Congressman: We’re Living in ‘Atlas Shrugged’

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives his departing interns copies of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged,” told me today that the response to President Obama’s economic policies reminded him of what happened in the 52-year-old novel.

“People are starting to feel like we’re living through the scenario that happened in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’” said Campbell. “The achievers, the people who create all the things that benefit the rest of us, are going on strike. I’m seeing, at a small level, a kind of protest from the people who create jobs, the people who create wealth, who are pulling back from their ambitions because they see how they’ll be punished for them.”

In Rand’s novel, creative people (the “Atlases” of the title) are hounded and punished for their labor by an oppressive, socialistic state. In response, they retreat from society to a hidden enclave where they watch civilization’s slow collapse.

How far, I asked Campbell, are we from the final chapters of the novel? “We’re still a ways away,” he said. “That will happen when people expect that there ought to be a recovery going on, and it isn’t going on.”

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Comments

542 Comments

FrctionSoul
Comment posted March 4, 2009 @ 10:35 am

What a joke. It's small businesses that create jobs, create wealth; they're not going on strike.

Nope. What we have are a bunch of whimers who don't want to be held accountable for their actions. All of it has been neatly rationalized ad nauseum to where I'm nauseious.


Literate person
Comment posted March 4, 2009 @ 11:21 am

That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. The “creative” people used “creativity” to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. Atlas Shrugged has nothing in common with what is going on now.


dakotawoman
Comment posted March 4, 2009 @ 11:38 am

BULL!!!!!!

Rand's crappy novel is just that — ideological fiction!!

The real “achievers” are: millions of bloody-backed slaves making fortunes for brutal, criminal Southern aristocracy, black-lung riddled coal miners, pellegra-plagued tenent farmers, stunted child laborers, over-burdened women, exploited immigrants. . .

While the Robber Barons smirk and get all snarky about “striking”, the rest of us, say “Good riddence.” We will pool our own capital, create new wealth and share it among all we workers, instead of being cheated out of 90% of the fruits of our own labor going into the bloated pockets of parasite plutocrats who have the unmitigated GALL to think that it is all about them!!!!


meyek
Comment posted March 4, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

ayn rand's reasoning is tortuous and uncompelling, she takes a lot into account, but seems to leave just as much out. not surprising to learn that much of her youth was spent in russia, it seems plausible that she made a general case primarily from the soviet experience.


DocAmazing
Comment posted March 4, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

Oh please oh please oh please go John Galt on us! Please take your creative selves and leave our corrupt society! Please stop taking government money! Please deprive us of your creativity!

We'll get by somehow. Just don't waste any time–go now!


PunditKix
Trackback posted March 4, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

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katenick
Comment posted March 4, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

Kudos to Rep. John Campbell for using his own eyes to see with, own mind to glean the truths spoken by Ayn Rand, own courage not to fall into the Obama pit of Keanesian stupidity. And just look at the fools who wrote before me. The bleatings of lambs being led to their own slaughter. What a pity. I hope they enjoy martyrdom.


Matthew Yglesias » Rep. John Campbell Literally Taking His Policy Cues From Ayn Rand Novels
Pingback posted March 4, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

[...] Weigel finds one member of congress who’s happy to admit that he gets his policy ideas from a crackpot: Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives his departing interns copies of Ayn Rand’s novel [...]


lonewolf
Comment posted March 4, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

I have a feeling that the ratio of moochers to producers is about right here…Katenick & myself vs the 6 others who will be standing inlines begging for handouts paid for by money stolen from people who actually have a brain and carry their own weight. Kate, you're welcome to my Gulch anytime, I'm sure you know the magic words to get in. The rest of you get lead.

You people are the sad result of public education (or non-education). Truth is truth and you have no clue.


atlasfan
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:18 am

Great article


Michelle Malkin » Where in the world: Going Galt and Wreck-overy.gov logo-mania
Pingback posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:05 am

[...] *GOP Rep. John Campbell comments to the Washington Independent: “People are starting to feel like we’re living through the scenario that happened in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’” said Campbell. “The achievers, the people who create all the things that benefit rest of us, are going on strike. I’m seeing, at a small level, a kind of protest from the people who create jobs, the people who create wealth, who are pulling back from their ambitions because they see how they’ll be punished for them.” [...]


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:09 am

I put my “Who is John Galt?” bumper sticker on my truck last week.


Matt Dooley
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:13 am

dude. I started reading this last night. Because my high school and college courses didn't include it, naturally, and conservatives are too busy trying to succeed to recommend many novels.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:15 am

for Dakotawoman
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

– C. S. Lewis


Matt Dooley
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:16 am

Lol – like a John Galt would EVER take government money. Like your sarcasm would matter one whit to a man focused on achievement, on creating something real, on life.

Put that teat in your mouth and get back to your mooching.


Concerned in OH
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:17 am

“The real “achievers” are: millions of bloody-backed slaves making fortunes for brutal, criminal Southern aristocracy, black-lung riddled coal miners, pellegra-plagued tenent farmers, stunted child laborers, over-burdened women, exploited immigrants. . .”

Is it 1820 again?


AnythingYouSay
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:18 am

“Stop taking government money”?? What government money do the investors and business owners “take”? Seems to me, all they do is give, give, give. Maybe you peons need to be reminded that the top 5% of income earners pay 70% of the taxes in this country. My response to the moocher class these days is “who” do you think is going to employ and pay the salaries of those of you who do get out of bed in the morning and go to work? Good idea, keep punishing the achievers, and then when they have to lay off your sorry a** because they have been taxed to death, you all can cry on each others' shoulders. Oh, wait, I know, you all think that you will get to keep your job and the Messiah will force your boss to choke on the additional taxes…not likely, this is still a free country, at least the last I checked…


Matt Dooley
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:20 am

thank you for that quote.


Matt Dooley
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:27 am

The people you speak of ARE achievers. And none of them are asking for your help. All they want is a chance to become Atlas. For every Al Sharpton clamoring for reparations, there's a GW Carver.

You think pooling your capital, by itself, will create new wealth? What are you going to do with the money? Pass it back and forth and become shocked when it disappears. You don't share money with workers, anyway – they're AT WORK. You share money with moochers.

Those “parasite plutocrats” created everything you enjoy in life. Yours is the thinking that hates WalMart, which lowers the prices that everyone pays (even those who don't shop there). You “support the unions” but buy non-union cars. You want to “save the planet” but fly to Europe every chance you get. You're concerned about education, but only from a teacher's pay aspect. You preach about caring for the innocent, and cut your check to Planned Parenthood.


Mr_A
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:29 am

One of the points of ATLAS SHRUGGED was that it all happened without anyone knowing it was happening.

When bank CEOs make so many bad decisions that they drive their banks into the ground and have to run to Washington bailouts and auto manufacturers fail to the point of needing government handouts, then Atlas has indeed begun shrugging.

If these CEOs running to Washington for bailouts were characters in Rand's book they would be considered second-handers.


mike v
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:29 am

Amen! There are way too many similarities between Atlas Shrugged and the what the Obamamaniacs are trying to do to our great country.
I am reading Ayn's great novel for a second time (after 20 years).
Let's hope the engines of the world can keep their heads above water for the next four years.
Anyone that believes socialism is the answer, please show me an example of where it has worked (or is currently working).


Katablog
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:32 am

You may think it's ideological and crappy, but we are living it comrade. I'm not working extra hard to support your sorry butt.


Katablog
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:32 am

Wanna bet? This is one small business cutting back!


unseen
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:36 am

From some of the comments here. it appears that people must once again experience the horrors of communism to understand poverty. These idiots that want to take from the rich, that think the rich by their hard work, god given success, and sacrifice are evil doers that exploit the poor need to have a crash course in human nature. i would rather have upward mobility and be unequal economically than equal in poverty with the moochers of the world.


oddjob1138
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:37 am

So how do you propose you get all the non-working non-bloody-backed slaves working? Or they just get to stay home and collect checks like they do now? Your system only rewards the lazy. The people that didn't want to study in school and make sacrifices when they were younger to get good grades and then get a good job.


Sherry
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:38 am

No, it's the Democratic party “protecting” them…………..


Sherry
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:43 am

Problem with your scenario. There will be no capital left to “share” amongst the workers, because those “achievers” that you hate so much will have had no choice except to lay off you/us “workers”.

Maybe ACRON has some openings…………..


Sherry
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:46 am

It's a sign of the times. The whiners have all forgotten that at least for the time being we all have the ability to succeed.

You have the right to equal opportunity – not equal outcome – that's up to you!

Again, for the time being…………….


JR
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:47 am

There is no such thing as government money. Governments only pass out OPM, 'other people's money'.

They take money from one person and give it to another. If they print their own we pay more with inflation. If they borrow it from another country, we pay the debt.

If you have your hand in someone else's wallet, they have the right to say what they think about that. Mind if I rummage through your's to see if there is something that I want?

I thought not.


Sherry
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:48 am

sorry – ACORN


kens
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:56 am

There are no John Galts out there: All the bankers, all the car company CEOs… all of them are sacred and timid and willing to be taken down the path to corrosive socialism so long as there is a bailout and a bonus.


Jerome
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:59 am

I've been thinking this for months. Decided to read the oppressively long and badly written book a month ago, and it reads just like the newspapers since Obama's coronation. I swear, the Geithner quote about the oil companies sounds like it came out of the book.


Jerome
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:01 am

I have this completely new sense that the Obama Presidency is going to end up being fought in the streets, and that there will be blood. I was around in the 60's, but this feels different and worse.


pjean
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:03 am

There are a lot of wealthy individuals who support the president and his policies. Obama the candidate was asked on the campaign trail, “What is considered “rich”?” Looking at those who will fall in favor by Obama's policies, we should now ask, “Who will be granted the right to be “rich”.


StoutHaus
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:36 am

Campbell needs to read better novels by better writers and thinkers. Ayn Rand was just awful, and her ideas were and always have been laughable.


samir
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:43 am

If Republicans really cared about creative people they would support the $50 million in the stimulus going to the arts and arts education.

I think this man is full of hot air. And how come this is the first time I've even heard of this book.


Jaym222
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:44 am

Spoken like a true looter. Your vapid 'anaysis' is laughable.


chiara
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:45 am

Really? “take from the rich, god given success, evil doers”? Really? Did we plunge into communism under Clinton? No, we did not, in fact we experienced more prosperity than under Bush. The taxes will be at the same rates as they were under Clinton.

In the last 8 yrs we have experience the greatest transfer of wealth to the smallest percentage of our population in the history of our nation. There is no way for a government or an economy to sustain itself when there is that great a divide between the largerst portion of the population (middle class) and the smallest (the wealthy). The breaks they were given, did not 'trickle down' and that is why we are here. The system need to be righted and it needs to favor the people in the middle, they are actually the ones who make the economy move forward not those at the very top.


Jaym222
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:46 am

This is such an idiotic and sad mentality. Government is the LAST place to put money for the arts!! There are plenty of private groups/individuals that do plenty for the arts without the politicizing of what is art and pushing an agenda with tax payer money….
Samir, please go get this novel!!


Mike
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:47 am

I think Ayn Rand's book, while interesting, is mostly fictional and based on nothing. It is an exaggeration of her experience growing up in Russia, which makes the narrative wild-eyed and bufoonish, moreso if you wish to translate this fiction to the American setting.

I say this as a conservative Republican who voted for Obama because, like it or not, his economic plan is better than the GOP's alternative.


samir
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:47 am

You are basing your argument on nothing except “no.” There is no reason why the arts shouldn't be funded by government.


holyhandgrenaid
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:51 am

Ayn Rand makes seemingly valid points. However, Anthem, for example, takes them to an unrealistic extreme. The over-the-top approach to make the valid points is where Rand loses all credibility


samir
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:52 am

I respectfully disagree. Arts funding and arts education should be funded to enrich our culture and our enlightenment.


john p. shaw
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:52 am

Ayn Rand wrote about “lions” of creativity as the John Galts of her world. Dagny Taggart, Ragnar Danneskjöld, Mr. Riorden and John Galt himself were leaders who inspired others to follow them on a path different than the one their society chose to follow. In looking around today, it's hard for me to identify anyone even remotely resembling John Galt — instead, I see only short-sighted politicians who are bent on obtaining and retaining their personal power for their personal benefit. I see no one on either side of the political aisle today with the creativity of John Galt, the tenacity of Dagny Taggart, or the production genius of Mr. Riorden.

Could we have allowed the last 8 years to numb our collective conscience or outrage? Perhaps. Can our current course lead us to the Atlas Shrugged conclusion? It might. But, I suspect that Ayn Rand herself would simply say that to have the best possible outcome in our political direction, we all need to be active, involved, participatory and informed. Until that happens, in my view, one path is as bad as the other, for neither will keep us from self destruction at some point.

Read the book. It will at least make you think about your future and the choices you must make. That's a start.


Eclectablog
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:53 am

What an amazing bit of utter hogwash. Who exactly is “John Galt 2009″ going to take with him? The bankers who messed things up so bad that the whole system collapsed? The American auto companies that continued to sell giant behemoths when fuel prices were rising?

And, really, you think all these wealthy business people are going to “go on strike” because their taxes were restored to the level that existed in our county's most explosive economic growth period in recent history? A level that's only 3 or 4% above current levels? Really?

I'll tell you who the new John Galt's of 2009 will be: they'll be the entrepreneurs who lead us out of our national dependency on foreign fossil fuels. They'll be the scientists who invent and the businesses that exploit those inventions in ways that benefit society and free us from oil dependence and soiling our planet.

Unlike the government in Atlas Shrugged that TOOK those successful businessmen's output, the Obama administration is incentivizing and investing in John Galt 2009's brilliance.

My God, Campbell is deluded…


KataVideo
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:57 am

The conservatives are out of their minds with grief and confusion. Obama's practically the most popular president ever, he was elected as a complete repudiation of the idiotic rantings of Ayn Rand, influencer of economy-wrecker Alan Greenspan and other cons. Whose “labor” is being hounded and oppressed? Bernie Madoff? Karl Rove? Charles Prince? LOL. If these “Atlases” want to shrug, these parasites who sit around creating NOTHING and demanding greater returns from their stock, let them. GO, already. get out of the way! Better yet, just get out! Ayn Rand is the 20th Century's most-discredited author.


Andrew
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:01 am

Electablog, you could not be further from the truth then the comments you just posted. “The Obama administration is incentivizing and investing in John Galt 2009's brilliance” clearly delineates the fact that you didn't understand Ayn Rand's masterpiece or that you are too blinded by your infatuation with Obama, a “communist ally” (words by Samuel Webb, head of the communist party of America). I have seen nothing to suggest incentivizing entrepreneurs and business innovation. He is not encouraging but demanding! Isn't that we saw from the enemies of John Galt. They were demanding he fix the economy and the country. You see, there are no incentives from the government. The greatest incentive from the government is not to offer any incentives to exist in utter and complete null.


John
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:02 am

And you are basing your argument on nothing except “yes.” There is no reason why the arts should be funded by government.

My idiotic statement is just as “brilliant” as yours!


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:02 am

Your grasp of Ayn Rand is questionable. One creates for one's own sake. She was by no means a stewart of the man who NEEDS to be participatory or involved (whatever “involved” means). Active, yes.


samir
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:04 am

What? I told you exactly why the arts should be funded. You gave no reasonable argument for why arts and arts education should not. “No” is not a legitimate argument, you must prove that it does not enrich lives and create jobs.


John
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:06 am

I certainly doubt that most of the Obamacons and Dumbocrats here have even read Atlas Shrugged. Why would they? Do you think ANY Liberal College professor or High School teacher would even put it on their course list? Of course they wouldn't. How many pot-smoking, Che Guevara worshipers could even get through the thousand page plus pages of small print? Let alone digest its meaning.

Read the book people. It IS happening. That doesn't mean it was a prophecy or that there is a real Dagny Taggart, but what the Government is doing is all to real in it's resemblance to the book


OhioJane
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:08 am

Barack Obama’s approval rating in the Gallup Poll today is 61 percent, with 28 percent disapproving (the Real Clear Politics aggregate of polls has his overall job approval rating at 59.8 percent). A March 5-7, 2001 Gallup poll found President Bush's job approval at 63 percent as well, with only 22 percent disapproving. So George W. Bush, at a comparable time in his presidency, was in marginally better shape than Barack Obama is right now, at least based on the Gallup Poll survey.

Dream on, Obamacons. Your boy is no better in the polls than anyone else 55 days into their term.


John
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:09 am

“Ayn Rand is the 20th Century's most-discredited author.”

What kind of bizarre statement is that? She was an author; it was fiction. Was Hitler discredited too for his book?

Oh, and there is no reason to hyphenate “most” and “discredited.” You must be publik skooled.


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:11 am

It is sad to know that there are people who STILL do not understand that extreme socialism creates oppresion and economic collapse, extreme capitalism creates prosperity and freedom and anything in between oscillates between both. But REALLY sad to see that some individuals see the most brilliant deductions that most cannot make in a lifetime as laughable.


Snappy
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:12 am

LOL…….

Unbeleivable, the truth of a situation still manages to escape their grasp. Well, when they have their “wealth” pooled and are standing in line waiting for it to be handed out and discover it was never there to begin with maybe then they will understand.

not likely though


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:13 am

First off, I think there are plenty of people who managed to escape the former Soviet Union and other communist/socialist nations who would take umbrage with your statement, which is itself buffoonish.

Secondly, I have serious doubts as to your professed status of 'conservative republican'. Obama actively campaigned on a quasi-socialist platform and NO true conservative would subscribe to that ideology. That would be on par with Al Sharpton supporting David Duke for public office.


BDC
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:14 am

Spinnning and spinning and spinning and spinning….Its spinning and spinning and spinning..it spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning…………………………


burlington vt liberal
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:14 am

I worked for Barack Obama and Atlas Shrugged is my favorite book. What happens when the Dagny Taggart's and Hank Rearden's of the country see their industries run by ineptitude and short sighted selfish gain? Those industries collapse.

For the past eight years the last great makers of things in this country have been undercut by a government satisfied to subsidize sending business overseas, to allow our infrastructure (including Railroads HELLO TAGGART TRANSCONTINENTAL) to crumble under poor federal leadership. When this happens, we need Dagny and Hank to run for office, clean the crooks outta government and allow the Atlas's of the world to be successful and not entrenched special interests favored by neocons.

Barack Obama will not stifle the Atlases. He is looking for them, giving them money and saying ,”go ahead, the lights are back on.”


John_Galt
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:16 am

“A government funded artist is an incompetent whore” – Lazarus Long

If an artist could produce art that creates an emotional reaction from the viewer/listener/taster then he has no need of “government funding”. If people are unwilling to pay money for the 'art' that is produced, then why should the government sieze my money to pay for it?

*example* Look at the 'art' in front of public buildings. How often does it posess the ability to inspire without an art 'critic' (read as Translator) to interpret for you?


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:16 am

Amen honey.


BDC
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:19 am

Repugs sure causes dizzyness…spining and spinning and spinning…here we go again….


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:19 am

The reason that the government failed is not because of capitalism. It's because of their interference with it.


Steve
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:22 am

I don't think Electablog has read the book… John Gault didn't take ALL the bankers with him… He “took” the only one who refused to lend money to people who couldn't afford to pay it back, Midas Mulligan.
Another thing… EVERY business exploits inventions in ways that are profitable to the business. The benefit to society aspect is secondary to the ability to generate a profit. If a business model doesn't produce a profit, regardless of how much their product “benefits society” the business is not going to be around for very long.


teacherinphilly
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:22 am

Spoken like a true believer of the tripe spewed by the neo-cons and selfish xenophobics. Since your reality is based on a work of fiction tell me are you a Scientologist as well??


Jeff W
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:24 am

I saw some stupid college punk in downtown Tempe, AZ walking on the sidewalk wearing a t-shirt that said “F*** Ayn Rand”. I approached him and asked “who is John Galt”? He had no idea what I was talking about. It was a t-shirt with profanity and the stupid college punk (who told me he was getting a degree in Political Sciences, as well as many of the friends/squatters he was with). When I proceeded to inquire a little more about his/their ambitions, they inquired my background. I had told them that I have my own business and had worked for several other companies prior to going out on my own.

