Thursday, May 22, 2008

Punny Poll #32: Who Owns the Moon?

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

comic 28 - moon ownership

The results of the previous Punny Poll confirmed what I already suspected: we’re screwed. When asked if they’re worried about paying for their children’s college tuition, 35% of respondents said they’d be sending their kids to clown college. Another 22% have their eyes on state college, which isn’t such a bad thing. I mean, I’m a product of a public university and I can count all the way up to 450! About 10% of poll-takers weren’t worried and said they could afford to pay tuition bills, and another 14% said scholarships and loans would cover their children.

Popular Mechanics, a technology magazine which has since been replaced by the internet, featured an interesting article recently about ownership of the Moon. It talks about the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 which says that no nation can claim the Moon or occupy it as we did, say, with America a few hundred years ago. (That didn’t stop the U.S. from sticking a flag on it in 1969.) The treaty does not, however, address personal or corporate ownership of the Moon. Not too long ago, a guy named Dennis Hope started selling chunks of land on the Moon for about $20 each. National sovereignty and real estate law aside, there’s also the practical consideration that you can’t really own property unless you’re around to defend it, and except for the secret Russian laser cannon on the far side of the Moon, nobody’s really in a position to secure it.

What the articles doesn’t discuss is the 2008 Punny Money Moon Treaty which says that ownership of the Moon goes to whichever answer in the following poll gets the most responses:

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