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Moon NASA The Almighty Buck Idle

What The Apollo 11 Crew Did For Life Insurance 168

Back in 1969 insurance companies weren't very optimistic about the odds of an astronaut making it back to earth after being launched in a rocket to the moon. The cost of life insurance for the Apollo 11 crew was astronomically high so they came up with a clever solution. A month before launch, the astronauts signed hundreds of autographs that were to be sold if they didn't make it back. From the article: "About a month before Apollo 11 was set to launch, the three astronauts entered quarantine. And, during free moments in the following weeks, each of the astronauts signed hundreds of covers. They gave them to a friend. And on important days — the day of the launch, the day the astronauts landed on the moon — their friend got them to the post office and got them postmarked, and then distributed them to the astronauts' families. It was life insurance in the form of autographs."
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What The Apollo 11 Crew Did For Life Insurance

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  • by zakkie ( 170306 ) on Friday August 31, 2012 @04:36AM (#41187485) Homepage

    I see what you did there :)

  • by tanveer1979 ( 530624 ) on Friday August 31, 2012 @04:39AM (#41187497) Homepage Journal

    A group of people embark on a journey which is indeed a giant leap for our entire species. And their kind can't even provide their familes with basic security.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2012 @04:50AM (#41187543)

    I perfectly agree. More practically, why couldn't NASA guarantee an annuity to their families shouldn't they return home?
    I don't think it would have been so detrimental for NASA's balance sheet...

  • Military officers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2012 @04:52AM (#41187551)

    A group of people embark on a journey which is indeed a giant leap for our entire species. And their kind can't even provide their familes with basic security.

    All of them were military officers with over 20 years. Wouldn't their families have gotten at least their retirement or something?

    And I'm sure the President would have at least ordered somethign special or worked the system so that the families would have gotten some portion of the military pay.

  • by jtownatpunk.net ( 245670 ) on Friday August 31, 2012 @05:18AM (#41187659)

    I'm not saying it didn't happen. I'm saying it doesn't make sense. NASA should have just handled the death benefits. Setting up annuities would have been a minuscule part of their total budget. My grandpa was working in the industry in that era and once the space race was declared "on", the money flowed like wine.

  • by flappinbooger ( 574405 ) on Friday August 31, 2012 @08:49AM (#41188759) Homepage

    What is the big need for insurance? I guess they could have tripped in the studio, or had a light fall on them.

    Well, I only got a policy once I had a wife, kids, house. That's the only reason to have "real" life insurance. Keep your family afloat if you kick the bucket.

    A stack of post-marked autographs would probably have been able to support their astronaut family lifestyle for a good while. Pay off debt, put little johnny through college.

    If you're a single geek living in your mom's basement a simple cheap cracker-jack-box $20k policy is enough to stick you in the ground with. You might even be able to get that from where you work for nothing.

    WAIT A MINUTE - I just got your thinly veiled joke re: faked moon landing. My bad. I'm a little under the weather today, the ol' melon isn't firing on all 16 cylinders. I'll go ahead and post my comment anyway because.... I spent the time typing it out.

  • by RazzleFrog ( 537054 ) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:42AM (#41189309)

    Not sure if you are being sarcastic or what but you realize that when you take a million dollar life insurance policy out it isn't so that your family is rich if you die. It's to replace the years of missed earning opportunities with your passing.

  • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Friday August 31, 2012 @10:26AM (#41189823)

    That bottom 50% includes unemployed, homeless, people who make far less than poverty level income, children, retired people with no income, etc.

    You're actually complaining that people with no income aren't paying their fair share of income taxes.

    Could you be more of a douche?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2012 @11:41AM (#41190833)

    Good luck raising a family on a single income

    I am raising a family with 6 kids on my income alone and we are doing just fine. This is a lifestyle choice that my wife and I have made and there are some sacrifices we make. I am not a doctor or lawyer and only make just over $50k yearly with no government support. Both our vehicles are 10 years old, my house is a modest 4 bedroom. We don't eat out and both my wife and I share in the cooking of meals. We live within our means and if we don't have the cash we don't use the credit card to buy it.

  • by udachny ( 2454394 ) on Friday August 31, 2012 @12:25PM (#41191399) Journal

    Well you have a problem, don't you? 50% includes the so called unemployed, disabled, poor, retired. The children also don't pay taxes, I'll exclude them from this, their parents are supposed to be taken care of them.