These fools proceeded to badger me about how I was one of the corrupt, who merely exist for money and how I do nothing but evil.

I asked them if they have cell phones, computers, tvs, electronics of any sort. They all did own multiple pieces. I asked how they got their education. All from mom and dad.

I proceeded to challenge them to throw all these materialistic goods into the waste can, because without people like me, who worked in the electronics industry, they would not have them, so to make nice and remove people like me from the society, they would have to make these sacrifices.

Then they started to blabber about how companies need to do this for the “spirit of mankind”, to which I mocked them, laughed at the top of my lungs, then announced to all passersby that this was our future, a failed generation.

These fools obviously have been brainwashed.

When we John Galts stop the transformation by our shrugging, then these fools will go the way of another Ayn Rand book: ANTHEM. We will still need street sweepers and that is about as talented they will be.


bonnie
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:26 am

Sorry. Ayn Rand fundamentally misunderstood human nature, communication, philosophy, the sources of creativity, and the roots of freedom. So strike away, ye cowards, strike away.
P.S. Dear Rep. Campbell: Atlas Shrugged is fiction: in this world, there are no “hidden enclaves” to hide your ego.


The Knife
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:27 am

“extreme socialism creates oppresion and economic collapse, extreme capitalism creates prosperity and freedom”

Utter hogwash. You want to see “extreme capitalism” in action? That would be places like Nigeria and the Congo. Lawless, violent, and driven by greed and corruption — that is the face of “extreme capitalism.”

Extreme socialism is no better, but moderated socialism works wonders, as the nations of western Europe have ably proved over the past several decades. They have universal health care, stable economies, peace and prosperity, good educational systems, and a respect for science. We should be so lucky as to emulate their example.


Jeff W
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:29 am

You are totally incorrect burlington vt liberal.

This president and his administration could not run a hotdog cart. Most of the staff picks do not have the experience in the areas they have been selected for.

That is going to retard this nation's chance to work its way out of the recession.

Just wait until the CAP and Trade programs. Nothing like a bunch of inept politicians following non-degreed “scientists”. Talk about blind leading the stupid.


Mike
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:29 am

lol whatever


PeterA
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:30 am

Ironic? People on this thread as saying, “People are not going to go on strike, when Investors Business Daily yesterday (3/2/09) runs an article called “Capital on Strike”.

Moron, the stock market plunge IS capital leaving the market. Th Obama Circus is going after people who are shipping their money overseas because they are removing it from the country.

Obama going after Entertainers on the radio, exactly as “Mr. Thompson” went after John Galt on the radio. Businesses failing as they are forced to pay the Health Care and Mortgage's of people who wanted the “rich corperations” to pay their bills. The high Income taxes that drove talent out of business and caused a run from the Market that rammed the entire country into a depression. Governments “nationalizing the banks and Auto Industry”. Disconnected leaders wandering around talking about how they need to spread the wealth to those who can never pay it back. People who question the Administration being critized personally (Santilli, Cramer, Rush). So you don't see any similarities?

My only problem is that we are on page 357 instead of the last chapter.


samir
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:31 am

You're not making sense, I am asking you to prove how arts and arts education does not enrich lives and create jobs.


Nate
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:33 am

It seems the “so called job creators” are retreating to a private enclave called prison.


teacherinphilly
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:33 am

As a public school educated public school teacher I see the results of selfish xenophobes running the government for their own benefit despite the truth that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
Tell me are all you Randites also Scientologists? Seems like a similar idea basing reality on a work of fiction.


Jabari Woods
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:35 am

Yeah, but GWB was at this level with a budget surplus inherited from WJC and no wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. BHO stands at this level with the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression AND two wars waging.

So who exactly is in denial here? Supporters of Obama can see very clearly who and what they are supporting, the tough times require such. And still his popularity is holding up.

President Barack Obama won! Get over it!


burlington vt liberal
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:35 am

John Galt built a source of energy which was never used due to corruption and ineptitude on the part of government. Barack Obama is taking disregarded technology like that and setting the John Galt's free to build these things, wind turbines, new railroad, information technology etc… For a very long time we have had the most “experienced” hands at the government and we have endless foreign wars, industrial policy which favored antiquated technology and a completely inept FINANCIAL SECTOR WHICH COULD NOT RUN A HOTDOG CART.

What you are saying is a paradox, and subsequently you need to check your assumptions. You assume government is inept. I assume Greedy Financiers are inept. I think the only person who would be let into John Galt's hideaway could be a man like Warren Buffett, who is an OBAMA ADVISOR.

Schooled you.


ari burling
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:35 am

A better text to read to think about this crisis is a HISTORY BOOK.
Just because some people are in denial does not mean everyone is in denial.

And being a huge Ayn Rand fan, I can admit the American business/ media conglomerate is a huge offender in missing a real understanding of the book's central theme. Ayn Rand was an important literary voice in the twentieth century. But she continues to be widely misunderstood as well.


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:35 am

I feel sorry for you.
So, what happens when the “cowards strike away”. Would that prove your point on your understanding of human nature?


OBXartist
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:36 am

Oh, shut up, Rep. Campbell. We've had about enough of this self-serving myth representing the corporate interests and the financial classes as selfless heroes who've taken on the herculean task of raising the rest of us from squalor. The financial culture in this country has apparently become mostly populated with greedy liars, cheats and thieves. Those not controlled by sheer greed seem to be outright dunderheads and their shiny MBAs not worthy of being printed on toilet paper. This is no benevolent sainthood.

The people who “create jobs” have not been creating them for Americans, but instead have been shipping jobs overseas, reducing employment here by replacing it with “technology” or illegal workers, and trying their best ot decapititate the unions. The people who “create wealth” have not been helping to create it for anyone but themselves, or even sharing it with others. In fact, the distribution of wealth is more unfairly stratified now than it has ever been in our nation's history. Comparatively, the haves have more than they've ever had and the have nots have less than they've ever had. During the last substantial economic growth period the middle class actually lost ground in terms of real bring home earnings. The middle clsss, the actual foundation of our economy, is shrinking by any measurement device you care to use.

If increasing a millionaire's, or billionaire's, tax rate by 3% is all it takes to make them withdraw from their “ambitions” and their nation's future, then I say let them go on strike. Good riddance! I'm not sure we're benefitting all that much from their presence. For someone making $500,000/annually, the punishment they'll be receiving means…what? They'll only be able to buy four 60-inch flat-screen TVs instead of five? They'll have to downgrade from a $60,000 gas-sucking SUV to a $50,000 gas-sucking SUV? Such sacrifice! Oh, the humanity! Just shut up, Rep. Campbell, before you say something even more stupid.


Jenny
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:37 am

That's it! I'm going right now to Barnes & Noble to get my copy of Atlas Shrugged.


CaliforniaSerf
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:40 am

The plot of Atlas Shrugged has been playing out in California for 10 years. There was some respite from the decline when Swarzzenegger was elected, but it was brief and he succumbed to the socialist pressures of state government workers, teachers’ unions , Hollywood liberals and issue-centric activists who populate our state legislature. Now the state budget that supposedly resolved a 40 billion deficit a few weeks ago is already underwater and cannot meet the state's obligations to pay state workers' retirement health care. There will have to be another tax hike before the end of 2009. Top income earners could be paying more than 50% of their income to state and federal taxes under the new budget plan. Think they're going to stay in CA? The exodus of John Galts which began about 5 years ago will accelerate and California will collapse before the rest of the US. If the Feds try to make the rest of the nation pay for California's profligacy, we could see a tea party revolt far more vocal and angry than the embryonic tea party demonstrations that have just begun. I just hope I can make it to a state with more responsible economic policy before then. It will not be pretty.


stagekid
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:41 am

@ john p. shaw – are you on Facebook? or do you have a blog?


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:41 am

I dare you to reasonable repudiate any of Ayn Rand's “rantings”.


samir
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:42 am

I reject this book and its philosophies as old, outdated and not relevant to our situation.


samir
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:43 am

Thank you sir!


Jeff W 2
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:43 am

Yep. Your story is completely, totally 100% believable. You are such a champion of the right way, a true stalwart and pillar of America. Stupid college punks and their stupid college t-shirts and their brainwashing and their differing opinions, because only you are the free thinker that Ayn Rand told you you were. “…which I mocked them, laughed at the top of my lungs, then announced to all passersby that this was our future, a failed generation” — I see mentally ill people standing on street corners doing the exact same thing to random passerbys. Didn't realize they were just Ayn Rand lovers. Bravo.


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:45 am

A well known independent study shows it to be the most influential book second only to the Bible.
Do you just make up your own facts?


Joe J
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:50 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Alan Greenspan an objectivist? And where did he get us?


PeterA
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:50 am

You reject them as old, outdated, and not relevant, just as the characters in the book did using the same language. If you respond that greed and money is the root of all evil, I will be forced to quote “The Money Speech” which makes Liberals heads explode.


CaliforniaSerf
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:54 am

Capital in the US market started leaving the country long before Obama became president. I work for a European company with offices all over the world and our US subsidiary pays the highest tax rate of any of our business units and is the least profitable. European and Asian countries started lowering their corporate tax rates 10 years ago to attact captial and many companies have moved to their capitals bringing jobs and prosperity. I can't count how many times I've met someone at an airport headed back to California on my flight who used to work for an American company and now work for a corporation in Europe. The US corporate tax rate of 35% is one of the highest in the world and Democrats' threats to raise it and their rhetorical vilification of the companies that create high paying jobs will just accelerate the flight of capital and jobs. It's a competitive world and capital still has the freedom to flee.


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:54 am

Thank you.


WASanford
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:59 am

Thank you for saying it better than I would have!


wayne
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:01 am

DO NOT COME TO WISCONSIN!!!

If you factor in the relative low cost for housing and the decreasing population, we are actually worse for business and economic survival than Cali is and Der ObamanFuhrer is still learning dictator skills from Governor Doyle.


Iron Will
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:03 am

Agreed. This myth that the rich are going to hurt because they'll actually have to pay their taxes is ridiculous.

I would feel sorry for rich people… except they're all A**holes.


PeterA
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:03 am

Of course prison will help, but better yet why not build a wall and force them to be “creative”. A wall to keep them and their capital in the U.S.A. Force them create jobs and new innovations and products. We can call it the Berlin Wall…Oh wait….


BDC
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:05 am

wow…LOL


cyntax
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:08 am

Wow, you really need to drop sily cliches like “Hollywod Liberals” and learn sopmething about how our state actually functions.

The Howard Jarvis tax revolt and Prop 13 are directly responsible for California's problems. Prop 13 did away with adequate funding for schools without replacing it with any other funding structure. So we've had a tax revenue structure that purposefully underfunds the economic needs of the state all in the interest of “starving the government beast” but without offering any adequate way to pay for things like schools, hospitals, bridges short of special bonds intiatives.

Add to this the political deadlock resulting from the super-majority needed to raise taxes in our state, and you lose all accountability for either the majority party or the minority party. The minority party can always scuttle the majority's plans making it impossible for voters to hold either party responsible.

The reason California was able to build the 7th largest economy in the world is because we had good, cheap schools which attracted business because we had a workforce to do the good jobs. And the good scools attracted workers because they could educate their children here for the good jobs that already existed and for the ones they could alogically assume would come here. It was, for awhile, what economists call a virtuous circle. But it was predicated on people understanding how their contribution to the common good would return to them in the dividends of better economic conditions for everyone. Randian short-sighted, self-interest broke the cyce and brought us where we are today.


Ken Mahaffey
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:14 am

I am a small business owner (18 employees). Because of Obama's pending tax policies, I will be laying off half my staff next month. If it continues on the same path, I will retire early and close my business completely.

I am not the only one. Expect a lot more in the months & years to come.


sandy
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:16 am

This is totally off base! Obama's policies give huge incentives and rewards to business and people who create jobs … but they must be jobs the American people NEED – like GREEN jobs.
What a sour, erroneous bit of fear peddling. You are not part of the solution – you perpetuate the problem!


Jaym222
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:18 am

It is sad how bitter and angry some people are. Do you get a sense of accomplishment by seeing people that EARNED more than you punished? Does it make you feel better…..ok now what? While you piss and moan I hope to be one of the 'evil' rich. It takes hard work, optimism and setting goals.

Your job is easy, sit back and whine and wait to get something from the government because you take up space and are owed it some how.

It seems ok now to demand other people's money, but selfish to want to keep your own


BDC
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:19 am

Please enlighten us on some of the pending tax policies that will affect you. I just want to know.


devere
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:19 am

Atlas is not an easy read, nor is the “Forgotten Man” but there is great true in both. We as a country we started down hill when a law degree became more valuable than an engineering degree. Lawyer only transfer wealth and if you look at congress that what most of them are(lawyers). We need term limits , we need a flat tax were all citizens pay there fair share. If you want a balanced budget divide the amount need into the income of the tax payer and arrive at the rate. Bet no-one want to pay for the bridge to no-where then. Bet congressemn would become accoutable if your tax rate was based on how they voted.


A Sharp Knife
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:19 am

The Knife said:

“Extreme socialism is no better, but moderated socialism works wonders, as the nations of western Europe have ably proved over the past several decades. They have universal health care, stable economies, peace and prosperity, good educational systems, and a respect for science. We should be so lucky as to emulate their example. “

BWahahahahahahaa!!!! F. U. N. N. Y! “They have stable economies”? Good God, read a newspaper that's NOT the NYT once in a while… you think Europe has a “STABLE” economy?!?!?!

MORON


Jaym222
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:20 am

Of course Ken, you will be marginalized as selfish, a neocon, Hitler etc….
Go create a few GREEN jobs! LOL


TK
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:23 am

Hey Joe, You are absolutely correct. Greenspan was not only an Objectivist but was a member of Rand's coterie of like-minded thinkers. But the thing we need to keep in mind is that it's not capitalism that is wrong. The mess we have today is not capitalism but rather a hijacked version of this. This economic collapse started congress telling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that THEY WILL provide loans to subprime borrowers because “everyone deserves a home.” The charade went on from Clinton to Bush to where we are today. The cash was flowing freely so no one said anything. In a free market banks should be able to deny loans to questionable borrowers. But they weren't left holding the bad mortgages so they didn't care either. The basic thesis of Rand's philosophy is that capitalism is good because it encourages all of us to do our best. If we don't, our customer will go somewhere else. Socialism, which is where we are headed (are we there yet?), encourages people to be lazy. Why work harder if its going to get you a higher tax rate and the gov't is going to take it away and give it someone like the octomom? Objectivism is about personal responsibility. And in America we all have the inalienable right to our ability to a better life if you're willing to work for it. It's not going to drop from the sky like Skittles on your head. Granted there are a lot of rich douche bags who I'd like to crotch punch (just as there are social parasites who think the world owes them something they haven't worked for. But the self made success is because to HAVE more, they are BEING more. And to be more, they DO more. They work harder, keep their skills up, pursue opportunities and most importantly, control their lives. Not sit around and wait for the Skittles to fall from the sky. Why is that so friggin' hard to understand? (sigh. I weep for the future)


Russ
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:24 am

Ayn Rand ALMOST saw the Truth. Marx ALMOST saw the Truth.
The rich ALMOST saw the Truth. The poor ALMOST saw the Truth.

Everyone sees the government, either as a threat or a savior:

The rich use the government to protect their wealth and their opportunities. This often puts obsticles in the way of those with less resources. Call it “injustice.” Example: The amount of capital required to open your own business has increased over the last 60 years. Lawyers, fees, regulations, licenses, insurance, bonds, accountants, OSHA, unions, exclusive distributors, nonproducing middlemen skimming/speculating on commodities…… it all adds up to the Old European guild system, the mob's protection racket, and Dark Age fuedalism.

The poor see the government as the God who can punish those who have limitted their opportunities and skimmed their earnings and profits. They want out of the fiefdom, but their government God will destroy everything.

Truth is a return to the constitution— EACH individual is responsible for their own actions, mistakes, and dealings with dishonest people WITHOUT running to a lawyer and government to fix their own screw ups. Return trust between competent wise individuals in a wise, caring, and teaching community/society. Return Biblical Truth to the education of the next generation. (Can we do this after 50 years of Marxism, Darwinism, and secular humanism?)

Love God first and He will teach you how to love family, friends, and neighbors AND he will make family friends and neighbors respectable and lovable! God is love, but love without virtue, wisdom, justice, liberty, and mercy is not love at all!
THAT IS THE TRUTH!


Edward Cline
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:24 am

I just sent this to the White House. No response, but I'm happy to see that I haven't been original. Campbell beat me to it.

whom it may concern:

Has someone in the White House been hired or tasked to highlight sections or scenes in a copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged to ensure that Obama adheres to the story of how to destroy the country, and then report to The Enforcer Emanuel and brief Robert Gibberish and Obama and the Reid/Pelosi faction on what part of the plot to follow next? It certainly seems so, and Obama’s co-conspirators, the news media, haven’t been reporting that this “fact following fiction” phenomenon has been observed all over the world. Is Obama aware that he is being compared with Lenin, Hitler, Putin, George III, and Mr. Thompson from the novel, and that his staff and appointees are being justly cast in the roles of that novel‘s other villains?

And now the Supreme Looter is urging Americans to invest in a stock market he wants to destroy anyway??? Why? So he can impoverish them and make them dependent on his wishes and leave, in a serf and feudal lord relationship in a socialist prison camp? To “go green” when the whole notion of man-caused climate change has been refuted by scientists who haven‘t been bought, bribed or gagged? When his health care agenda will reduce this country’s health care to the level of, say, Bolivia’s??

Obama can be scored on every economic and social idea that has emanated from his mouth. That he has never questioned them suggests that he doesn’t mean America any good. Every one of those ideas is anti-man, anti-life, and anti-American.

Please, stop insulting our intelligence and blaming “Wall Street” for the financial crisis! This crisis is wholly a consequence of decades — nay, of over a century — of government intervention in the economy. You and everyone else in Washington know it! And Obama’s actions cannot help but lead one to believe that he intends to destroy this country, in partnership with a statist Congress.

To paraphrase John Galt from the novel: Get the hell out of our lives and out of our way!!! None of you looters owns me or any other American. If you think otherwise — think again.


WASanford
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:26 am

Wait, aren't those European countries bastions of SOCIALISM? They have socialized medicine and all that don't they? Perhaps, just perhaps, it would be cheaper to do business here if we borrowed some of that socialism from Europe. On top of that, if your corporation in Europe wasn't making a profit here, why would they be complaining about our tax rates?

Businesses that don't care about their customers and our communities are only here to exploit us and that's worse than their not being here at all. So pack up your money and move to Europe, we won't even miss you. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, and thanks for all the fish!


joonypie
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:27 am

As a work of fiction Atlas Shrugged is awful, as are all of Ayn Rands attempts at the art. The book is,however, a compelling capitalist screed favored by Greenspan and his successor Hank Paulson. I am no economist but I have no clue how any expert can be guided by such simplistic and niggardly garbage. I am even further mystified that anyone would have the stones to defend objectivism given the outcome of a decade ruled by its pseudo philosophy!


John Galt
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:27 am

OBX,

Are you employed? Do you work for a large corporation or a small business (you are not self employed, or you would not hold the views you hold). The employers responsible for over half of the jobs in the US today (and who are responsible for the bulk of economic growth here) are small businesses. How hard do you think a small business owner (who typically puts in over 60+ hours per week) is going to be willing to work, just to pay the confiscatory taxes being proposed by Obama and the Democrats? Of the few I have spoken with lately, they are planning to cut back, lay off employees, and do 'just enough' to come in under the new tax rates. Why should someone work their ass off to 'share it' with you or anyone else? What are YOU 'sharing'? How many hours do YOU work, only to 'share it' with someone who doesn't? If you think this is all about the 'evil rich people' you are a fool; those 'rich people' have always paid the majority of the taxes. There is no 'socialist utopia' – do some research.


Electric_Insurrection
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:30 am

Jeff W: “I proceeded to challenge them to throw all these materialistic goods into the waste can, because without people like me, who worked in the electronics industry, they would not have them, so to make nice and remove people like me from the society, they would have to make these sacrifices.”

First off, that entire situation probably happened in make believe land going off the typecast characters involved and your made-for-tv monologue.

