Guess you haven't heard of Airbus. Or this:
The heavy investment costs associated with shipbuilding and its role as an industrial flagship industry in China, Korea and Japan have made the shipbuilding sector an attractive target for government subsidy. Japan used shipbuilding in the 1950s and 1960s to rebuild its industrial structure; Korea made shipbuilding a strategic industry for its economic development in the 1970s. China's shipbuilding sector has enjoyed strong government support since the take-off of its industry at the end of the 1990s.
You have to have what many call 'pork' to keep things propped up until times get better. That worked for China quite well.
Cost cutting also can do damage:
Now let us suppose that we could put all NASA centers in Florida--not spread everything out like LBJ across the South, esp. Texas. Lay off a bunch of folks and privatize everything.
Then convincing the public to support space becomes harder. Space is the one thing many Southern right wingers will actually support with taxes, due to jobs, vested interests, and the like. But a streamlined NASA would only seem like one states pork, so there would be less of a brake to cut it. The "standing armies" alt.spacers decry have a place in that they vote and serve as a pro-space constituency. That is useful if a nation is to have any space footing--at all.
Let's say Musk put everyone out of business, wrecked NASA like some of you seem to want--then goes under. The damage has been done, the in-house capability lost, and America loses space infrastructure. Time to turn talk radio off, and to treat Ayn Rand as nothing but a fiction writer, folks.
Since the Shuttle is dead, I don't think it would be replicated for use in parallel with an existing HLLV because the large payload bay (a huge driver of the Shuttle's design) would be redundant.
Oh, I'm not calling for that now--that was what STS should have been to start with. That way, ISS would have been launched with larger Polyus type modules and finished more easily. Buran, unlike the shuttle's hypergolic OMS pods, carried kerosene, and might even have been modified to have landing jets, as the analogue did. This means it could have done more in space. It had a 30 tons interior payload.
I think spaceflight would have been much farther along in that station construction would have been shorter, allow more actual science on ISS than construction using fewer, larger modules to hurry things along. Then separate modules could have had, say, space manufacturing. Then the orbiter would drop off a 30 ton ATV type craft at one end, and retrieve a 30 ton craft at the other end with finished goods. A separate, more roomy one piece free flyer would allow human studies without all the pedaling throwing off crystal growth in another. The craft could still dock in any emergency. That is where the Energiya's modularity could have gotten space operations up and running.
Later, as a certain hypersonic boilerplate launched Navaho style shows, promise, the Buran orbiter is phased out, and we have a real spaceplane now. Energiya itself is now just an HLV for outsized station/depot launch, and routine access comes from the spaceplane development allowed by full sized tests. Then the market follows after NASA has led the way. That was true with comsat, where gov't underwrote the sat's cost. Gov't military led the way with ICBMs, and then markets followed.
But more seriously, the key advantage of the private sector is that bad or inefficient ideas get weeded out much more quickly and efficiently than they would in a public funded bureaucracy, and when they don't get weeded out quickly the firm starts bleeding money until everyone realizes what a bad idea it is.
Now that I have to question that. The problem with the tanker fiasco is that you had someone in Druyen's case who was batting for the company--Boeing. The F-35 fiasco is what happens when you don't
have proper gov't oversight of a company (LockMart). That looks to be changing:
This is a case where the private company
is inflating costs and the gov't has to step in. There was an Av Week blurb some months back about an Army man fighting contractors over chopper needs. It's always been my experience that contractors need to be kept on the short leash.