"that is $1.42 billion on average for one shuttle launch, while the launch of a Soyuz cost in average $50 million"
There's like 1000 comments so this page barely loads, but https://www.unz.com/article/how-lbj-mooned-america/?showcomments#comment-5099732.
This is why an American with $60,000 is poorer than a Russian with $20,000. It all works this way. Americans love to choose to do the thing using the most expensive method possible (because [temporarily embarrassed millionaire], because [egalitarianism]).
Of course they then do the expensive thing with the cheapest possible materials. For normal roads, there are many better designs than tarmac. Then, they use the cheapest possible tarmac on top of the cheapest possible Portland cement. Result: American roads suck balls, just like American shuttles. There's nothing Americans love more than being the stingiest cheapskate about their millionaire signalling.
Bonus round: the best road is probably a tarmac version, and I bet America's Road Czar has proper roads in whatever county he lives in. Because all of America uses tarmac roads, they don't stand out, despite costing 3-10 times as much as roads everywhere else. (He doesn't live in DC, the roads are awful there.)
Likewise lawns. If it's not a 100-year lawn with a dedicated gardener, it's a piece of shit. Thus, Americans would literally die for their lawns. Which look like ass 99.5% of the time, as expected. If you're gonna grow weeds, at least choose a good local weed and grow it on purpose. (Moscow doesn't do lawns, and as a result doesn't look like a sewage spill.) Those tippy-top century lawns are great though.
To say it another way: you definitely do not drive on a real lawn. Not if you don't want to be ritually murdered by the gardener. Gasoline lawnmowers don't even get within earshot of a real lawn. I dunno if they still use scythes, but lawnmowers rip the grass blades instead of cutting them. Very unhealthy. If he even sees a weed-whacker he probably beats you to death with it. That's a mercy - when he last left an interloper alive, he was ordered to finish the job next time.
Meanwhile it's almost weird if I don't see car tracks in Americoid lawns. They like to desecrate their own hallowed ground.
It's not weird that the Shuttle is a pile of junk that costs 30 times as much as a reasonable alternative. It's not weird that Musk can casually manhandle NASA. The opposite would be weird and disturbingly unAmerican. I might have to rethink my entire worldview.
I have neglected the core problem: parasitism. Every productive American has to carry some lawyer (sophist) or politician (sophist) on their back. In fact the Shuttle itself probably only costs like 5-6 times as much as Soyuz and the other 25 points of factor are kickbacks, pork, embezzlement, and so on. All very legal, though. Not corrupt, see: Congress signed off on these regs.
Russia is "corrupt" which means you can bribe the big vampires to beat off the little vampires with a stick, whereas in America it's illegal to not allow every passing Tom Dick and Harry to suck your blood. Indeed if you take an American aside and suggest they discourage blood sucking, they will get super angry at you. "Fuck you dad! I'll do what I want!" *bends over and presents* Errr, I'm not your dad, genius. Kindly go fuck yourself instead of waving your grovelling slavishness in my face, thanks. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
In Reality Galt is already living in his Gulch, only he's Amish. The rest of America likes the tyranny and hates anyone who wants to take the "oppression" away from them.