Secondly, you're not John Galt, Tim Burners-Lee, Alan Turing, nor Linus Torvalds; you're just a peasant in the society. I do web development and run my own business but I at no point think somehow I'm calling the shots on anything beyond my own operation. Unless you're Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, your net effect on the beast that is society in our field is probably 0 + a tiny fractional value that exceeds the precision of your average calculator. Especially in the field of electronics/technology where chances are millions other people could do your job no matter how good you are, doesn't matter if you're a coder or an executive. You, like pretty much all of us, are ultimately expendable and make no mistake that the people with real power see it that way and laugh at the idea that a flea thinks itself a lion.

So in conclusion, they can keep their electronics that you really had nothing to do with and you can adjust your importance from an 11 to like a 7.


MKS
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:33 am

Voluntary compassion is uplifting. Compulsory compassion is corrosive.

If a man gives me $10 to buy something to eat, and a policeman observes this and protects us both, then the giver is content, I am fed, and the policeman is doing his job. If a man is compelled by the policeman to give me $10 to buy something to eat, then the giver is resentful, I am entitled, and the policeman has too many wealth redistribution duties to protect anyone.

Even a government of the people and by the people needs clearly defined restrictions on what it may do for the people.

If not, then our jealousy of high achievers will pull them all down to mediocrity, and we will all suffer as a result. In near every historical example of socialism, this has been the result. Do not expect that US socialism will be any different.


Eaosrithan
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

Friend said last night, “If I see one of those Obama theft-logo’s (the ARRA logo), I am going all-out Ragnar Danneskjöld!”

I had to ask who was Danneskjöld.

Obama and the gov’t play with fire. They flick lit matches into a pool of gasoline and so far each match has gone out.

For now.

But just as one person ducking under one Cossack’s horse spurs a mob to take a Winter Palace, at some point the gas here too will ignite.

And then what?


Ghostnyc
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:38 am

If you havent actually read Ayn Rands book it can be unfair to compare what we as a country are going through right now. Even Ayn Rand conceded that her objectivist views were skewed once you introduced a certain level of corruption into the formula. And that is the point that many can argue now that the achievers, the ones who create wealth were either corrupted to the point where all there was left was greed or the most likely scenario the achievers were also tricked into the latest “PONZI” scheme. In Atlast Shrugged the achievers dont create wealth for the sake of wealth- The wealth is a by product of their desire to actually achieve something whether it is building a bridge or a trans continental train. Doing great things for the sake of knowing that they accomplished it. The fact that during this process they hired many people to work, paid fair salaries to employees and made profits are all by products of their fulfilling their dreams. The reality we are dealing with now is that from all appearances the only goal the “achievers” in our current environment had was to get all the cash they can get from any source, by any means.


Kyle
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:38 am

Why on Earth would anyone in the White House waste their time reading a second-rate novel that doesn't even make good toilet paper?

There's no need to use multiple question marks. It makes your writing look amateurish.

Man-caused? Really?


Kyle
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:38 am

Why on Earth would anyone in the White House waste their time reading a second-rate novel that doesn't even make good toilet paper?

There's no need to use multiple question marks. It makes your writing look amateurish.

Man-caused? Really?


A Sharp Knife
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:39 am

joonypie said: “I am no economist but I have no clue how any expert can be guided by such simplistic and niggardly garbage. I am even further mystified that anyone would have the stones to defend objectivism given the outcome of a decade ruled by its pseudo philosophy! “

I agree. You are no economist, you have no clue, and are even further mystified.

Just go sit in the corner and let us grown ups talk. Moron.


Kryptonite to Stupid
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:41 am

Who is John Galt?


CognitoErgoSum
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:42 am

I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who said something along the lines of, “Labor trumps wealth because labor preceeds it.” No wealth is created unless somebody makes something or does something. Those who create jobs are those who have the jobs that earn the money to create the demand for consumer goods and services.

That's why there's so much spending in the stimulus package. The government is the only consumer big enough to pay millions of people to provide goods and services and generate economic activity. It's economic life support.


BDC
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:42 am

wow…LOL …


john swanson
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:46 am

Nice, a 50 year old response to the Red Scare. Sounds totally comprable to our current situation….. The only reason the people that supposedly create jobs aren't right now is because we exported our ability to manufacture anything in this country anymore. They sold us out. Time to pay the piper. Middle class will rise again and save the economy. Just takes time. We aren't about to turn into a Socialist regime. Please remove head from butt and end the fear tactics. You coulda spent the money you used on that stupid book hiring more employees, genius.


A Sharp Knife
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:49 am

@ Electric_Insurrection…

He's just pointing out the hypocrisy. Here are a bunch of punks who couldn't get through a day without their American standard-of-living-electronics (which are hardly found in the hands of teenagers in solcialist countries… maybe I'm wrong and a bunch of Cubans have some in Cuba, who knows?), but they are willing to go down the socialism road. And without giving up their electronics. Brilliant.


joonypie
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:51 am

My apologies…I had forgotten that to be taken seriously in adult conversations one must resort to name calling…


john swanson
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:52 am

Hey Aaron… What about our current status makes you think that any of those CEO's you mentioned knew anything about running a corporation to begin with??? Aren't all of the corps. in america failing miserably right now, and the CEO's are still scheduling junckets in Vegas??? CEO's need to go off the grid, they aren't the primary financiers anyways, the middle class is, and their ability to invest in these corporations. But there is no need to invest in a failing company now is there? Why don't some of these CEO's reinvest their 60 million dollar saleries into their own failing companies?

This was a waste of my time even responding, you're not intelligent enough to grasp the scope of this problem.


SAM
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:54 am

What are these goods and services that the government will pay people to provide???? How about we lower the capital gains tax to zero and lower the tax rates across the boards by 3% (modest) and let the American people decide who the winners and losers are. People will invest and create in a less burdensome/ regulated pro business environment. If taxes are raised to pay for stimulus are you going to invest/open in a business to pay more taxes??? Does that makes sense to lose money because of govt?? It doesn't to business owners like me… I would rather pay my emplyees the taxes I will have to pay the govt instead of the govt giving them the money. It loses it's intrinsic value when you have to bureaucratically redistribute. Make sense???


Dan
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:58 am

This is utterly ridiculous! The Republicans, led by Peter Keating (George W. Bush) and Ellsworth Toohey (Karl Rove) have already taken us over the cliff. It's time for the Atlases of the world to recreate an already broken world. Go Barack!!


geschichter
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:01 am

Ayn Rand and Karl Marx agreed on one thing — they both had absolute contempt the same book. The book centers on an internerant preacher who looks like a hippie — long hair, beard, sandals, unkempt — but attracts a fairly large number of followers with his teachings. In one section of the book, a rich guy comes to the preacher and says, ” What do I have to do to follow you?” The holy man responds, “Go home, sell all your possessions, give the money to the poor, and then you can follow me.” The rich guy guy walks away, shaking his head, and probably muttering something about the preacher being a real weirdo. He may have been write. This preacher did say a lot of weird things. At other points in the book, he spewed such drivel as , and I paraphrase, “The way you treat people in need is the way you show whether you respect my teachings (Actually, he says, “As you do unto these, so do you also unto me “) and there are only two laws, “Love God with all your heart and soul”, and “Love one another.” Thank God, we have Ayn Rand's heroic to speak out against such socialist ideas.


A Sharp Knife
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:01 am

Hey Swanson,

I am intelligent enough to grasp it, and it scares the hell outta those of us who are “in the know”. You may be right, the CEOs who have bankrupted their industries should not benefit from their mistakes. But…

You are now talking about putting the government in charge of these industries. You know, Speaker Pelosi (who won the Chavez award in 2006, but doesn't use union labor in her vineyards), Treasury Secretary Geithner (who can't use Turbo Tax correctly and can't pay back taxes he owes on time) and of course, the messiah himself, President* Obama (who never held a real job or American birth certificate, doesn't know how to budget and can't even get the hiring process right… how IS that vetting going?).


A Sharp Knife
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:04 am

We do NOT want to talk about “preachers”, do we?


A=A
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:08 am

The reason the middle class “lost ground” is that so many of them have moved up into the next bracket. It's not the millionaires and billionaires that will be hurt by these tax hikes it's the men and women on main street who own small businesses and make just over 200k. When those folks leave the marketplace or just decide to not grow their business and hire fewer new employees that will have a devastating effect on our economy. Your argument has the fallacy that this only will affect large businesses that ship all their new jobs overseas but you forget to factor in the real middle class people who own the lumber yards, clothing stores, restaurants, gas stations, and other retail operations that employ the workforce of most of America.


BDC
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:09 am

I just knew the birth certificate nonsense would come up….Its sooooo predictable.


Kyle
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:09 am

An excellent point.


HUN
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:12 am

You made that up out of thin air didnt you…..How sad


ladybastet
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:18 am

I don't know about the original poster, but I _have_ read the book. In fact I've read nearly all of Ayn Rand's works, and indeed I was very taken with them for a time. However, I find that her logic takes a major nose dive given its pure anti-social aspect – and that's SOCIAL not socialism to which I'm referring. When I look at what the concept of true “leave us alone” capitalism has done (in both the recent and distant past) I find more and more that I keep voting for democrats.
The claims that the objectivists, libertarians, republicans, et al make through the years rarely seem to work, and their predictions of likely outcomes seem to occur seldom at best. Moreover, their moral sense of human existence is not one I can value.


Jordon
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:19 am

Ugh. No, John. All of the corporations in American aren't failing right now. Virtually all of the corporations in America are experiencing a massive devaluation of their worth due to massive failure in certain fundamentals that make investment in equities a bad bet at the moment.

Your argument is a twisted heap of tortured logic. If the middle class is the principal financiers (by this I assume you mean investors – they're not financiers) then why on earth would you want the government to continue this assault on prosperity that is punshing 401Ks, pensions, college funds and charities that benefit the middle class?

It does appear that we can agree on not investing in failure. Unfortunately, our government seems to believe that only a massive investment in failure can get us out of this mess. Witness TARP and gazillions of dollars for Amtrak.

Someone here does not grasp the scope of the problem. That's for certain. Good luck out there.


Pnaut
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:20 am

what are you talking about?


spokane
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:21 am

Ah, the ole birth certificate issue. You realize of course you've just discredited your already tenuous connection with logic in your previous posts. Spare me the Ayn Rand nonsense. Her books were cartoonish at best and were written in response to her experiences with the Soviet Union. Now, no one in government has talked about taking over all the industries (I know, I know, you're talk radio buddies who have put you “in the know” say otherwise). What is your solution? Do nothing? Greedy, unregulated markets got us into this mess. Cut the corporate tax rate? Their legions of lawyers already make sure they pay no taxes. Your ideology is bankrupt and your reasoning is naive at best.


joonypie
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:23 am

Haven't you heard? All those tea tea party weirdos and Galtheads are moving to a remote forest in Canada where they will be rendered invisible by some kind of force field!


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:23 am

I would rather work hard to consolidate my power and wealth in the hands of imbecilic politicians who don't know how to balance a budget than in the hands of imbecilic private individuals (i.e. Wall Street bankers) who don't know how to balance a budget. At least the politicians can be voted out of office when they eff everything up.


1984
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:26 am

Silly. The top wealthy class has constantly been getting more and more taxcuts and vastly increased their wealth. What did we get for it? Economic meltdown and tons of debt. This thing is not balanced correctly and is unsustainable.
There's a reason why the wealthy become wealthier, they use their money to purchase politicians who continue to help a group of people which does not need any more help…because they're already wealthy as it is.
Google:
“World's richest got even richer last year: report”
“Super-rich hide trillions offshore”
“Richest tenth own 85% of world's assets”

How much more do they really need? Its called the ownership society because they own you. And its called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.
“The man enslaved to wealth can never be honest.”- Democritus
-”Widespread poverty and concentrated wealth cannot exist side by side in a democracy.” Thomas Jefferson


Carol
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:26 am

Sigh, the DOW is down another 200+ points today. It's down 2,000+ points since Obama's inaguration.

My parents cannot afford to retire anymore, my kids's college funds are depleted, and my employer is laying off people every week.

I wished Obama would have been more like a senisble centrist Democrat like Clinton. I voted for Obama, but where is the “Hope” and “Change”? All I can see is pessism and despair, all around me.

Like Jim Cramer and others, a lot of Democrats will not make this mistake again.


MKS
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:28 am

That itinerant preacher and His book are dear to me, and you are right that Rand and Marx despised Him, which shows both objectivism and communism to be flawed. Objectivism is the worship of the individual, and communism is the worship of the state – and neither are worthy of worship.

Jesus Christ was not, however, a socialist. In Matthew 20:1-16, He gives the parable of the vineyard laborers, in which He endorses contract law and private ownership of property. In Matthew 25:14-30, He gives the parable of the talents, in which He endorses investment and profit. The Lord hates greed and materialism, but He is far more capitalistic than socialistic. God teaches us to profit.


Adrianne
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:28 am

This is exactly why I don't like the GOP. Everything and I do mean everything that they don't agree with means the end of times. If you don't do this then the second coming is just around the corner. If we don't go to Iraq then a mushroom cloud is coming. If we do national healthcare then American will cease to exist. I have never understood why insurance companies and drug companies were allowed to be on the stock market. It's a conflict of interest. A public traded company main obligation is to make money for shareholders. The way they make money is by scimping on healthcare claims.


Pnaut
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:29 am

Wow more impressive debate points from the learned objectivist. I guess it would be frustrating that these shallow novels you worship are nothing now but a conservative “Good Night Moon” fairytale for the typical arrogant blowhard who can only get excited by contempt for their fellow man.


spokane
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:31 am

The Dow has been dropping since December 2007. I guess the markets just guessed he'd be elected. Sigh, turn off Cramer please. His predictions have been consistently wrong for the last year. The stock market is going down because tons of people have been laid off, banks made bad loans and nobody is shopping. Good grief people.


MKS
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:31 am

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” -Thomas Jefferson


1984
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:32 am

Religious societies generally or not very well of. Its a recipe for disaster.


Adrianne
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:33 am

The market has been sliding since december 2007. While Obama was campaigning Bush and the republican thugs kept telling us that the market was sound and that we were imagining things and we were a national of whiners. No one has confidence in the market becaue everyday there is a new crook on wall street ousted. Frankly, we need some perp walks and some people slammed in jail.


Pnaut
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:35 am

Yes i'm sure voluntary compassion is uplifitng, for you. What is this inanity about the policeman? Your last paragraph is typical of the arrogance that has governed wall street and Washington for the last 20 years and this misguided fear of being put down with the commoners because “high achievers like me will be forced to be mediocre,” get over yourself and embrace reality again.


Pnaut
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:40 am

Great more paranoia. I hope you know that the “Dark Age feudalism” you fear was caused less by the guild system which eventually helped lead to the modern economy we have today and more by your Biblical Truth and would probably even have terrorized Rand more than the notion of economic equality.


hadsil
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:42 am

“This is exactly why I don't like the GOP. Everything and I do mean everything that they don't agree with means the end of times. If you don't do this then the second coming is just around the corner. If we don't go to Iraq then a mushroom cloud is coming. If we do national healthcare then American will cease to exist. I have never understood why insurance companies and drug companies were allowed to be on the stock market. It's a conflict of interest. A public traded company main obligation is to make money for shareholders. The way they make money is by scimping on healthcare claims.”

As opposed to what? We're all doomed by man-made Global Warming? We're running out of resources? We're suffering from overpopulation. We're all evil racist sexist homophobes and cowards for not talking about it? Oh, sure, the Democrats and Liberals are all sunny and rainbows and rose petals.


Adrianne
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:43 am

I like that quote from Jefferson. I'm going to use it.

Last Spring I watched a Glenn Beck episode (I know, I know) and they were really pushing to eliminate mininum wage. Let the market decide what people should be paid. Are you kidding me? If an employer can get away with paying someone $1 that's what they'll do. They blantedly ignore how the mininum wage started in the first place. Because the wealthy was paying people insanely low wages just because they set the market. Class warfare started a long time ago by the wealthy.


CognitoErgoSum
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:46 am

“What are these goods and services that the government will pay people to provide????”

Road/bridge construction, building/remodeling schools, upgrading our energy grid…. These jobs require employees who then become consumers and drive retail demand. These jobs also require materials to be purchased which also generates economic activity and increases tax revenue across the board. This puts more revenue back to the treasury to pay for the program and other debt than tax cuts which simply deprive revenue and don't create long-term consumer demand for goods and services..

A rising tide lifts all boats FROM THE BOTTOM.


lucy2008
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

This is hooey.

In our world today, people need to be educated and highly for jobs and even to be entrepreneurs. This is needed for our country to be competitive. This isn’t social darwinism- a completely rediculous belief promoted by Ayn Rand and the Republican Party base. We all need to grow up. America is competing in a global world and we all need to succeed. A world with a lot of Robber Barrons does no one good even if they are over achiever Robber Barrons.

I work in an industry of technical professionals who work because they love their work. They are highly educated. The industry infrastructure was created by the federal government. Basic research and patent protection help create this fabulous industry and it was funded and regulated by the federal government. Get real people and stop being simplistic with fiction.
Some have become rich and many just comfortable. This has nothing to do with Ayn Rand or the Republican Party’s laissez faire simplistic philosophy.


JackDoitCrawford
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:52 am

I wonder why he doesn't give copies of Atlas to incoming interns.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:52 am

I quote (“Atlas Shrugged,” centennial edition, p. 323): “Remember it–remember it well–it is not often that one can see pure evil–look at it–remember–and some day you'll find the words to name its essence…” This is part of the protagonist Dagny's reaction (it gets even more ridiculous) to an encounter with someone who has “…put into practice that noble historical precept: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” This person, and the society in which she now lives, are painted in such a way as to evoke a great deal of disgust in the reader. Are you really willing to tell me that such a blatant attempt to refute the words of Karl Marx and make Marxist philosophy detestable, coming as it does in a book published in the U.S. in 1957 (the same year McCarthy died in office, and only three years after he was discredited) has nothing to do with the Red scare?


Moe
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

Atlas Shrugged is FICTION. First the GOP uses “24″ to try and prove a point, now an old Ayn Rand novel. Give me a break.

What I find saddening is that the wealthy few in this country have duped so many middle-class people into believing that they have no power at all and that they must do whatever the wealthy insist they do lest they take their jobs and…what? Go away with them? If wealth can be created in this country, I fail to see how it is dependent upon ONLY a certain few people. Given the same opportunities, there are millions of americans who can create jobs and wealth. Don’t believe the hype!

If these fat cats want to pull a John Galt and retreat to a cave with all their money, then let them. It is naive to assume that there aren’t thousands of other John Galt’s waiting to take over their spot with their OWN ideas and innovations. The reason we succeed as a nation and will continue to in the future is because our well is deep.

The bottom line here is that while the country in recent history has seen wealth increase, the median incomes for the middle-class have actually gone DOWN…while the incomes of the top “earners” has gone up astronomically…and like we are seeing currently, apparently these wealthy folks don’t pay (all of) their taxes.


JackDoitCrawford
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:57 am

Marx and JC were both altruists. Rand is not.


Pip
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:58 am

. . . to a remote forest in Canada where they will be rendered invisible by some kind of force field! where they'll have access to a single-payer health care system and a sound banking system.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:02 am

Because “departing interns” really means interns who quit because they can't stand him any more…and giving them the book is his last ditch effort to brainwash them with his McCarthyism and politics of fear.


edwcorey
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:03 am

Alan Greenspan is a Rand disciple, having literally genuflected at her knees for many years. He was the one looking glum, confused and contrite at the Congressional hearings after the Oz he was Wizard of imploded. This guy's drivel is one more piece of evidence that one of the initiation rites to becoming a Republican leader is a lobotomy.


JackDoitCrawford
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:08 am

No he hasn't. Stop reading junk online and read the book!


edwcorey
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:09 am

Fine, a legendary hypocrite for a model of righteous society? (He was an original Republican, by the way.) I guess, having slaves, he really knew what he was talking about. And weren't the past eight years, under Bush, an experiment in this type of thinking? Well, the lab results are in, and Jefferson's prediction turned out false. A true Republican is a lobotomy recipient.


samir
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

I’m an Obamaton and I’ve read it. It’s an interesting work of fiction.


