“I got a letter from a reader who wrote to berate me on the expense of the space program and telling me I ought to be ashamed for not spending the money on the cities and the poor.
I wrote back to say that the people of the United States spend exactly as much money on booze alone as on the space program. And if you add tobacco, drugs, cosmetics, and worthless patent medicines (and chewing gum, suggests Carl Sagan), then we spend far more on these useless-to-harmful substances than on space exploration.
I asked her if she indulged in any of these vices and if she would consider sponsoring a movement to have the people give up these things and donate the money equivalent to the cities. (Of course, this would throw a hell of a lot of people out of work, which shows how difficult it is to do anything.”
by Isaac Asimov in 1969, some days after Apollo 11 landing on the moon.