Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Full Moon

Do feel that the American dream is just out of your financial reach? Are you tired of living in an apartment complex where more meth labs are functioning than security lights? Many languish in such situations because owning terrestrial real estate is unrealistic, but since 1980 one corporation has been bravely going where no homo-sapiens have dared tread: extra-terrestrial land deeds.

The Head Cheese
The undisputed front-runner in cosmic real-estate is The Lunar Embassy, a company helmed by a man known as “The Head Cheese.” As of this writing, a prime 1-acre plot of lunar surface is going for $24 (this includes a $1.51 “lunar tax”) and entitles the buyer to a personalized certificate of ownership on “simulated parchment.”  The site claims that over 2.5 million plots of lunar property have already been sold to people just like you and me. In fact, the site even claims to have sold property to over 200 Hollywood stars (including many from Star Trek) and, according to a 2007 BBC article, even former presidents Ronald Ragan, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush have staked their celestial claim.

If the moon seems too clich├ęd, the site also offers prime real-estate on Mercury and Mars for the same price. The Lunar Embassy claims legal ownership of these properties because its founder, Dennis Hope, is exploiting a loophole in the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty that explicitly prohibits ownership of cosmic property by governmental entities but says nothing about private corporations or individuals. He currently claims ownership of 7 planets and all of their moons. Those with a true pioneering spirit can even purchase a “continent sized” plot of lunar land (over 5 million acres) for the low price of $13 million dollars.

Before you dismiss ownership of your own celestial continent as a pipe dream, keep in mind that the Lunar Embassy offers in-house financing. For example, you can finance your continent on the 40 year plan and after the mandatory 10% deposit you would only owe around $36,000 a month.  For the more budget conscious consumer, The Lunar Embassy has placed recently demoted Pluto (in its entirety) on clearance for only $25,000. Other items sold by the Lunar Embassy include:

·         Do-It-Yourself Alien Test Kits – from the description “The Alien testkit will not only identify Aliens, it will also accurately tell you which planet they come from.”
·         Lunar Passports – this will identify your galactic nationality and allow you to pass through space customs unmolested
·         Moon Travel Guides – according to the product description this is the ultimate handbook for “sightseeing highlights, accommodations and food.”
·         Galactic Currency – Known as the “Delta,” the Lunar Embassy is offering a special deal where you can get in on the Delta early to enjoy a lower conversion rate. Currently $1,000 US Dollars gets you 10,000 Deltas.

As humorous as these offerings sound, the company had generated over $9 Million in revenue by 2007 and has sold large plots of land to hotel chains Marriot and Hilton. In 2003, the Lunar Embassy’s founder was awarded the Ronald Reagan Republican Gold Medal and made honorary chairman of the Business Advisory Council by Tom DeLay and the National Republican Congressional Committee for his work in cosmic real-estate.

I can only stand in awe of this man’s entrepreneurial spirit. I am especially interested in the “lunar tax” being levied on land purchases. Traditionally, taxation is what allows a governmental entity to maintain infrastructure and services for its constituency; but seeing as how there is no galactic government to fund and no cosmic constituency to serve, the remaining possibility is that this is one of the most brilliant gimmicks in the history of capitalism. Take note cell phone providers; you are in the presence of a fee ambiguity grand master.

The Lunar Passports seem to be a good bargain, especially since there is no cosmic TSA to pat down your asteroids just because your mom happened to be half-Mercurian. On the flip side, I am going to wait a little to see if the conversion rate of the “Delta” becomes a little more favorable to the dollar before I jump ship. The site even mentions an upcoming lunar bank that would allow the well-heeled to store their earnings away from the sticky hands of Earth-bound governments.

It is truly a testament to the power of capitalism that a grown man can walk into a government office, claim ownership of several celestial bodies, and proceed to sell them one acre at a time while providing the buyer with nothing more concrete than a certificate of ownership backed only by the sovereignty of his inkjet printer. 
Not only does this bring him wealth, but also the admiration and recognition of a Congressional body.

Some critics of the Lunar Embassy are concerned that such blatant land grabbing could monopolize cosmic territory and lead to the formation of a heavy-handed galactic dictatorship. This “empire” could begin enforcing its will on the universe’s populace through brutality and coercion which would likely lead to the formation of a scrappy galactic rebellion. This autonomous “republic” would eventually seize victory by utilizing guerrilla warfare tactics to cripple the empire’s spherical battle-station and topple the regime of their emperor.

Of course, that scenario is just off the top of my head…….  

1 comment:

  1. Oh hell, now you've gone and given corporate America something else to overtake....shame on you! Now the prices will go up to some hideously exorbitant price (because it'll have well known shiny names.Will the little guy ever have his slice of the (moon) pie AND get to eat/keep it?
    Brilliant! and only in America


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