Kerncon
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:12 am

Everything you list there is temporary. once those projects are done, the 'spending' and 'jobs' they 'create' are gone.


JackDoitCrawford
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:13 am

I was so hopeful in the 1970's when he came to DC. He has really rejected what he wrote about in Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal. It is still unknown, even to those who have read extensively,


Anonymous
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

Er…Atlas Shrugged IS what is going on now, Literate person.


John Sullivan
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:16 am

“Creating” wealth through government largesse (subsidies, appropriations, no-bid contracts, bailouts) is not an achievement. It comes at the expense of others (welfare?), and only creates jobs in third-world countries. The John Galt wannabes of the world are all Peter Keatings and Ellsworth Tooheys in disguise. Ayn Rand wrote about personal responsibility and individual liberty but all that was just cover for a barely-concealed contempt for the human race. Objectivism is a fraud. And “ancien regime” is un-American.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:18 am

Bingo.


Mike
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

Why argue, this is going to be answered in time. I would have my liberal friends look around the world and see where this type of program has worked? In the late 1970′s the western economies were in worse shape. Europe went to the big government model and the US went with limiting government, decreasing regulation etc. Net effect from 1980 to 2000 the US created 40 million jobs compared to europes 8 million. Europe generally has double digit unemployment all the time (even when they decrease the work week to 4 days) we are usually at about 5 or 6%. They are all going broke with the cost of their entitlement programs. The US is the engine for economically (we get a cold they get pneumonia) Kill our engine they go down the tubes. But why argue about it , this is going to play out right in front of our eyes, you get to live it. In my opinion, you will look back and wonder what was I thinking. Some would say that if the idea that poor people should be allowed to buy homes that they couldn’t afford (Barney Frank pushing for 40% Feddie and Fannie assets to be sub prime) then removing the risk to the lending institutions ust might have had a big part in creating this mess.Social engineering rarely works out, it is usually derailed by reality and unintended consequences.


trashhauler
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:22 am

“While Obama was campaigning Bush and the republican thugs kept telling us that the market was sound and that we were imagining things and we were a national of whiners. No one has confidence in the market becaue everyday there is a new crook on wall street ousted. Frankly, we need some perp walks and some people slammed in jail.”
_____________

What BS. It was the Democrats who – defying Administration warnings – kept insisting that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were sound and needed no additional oversight. So thank Chris Dodd and Barney Franks for the origin of the mess.

As far as Wall Street crooks go, everyone is in favor of sending actual criminals to jail. But that's not Democrats want – they want to demonize the rich, even if no law has been broken. Your thinking is driven by envy, not logic. You can put every rich person in jail and it won't improve your situation one bit.


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

Oh please do go John Galt on us. Take your create selves and do leave our corrupt society. For only when we find ourselves in a shithole woud we REALLY search for the truth. That’s what Ayn Rand did and spent her life trying to write it down for you fools. The real connection between mere philosophical ideas and physical reality.
Time for you to witness a strike from the other side. I was 11 when I asked my mother what would happen if companies went on strike instead. I got the deer in headlights look. Then …blank out.


Jeff W
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

Peter A,

You are so right. The market is -214 below.


California Serf
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

The plot of Atlas Shrugged has been playing out in California for 10 years. There was a brief respite from the decline when Swarzzenegger was elected, but he eventually succumbed to the socialist pressures of state government workers, teachers’ unions , Hollywood liberals and issue-centric activists who populate our state legislature. Now the state budget that supposedly resolved a 40 billion deficit a few weeks ago is already underwater and cannot meet the state’s obligations to pay state workers’ retirement health care. There will have to be another tax hike before the end of 2009. Top income earners could be paying more than 50% of their income to state and federal taxes under the new budget plan. Think they’re going to stay in CA? The exodus of John Galts which began about 5 years ago will accelerate and California will collapse before the rest of the US. If the Feds try to make the rest of the nation pay for California’s profligacy, we could see a tea party revolt far more vocal and angry than the embryonic tea party demonstrations that have just begun. I just hope I can make it to a more responsible state before the collapse happens. It will not be pretty.


mike
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:37 am

It went from 14,000 to 8,000 under Bush, it has fallen another 1,500 under Obama. Funny, when it was happening on the GOP watch the only thing they could say was “we are not in a recession”. Now 60 days under Dems and it is then end of the world and we are in a socialist empire


mike
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:39 am

Reagan taxed the rich 50%, Nixon taxed the rich 70%. In then 1950's, our “golden ages”, they were taxed 91%!
Now Obama wants to raise it from 36% to 39% and he is a communist. go figure


mike
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:48 am

Sir, Frannie and Freddie were only responsible for 14% of sub-prime loans. The rest were all Wall Street, all by themsleves


OBXartist
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

Maybe the book you should be referencing is Rip Van Winkle because it sounds like you’ve been asleep for awhile. You’re aware that Obama has been President for less than 6 weeks, right? And that any of our current troubles cannot reasonably be laid at his feet, right? And that our current problems must obviously be due to the policies, actions and inactions of Obama’s predecessor, right? And that the “high income taxes” Obama is proposing are the same rates as during the Clinton Administration, a time of impressive prosperity, right? Stop listening to the Santellis, Cramers and Rushs of the world. These people live in a bubble. They are not like you. You are not like them. You will never be like them. You can’t get into the clubs they have access to and they don’t care two hoots about you or anyone else but themselves. They belong to a select club of a few ten thousand selfish, self-absorbed moneygrubbers who somehow feel entitled to increase wealth for the few at the expense of the many. These people are not the real America.


OBXartist
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

Maybe the book you should be referencing is Rip Van Winkle because it sounds like you’ve been asleep for awhile. You’re aware that Obama has been President for less than 6 weeks, right? And that any of our current troubles cannot reasonably be laid at his feet, right? And that our current problems must obviously be due to the policies, actions and inactions of Obama’s predecessor, right? And that the “high income taxes” Obama is proposing are the same rates as during the Clinton Administration, a time of impressive prosperity, right? Stop listening to the Santellis, Cramers and Rushs of the world. These people live in a bubble. They are not like you. You are not like them. You will never be like them. You can’t get into the clubs they have access to and they don’t care two hoots about you or anyone else but themselves. They belong to a select club of a few ten thousand selfish, self-absorbed moneygrubbers who somehow feel entitled to increase wealth for the few at the expense of the many. These people are not the real America.


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

So are you saying that extreme capitalism = lawlessness?


Adrian
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

So are you saying that extreme capitalism = lawlessness?


Kyle
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

That book is nothing more than pornography for the Objectivists. Rand’s theories are misguided and irrational at best and sociopathic and unpatriotic at worst. Society is a vast patchwork of collectives and anyone that thinks they can be completely autonomous in a capitalistic society is completely deluded.


Kyle
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

That book is nothing more than pornography for the Objectivists. Rand’s theories are misguided and irrational at best and sociopathic and unpatriotic at worst. Society is a vast patchwork of collectives and anyone that thinks they can be completely autonomous in a capitalistic society is completely deluded.


Dr D.
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

Oh, how ridiculous! The “achievers, creators of wealth?!” Going on strike? No such thing. The people who *posed* as achievers have been exposed as dollar-sucking, parasitic incompetents and are retreating to caves to hide their faces. Anyone would have to be deluded to clinical proportions to think that our current situation is anything like the scenario presented in Atlas Shrugged.


Dr D.
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

Oh, how ridiculous! The “achievers, creators of wealth?!” Going on strike? No such thing. The people who *posed* as achievers have been exposed as dollar-sucking, parasitic incompetents and are retreating to caves to hide their faces. Anyone would have to be deluded to clinical proportions to think that our current situation is anything like the scenario presented in Atlas Shrugged.


Richard Head
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

CORRECTION: The top tax rate was 28% when Reagan left office. http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=19


Barry
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

The Constitution does not spell out anything about providing for “the arts”. THAT is why it should not be funded by the federal government. Jeez.


Barry
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

The Constitution does not spell out anything about providing for “the arts”. THAT is why it should not be funded by the federal government. Jeez.


mike
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

The final year it was dropped to 28%. For the first 6-7 it was 50%. According to conservatives, America has always been socialist:

Top US Marginal Income Tax Rates, 1913–2003:
http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php


Atlas strangled… « Blurred Productions
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Ralph
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

“Spare me the Ayn Rand nonsense. Her books were cartoonish at best and were written in response to her experiences with the Soviet Union.”

Typical response, I wonder how many points you would win in a debate class with this unsubstantiated observation?

An arguments validity isn't affected by what it is in response to, take a logic class please.


SAM
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:26 pm

Such wealth envy there OBX. How many poor people rent those house there in Rodanthe or Nags head? How bout your neighbors losing there spring summer rental incomes and losing there properties because they will not be able to afford the property taxes. The top 25% of income earners pay 86% of all income taxes. The top 5% pay 20% of all taxes. The bottom 50% do not pay whatsover. So your argument is that the evil rich don’t pay enough taxes? When they have the most of the burden? It is now a crime to have six TV’s? Or a car that someone can afford to use and operate. You think that all rich people are greedy. They got their money by stealing from others? How about this. HARD WORK. EDUCATION. LONG HOURS. So do you send anymore money to the IRS at the end of the year because you don’t feel you pay enough or are you just another hypocrit? I know those houses in the outer banks are not cheap. I have vacationed there a few times. You must be rich. Did you steal money to buy your expensive home? Most people don’t think of Artist=hardwork anyway so you must have inherited this home. How do you pay the taxes and electricity? Are you self employed or do you work for a poor person??? OH wait poor people can’t provide you with a job to support your expensive home on the beach in the OBX. I just can’t take any financial advice from an artist seriously. Most of the good ones were poor and struggling.


SAM
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:26 pm

Such wealth envy there OBX. How many poor people rent those house there in Rodanthe or Nags head? How bout your neighbors losing there spring summer rental incomes and losing there properties because they will not be able to afford the property taxes. The top 25% of income earners pay 86% of all income taxes. The top 5% pay 20% of all taxes. The bottom 50% do not pay whatsover. So your argument is that the evil rich don’t pay enough taxes? When they have the most of the burden? It is now a crime to have six TV’s? Or a car that someone can afford to use and operate. You think that all rich people are greedy. They got their money by stealing from others? How about this. HARD WORK. EDUCATION. LONG HOURS. So do you send anymore money to the IRS at the end of the year because you don’t feel you pay enough or are you just another hypocrit? I know those houses in the outer banks are not cheap. I have vacationed there a few times. You must be rich. Did you steal money to buy your expensive home? Most people don’t think of Artist=hardwork anyway so you must have inherited this home. How do you pay the taxes and electricity? Are you self employed or do you work for a poor person??? OH wait poor people can’t provide you with a job to support your expensive home on the beach in the OBX. I just can’t take any financial advice from an artist seriously. Most of the good ones were poor and struggling.


For that Dull Knife
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

Europe’s Danube Blues: Once a growth engine, Eastern Europe has now become the continent’s economic albatross. http://www.newsweek.com/id/186969

Europe’s Crisis: Much Bigger Than Subprime, Worse Than U.S. Posted Feb 27, 2009 08:00am EST by Henry Blodget http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/195065/Europe%27s-Crisis-Much-Bigger-Than-Subprime-Worse-Than-U.S.?tickers=ubs,cs,db,hbc

Dollar gaining on Euro and Pound March 4, 2009 http://www.livecharts.co.uk/livewire/2009/03/04/dollar-gaining-on-euro-and-pound/

Yeah, EUROPE’S doing quite well, wouldn’t you agree? Moron.


jgt1960
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

Here's my modern interpretation of “Atlas Shrugged”. Our protagonist develops a miracle metal that's an instant success and “must have” in all of industry. He starts his company by hiring the best and brightest to manufacture and sell his amazing accomplishment and gets fabulously wealthy. Recognizing that his team is a large part of his success, he pays well and keeps a strong workforce dedicated to the company's future and all is well.

Then, after years of maintaining the highest quality and integrity in his company, he decides to go public and retire. First, the IPO is only open to the most wealthy who can afford to buy in with huge stakes. After they make their 100 – 300% off the IPO, it's time to build a boardroom to run the company. The board decides they need to steal a brand name CEO from a competitor and offer a package that runs around 300 – 500 times the average salary of the talented workforce.

The board pays themselves very well in recognition of the fact they are the cream of the management class. As the board reviews the structure of the company, they realize they can use some cheaper materials to make the metal and meet the aggressive goals they've established for profitability. All is well as they exceed their objectives and are awarded by the growth of the stock.

But the quarterly goals remain aggressive and they need to dig deeper to meet their objectives. They see an opportunity in workforce reduction by removing the highest paid, long term employees. They backfill with inexpensive untrained labor knowing the remaining workforce is knowledgeable and hard working enough to pick up the slack. Again the goals are met making for an even more aggressive target the next quarter. Quality isn’t as good, but still better than the competition.

The above cycles are repeated until the board members and share holders have cashed in the equity built through the company's original quality and integrity. The failure of the business isn’t the lazy, whining working class—it’s the shortsighted instant gratification of the “Atlas’s” too busy stuffing the profits in their pockets to keep a grip on the planet they support.


AynRandFan
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

So you steal from the rich to give to the poor? How does penalizing the producers for being productive and creating wealth for everyone while rewarding the looters for being….well, looters….help?

The richest people in our country are already responsible for the majority of the tax burden. The poorest pay taxes only on the goods they purchase. The “tax credit” that they would be able to claim would be a literal redistirbution of wealth since they never paid income tax to begin with.

The only rights we have are those outlined in the Constitution. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.. The only guarantee is that of equal opportunity, not equal results (“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” —Benjamin Franklin). Forcibily redistributing wealth will only discourge the producers from producing and soon ALL will be looters (“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. ” — Thomas Jefferson)


Aaron
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

If the liberals get their way and CEO’s are declared enemies of the state and sent to the “re-education camps” what do you think will happen? How many people can run an auto company or software company or airline company or financial institute? Not very many. It won’t be very long until these companies go belly up leaving you without cars, computers, transportation, money or a job.

What? You say the government can run these companies. How much experience does Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy and their lackeys have running any business? Squat.

You better pray CEO’s don’t decided to liquidate all their assets and go off the grid.


Aaron
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

If the liberals get their way and CEO’s are declared enemies of the state and sent to the “re-education camps” what do you think will happen? How many people can run an auto company or software company or airline company or financial institute? Not very many. It won’t be very long until these companies go belly up leaving you without cars, computers, transportation, money or a job.

What? You say the government can run these companies. How much experience does Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy and their lackeys have running any business? Squat.

You better pray CEO’s don’t decided to liquidate all their assets and go off the grid.


Orwell was right.
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

Its your option to invest in Wall Street. You can stuff your money in a mattress if you want to. However, the government forcibly removes money from your wallet without your consent so it can be put into the hands of imbecilic poiliticians who don't know how to balance a budget. Your statement of “I would rather…” implies you have a choice. You don't.

The rest of us would like the freedom to choose.


Who Is Today’s John Galt? « widmerpoolian?
Pingback posted March 5, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

[...] -Washington Independent, 3/4/09 Posted by jaflynn Filed in quotes ·Tags: atlas shrugged, ayn rand, politics [...]


Nigel
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:04 pm

I wonder if you have read the novel, sir. This has nothing to do with the red scare, if you want that, read Rand’s “We the Living.” This is about some person about whom we really know very little comes in and eviscerates the economy. He and his merry band of morons spend trillions of dollars that we haven’t even yet dreamed. This is socialism. This is redistribution of wealth. And most of that redistribution goes from contributing members of society to the lazy people who know it is coming. They are like chicks in a nest, open your mouth and scream and the food will be there. Wake up, this is not McCarthyism.


Nigel
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:04 pm

I wonder if you have read the novel, sir. This has nothing to do with the red scare, if you want that, read Rand’s “We the Living.” This is about some person about whom we really know very little comes in and eviscerates the economy. He and his merry band of morons spend trillions of dollars that we haven’t even yet dreamed. This is socialism. This is redistribution of wealth. And most of that redistribution goes from contributing members of society to the lazy people who know it is coming. They are like chicks in a nest, open your mouth and scream and the food will be there. Wake up, this is not McCarthyism.


Jordon
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

John, with respect, have you read the book? While it may have been informed by the context of the time in which it was written, like many great books, it contains a message that is timeless. The message of the book as absolutely applicable, let alone the actual events that eerily resemble what’s going on in our country. California has been applying a socialist, statist, punish-the-achievers system for at least a decade now and it’s racing towards mediocrity.

Your statement about “supposedly” creating jobs is just stupid on its face unless of course you also believe that the jobs are only “supposedly” there as well. Yes, it would be better if the U.S. had a stronger manufacturing sector but to say that its demise is the single reason that the job market is contracting is astonishingly simplistic. It’s a fact, not opinion, that unemployment has been running around 5% for the last decade or so which means that the jobs lost in manufacturing were replaced with non-manufacturing jobs. Either way, wishing for the past is not a plan. Even screaming Halliburton on the top of your lungs is unlikely to bring back manufacturing. You know what might? A massive reduction in corporate tax rates. But the Obama administration wants to do the opposite. They want to penalize corporations. (See Atlas).

As for whether or not we are becoming socialists, it’s not a matter of debate. Socialism refers to a system where ownership of the means of production reside with the state. If you don’t belive me, ask Webster. He knows. Marxist theory specifically contemplates socialism as the phase that happens after capitalism on the way to communism. When you have a government more or less forcibly asserting control over the means of production you have something considerably worse. If you don’t believe me, ask Obama. He knows.

The government is engaged in all kinds of activities today that the Founders specifically established this nation to avoid. They would puke at the sight of what we’ve become. If that’s OK with you, fine. Just don’t expect the rest of us to be dancing in the streets celebrating the opportunity to work harder to consolidate our power and our wealth in the hands of imbecilic politicians who don’t know how to balance a budget.


Jordon
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

John, with respect, have you read the book? While it may have been informed by the context of the time in which it was written, like many great books, it contains a message that is timeless. The message of the book as absolutely applicable, let alone the actual events that eerily resemble what’s going on in our country. California has been applying a socialist, statist, punish-the-achievers system for at least a decade now and it’s racing towards mediocrity.

Your statement about “supposedly” creating jobs is just stupid on its face unless of course you also believe that the jobs are only “supposedly” there as well. Yes, it would be better if the U.S. had a stronger manufacturing sector but to say that its demise is the single reason that the job market is contracting is astonishingly simplistic. It’s a fact, not opinion, that unemployment has been running around 5% for the last decade or so which means that the jobs lost in manufacturing were replaced with non-manufacturing jobs. Either way, wishing for the past is not a plan. Even screaming Halliburton on the top of your lungs is unlikely to bring back manufacturing. You know what might? A massive reduction in corporate tax rates. But the Obama administration wants to do the opposite. They want to penalize corporations. (See Atlas).

As for whether or not we are becoming socialists, it’s not a matter of debate. Socialism refers to a system where ownership of the means of production reside with the state. If you don’t belive me, ask Webster. He knows. Marxist theory specifically contemplates socialism as the phase that happens after capitalism on the way to communism. When you have a government more or less forcibly asserting control over the means of production you have something considerably worse. If you don’t believe me, ask Obama. He knows.

The government is engaged in all kinds of activities today that the Founders specifically established this nation to avoid. They would puke at the sight of what we’ve become. If that’s OK with you, fine. Just don’t expect the rest of us to be dancing in the streets celebrating the opportunity to work harder to consolidate our power and our wealth in the hands of imbecilic politicians who don’t know how to balance a budget.


ladybastet
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

*grin* I read that one too, and I must say you’ve put that VERY well. ^_^


ladybastet
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

*grin* I read that one too, and I must say you’ve put that VERY well. ^_^


zardoz
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 1:12 pm

Greedy, unregulated markets got us into this mess. — How do you figure that markets are unregulated? Banking is the most regulated industry the world over. Housing is massively regulated as well. Have you heard of FAnnie Mae, Freddie Mac ? Aren't they government institutions to do with housing? There have been somewhere like 40000 pages of additional regulations in america since te 70's.

Regulated markets can only follow the rules set by the regulators . If the regulations are contradictory or inefficient how can bankers be blamed for the destruction that the regulations caused?


