[FPSPACE] should MirCorp become philanthropic foundation?

KEITH GOTTSCHALK kgottschalk@uwc.ac.za
19 Oct 2000 12:29:49 +0200


     Reading through the Chris-David-Dwayne etc exchanges,
we can anticipate (not what we want, but what we expect most
probable):

1) MirCorp's IPO sells off only one-tenth of the available
shares to the public. All the financial reports sport
sub-editors attempts at witty headlines about "MirCorp does
not lift-off the pad" etc.

2) If USA IPOs follow the South African convention, eg. that
each IPO share costs one dollar, presumably within a day or
two MirCorp's shares slump to thirty, then twenty cents.
Within a week, the shares drop in thin trading to below ten
US cents each, officially "penny stocks".  MirCorp  also
drops out of all further media reports until the court
application to wind up the company.

3) The actual cash trickle so far has in part been paying
Russian space workers. With state sector wages what they
are, there are almost no young 'uns or new hires for a
decade. So these workers are mostly aging dads. They stay on
in part because of no alternative work. And  because of
passionate commitment to spaceflight. 

    These mostly aging dads & granddads, are partly helped
out by working wives in other sectors, or by their adult,
working children & children-in-laws.

4) So to call a spade a spade, would it not make sense for
MirCorp to become a philanthropic foundation, which means
that donations to  it are tax deductable?  The Planetary
Society, & I presume the  NSS or NSF, have given donations
to space projects in the past. For example, hiring a
post-doc to run & analyse data received by a
radio-telescope, after NASA funding was not renewed.

    My argument is that the ACTUAL cash that will come from
MirCorp's IPO will not be more than appeals for donations
for food-stamp type aid to some Russian space workers. And a
foundation will keep that trickle, however small, flowing
longer than the sprint from IPO to liquidation application.