Additional justifications for giving NASA much more competition:
Without the existence of competition for NASA, trying to modify NASA´s funding is perceived as being against space funding in general. Politicians can´t afford that kind of (undeserved) stigma, so they often back off even when they shouldn´t...
Speaking of politicians, many accuse NASA of essentially blackmailing congressional representatives into maintaining NASA centers and other forms of support or else risk receiving negative publicity in the wake of center, or program shutdowns in their states. Rumors even abound that expensive trips on the space shuttle are occasionally doled out as political favors, and at taxpayer expense. With competition, such wastefulness would no longer be as permissible.
Presently NASA is occasionally accused of "pulling the wool over the eyes" of Congress, taking advantage of the fact that the quantity of scientists and engineers serving as elected officials in the House or Senate is very minute. There is even pressure at NASA not to miss the opportunity to capitalize upon others´ potential ignorance. Competing space programs could provide cover for those who would speak out against these and similarly deceptive practices.
Few would argue with the assertion that some at NASA are basically just there for the paycheck. Fortunately it would become relatively easy to once again involve true space-lovers with government-funded space programs thanks to a potentially competing space program. It is apparently more diplomatic for energetic members of Congress to boost the resources of a potentially more efficient competitor of NASA, than it is to try and replace more entrenched leadership at NASA.
Some might think that space projects would require a space-related infrastructure like only NASA has. Interestingly enough, though, CalTech´s impressive Jet Propulsion Laboratory is not a part of NASA. That contractor´s employees seem very proud that NASA sees fit to outsource to it, though. Likewise, private sector facilities exist and such sites would become increasingly more appealing to investors if they did not have to compete against redundant, tax-funded NASA centers.
It is hard to overlook the unprecedentedly economical Clementine moon surveying success that the temporarily competing Department of Defense had half a decade ago. Indeed, in June of 2000, the DOD´s revolutionary Clementine Mission received substantial attention during a House Science Committee hearing called by former Science Committee Chairperson Congressman Sensenbrenner. This was the case despite the fact that NASA´s leadership somehow succeeded at halting the DOD´s work on a highly economical Clementine II mission years ago. Nevertheless, NASA was forced to cut back on wastefulness in the aftermath.
Meanwhile, if competition finally existed for NASA then culturally speaking it would no longer be a status symbol for a boss to be a "control freak", at least not unless such managerial behavior really does produce the best results for our country. Likewise, managers´ behaving like true team players, who also actually do care about giving taxpayers and voters good results, would become viewed less frequently as merely being desperate and insecure in their ability to hang on to their leadership positions. They would instead be regarded more as adaptive, if not heroic leaders who could help NASA become more cost-effective. Without competition, though, cost-effectiveness is not always a popular concept.
Regarding the peculiar issue of pricing, it is worth noting a popular yet quietly communicated criticism of NASA that its employees who are supportive of any currently favored government contractors subsequently get rewarded by them with private sector jobs, as if NASA had a "revolving door" to such contractors. To put it politely, "inefficiencies" result. Reform-oriented NASA managers are still relatively powerless to keep the situation under control, and making waves is hardly encouraged. Is there a more effective mechanism than the stress of competition for finally prompting NASA´s bureaucracy to encourage civil servants and their bosses to actually care more about efficiently serving the public interest instead of merely themselves and those who keep them employed?
If a competitor existed then private sector endorsements would suddenly become coveted by NASA, just as they would be by NASA´s competitor. NASA would hopefully finally try harder to avoid the image of coercively extracting such endorsements for its political gain, too, because it would become highly risky to engage in such pressure tactics when there´s a competitor. And if such private industry endorsements were opportunistically sold to the highest bidder, the competitor would be able to credibly point that out to Congress.
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