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

Name one “extreme” capitalist society that has generated “prosperity and freedom” in the history of human civilization. Your theory is just as hypothetical as the socialists’.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

Name one “extreme” capitalist society that has generated “prosperity and freedom” in the history of human civilization. Your theory is just as hypothetical as the socialists’.


OBXartist
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

I’m not sure how you can accuse someone of having wealth envy and simultaneously of being wealthy. Hope you’ve enjoyed your vacations here. Your stays might have provided a small portion of minimum wage income for the service industry workers who drive in from 30 miles inland to clean 8,000 sq. ft. beach “cottages” for superior people like yourself. Meanwhile you’ve helped make their employers, the real estate companies, quite wealthy.

For the record: I work HARD. I am EDUCATED. I work about 60+ HOURS/WWEEK. I’m a freelance graphic designer and my earnings depend on the state of the economy. I do some fine art and prints on the side as a creative outlet and a way to make a little extra income. Call me crazy, but it sounds kinda capitalistic to me. I own a nice medium-sized house (not a mansion, not on the beach) that my wife and I bought with our own hard-earned money. I don’t think all rich people are greedy. I’d like to be a rich person someday myself. But I DO think that I have some societal responsibilities. I do NOT believe, as most conservatives and Republican seem to, that I have arrived at my current relatively comfortable station in life all by myself, purely through my own genius and endeavor. I have a lot of people to thank for whatever success I’ve enjoyed.

Few people lose their OBX rental properties because they can’t pay their property taxes. They lose their rental properties here because they took on a loan, for a SECOND home, usually a MANSION (by any standard) that they could not afford if anything went wrong. They were convinced by the real estate people and the bankers that the property would more than PAY FOR ITSELF through obscene gobs of rental income from people like yourself. They allowed themselves to be convinced that this was a NO LOSE proposition and they were going to get RICH…or even RICHER! Woo hoo! They were wrong.

And does anyone really need six TVs? Part of what has gone wrong with our economy is that we all felt we were entitled to behave as though we were rich. But most of us aren’t and the last eight years were all a big, fat episode of make believe.


OBXartist
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

I’m not sure how you can accuse someone of having wealth envy and simultaneously of being wealthy. Hope you’ve enjoyed your vacations here. Your stays might have provided a small portion of minimum wage income for the service industry workers who drive in from 30 miles inland to clean 8,000 sq. ft. beach “cottages” for superior people like yourself. Meanwhile you’ve helped make their employers, the real estate companies, quite wealthy.

For the record: I work HARD. I am EDUCATED. I work about 60+ HOURS/WWEEK. I’m a freelance graphic designer and my earnings depend on the state of the economy. I do some fine art and prints on the side as a creative outlet and a way to make a little extra income. Call me crazy, but it sounds kinda capitalistic to me. I own a nice medium-sized house (not a mansion, not on the beach) that my wife and I bought with our own hard-earned money. I don’t think all rich people are greedy. I’d like to be a rich person someday myself. But I DO think that I have some societal responsibilities. I do NOT believe, as most conservatives and Republican seem to, that I have arrived at my current relatively comfortable station in life all by myself, purely through my own genius and endeavor. I have a lot of people to thank for whatever success I’ve enjoyed.

Few people lose their OBX rental properties because they can’t pay their property taxes. They lose their rental properties here because they took on a loan, for a SECOND home, usually a MANSION (by any standard) that they could not afford if anything went wrong. They were convinced by the real estate people and the bankers that the property would more than PAY FOR ITSELF through obscene gobs of rental income from people like yourself. They allowed themselves to be convinced that this was a NO LOSE proposition and they were going to get RICH…or even RICHER! Woo hoo! They were wrong.

And does anyone really need six TVs? Part of what has gone wrong with our economy is that we all felt we were entitled to behave as though we were rich. But most of us aren’t and the last eight years were all a big, fat episode of make believe.


BLUNT
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

Rash Limpballs said to bend over and hold on to your ankles, but he didnt mention his and their heads being up their a$$es while doing so.


BLUNT
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

Rash Limpballs said to bend over and hold on to your ankles, but he didnt mention his and their heads being up their a$$es while doing so.


CrusaderPatriot
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

Thanks a lot. I just won this book on ebay! Now you’ve ruined the ending for me! ;>)


CrusaderPatriot
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

Thanks a lot. I just won this book on ebay! Now you’ve ruined the ending for me! ;>)


CognitoErgoSum
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

“How many people can run an auto company or software company or airline company or financial institute? Not very many. It won’t be very long until these companies go belly up leaving you without cars, computers, transportation, money or a job.”

Uhhh,.. Isn’t that what’s already happening?


CognitoErgoSum
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

“How many people can run an auto company or software company or airline company or financial institute? Not very many. It won’t be very long until these companies go belly up leaving you without cars, computers, transportation, money or a job.”

Uhhh,.. Isn’t that what’s already happening?


1984
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

Again its a balance thing…which has gone way wrong. There is no need to help those who are already well off..They do it on their own. Ship jobs abroad to save tons of money so that profits can be maximized for instance. If people suffer and there is a wealthy elite who just keeps on getting richer things might turn really ugly.


1984
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

Again its a balance thing…which has gone way wrong. There is no need to help those who are already well off..They do it on their own. Ship jobs abroad to save tons of money so that profits can be maximized for instance. If people suffer and there is a wealthy elite who just keeps on getting richer things might turn really ugly.


1984
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

Cramer is NOT one of the good guys:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/05/jon-stewart-eviscerates-c_n_172057.html
And Obama has literally almost nothing to do with the current crises which had been going on for a long time before he took office. The trade deficit, the huge national debt etc..already was there.
The economy took a huge dive the last three months of 2008. It may take years to turn this thing around. I hope he will work for a surplus and end the wars quicker. Not exactly hopeful though..


1984
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

Cramer is NOT one of the good guys:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/05/jon-stewart-eviscerates-c_n_172057.html
And Obama has literally almost nothing to do with the current crises which had been going on for a long time before he took office. The trade deficit, the huge national debt etc..already was there.
The economy took a huge dive the last three months of 2008. It may take years to turn this thing around. I hope he will work for a surplus and end the wars quicker. Not exactly hopeful though..


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

Or maybe he knows that people with an internship for his office on their resume will likely spend the next year with nothing better to do than read 1000 pages of mindless McCarthyist drivel when they are not standing in line to collect their (socialist) unemployment checks.


The Creator
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

A stimulus is inherently temporary. What the F is wrong with you people?


wheeler
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

The West is having a crisis of confidence. Its intellectuals are playing a game: they pretend that man does not have free-will; they act on the premise that they themselves do but hypothesise that the rest of us do not. This suits the political class – and anyone else who does not wish to be accountable in life – but it is death to those who persist in using their own judgement to run a business. These people are the life-blood of an economy and if they with-hold their creative, heroic, risk taking effort, we will be back in the Dark Ages when the men of the mind were anonymous and human life had little worth.


May Pelletier
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

The GOP crying about the end of the world? 'Fraid not! The end of times has been the mantra of the self appointed deity. His 'sky is falling, chicken little hubris' doomsday plea to spend our money to keep the sky up there is not the GOP. It is little Adriannes who feel the tingle up their leg who keep the fable going.


Michigan Review Blogs » Obama’s Economy
Pingback posted March 5, 2009 @ 3:24 pm

[...] against Obama, it seems. I’ve heard more and more people making comparison to the setting of Atlas Shrugged to today’s [...]


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

Does this rant make sense to anyone else? Wheeler, could you clarify what you are talking about instead of speaking in vague alarmist platitudes? Who are the “intellectuals” in your scenario? How exactly are they “playing a game,” and if it is a game, how does it have any effect whatsoever on the real world? Whom do you include under the rubric of “the political class”? And who are these heroes that you laud so effusively? Do you have any concrete examples, or are you merely pretending to be one of the “men of the mind” that you mention without actually having put any thought into it? How do “men of the mind” differ from “intellectuals,” or are they the same? And do you have evidence for asserting that human life has more worth in our current age than it did in the “Dark Ages” (by which I am assuming that you mean the historical period in Western Europe between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance: a questionable term at best)? Kudos for the tone that reads like a strange mixture of Buckley and Nostradamus, though.


diogenes
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

2 rhetorical questions. 1) what was marginal tax rate when Rand wrote AS? 2) wouldn't it have been nice if the Atlas's of GM and Citibak had gone on strike ten years ago?


zardoz
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

Stealing money from people to pay other people for work that you think is useful so they can spend money is a zero sum game. Cut out the middle man, let the original person spend their own money. If they buy food, food industry expands and creates a job based on REAL demand for goods.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

I see. And is it also my option to control the value of my currency, which is dependent on wall street? Is it my option to control whether there are enough jobs to provide me with gainful employment so that I can make money in the first place? You speak as though the success or failure of Wall Street only affects those who have invested in it directly. In fact, everything in the economy is connected to everything else; everything in the world, for that matter, is connected to everything else, so that no one *ever* has or *ever* will have complete freedom to choose. What I do affects you, and what you do affects me…my ability to exercise free will is always limited by the exercising of free will by people around me. That is what naive fools who place the golden idol of the “free market” (as if any such thing could ever exist) on an altar to worship will never understand. You do not become rich on your own: it is always on the backs of the others living in the society with you that you climb to a higher economic level. Those people therefore have a right to reclaim some of the riches you have thus gained, and that is what they do, in the guise of the “government” which is designed (however much it succeeds) to represent their interests. Would you deprive those who helped you get rich of a share in the spoils? If so, you are greedy and and thus a slave to your passion, not “free” in any real sense. And if enough of you have your way, the economic gap will grow so vast that another revolution will become inevitable, and all of the wealthy will face the guillotine as punishment, not just a few percentage points of higher taxes.

By the way, the government does not remove my money “forcibly” nor “without my consent.” I consent to their removal of it every time I enjoy the benefit of the many services they provide, and every time I vote for a politician who will continue to support this system. So, too, do most Americans, who go to public schools, eat food inspected by the USDA, collect Social Security, travel on the Interstate System, etc. So it seems to me the the majority of “the rest of us” (e.g. all of those who voted for Obama despite the GOP screaming “socialist”) actually agree with me.


zardoz
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

I think the point of the policeman is taxes are used to fund projects which gives stuff to other people. What happens if you don’t want to pay the tax imposed on you because you’d rather pay into a college fund for your children instead of contributing to a public school to educate other people’s children? If you insist on not paying taxes, a policeman will come and drag you into court, you will be forced to pay or go to jail and your money will be given to someone else.

If you choose to voluntarily support schools through your church donations or through a donation to your alma mater, there is no policeman involved, he’s doing his job, you feel good and someone gets an education.


TRU2TM3
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

Also keep in mind that leading into the first years of Reagan, the average executive made an average of 30-35 times that of the front line employee. Two years ago that had ballooned to 300-350 times that of the front line employee. Rand finished Atlas Shrugged in 1955 and published in 1957. I think she would agree times are a little different.


TRU2TM3
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

Sigh, my parents learned the same thing long before Obama was elected. Sigh, I have been paying for my own college as the rates have skyrocketed long before Obama and while my dollar has crashed long before Obama. But lucky me, I had half the mind to take money out of the market last Spring when it became apparent all other individual investors had left and the only players left were the ones who would purposely sour the deteriorated market every time Obama made a peep.


Yuda Bomb
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

You know damn well what he's talking about, numnuts. This is the typical lib methodology for destroying argument, and it's not working. People see through this crap. If you want answers to your idiot questions, they're out there, but you are going to have to learn to be honest about reality. Read one book – “Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand” and you'd understand. Oh, sorry, I forgot. You're a lib. You can't understand.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

And this is the typical Neocon methodology for cutting short productive discourse: insulting and name-calling those who question you or disagree with you, while referring all the while to vagaries that are so impossible to pin down that they will work for anything, e.g. calling anything by which you are frightened “socialism.” I asked a series of questions for the sake of clarification, and you respond with anger, revealing nothing except your own short fuse. In case you were not aware, dialogue requires questions, not just reiterations of meaningless platitudes with the assumption that everyone agrees with you, and the assertion that if they don't, they must be ignorant, stupid, disingenuous or some combination of all three. Also, if you really want people to read the books you recommend or cite, it is customary to provide at the very least an author, more generally a date and place/house of publication as well.

By the way, if your response to a request for further clarification is “the answers are out there” (translation: I am either too lazy or simply incapable of supporting my viewpoint with clear thinking to respond to your request myself, but I would like to place the blame for the failure to understand on you), you are frankly admitting that none of the ideas which you support are actually your own, or were in any way produced through your own research, but simply that you have accepted someone else's opinion as fact for reasons which you are unwilling to divulge, yet expect everyone else to follow you.


john p. shaw
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:12 pm

I have neither. Would enjoy communicating more with you, but your website doesn't have an easily discovered e-mail address. Will check my wife's Facebook when she returns in a couple of hours. Very nice picture of the overlook and the soaring bird.


Off A Cough
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

Sorry, Spanky. It's your party playing chicken little with global warming alarmists and nut cases.

The rest of us – including those like myself who don't claim the GOP – are watching Obama destroy an already beaten economy. I can't tell if he wants to destroy Wall Street or if he's just incompetent, but no speech is going to save us now.

Sorry for embarrassing you by exposing your hypocrisy, but what are you gonna do? Who is John Galt?


Off A Cough
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

WTH are you talking about with regards to discourse? All I'm hearing from the Obama administration is that everyone who disagrees with them is some disciple of Rush Limbaugh.

Seriously, I'm impressed that you were able to able to put together a complete thought without screeching “Rush Limbaugh!” through your keyboard – this puts you well above the intellectual limits of some of your peers out there on the left.

I welcome the discussion; and I challenge you to imagine socialism working *anywhere* in the world where a strong US market isn't available to stabilize the global market. This is really, really, really bad – that's what Obama keeps saying, too, remember?


Off A Cough
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

Would that be Bush's Alan Greenspan or Clinton's Alan Greenspan?

The left were fans of him for eight years of Clinton, and claimed Clinton was the savior of the economy. Now, everything that has happened since 1980 was just a dream.

Sorry, everyone, go put away the wealth, computers, cars, homes, and TVs that you've gained over the last 3 years – the Obamabots do not approve. Remember – the *new* definition of poverty is inner-city black families that can't afford broadband.


swift boater
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:46 pm

poor deluded kool aid drinker. Take off the Obama socialist glasses. The Dow has been fluctuatins since 20007. Since 2000. Since 1990. But since Election Day it has been in free fall, esp after Obama has shown his true colors.

As has been proven over and over the major fat cats from Wall St, starting from Soros down, are Dems. They know they got guys like Dodd, Frank and Leach in their pocket.

Keep lying with the numbers guys, eventually the truth comes out. But whether or not it does in time to fix Obamas mess is the question.

O, and the real fall in the stock market came when the Dems took over Congress if you want to say 2007. Gee, no coincidence there. Morons, the evidence is staring you in the face and you still can't see it..


Matt_in_Chicago
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

Interesting that throughout your little tail you failed to mention the government aspects central to Atlas Shrugged. You must be right “it’s the shortsighted instant gratification of the 'Atlas’s'” and not the policies and short-sighted regulations that had anything to do with this… those dumb Atlas's… who they think they are? they male up 5% of the population and only pay 60% of the taxes!! Outrageous!

jgt1960, you better hope you're wrong… because if more of us decide to take a rest… you're going to have to get a real job and make some money… Other people will expect you to start taking care of them.


swift boater
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:57 pm

you really are an idiot. Reading your comments makes me wonder how you have survived, typical Lib.

Saying drug and insurance companies should not be allowed on the stock market is so unbelievably ignorant in its breadth and scope borders on incoherence. I suggest you get an encyclopedia and learn what a publicly owned company is most useful for (hint- has something to do with large amounts of capital).

A public corp's main goal is to make money for its share holders. And what, praytell, is a privately held companies main objective? To lose money?

Good Lord, American is doomed with voters like this.


Ron
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

please also remember (something commonly and often deliberately forgotten) is that there were tax loop holes you could drive a bus through, 4:1 tax shelters were common, you could deduct darn near anything. Reagan got rid of the abusive loopholes in exchange for the reduction in tax rate. So comparing “only” tax rates is comparing apples and rocks


egoist
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:01 pm

All I see are the James Tagarts and a like in this world. We're getting all of the bad and none of the good of AS.


Matt_in_Chicago
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:03 pm

So you hate Rush Limbaugh, a conservative who I will assume you think is homophobic… which of course in your mind is a disease that should be treated with publicly subsidized counseling and of course medical grade marijuana… So to mock him, you denigrate your LGBT friends?

Now that doesn't seem to PC of you! Don't worry, buy a couple of carbon offset credits and go read to a cute 'impoverished' child and no one will remember that you think gay jokes are great when you're having a hissy fit.


benjamin
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

calling people mccarthyists is the new myccarthyism.


SIV
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:23 pm

David sure miss you over at H&R.Commenter joe bailed too so the quality of Dem shills is waaaay down.Good luck with the new gig!


rrr
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

Wait a second, didn't you just cry your eyes out at people who call names? Yet all you can do is scream “McCarthyism.” And given the number of comments you manage to make, it makes me wonder who's actually unemployed. Get out of mommy's basement!


rrr
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:26 pm

Of course Cramer isn't. He just criticized your messiah. Please don't burn him at the stake.


Seerak
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

“Shortsighted”, yet still capable of inventing “miracle metal”.

I find it interesting that you should use that turn of phrase, seeing as it's the name the looters gave to Rearden Metal after they stole it.


Seerak
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:33 pm

She would say that the principles are the same.


Seerak
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

Bullshit.

(That's all this sort of thing warrants.)


Lily
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

Oh, yes. I'm sure Rand would now believe that government should come in and confiscate the wealth and nationalize the companies. No question /sarcasm.


Seerak
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

Greenspan was never more than a dilettante. If you really prefer facts to mere convenient shibboleths, just google “Greenspan Binswanger” and click the capmag.com link


Seerak
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

He shoots, he scores!


Seerak
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

Er, no, it went from about 8-9000 under Bush's inauguration in 2001…. to about 8000 by the time it was clear that Obama was coming.

At worst, that's 1000 off in 8 years. compare that to twice that loss in two months. That's a decline at about 48x the rate.

So you can keep playing that sort of stupid game, or try something else.


Seerak
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

I'm not trying to exonerate Bush here in this or any other comment, note. But you are aware that the stock-market is by nature a forward-looking discounting mechanism, right?


Seerak
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:49 pm

You need to look into the history of “manumission”.

Aw hell, you just need to look into history. Period.


Lily
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:49 pm

Fnma may hold 14%, but they provided guarantees for a lot more.


Seerak
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:50 pm

The “well off” aren't asking for help. They are asking to be left alone.

Freedom is not something that needs to be “balanced”.. and envy is something that needs to be condemned, not made the unquestionaed basis of policy.


Lily
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

Thomas Jefferson was also a great critic of public debt.


soren
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:53 pm

“Well, the lab results are in, and Jefferson's prediction turned out false”

A guy balks at predictions that he'll go “splat” if he jumps off the Empire State building, and takes a leap.

About the 30th floor he's laughing “See? Nothing! So far so good!”


sss
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 7:56 pm

Yeah, I'm sure that was what he was referring to. Not the fact that he screamed “Bear Stearns is fine!” and “Bear Stearns is not in trouble!” days before they tanked.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

I am not a socialist, though, so I do not need to prove that it works. I happen to believe in a balanced economy, with enough regulation to prevent the rich and powerful from strip mining it, but enough diversity to stimulate development. But of course our society has become so polarized into right and left that idealizing balance makes me an outcast from both sides. I personally would extend Churchill's quip on Democracy to the capitalist economic system with which it is often associated: Capitalism is the worst sort of economic policy except for every other sort that has been tried. That is to say, capitalism is not itself a good thing, it just happens to be the least of many evils. As long as human nature is corrupt (which it always will be, as far as history provides any evidence for the future), there are those who will take advantage of a totally free economy, just as there are those who will take advantage of a totally socialist system. Capitalism is the lesser of the two evils, but it *must* be regulated, and in some cases, action must be taken to redistribute wealth, or those with money (and therefore power) will simply use it to strip more money and power away from those with less. Excessive regulation may lead to socialism, but insufficient regulation leads to serfdom, tyranny and the like. Where there is room for disagreement is about where that golden mean between these two extremes lies, but I hardly think that the push by the Democrats to increase regulation and redistribution (thereby admittedly moving us more in the direction of socialism) need be decried so vehemently, given that the measurements of the economic disparity between the classes in this country over the last eight years show a very strong lurch towards serfdom. When the balance shifts dangerously in one direction, you must add a great deal of weight to the other side to right it.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:17 pm

“…those dumb Atlas's… who they think they are? they male up 5% of the population and only pay 60% of the taxes!! Outrageous!”

