asteroid. As I said, such small celestial bodies aren't likely to be government land, except in unusual circumstances, so there wouldn't be any law preventing randos from grabbing territory without observing any of the agreement's conditions. But in that case, it wouldn't be recognized as their private property, so the government wouldn't defend it from claim jumpers and the like.

 

Like the original homestead act, that would encourage a nation's citizens to settle large volumes of space, giving the nation a better foothold there. Profits from mining might also be taxed, allowing nations to recover the cost of transport/protection.

 

Does any of this make sense?

^ By the time this is possible, automation will have progressed to such a point that taxation as we know it might not exist. It's a bit esoteric to explain why I think this is the case, but the gist is that since whatever extra value that can be extracted for the betterment of the public is already able to be gained with publicly-owned machines, taxes beyond them won't serve any purpose. 


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#4
Jakob

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Thoughts?



#5
Alislaws

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I think there is definitely an issue at the moment, where even if ‚Äč someone had the capability to go colonise mars or something it would take years of diplomatic negotiations etc. in order to decide who would be in charge, who would own what etc. 

 

Some sort of framework that said "if you put in the effort to get out there and start building off earth, you will have human rights protected etc. and will be able to claim real estate on a first come first serve basis with firm limits to unimproved area claimed per person. 

 

(so if you colonise an asteroid, when you are done your area is improved so you own 0 unimproved area again and can go and claim some more but the first guy there cant just claim the entire asteroid belt. )


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#6
zEVerzan

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I'd love to see a retread of the Wild West In Space if only to witness all the isolated ideological enclaves, social experiments, expat camps, refugee caravans, and cults that would spring up around the solar system. What a boon for culture!


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#7
Alric

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I think eventually we will come up with something like this. The other option is just a free for all, where you get whatever you grab. Personally that is very likely how things will start off, where you just build something and claim it for yourself. So the idea that governments might try to make it more organized makes a lot of sense.

 

Though when you specifically say something like a homestead act, I see something different. If you are going to get a tract of land some where, then I picture it being connected to another project. So for example, if we terraform mars so humans can live on it, then the homestead act to give land on Mars makes sense. It might also work with a space station or something, you agree to live on the space station and you get a part of it you own and can do what you want with it. Things like that. I don't see the government agreeing to give people asteroids to mine or whatever. The first people to settle in an area probably will just claim the area for themselves and then if they want more people may give away land or whatever to recruit people.



#8
Alislaws

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 The first people to settle in an area probably will just claim the area for themselves and then if they want more people may give away land or whatever to recruit people.

 

But if this happens, as soon as some big nation like USA or china, decides they want that area those people are (best case) suddenly USA or Chinese citizens. 







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