Catch -22 is the title of a Joseph Heller novel, the title comes from a catch in the rules which creates an insolvable dilemma. Catch-22 is explained in the following quote from the book.
Yossarian looked at him soberly and tried another approach. “Is Orr crazy?”
“He sure is,” Doc Daneeka said.
“Can you ground him?”
“I sure can. But first he has to ask me to. That’s part of the rule.”
“Then why doesn’t he ask you to?”
“Because he’s crazy,” Doc Daneeka said. “He has to be crazy to keep flying combat missions after all the close calls he’s had. Sure, I can ground Orr. But first he has to ask me to.”
“That’s all he has to do to be grounded?”
“That’s all. Let him ask me.”
“And then you can ground him?” Yossarian asked.
“No. Then I can’t ground him.”
“You mean there’s a catch?”
“Sure there’s a catch,” Doc Daneeka replied. “Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.”
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.
“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.”
In the space movement we have our own Catch -22.
• We can’t develop space without reducing launch costs.
• Most of the support of continued funding for space activities is derived from the jobs those space activities create.
• To reduce launch costs we must eliminate those jobs.
We are in a no win situation. How do we get out of this dilemma?
There are tens of thousands of jobs at risk as the shuttle is decommissioned (Bill would extend space shuttle life) and Constellation is having problems (Is Constellation A Bailout In Thin Disguise?). Since money for salaries for jobs means higher launch costs. If we oppose job cuts we guarantee high launch costs and eliminate the possibility of space development. If we support job cuts in pursuit of lowering launch costs, we also eliminate support for funding space activities, since congress supports space because of the jobs space activity creates in their districts.
Any thoughts or idea?