And they only receive fifty times the benefit of living in a free society! How terribly shat upon they are, when they aren't compensated enough to buy wastebaskets that cost more than a month's pay for an ordinary person!

Isn't the irony game fun?

Seriously Matt, why *don't* you “take a rest”? I doubt you would know what to do with yourself without your posh salary. Why don't you try some real work before you go telling other people how easy they have it? Go get a job waiting tables for your rich friends. I'm sure you will find it is a real “rest” from the hard life you have.

By the way, a “tail” is an appendage that grows from an animal's behind. A “tale” is a story.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

Yes, because “McCarthyism” directed at someone who sees socialists lurking behind every corner is definitely on par with calling someone “numnuts” for trying to start a debate. As for making many comments, I happen to be a banker…that is why I have so much free time on my hands (that last part was a joke, since you seem to need these things delineated for you).


Jones
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

It's quite McCarthyist to claim that claiming McCarthyism is the new McCarthyism

I saw a comment on a blog today that said 'never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence'. That's Obama in a nutshell: he's in over his head, and it shows.


Sofa King
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

You plainly have not read the book, in which many of the villains were in fact wealthy CEO's and board members, specifically described as being more interested in liquidating enterprises that, run wisely, would be profitable far in excess of their capital value. The “Atlases” were not “the wealthy and powerful,” they were the men (and women) who *produced*.

It actually sounds like you and Rand agree on more than you would think.


Bill Dalasio
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:43 pm

“And they only receive fifty times the benefit of living in a free society!”

So, you're basic stance is that they should count themselves fortunate that you don't enslave them. I've often criticized Atlas Shrugged for being a bit cartoonish in its depiction of its villains. You're a good reminder that Rand wasn't necessarily all that cartoonish


Bill Dalasio
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

Two firms purchasing 14% of the outstanding positions of an entire class of securities will inevitably create a bubble in those securities.


Bill Dalasio
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

And what is the alternative that you suggest: that they devote their lives in service of you?


Bill Dalasio
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 9:55 pm

Ummm…you are aware, I hope, that securities dealers are extremely dependent on short-term debt and, therefore, public confidence, to maintain their capital strucrure.


Tom casey
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

Actually, I think Plato's “Republic” is more to the point. But I read “Atlas” many years ago; just ordered another copy from Amazon to renew my acquaintance with the book, though.

Probably a good time to read Tom Paine again, too.


Tony
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

I've read Atlas Shrugged, and enjoyed the book. Written decades ago, it was appropriate in response to the threat of communism and a defense of capitalism's profit motive. But what we're facing today is an entirely different situation that the theme of Atlas Shrugged has little relation too. It's just another case of Republicans warping reality to fit a small minded ideology.

If a parallel were to be made to this book, it would be that the elite of this country, backed by the GOP and the Bush Administration, are more akin to the Rand's looters, finding loopholes and exploiting the political system through lobbying for their own gain, while those that work hard and play by the rules fall behind. It's Obama that's attempting to break this cycle of government enabling the corporations.


Tony
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

BTW, 2/3 of corporations pay NOTHING in taxes through the use of off-shore accounts and tax loopholes? Obama wants to close these up, to at least make it a level playing field, which regardless of what one feels the tax rate should be, we should all regard as commendable. A little off the subject since you were talking about personal income taxes, but interesting.


Tony
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

Steve Jobs and Buffett are two of the few great capitalists. Most of the others deserve to have their companies collapse.


Tony
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:41 pm

May: You may not agree with Obama's policies, but only a fool would believe that this crisis is purely a product of Obama's rhetoric.

The economy was tanking well before Obama was elected, and it's doing so because the current course was completely unsustainable. Today 10% of the population own 80% of the wealth, while the bottom half own less than 1%. In order to survive the poor and middle class has been living off credit, made easily available through the excessively low rates of the Fed and deregulation (which let banks leverage debt at ratios of over 30-to-1). Now that credit is tightening, the house of cards is tumbling.

I guess it's a lot easier to blame a president whose only been in office a month than to accept that our system is fundamentally broken.


Tony
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

Bravo.


Tony
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:45 pm

And then Bush senior, a republican, had to break his campaign promise and raise it, because Regan's irresponsible economic policy dangerously sent us into deficit spending! Bush senior = one of the rare, pragmatic Republicans.


Tony
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

Even Greenspan, a member of Rand's inner circle, is now acknowledging that nationalization of the banks may be necessary. The alternative is to let the economy utterly collapse… two very painful choices indeed.


Tony
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

I hope the rich don't turn this into a self-fulfilling prophesy.


David
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:11 pm

I will give the current president as much slack for inheriting a crummy economy as the last president was given when he inherited a crumbling one.

Lest we forget, the dot com bubble popped just a few weeks after Bush was sworn in the first time. A few months later (September if I recall) there was another “minor” emergency. It had some impact on the economy too.

I guess it's easier to think the stock market is like the wind and just blows in a random direction than a consistent indicator that people believe we are being led in the wrong direction.


erik
Comment posted March 5, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

errr, there are no 'paralells' to be drawn here. Atlas Shrugged is about the US devolving to socialism. And thats whats happening today, according to the cover of newsweek. The looter in this case is the man claiming 2 trillion dollars of our grandchildrens money to pay off all special interest constiuents.


Atlas Shrugged | Quid Sit?
Pingback posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:52 am

[...] Interesting. Rep. John Campbell of California: “People are starting to feel like we’re living through the scenario that happened in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’” said Campbell. “The achievers, the people who create all the things that benefit rest of us, are going on strike. I’m seeing, at a small level, a kind of protest from the people who create jobs, the people who create wealth, who are pulling back from their ambitions because they see how they’ll be punished for them.” [...]


Fen
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 1:43 am

“You may not agree with Obama's policies, but only a fool would believe that this crisis is purely a product of Obama's rhetoric.”

Lets ignore for a moment that your argument is so weak you must appeal to conformity [ie "only fools believe x"]…

The fact is that the market is reacting to what investors view as poor leadership and poor judgement from Obama and his administration.


Fen
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 1:57 am

“And this is the typical Neocon methodology for cutting short productive discourse: insulting and name-calling those who question you or disagree with you”

[snicker] How ever did you manage to say that without choking on the “Neocon” slur?


Steve
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 7:08 am

Yes poor little Obama.


Jiggs
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 4:03 am

If Obama was serious in saving capitalism he wouldn't be trying to force his big government “social equality” solutions on us in a stealth way. Many small business owners are going John Galt and I'm one of them. The American dream will be dead if the entitlement expansion becomes reality. Just look at Europe and Canada and be very afraid. High taxes and rising unemployment. You think 7.6% unemployment is bad, just look at the pre-recession numbers in Europe. Wake up America!


Roger Godby
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 4:27 am

Buffett has been successful indeed, but he's also allegedly (because I'm too lazy to provide the link to an old (Motley Fool?) piece) backed the “death tax” and benefited from it by stepping in to buy up privately held often family-owned businesses that suddenly got hit with taxes they couldn't pay without destroying the firm in question. In steps Buffett, engulfs firm. A great capitalist would oppose the death tax.


section9
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 5:31 am

Of course we're living in Atlas Shrugged. Hasn't anyone looked at the mine canary, California? The men of the mind are fleeing to Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and other points where they aren't being taxed and regulated by the Looters. But it won't help them.

The Looters have taken over the U.S. Government, and have begun the process of looting the seed corn to slake their own ambition. Wall Street isn't fooled, which is why there is a huge selloff. Jim Taggart and Ellsworth Toohey have offices in the West Wing.

Last one to Galt's Gulch pays the “Patriot Tax”!


dnfree
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 6:19 am

If the creative elite of this country can be identified by their wealth, then they're the ones who apparently destroyed our financial system and took the rest of us down with them. What would Ayn Rand have to say about that?

Her novel idealized some achievers and created a false dichotomy between them and everybody else. There wasn't a lot of nuance in her work.


Jim
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 6:31 am

Ayn Rand was once asked whether Atlas Shrugged was historical or predictive. Her answer? BOTH.


Michael Reed
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 7:03 am

Capitalism has been the greatest wealth creator in human history, bar none, so why all this animosity toward it? Why this fierce dislike of personal property? Why is it okay to steal the wealth of those that created it in order to “redistribute” it to those that did not create it? And why is it that neither righties nor lefties can discuss these matters without name-calling?


sukmyrush
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:11 am

ok rich people all you supposed wealth makers to that i say go dutch rudder yourself. you keep your Collateralized Debt Obligations, and we'll keep the food. You take away your energy futures trading, and we'll keep the actual power plants. You run off to your own private island with your structured corporate insurance derivatives, and we'll keep the automobiles, and the boats, and the oil, and the coal, and the grain, and the batteries, and the electronics, and the cows, and the roads and bridges, and the drinking cups, and the indoor plumbing, and the light bulbs, and the televisions, and the art, and the music, and the trees that grow the fruit, and the lumber, and the recycling centers, and the actual pills to cure what ails you, and the fishing lines, and the books, and the buildings, and the railroads, and the little metal clips that hold the little hydraulic lines that keep that gigantic, thundering airplane you're on in the air. We'll keep the borax, iron, salt, aluminum, and steel. We'll keep the corn, the soybeans, the lettuce, and the water. We'll spot you as many U-haul boxes as you need to pack up your money and your stock certificates, and then please, by all means — teach us a lesson.

Go live your Randian fantasies, go create that wonderful utopia in which only the most wealthy are permitted entry, and you are not burdened with the outrageous insult of having to contribute back a proportionate share of your income in order to help maintain the very fabric of the nation around you. I can see now that the thought that you might have to pay the same share of your income in taxes that your housekeeper does has drained your already pale blanched, and the thought of having to pay as much in taxes as your wretched mothers and fathers did, a few decades before you, is nothing less than an armed assault on your beachheads.

What fool would suggest we possibly return to the same tax polices that existed under that shameless wealth-stealer and Stalinist, Ronald Reagan? And what insane person would dare seek to treat achievers identically to the lower classes, the people with grubby hands and only one house?


Carol
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:21 am

Which was the chapter in Atlas Shrugged where the CEOs were richly rewarded for losing billions for their companies and running to the government with their hands out? I don't remember seeing that one.


frank
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:25 am

This is the only comment I've read so far that makes sense.


frank
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:28 am

Please, Matt. Don't take a rest. Where would we be without you?


RVI
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:36 am

To sukmyrush: Toys in the attic getting a little lonely?

All of the material items, to which you so eruditely refer, were created by businesses started by the “rich people”.

Oh, by the way, ACTUAL FACTS show the US enjoyed a powerful recovery during Reagan's presidency – from Jimmy Carter's obamaesque economic disaster. But I do realize “fact” is a four letter word to libs who prefer image to substance.


mkase64
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:43 am

The one problem that I have with all of these supposed parallels (and it is a HUGE problem) and where all of this seems to fall apart is this; Hasn't our present predicament been brought about by the so called “Achievers” and their Collateralized Debt Obligations? Now that they have wrought this destruction on the American (and the worlds) economy, the rest of us are just supposed to shut up and make do? I find it very interesting that this seems to be completely overlooked by the moneyed classes in this country. It seems as if very few of the offended denizens of Wall Street are willing to acknowledge this fact and very little of the commentary from our leaders on Capitol Hill broach the subject either. I can't decide if they are unwilling or just plain don't understand what has transpired.


Bill diebner
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:43 am

Carol: It is there early in the book. Read it please.


Dave in SoCal
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:48 am

sukmyrush, you seem to have the misguided idea that it's only the CEOs and mega-wealthy “flying away in their expensive jets” who are contemplating going Galt. Remember, under President Hopenchange's regime, you are “rich” if your family makes over $250,000. That group includes a hell of a lot of middle and upper middle class families, small businesses and professionals providing vital services. If you live in a high tax state like California, $250K makes you a middle class family, no “upper” to it.

So what are you gonna do for food when the companies that process, transport and sell food close down. What are you going to do when the companies that process borax, iron, salt, aluminum, and steel into finished products shut down? What are you gonna do for medical care when 75% of the doctors decide to cut back on their practices or stop altogether? Haven't fully thought this through, have you genius?

Oh, and your “having to contribute back a proportionate share of your income in order to help maintain the very fabric of the nation around you” statement is 100% crap. “Rich” people in the top 2% already contribute a higher percentage of taxes than the other 98%. Almost 40% of Americans (going up to 50% under Obama) currently pay absolutely NO NONE ZILCH ZIP NADA Federal income taxes. Why aren't they paying their fair share? Hell, they're not even paying a token amount. According to VP Biden, that makes them not very Patriotic.

So take your class warfare, “Punish the CEOs” crap arguments and shove them. Idiot.


elrod
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:49 am

Fen,
And how do you know what the “fact is” the market is reacting to ? It seems that the fundamentals of the economy are atrocious right now, global in scale, and growing in severity. Only on the bank policy – vague as it was – did Wall Street directly react to Obama.


elrod
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:50 am

Apparently a “great capitalist” is not the same thing as a foolish libertarian ideologue.


elrod
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:52 am

Here's a big problem. In what way are the banksters who fed the securitized asset bubble really the “achievers”? More like fraudsters.

Of course, Atlas Shrugged is an adolescent fairy tale and has no bearing on reality.


elrod
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:56 am

What percentage of Americans – even Californians – earn $250,000 per year? And let's remember that we're talking about raising the MARGINAL tax rate beyond $250,000. If you make $300,000, only the last $50,000 falls under the 39.6 percent rate (a whopping 4 percent increase over the current rate). Such an earner would see taxes go up $2,300 per year. That's not exactly “confiscatory”.


Carol
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:04 am

Yes, they are achievers. They've created something great, accounting practices that make losses look like gains so we invest in their companies and lose all our savings.


Carol
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:07 am

I did, Bill, but years ago. In the book, do they just keep getting propped up forever as it seems we are doing with our banks?


Carol
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:12 am

I think it's because currently we've seen so much abuse and fraud going on, and for me, I see my friends who have worked so so hard for their companies, I mean literally put in all their hearts and souls for their jobs and get no pay increase, or their jobs are outsourced and it really is enough to make one lose heart. I think a lot of people helped people on top to create their wealth, but haven't seen much of it themselves. I always have to laugh at this, a few years ago, my husband hadn't had a raise or a bonus in a really long time and his boss sent out Christmas cards that had a picture of his kids at their yacht club. I was so appalled and I do think they realized later on that maybe they shouldn't have done that. So I do think there is a lot of disenchantment going on, it feels now like we've been the ones who have been stolen from for a long, long time.


Dave in SoCal
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:19 am

According to gov't figures, 2% of Americans are in the $250K and above category. In CA (especially in the high-cost of living coastal communities), it's obviously a lot higher.

What about proposals by the White House to remove the cap on FICA taxes? And to reduce or eliminate existing deductions for $250K families on top of the higher tax rates? Are we getting “confiscatory” now?

And if everyone is being asked to “sacrifice”, to “pay a little more” in the interest of “fairness”, then why are the numbers of Americans who PAY NO TAXES going to INCREASE under Obama? Takes that whole “fairness” argument and shoots it in the head, doesn't it?


Jo
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:20 am

That sounds like it came from Lush Limbaugh's slime machine.

The Estate tax only touches those who have over 3.5 million dollars.

Those who will be hit with the estate tax usually take out life insurance to cover the tax or invest to cover it.


Dave in SoCal
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:30 am

So how many of that top 2% of income earners do you think are comprised of “banksters who fed the securitized asset bubble”? And how many are merely middle and upper middle class families, small businesses and professionals?


Jo
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:33 am

Ayn Randians are talking thru their tails, because their heads know better.


Aldorossi
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:42 am

Dear Congressman Cambell:

I am business owner and employer in Los Angeles. Please refer all work being turned down by the “achievers” that you know to this achiever. I will be happy to take on any business they turn down.

Thank you.

Don in Los Angeles


Disgusted by greed
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 10:25 am

Dave

Guess what, genius, 98% of us have been sacraficing for years. In fact for many of us it isn't an option. Those of us who work hard, play by the rules, and save what we can have been taken for a ride by the so called “achievers”. Let us not forget that this supposed Cream of America (the 2%) have mostly their parents and grandparents to thank for their wealth – they were born into Achiever-status. Sure a few of them work hard, but most don't even know how to clean a toilet. Those born into priveledge (did daddy & mum pay for college, buy your first car, help you buy your first house, or perhaps bought it for you, and will leave you their wealth when they die?) arrogantly believe they somehow did something to deserve what they got, and have the paranoid delusion that we all want what they got. It is laughable and pathetic. Oh how I will miss “benefit” these blowhards bring to our society when they stop being so “productive”.


Carol
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 10:33 am

Also, if this is how the book begins, then was our own Atlas Shrugged era started way back when, before the current administration?


Disgusted by greed
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 10:36 am

Many of the upper 2% foolishly and wrongly believe that they are not wealthy but simply “upper middle class”. It is a sign of greed – you never are satisfied with having more than you need and think that you need more and more. It shows that you are fragile and sheltered if you think that your top 2% actually puts you in the middle class of our society (even if you add the word upper). All the whining you hear is from spoiled, fraglie people. Ha!
Let the whiners whine, I say. I'll get out my violin and we'll all have a good cry for their corrupt hearts.


PoliTrix » Blog Archive » If Only We Could Be So Lucky
Pingback posted March 6, 2009 @ 10:42 am

[...] Yglesias, may I present Representative John Campbell, who lets us all know that our betters are outraged, outraged I tell you at the economic policies of the president: Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives his departing interns copies of Ayn Rand’s novel [...]


Disgusted by greed
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 10:46 am

What on earth is YOUR definition of rich?

You are rather clueless about where your food and other resources come from. Believe it or not, CEOs are utterly replacable. A CEO with no employees to do the actual work is nowhere. They need us more than we need them. That being said, I can peacefully coexist as long as they don't screw me out of my life savings with their “creative acheivement”.

Cry me a river. IDIOT.


Ron Paul on what the US could have been doing « Save Capitalism
Pingback posted March 6, 2009 @ 10:49 am

[...] The guy keeps a sharp lookout on pretty much everything (how does he get the time). Also found this and [...]


Disgusted by greed
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 10:58 am

Why do the wealthy feel that they have “created wealth”? Why is it ok to steal from hard working middle class americans in order to “redistribute” it to the wealthy? Is that creative or just a justification of greed? We had 8 years of that with GWB and it worked out great for everyone, right?
FYI, pure capitalism isn't practiced in this country. The fat cats have set up many “creative” structures that hedge the bets in their favor.

Oh what a tanged web we weave when first we practice to deceive.


Dave in SoCal
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:32 am

Your assumption that those 2% that Obama calls “rich” were all born with silver spoons in their mouth and had everything handed to them is ridiculous. Allow me to rain on your whiny little parade.

My wife and I both came from middle class families. No Rockefellers in our neighborhoods. We both earned our degrees on our own while working full time jobs (Mommy and Daddy didn't pay a dime for anything). We drove old cars until they literally fell apart. We scrimped and saved up the down payment to buy a house that was within our means. We paid our mortgage on time, every month. We worked long hours and took advantage of every opportunity for advancement that we could find. When we could afford it, we saved up some more and bought a slightly bigger house. We also raised two healthy and well-adjusted kids along the way. Now, over 2 decades later, we've reached a point where we make $300K combined. Apparently, we're now those evil rich people that I'm hearing so much about. Sure doesn't feel that way. We live in a modest home (yes, $450K in southern CA is moderate) with a mortgage we can afford. We drive 5 year old average cars (a Hyundai and a Jeep… no Lexus or BMWs here). We're paying off student loan debts. We pay a LOT of property taxes as well as state and federal income taxes (more than 98% of Americans). Are mommy and daddy taking care of us? No, actually, WE'RE helping them get by these days.