    But you have a problem then, if half of the country cannot pay taxes and are the ward of the government, then you are putting the obligation on the other 50% to care for them for some unimaginable reason. And your plan is to steal from some people to subsidize others and you think this represents a VIABLE strategy for an economy.

    Here is the truth, by forcing people who still work to be slaves for the people who don't work you are only doing one thing: creating a bigger and bigger government in order to fulfill this function, because this function requires a lot of processes that include threat of violence. I mean why would anybody pay income, corporate, payroll taxes at all if not paying them did not result IRS and other governmental agents with guns coming after them?

    Do you know what slavery is? Using threat of violence (guns) to coerce some people to work for the benefit of some other people, and the factors such as who exactly is who do not matter at all. You want to use government to force a guy who makes 10 million a year to work for a guy who makes 20,000 a year?

    Then call a spade a spade, you are turning the 10 million guy into a slave of the 20,000 guy.

    But it's not only immoral, as I have shown, it is also stupid economically speaking, it does not work. Eventually with the growth of government you end up in a situation where government is a system that 50% (or more) of people believe must extract wealth from those who actually produce it by any means necessary. Obviously the most well connected to 0.01% escape the threat of violence, they are so well connected, they are NOT subject to any of the laws of the land, just ask Corzine. The guy stole billions and now what? Now he just may become the next Federal reserve chairman.

    No, this hits the people under the 0.01% mark and over the 50 something % mark, somewhere in the middle there are a few layers of people who still produce and still have something, so they can be extracted from.

    But they eventually will also give up or go bankrupt or they will do the most sensible thing and MOVE their production somewhere else as they absolutely should and have a moral imperative as free individuals to do - save themselves.

    With the ever growing dependent class and with the ever growing elite class - politicians, the very top bankers, who are de-facto politicians, you are ending up with a completely unsustainable situation, you can't recover from it without a huge crash, and at this point this huge crash is imminent. It is unavoidable, the system must crash because it can never pay its debts and it must restructure the debts and allow people who lent money to the system to go bankrupt. The system must allow the government to shrink by crazy number, maybe 99% of government force must lose jobs. [youtube.com]

    The retired can no longer stay retired, they have to rely on themselves.

    The unemployed can no longer stay unemployed, they cannot live off the welfare checks, and all the regulations and laws that allow this and create incentives for this must be gone.

    The disabled can no longer stay unemployed, and for years now the people who no longer qualified for normal welfare benefits, EI, all that stuff, they just moved into the 'disabled' category. They are not disabled. The truly disabled will have to find private charity.

    The students can no longer borrow from the government, they cannot repay their loans anyway, and their education is worthless, all the civil arts education is worthless, sociology majors do not have any skills, all education outside of very narrow few fields is worthless at these prices, which are artificially created by abundance of government loans.

    Yes, if people want the services, they must pay for them there cannot be any taxes to provide those services.b

  • by Lord Lemur ( 993283 ) on Friday August 31, 2012 @07:37PM (#41195765)

    I know feeding a troll is always a bad idea, but please tell me, are you high or 16? Seems like your a huge fan of the neo-con revisionism. Note how those poor little rich folks have had tax cut after tax cut for 50 years. The top rate has fallen from over 90% to... what did Mitt pay, 12%? There is no such thing as a rich man who got there with out our wonderfully fubar federal government. The environment for that wealth creation came from all of us, schools, roads, labor, et al. If you think a progressive tax is a pox upon long term viability, look at Somalia. Does our system blow, hell yes. Is a progressive federal system the best we have seen on this planet, by far.

  • by sahonen ( 680948 ) on Saturday September 01, 2012 @03:24AM (#41198083) Homepage Journal
    why would anybody pay income, corporate, payroll taxes at all if not paying them did not result IRS and other governmental agents with guns coming after them?

    Maybe because I actually like a lot of the services that the government provides in exchange for my tax money, and recognize that receiving the benefits of living in a society requires me to pay my share of the social contract?

    It does not work

    I have but a single word for you that disproves your entire notion that a welfare state can't work: Scandanavia. Seriously, read up on the economic and social policies of the Scandanavian countries. Especially Denmark. According to every raving lunatic libertarian, any country with those kinds of policies should be a complete and utter hellhole... Except, it's one of the best places to live in the entire world by almost any standard you measure it by.

    You want to live in a libertarian utopia where there are no taxes and everybody is absolutely free? Check out Somalia some time.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"