No sob story here. We've worked hard, sacrificed and made ourselves successful on our own. We couldn't care less whether you or anyone else want what we''ve achieved. We would, however, like to keep as much of what we've earned as possible. Since we did actually EARN it, rather than have it handed to us as you have deluded yourself into thinking.

How about you, Disgusted? How have you been sacrificing? Do you own a house? How much did you put down on it? Made every payment on time? Take out a second or third mortgage? Have a big screen TV or expensive game systems? Did you pay cash or charge them? Got a boat, ATV or other expensive “toys”? We don't. How about a car? What are YOU driving these days?

I'm sure you won't miss us if we pull a Galt. But you will miss our tax money. And our companies will miss our productivity. And the joke on all of you whining that the rich need to pay more is that even if that top 2% paid at a 100% rate, that still wouldn't be enough to cover the increased spending that President “I Won” is planning. Never mind the huge new deficit. Some day, sooner rather than later, Obama is coming for all of you as well. All but the very poor are going to eventually see their tax bill skyrocket. And just wait until the prices of EVERYTHING go up after Obama's carbon cap and trade scam kicks in. Sure, companies will dutifully pay the higher fees… and promptly pass the cost onto the public by raising their prices. Same with higher energy prices and Obama's higher taxes on those “evil” oil companies. Say goodbye to $2 a gallon gas. In a few years we'll be fondly recalling when it was only $4 a gallon.

But meanwhile, by all means continue to shake your fists at the “Banksters” and evil rich people. Pay no attention to the inexperienced man in the White House who is bankrupting your children's and grandchildren's future.


Dave in SoCal
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:45 am

How about the people who work hard, save up, make prudent choices and advance themselves to a point where they are making enough to be considered “wealthy”? You know, the people who EARNED that wealth. Sounds like they created it to me. And this is considered greed?

And please tell us how the people I just described above are in any way “stealing” from hard working middle class Americans. They're already paying a higher percentage of their income in taxes. Not just a higher dollar amount, but a higher percentage as well. You've got it 180 degrees backwards. President Hopenchange (and apparently many here) want to “redistribute” wealth from the “rich” to the middle class and poor.

Sounds like you're just trying to justify your envy.


Dave in SoCal
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

“A CEO with no employees to do the actual work is nowhere. They need us more than we need them.”

This statement is industrial-grade stupid. A company is more than just an “evil” CEO. When was the last time you saw a CEO or business owner standing outside an empty factory trying in vain to get someone to come to work for him?

So using your logic, when a company closes what is stopping the employees from simply continuing on without a CEO or owner?


Daddy Long Legs « his vorpal sword
Pingback posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

[...] David Weigel / The Washington Independent: Congressman: We’re Living in ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Michelle Malkin: Where in the world: Going Galt and Wreck-overy.gov logo-mania TBogg: You’re going [...]


Iratolla
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

Dave,
Why is it that everyone who wants to throw names at the newly elected president refuses to look at the aburdity of past administrations? We don't have to look too far back. Is it just a refusal to be critical about policies created on both sides of the aisle? We need to start talking about the fundamental problems in our country and our government and stop squabbling with one another about how much better or worse we are than someone else. Do think everyone can rise from nothing as you claim? Do you think there are enough jobs like yours and your wifes in this country for everyone to have if you answered yes? There will always be class differences in our society and those at the to will always contribute more. This does not make them superior in any way to the rest of us.


Disgusted by greed
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 1:17 pm

Your response is industrial-grade stupid. My point was that companies are more than an “evil” (BTW who are you quoting?) CEO. The CEOs aren't actually creating what they are selling, merely managing it and they are utterly replacable. Remember, we are talking about corporations when we are talking about CEOs. Unless these people actually do a good job, they should be on their merry way, just like every other emploee, sans golden parachute.

You keep trying to tie in “small business owners” with CEOs and that is just silly. We all know the current administrations tax policies aren't going to penalize them – don't be victim of FOX propaganda, it makes you look like an ass.


Disgusted by greed
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

Boo hoo Dave Boo hoo.

Now you'll have to pay the same tax rate as you would have 10 years ago. What a hardship that will be.

And, not that it matters to you, I am the owner of a modest home, my husband and I drive a honda and ford (average of 8 years old), we work hard every day to raise our 3 children. We were both raised by single mothers in the '70s – rich or middle class we were not. We paid for college, saved and bought our house (only one mortgage) within our means, and try to sock away money for the future. Combined make less than 100,000 a year, as I work part time so I can be at home with the kids as much as possible. We are quite healthy and have medical insurance, but still fear medical costs as they are a huge wildcard in our budget. I am hoping the current administration will bring some sanity to health care costs. Everything we have we have earned too. We also, donate our time and when we can, money, to charitable organizations in our area.
Were you asleep for the last 8 years? Dear President “I earned political capital and I intend to spend it” spent alot more than all his politial capital. His fine leadership has lead us into the biggest economic mess in decades (yes it's worse than even what the dreaded Jimmy Carter did). Ask yourself this “did my cost of living go down, or up during the Bush Administration?” Or this “did my 401K expand or contract during the Bush Administration?”
Focus your anger where it should be, dude. Why not try to be part of the solution instead of the problem?


AMERICAN NONSENSE » If Only We Could Be So Lucky
Pingback posted March 6, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

[...] Yglesias, may I present Representative John Campbell, who lets us all know that our betters are outraged, outraged I tell you at the economic policies of the president: Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives his departing interns copies of Ayn Rand’s novel [...]


Carol
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

Yes, we too work very hard. I put myself through graduate school, we live quite modestly, also in a very wealthy area. We drive our ancient cars, which are all paid off, and live well within our means. We have no boat, no ATV, no debt. I see all the fancy cars and homes all around me, but we don't have them.

I am self employed, and I work extremely hard. Every day is the same, there's a lot of work, days, nights, weekends, holidays. I put in a lot of effort to make sure my clients are happy and their businesses are running smoothly. I am soooo lucky. I love what I do and I'm able to be self employed because my husband gets health insurance through his company. Without that, I wouldn't have the opportunity that I have. I would have to take a job that offered those benefits. I also feel very fortunate that I am not in a job where I am asked to train an outsourced resource who is going to be my replacement.

That being said, I don't feel like I am better off or more secure than I was 8 years ago. We saved like we were advised, now our savings our gone. Way before President “I Won” was in office, it was gone, and I guess that's one of the reasons why he did win.

I hope Obama's plans work, just like I hoped George Bush's stimulus plan would, when they sent out those checks last year. I guess things weren't all that great back then and they felt that the economy needed help.


The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Will Atlas Shrug? An Compilation of Blogosphere Commentary about “Going Galt”
Pingback posted March 6, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

[...] Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.): “People are starting to feel like we’re living through the scenario that happened in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’” said Campbell. “The achievers, the people who create all the things that benefit the rest of us, are going on strike. I’m seeing, at a small level, a kind of protest from the people who create jobs, the people who create wealth, who are pulling back from their ambitions because they see how they’ll be punished for them.” [...]


Big Texan
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

For all you on here who don't understand what the strike of the achievers looks like, try this comment posted to the LA Times editorial section yesterday:

“I have employed about 50 people during the last 20 years, and my family's taxable income is about $300,000. In order to avoid paying a higher percentage of taxes on all of my income, I will decrease output, lay off some staff and still end up keeping the same amount.

I have no incentive to hire people or expand my business, because the more I make, the more President Obama will take to expand government. This discourages expansion of the private sector. It will backfire with disastrous consequences for all.

It is repulsive that Obama is being allowed to take this country backward by pickpocketing the very people who run the private sector through their energy, money and creativity.”

Anyone who has ever run their own small business can see the truth in that comment immediately.


Disgusted by greed
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

Wait a second, these people that you describe above don't pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes – people on the lower end do (watching Fox News again?).

Also, I think you have me wrong when you accuse me of saying these above desciribe people are stealing from the middle class. Dude, I am talking about people who worked hard, saved up and made prudent choices who have been screwed by the financial corporations reckless behavior. The CEOS of these companies have rewarded themselves repeatedly without justification. We watch our economy in freefaill and the honest folk who “work hard, save up, make prudent choices and advance themselves” are looking at retirement funds drastically reduced as well as all the other goodies an economy in crisis offers.
FYI – if between you and your wife your family only makes 300 K (from your preivous post), then you aren't part of this “wealthy” class. You aren't going to see your taxes change that much. Hate to break it to you – you are down here with us in the 98%. The Creative Acheivers won't let you in their utopia. You may as well learn how to get along with us losers.


“Who is John Galt?” | The Great Illuminator
Pingback posted March 6, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

[...] the subsequent Tax Day Tea Party and her Photoshop contest for RECOVERY.GOV logos (including ours). Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives his departing interns copies of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged,” told [...]


Carol
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

Why would they do that? I have a business and I have a salary from the business, they're separate. My family's taxable income from my business is a separate entity from my business. My business makes a profit only after all the bills and payroll is paid. I believe only the profit from my business over 250,000 would be taxable (not that I make that much, gee). I think if there's no profit, there's no higher taxes. I'm not sure I understand why someone would contract a business because his personal salary is too high.


Carol
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

Well, I have a corporation, maybe this person has an LLC or some other partnership so this person is not on a payroll but getting paid from the profits. Still, there are other things that could be done, if the company is making that much of a profit after expenses and payroll, and if so it would be too bad to shrink it, 'cause it's probably the only one left doing so well. Since the profits are taxed after other expenses, the business could be expanded through further investments which would reduce profits, salaries of his employees could be raised, many things could happen other than shrinking the company to shrink profits. It's hard to tell because they don't really say. I mean, I do run a small business and the math really doesn't add up to me. Besides, if this person was running the business 20 years ago, we're basically returning the tax code to the way it was before Bush enacted the tax break, which was supposed to be temporary anyhow. I wonder if their business was smaller then as well?


agentX
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 5:13 am

He thinks the crooks and liars of industry are the “achievers” of America…
I say, go right ahead. Stick all those “achievers” on one of those moonscape mountains in West Virginia, the ones that the coal companies created, and fence them in like rabid animals. Let's see what those howler monkeys create without any of the “socialists” to help them.


Galt watch « Stocks Go Up. Stocks Go Down.
Pingback posted March 7, 2009 @ 8:10 am

[...] Jump to Comments Still not gone galt: Rep. John Campbell has neither resigned from Congress nor given back any part of his [...]


Kenneth
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 9:15 am

Housing crisis roots began in 1977, look up Community Reinvestment Act, and where it went over the years to include forcing banks to lower their lending qualifications.


Kenneth
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 9:25 am

agentX – problems is that if most “achievers” stepped out of business you wouldn't have a job. Doesn't matter whether you are self-employed or not. “Achievers” are ahead of the game, and yes it is a game, business has always been the biggest game that was ever created, for there are “risks”, “rewards” and winners and losers. But back to the “Achievers”, I know of a few that are putting their money into huge “farms”, to grow trees, stocking ponds of fish, putting in solar energy for the “farms” and all the write off's, including all the “stimulus” money they can get from the current administration. They do not have to move to an “island”, for they are creating it themselves right here. So instead of having to pay more in increased taxes, they are cutting down on their normal “business”, and creating a more peaceful society onto themselves.


Kenneth
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 9:36 am

Disgusted, you will never get it. 99% of Business Owners get into business for the betterment of themselves, their families, to provide a product or service. Does not matter whether they “created” the product or service, but to exploit the markets need for whatever it is. If there is no market, there is no need. With that said, small business owners dream and strive to expand their business into “big” businesses, thus they want to become the “CEO's” of business that you consider “evil”. That is the tie-in between “small business owners” and CEO's. You may ask how I would know this, or what is my source, I am a Business Broker dealing in Mergers/Acquisitions for the last 11 years, with businesses from 50k to 100's of millions.


Carol
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 11:37 am

I think they were required to lend to the people they were taking deposits from, not lowering their qualifications. When I bought a house I had to prove I could pay for it, and then put money down on it. No one asked banks to allow people to buy houses without proof of income and buy a house with no money down – the banks did that one all by themselves.


Carol
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

Well, it's been reported that the salary of the people at the top has gone up 200% as opposed to the people who work for them, where the salary has in effect gone down. The percentage of income tax that everyone pays is the same, so someone who makes less money feels it a lot more, and the shortfalls that we experience have to be made up by sales tax, licensing fees, registration fees, tolls, subway and train fares and the miriad other ways people have been nickled and dimed over the years. People who make $40,000 a year really feel that. People who make a lot of money may not be as aware of that.

Also, employees over the years work longer hours, have been given more work in addition to their original workload because of their coworkers have been laid off. There is no increase in salary or a promotion accompanying this additional work, so essentially it is stealing. What has been stolen is time, skill and labor. The companies were hugely profitable and so yes, it does appear to be greed.

I don't think I have it backwards, I have my opinion from what I've personally seen happen. I'm not speaking from my own experience, just what I've witnessed over the years.


Carol
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

They may not pay income tax because they don't make enough, but they pay other taxes, like sales tax, payroll tax, social security tax, whatever the general withholding is. I think people like home health aides and people like that fall in this category.


chris
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

HEY DAVE…….MORON………REALLY NO NEED TO TELL US YOU ARE FROM SOCAL…….BECAUSE IT DOES SHOW?? THINK YOU HAVE BEEN BREATHING TOO MUCH OF THAT VISIBLE AIR IN THE 909 ! ! HEEEEE
HEEEEEEE WHAT A LOSER ! !


Congressman: We’re Living in ‘Atlas Shrugged’ « America’s Tea Party
Pingback posted March 7, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

[...] -From the Washington Independent var addthis_pub = ”; var addthis_language = ‘en’;var addthis_options = ‘email, favorites, digg, delicious, myspace, google, facebook, reddit, live, more’; Email this post No Comments Post a Comment » [...]


The Story So Far… » Blog Archive » Atlas Shrugged…Then Charged It To Someone Else…(continued)
Pingback posted March 8, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

[...] Rep. John Campbell has neither resigned from Congress nor given back any part of his salary. [...]


Lin
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

As soon as my husband retires, we are out of here. Goodbye U.S.A. Forget the American Dream. Obama doesn't want people to have a goal – The American Dream. If you reach it, you'll be punished. His proposed government is to tell people what they can and cannot do. It will definitely be “Big Brother” is watching and controlling your every move. It's going to get bad if Obama continues his goal towards socialism. Why do you think people want to come to the U.S.? Remember, the people were enamored with Hitler. Hitler was charismatic and convincing and look what he got the people to do. Instead of concentration camp, it will be socialist camp.


Earl
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

As a formerly well-paid professional Supply Chain Consultant, I am getting a CDL and expect to make a living driving a truck for a few years. I've already downsized considerably, and my wife & I can survive on a truck drivers earnings if we have to. It looks like Thanksgiving is coming & I have no intentions of being a turkey fattened for the table. Heck! I may even apply for Welfare. If Hussein Obama wants poor people, then poor people is what he'll get.


Earl
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

I agree with your sentiments. The problem is most other countries are already ahead of the U.S. when it comes to developing their own brand of socialism. There aren't very many out there that I would prefer to the U.S. If there were, I'd probably already be there. The only two that I see as being a reasonable substitute are the Irish Republic and Switzerland. Even there they have problems of their own. Most other places are not friendly to Americans moving in, as such you are more likely to be fleeced by the local authorities. Said local authorities are pretty convinced that immigrating Americans are all rich and are ripe for raping. I've been all over the world and haven't found a society yet that compares to current day America. We're all pretty well stuck here.


From the WTF files « Matthew Mundy
Pingback posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

[...] This, via Matt Yglesias: Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives his departing interns copies of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged,” told me today that the response to President Obama’s economic policies reminded him of what happened in the 51-year-old novel. [...]


Laurie
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 4:18 am

Carol, the banks were pressured by groups like ACORN, with threats of protests and pickets if they didn't follow the letter of the CRA of 1977 (enacted by Carter and resuscitated by Clinton). Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton pulled the same thing. Even the NYT had a SEP 1999 article talking about Clinton pressuring Fannie & Freddie to lowering underwriting standards.


RedPlanetCartoons » Bookseller of the Year
Pingback posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:45 am

[...] Washington Independent: We’re Living in “Atlas Shrugged.” Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives his departing interns copies of Ayn Rand’s novel [...]


Gail
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:15 am

This is one of the most absurd arguments against the administration I have read. Punish those fat cat CEO failures who reaped bonus after bonus whilst their companies were being run into the ground by they themselves.


fuck you
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:16 am

good riddance bitch.


Jon
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 8:51 am

OOOO! Pickets! I bet that threat had them quaking in their boots, just like the tobacco companies.

The real reason the banks bowed to pressure from community groups is that they could use non-compliance with the CRA to hold up mega-mergers they wanted.


Chris Yukon
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

Wow, who knew you people would be such cowards in business ? How could you people “in business” understand numbers so badly.

If I make $300,000 a year and I am taxed %20 i take home $240,000, if taxes are increased to %25 and I scale back my business to $250,000 i take home $187,500, and if I expand my business to $400,000 i take home $300,000

Obviously the thing to do in response to increased taxes (in my partisan developmentally delayed mind) is to scale back my business so I pay less taxes, even if it means taking home money.


Juliet
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

I hope the physicians do cut back their practices and stop. Then, maybe all the little rich bastards will decide not to go to med school, the price will drop of the gov't will notice the doctor-shortage-crisis and I will be able to get a grant to go to med school. As it is, I can't afford to risk a loan for a state grad school!
Oh, and you do understand that when 2% have the majority of the wealth in this country, that means the 98% have much less, therefore much less to tax. I know, percentage is a difficult concept.


Mosher
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

My guess is that your American Dream™ was to marry a wealthy husband and travel the world when he retires. Congratulations! However, let me point out a few things.

First, your entire dream is a form a income distribution from him (the unequaled American achiever) to you (the non-producing whiny bitch). Second, whatever production your husband contributed to our society will now be offset by your “escape” and the fact that you will be removing your only real and present offering to this society (your retirement spending.) Lastly, people didn't volunteer for concentration camps, you witless dolt. Rather, people like you volunteered to pull the gassing levers at said concentration camps because they were certain that the Jews were threatening the traditional values and historical greatness of their country.

It is my sincere hope that you choke on an unripe banana from the fruit basket in your upgraded balcony cabin paid for by the social security checks you will undoubtedly keep cashing.


Mosher
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

I can assume one or two things about people (like Earl) who are proclaiming that they are going to pull a John Galt and strip from the ungrateful world their invaluable talents to become a “simple” driver.

1: You're an idiot, and/or 2: You're a liar.

Keep in mind Earl that your only claim to success above was that you were well paid. It's safe to assume that if demand remains for your trade, Earl, that there are people who kept the same job you lost.

Think of it this way, at the heart of the capitalistic economic theory (after the law of supply and demand) lies the thumping beat of competition. You have been taught a very important lesson during this economic contraction; because people are still holding jobs in the position that you “lost”, it's safe to assume you were never really that good at what you did regardless of how you were compensated.

Take heart Earl, the world needs good drivers. It's only logical that you will have the same chance to be good at that job (or as mediocre) as you were at your last.


daswankone
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

I don't know if you watched any of Bush's SOTU addresses, but if you did you might have heard the term ownerships society. Trying to make this a Democratic issue does not make any sense. BTW – The reason we are here has nothing to do with CRA and everything to do with condos and properties in LA, Miama and Phoenix that are well over the CRA, FHA and F&F limits.


daswankone
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

Wow! How could someone that does not understand that you are only taxed on profit or income after losses ever build a company that employed 50 people?


Vanessa
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

You had better find out what truck drivers are making, remember you are not competing against Mexican drivers, (Thank W for that!) I work in the shipping/receiving dept.


Vanessa
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

I mean that you are “now” competing


Homestead Quest » Blog Archive » Congressman: We’re Living in ‘Atlas Shrugged’
Pingback posted March 9, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

[...] Washington Independant: Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives his departing interns copies of Ayn Rand’s novel [...]


Estela
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

People who create and contribute will never fail to be needed, wanted and appreciated. I reject the whole notion that we are creting a society that represses or supresses creativity, genius or innovation. I think its cheap and easy to say “oh the govt is holding me back.” I read an article about a woman (dentist) who was looking for a way to make less money because she didnt want to be subject to the higher taxes. Have you ever heard of anything stupider? Would you give up $250,00 because you had to pay $3,000?


Nick Bruijn
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

We need a speech by John Galt to tell Mr Obama Thompson that his time is up.


paralegal
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

This is exactly correct and precisely what will happen. What this nation needs is a return to the core – and ony the core – of what the federal government's role in society should be, defense, borders, international trade and issues that have national impact like interstate transportation and power grid.
A new vision for who we are is necessary. We are not idiot welfare dopes addicted to the handout. We are Americans and can take care of ourselves. Get out of my retirement. Get out of my choices in medical care. Get out of my choices – period. Cut my taxes and let me live as our Declaration of Independence stated.


paralegal
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

Here is a thought for all of you arguing about taxes and tax rates. If you are in the bottom percentage of wage earners, meaning your final taxable income is zero, why do you think you have any stake in deciding where the taxes actually paid should be allocated? You did not pay anything. As a responsible, patriotic American you should always pay your share, or why do you think you should even have the vote? There should be a single, flat tax that applies to all forms of income, to all income levels, to all tax payers including business entities. We should respect everyone's right as citizens to be part of the process – to have a stake in the outcome. To be fair we should tax everyone the same rate and forget the graduated income tax. It is a matter of respect, Our government is telling nearly 50% of our workforce that their contribution does not matter, keep your small change, oh, by the way, here we'll give you a little bit more if you just do as we say…Yeah, that works. History shows over and over where that ends.


James Wolfe
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 8:52 pm

Since Nancy Pellosi became defacto queen of the People's State of America, my goal has been to sell my home in the suburbs, sell all my stocks and any other assets I have, and buy a small piece of land for dirt cheap back in the state where I grew up, beside a river, somewhere I can grow my own food and protect my family by whatever means I deem necessary. I would gladly give up my big screen TV, my high speed internet, and the nightmare that is called rush hour, to live with the sound of rushing water, birds, and peace and quiet. I would gladly live a bare minimum lifestyle for however many years God gives me, just to get the damn repressive government off my back. I'm tired of carrying the world. How did I get volunteered for this job?


FertileBastard
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 6:48 am

The answer is simple. Why should I bust my chops for 70 hours a week just to support the subsidized classes. (ie. Public employee unions, Building trade unions and welfare recipients)Easier to liquidate my business, put a small prefab home up on my 75 acres in the country, relax and enjoy the simple life. The 13 people I employ will have to find another livelyhood. Sorry If I'm a jerk, but I'm tired of paying over 60% of my income to the state of New York, the local school system and the Feds. I'm getting too old for this crap! Time to head over to the gulch.


one NYC Whig in the country
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 10:55 am

So do it! Now is the time…But never think you subsidize a class of folks in the building trades who are mostly …I feel as you do and made the move myself 5 years ago…can live “off the grid” if we had to…upstate NY near Canada…former NYC 7 generations and we love it up here; no more concrete jungle.

Come in, the water is great! and we are grateful too.


one NYC Whig in the country
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 11:02 am

If it (going Galt) is happening on a small scale, then yes, the labor output of that class will most likely decrease; as a result of human natures instinctive impulse (governor) to stop working when the fruits of your labor are sufficient enough….an increase in marginal tax rates will alter the mathematical equation in relation to units of work (labor); produce units of fruit (revenue) and then subtract “the mans” share of your fruit and your left with 9 out of ten apples which = SATISFACTION

If the Gault's tax rate were adjusted to say the middle class tax rate, then Mr. Galt will be left with only 6.5 apples; Mr. Galt is now UNSATISFIED with the fruits of his labor…he adjust the only factor he can control, units of wok (his labor) and he works shorter days and his production (units of fruit) decreases to 8 apples……

under this amount of decrease in production Mr. Galt is satisfied because he is only working 3.5 days a week and keeps 5 apples after “the man” (taxes) takes his cut. So he is a little pissed off because he was used to having 9 apples and do with them as he wished but he find that his home life and golf game are improving by more than just a little and he is HAPPY.

But mathematically there are still 10 apples in the equation to account for:

Galt produced 10 and the man got 1 leaving him 9

now Galt produces 8, the man gets 1.5 and wait what about the other 2 apples….

Well the two missing apples will now be enough to allow Mr. Galts competition to have enough market share to stay in business and allow them to hire an additional employee because their flagging company just picked up new orders by 2 apples…they now buy and use more “stuff” to keep up with the growth and the orders go out to other business to produce the “stuff” that Mr. Galtscompetitor needs to tend to the additional 2 apples it can now account for. Mr. Gaults competitors production goes from 5 units to 7 units and “the mans” cut from Mr. Gaults competitor goes from half an apple to 2 apples and Mr. Gaults competitor is working 5 days a week to keep up with his growing business.

What the heck is so magical about the “work” that the Gaults do that they deserve a more favorable tax rate? All workers feel as Gault does and consider themselves happy to have one apple.

As far as Innovators: they should be allowed to do as they wish so long as everyone has something to eat, a safe place to sleep and access to reasonable health care……almost all innovation that directly promotes strengthening the above three basic rights should be allowed to be exempt from paying “the man” for a period of not more than 6 years after the innovation has been proved and then a gradual scale back over the next 6 years to the usual marginal tax rate.

If this were the case advances in almost every field would create advances in almost all industries and spark the creation of new business and jobs…..Imagine, a world where everyone has something to eat, a safe place to sleep and access to basic health care……

It is not impossible if we had a One World One Heart philosophy that prevailed


Mike
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

Vote constitution party. At least they stand up for the country as envisioned by those who penned our constitution. Too bad the mainstream media doesn't report all the news. The masses get fed their biased porridge so they end up voting in nuts like hugo chavez obama.


Keyaneth
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

I couldn't agree more with this article. I'm currently reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and I can see in the themes of the book the same themes in our society today. I expect to see more of those themes as I continue to read.


Nancyf
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

Yeah, right. Once a greedy rich guy, always a greedy rich guy. A leopard don't change it's spots.


AJ in Dallas
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 5:07 pm

Wow, that's some kind of inspiration to give a bunch of young people. Wouldn't a better message be:
These are unprecedented times we're living in. The old ways of doing things are gone. Contribute. Create. Add value and you'll always find success.


Hank
Comment posted March 11, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

If the marginal tax rates increase (and perhaps along with cuts in deductions), then the return diminishes more rapidly for the extra effort required to earn more. It's no longer worth it to put in the extra hours and/or take on the extra risk & responsibility.

With some, it's (also) a matter of principle. They don't like how their tax dollars are being spent (bombs, bogus bridges, etc.).

That's how it affects me. Of course, you might see things differently.


Robert
Comment posted March 13, 2009 @ 10:39 pm

What right do you have to tell me what I build in my garage, lab, or factory? (With me it's the garage). Where did you get it? What motivation is there to make something new? And finally, when you can get Mugabe or the Ayatollah to give you a big fat hug, then you can talk about “one world, one heart.”


Lyle
Comment posted March 13, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

Study history much? Most of human history has been riddled with the persecution of achievers….just book a date with your local library. At some point, society's producers will stop producing.


Lyle
Comment posted March 13, 2009 @ 11:41 pm

Very nicely put Paralegal


Lyle
Comment posted March 14, 2009 @ 12:13 am

Touche.


Lyle
Comment posted March 14, 2009 @ 12:20 am

You're a twisted, jealous individual. How do you know she cashes security checks? How do you know she wasn't a productive member of society for 40 years before her retirement….or maybe, she's still working. Stop blogging and get a job you loser.


Lyle
Comment posted March 14, 2009 @ 12:30 am

Obama won't be happy until we're all eating crushed millet and stale bread…THERE, EQUALITY FOR ALL.

His policies encourage equal distribution alright—equal distribution of misery.


Notiser « Förnuftets kalla och oresonliga röst
Pingback posted March 14, 2009 @ 11:53 am

[...] • En amerikansk kongressman säger att vi lever i Atlas Shrugged. [...]


OD
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 6:47 am

Let's see.

We bought a house last fall. We'd like to get our hardwood floors reconditioned.

We had two contractors come and give us an estimate. One came and said “we are living in tough times. I am about to get taxed by Obama so I have to cut on staff and business to avoid getting punished.”

Second one gave us a better price than the first one, came with recommendations, and did not give us an ideological speech.

Guess who got the job ?


John
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

Yeah, strangely you rarely hear that after these tax increases, the top marginal tax rates will still be lower than under Republican patron saints Reagan and Nixon.


david charles
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

It got a little cold this weekend and we were running low on firewood. I finally found a good use for that old copy of “Atlas Shrugged”.


david charles
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

Ayn Rand was a Soviet agent. Her assignment, to singlehandly bring the greatest country in the world to it's knees. She told her KGB bosses she could do it with nothing more than pen and paper. Of course, they laughed her out of their offices……Who's laughing now?


Paul
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

Who are these idiots lampooning Ayn Rand? Ask yourself a simple question. Does the enactment of a certain government policy infringe on the rights of others. If it does, it is unconstitutional – period. There is no need for discussion, there is no need to ask whether the policy in question is helpful. The only question that should be asked is whether it is Constitutional. That may be too much to comprehend for someone who uses a copy of Atlas Shrugged as firewood, but it is truth.


Hank
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 4:58 am

Throughout history, the collectivists have been quick to burn books. But there's not a thing these more-tax proponents can do to stop anyone from “shrugging”. If the producers pull back on the throttle, the new taxes won't materialize and the old taxes will disappear. No burning of books will change that reality.


Kevin
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 7:56 am

Phil Gramm had it partly right, we're a nation of whiners.
The part he got wrong was in the people he was referring to.
The only whining I've seen is from folks making over 250K who are now talking about moving out to the woods.
Well move man, get out of my hair.
I'll take your job, do it better, cheaper, get company health care, finally have enough to pay our nanny what she's worth, go on vacation, and happily pay my fair share to make sure that no-one has to live in the same state of fear that my family has been suffering through for the past 2 years.
Go, and don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out! Good riddance!


Kevin
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 7:59 am

Phil Gramm had it partly right, we're a nation of whiners.
The part he got wrong was in the people he was referring to.
The only whining I've seen is from folks making over 250K who are now talking about moving out to the woods.
Well move man, get out of my hair.
I'll take your job, do it better, cheaper, get company health care, finally have enough to pay our nanny what she's worth, go on vacation, and happily pay my fair share to make sure that no-one has to live in the same state of fear that my family has been suffering through for the past 2 years.
Go, and don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out! Good riddance!


hank
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 8:35 am

Kevin. Take my job? Get company healthcare? Just who do you think provides the job and company healthcare? I'll be getting out of your hair, but I'll be taking MY company's jobs (not yours) and MY company's healthcare with me. Try posting again when you have invested & risked your own capital, made your own job, provided your own company healthcare, paid the full whack on Social Security & Medicare (not half like you do now) and paid your unemployment taxes. Good riddance indeed.


Kevin
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 11:53 am

Okay, that sounds good, you leave, you take your jobs, and your company health care, and I will happily take all the orders that you believe you deserve because you invested your own capital.
You write as if the world will note that you've gone. Hey guess what: it won't.
This whole meme is so kindergarten it's hardly to be believed.
Grown men and women pontificating about the effect their departure will have on society.
If it weren't so delusional and sad, it'd be funny, okay it is funny.
A stupid idea, born of a stupid book, in time that require intelligence.
Good luck out there, I promise we won't miss you.


Johnny
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 1:27 pm

I love the comment from Earl, the former Supply Chain Professional Consultant (his capitalization) who is planning to become a truck driver. As if his marvelous creativity and productivity is being withdrawn from us ungrateful wretches. I have had to pick myself up off the floor three times from laughing so hard. A Supply Chain Professional Consultant, Really. Exactly how is a Supply Chain Professional Consultant different from any other bureaucrat with a soft chair and cushy job drawing on the productivity of real workers. And this is the type of individual who has the guts to disparage Union workers. At least they produce something.

Earl you are a goddam buyer. There is nothing professional about you clowns and there is no creativity involved. You could not make it in Med school, engineering, any real science or half the trades for that matter. You are one of the leaches ol' Ayn was writing about in her romance novels. You think you are too good to work for a living but you look down on the people who have real smarts as geeks. You go home and watch Survivor or Nascar or NFL because you do not have enough creativity to do anything else. If you were so damn productive and had real creativity you would start a business building something, not working as a trucker, salesboy or a buyer.


Johnny
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

Ayn Rand is a bodice rippin' romance novelist. She is Danielle Steele for republicans who are so ashamed of being republican they claim to be libertarians or independents. The arguments about creativity might fly a little further if it was good writing. But it is not even! You could take any chapter at random and nominate it for the Bulwerr-Lytton Award for Turgid Writing. It is escapist fantasy at best. If I don't get my way I'm going to hold my breath till I turn red, kick and throw a tantrum and run to my room because Mommy and Daddy don't love me. It's not faiiiiiiiiiiiiiiir!!! That's the best example of going Galt I have seen, but my daughter outgrew that at three or four.

But the romance novel parts are the best part of the whole thing. Oh Hank Oh Dagny Oh Hank Oh Dagny. She melted in his arms as they made passionate love. Literature right out of the checkout stand.

By the way what has this republican congressclown campbell done that is so productive or beneficial to our society? Anything?? Just wonderin'.


hank
Comment posted March 17, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

Kevin,

Were you to start your own business, I'd be glad and wish you well. Seriously. I'm not being sarcastic. In fact, I urge you to do it. If you succeed, many would benefit (not the least, you). There's absolutely nothing wrong with being an employee. But the ignorant demonization of business owners currently in vogue is troubling – especially when discussing the punitive taxes.

I don't care whether or not you'd miss me. I care about optimizing my return. If the marginal tax rates are raised and the deductions reduced as proposed, then the hourly rate on those extra marginal hours becomes even less attractive. My way of “going Galt” would not be heading into the Colorado mountains. It would be pulling back on the throttle and using the freed time in other ways.

Were I to pull back and you to start a business picking up the slack (in the same field), then we'd both benefit and neither would pay that marginal tax rate (all else being equal).


Kevin
Comment posted March 18, 2009 @ 5:43 am

Hank,
I agree with your point, it's been made a number of times, you pull back, make less apples, demand for apples remains the same, I'll pick up the slack. Everyone wins.
Snarky sarcasm aside, my points are simple and valid, if by paying a higher tax rate on the wealth that I accumulate over 250k (and keep in mind that rate doesn't apply to money earned under 250k) I can help guarantee that young families in tough times don't have to take up the costs of their own health care, or can afford a nanny so both parents can work (if the need or the desire exists), and have someone watching their back when bad people make bad choices with our money, then I'm all for it. In my opinion that's part of the social contract that we all sign up for as Americans.
It's not a handout, it's a helping hand, and while it's easy to vilify those people who clearly haven't earned the help, that's not how it works.
My belief in that simple idea leads me to ask: well, who is best placed to create the broad outlines for that helping hand proscribed by our social contract. My answer is Local, state, and federal government. It's not cheap, it's not easy, it's not the best way, but it's better than all the others.
So, there you go, my sarcasm is a result of what I see as rich folks committing the sins that are stereotypically assigned to them, vanity, covetousness, and good old pride.
Kevin


hank
Comment posted March 18, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

Kevin,

To help others is admirable – when voluntary. The problem with using the police power of government to mandate charity (aside from the obvious moral absurdity), is that one doesn't get to choose where the money goes once one has been relieved of it.

It maintains multi-generational welfare recipients. It bails out GM and AIG. It was used to build bombs to drop on Serbs and Iraqis. It expands the federal government's payroll, even in these uncertain economic times.

Such are not little deficiencies on the margins, they are at the core of the system. If you doubt me, look at the annual federal budget breakdown. Read the news. For example, just where did that $12 BILLION of $100 bills on PALLETS go in Iraq?

So when there are proposals to take yet more from me by making an already onerous tax rate even worse, I am not happy.

Given that my taxes currently far exceed covering the services I consume, I much prefer private charities. I at least get to choose whom to help with my money.


Kevin
Comment posted March 20, 2009 @ 11:04 am

Hank,
Fair enough, I think your points are valid, and reasonable. I don't see it in exactly the same terms, but hey that's all right.
The one thing I continue to take exception to, is this group of Americans who are advocating a withdraw from their civic responsibilities (and not just taxes, but also political discourse and activism) rather than have earnings over 250K taxed at a higher rate.
I'm still just scratching my head over this one.
It seems, at its best unpatriotic and profoundly unamerican… I paraphrase Franklin, “We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.”


Tim Harper
Comment posted March 20, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

Atlas Shrugged not real? How do you explain this?

http://www.heritage.org/Index/

What motivates companies to move their headquarters and jobs to other countries?

Atlas Shrugged wasn't about throwing a tantrum, far from it. It was about refusing to accept a moral code of guilt that's imposed upon you in order to make you feel compelled to work as a slave for others.

I would submit if you don't understand that point about Atlas Shrugged, you are a frustrated person.


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Robin J. Elliott: Joint Ventures with the Prophet of Profit, Training, Strategic Alliances » Choose Your Contamination Carefully
Pingback posted April 28, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

[...] and victims. Seek out champions and producers, and build strong relationships with them. Read good books.  Before you know it, you will feel like a million bucks. You’ll have more energy, bigger goals, [...]


jpnelson48
Comment posted May 13, 2009 @ 6:22 am

I'm seeing it now! My friends and associates, the people who create wealth, jobs, plenty of all varieties, are saying “Hey! I've got enough to live the rest of my live … I don't need this anymore' …. There are still some motivated by patriotism, like Dick Cheney, who could fade away and never have another worry but is still trying to teach and save America.

John P. Nelson
jpnelson@yahoo.com


jpnelson48
Comment posted May 13, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

I'm seeing it now! My friends and associates, the people who create wealth, jobs, plenty of all varieties, are saying “Hey! I've got enough to live the rest of my live … I don't need this anymore' …. There are still some motivated by patriotism, like Dick Cheney, who could fade away and never have another worry but is still trying to teach and save America.

John P. Nelson
jpnelson@yahoo.com


Objectively Speaking. « From the Desk of Ryan
Pingback posted July 2, 2009 @ 6:16 pm

[...] The current political and economic situation has brought the novel back into the public conscious, with bloggers, journalists, t-shirt designers, and others pointing to parallels between 2009 America and the fictional time of Shrugged. Bloggers write posts connecting current policies with “Directive 10-289″ (in a nutshell, the bill that is passed in the novel whereby the U.S. government nationalizes all industries). Articles question not “who” but “Where is John Galt?” Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) reportedly gifts a copy of the novel to his interns upon completing their tenure. Needless to say, due to thes… [...]


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Jhyder
Comment posted July 22, 2009 @ 2:38 am

The market is reacting the same way it always does…….they create a bubble,pop it and buy up everything they can…..get a clue dolt.


Jhyder
Comment posted July 22, 2009 @ 2:38 am

The market is reacting the same way it always does…….they create a bubble,pop it and buy up everything they can…..get a clue dolt.


Jhyder
Comment posted July 22, 2009 @ 2:42 am

Well said brother!
Peace be with you….


Jhyder
Comment posted July 22, 2009 @ 2:42 am

Well said brother!
Peace be with you….


Jhyder
Comment posted July 22, 2009 @ 2:48 am

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!
Get your pejoratives straight….it was Communism….
remember when Galt left the factory? re-read(assuming you actually finished that incessant, nonsensical,whiny,juvenile schlep)
That was Marxism(Communism) not this decades pejorative “Socialist,Socialism”…Aww fuck it; you people throw anything to see what sticks…..sad to say it works pretty well on the masses of uninformed dolts in this country….


Jhyder
Comment posted July 22, 2009 @ 2:48 am

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!
Get your pejoratives straight….it was Communism….
remember when Galt left the factory? re-read(assuming you actually finished that incessant, nonsensical,whiny,juvenile schlep)
That was Marxism(Communism) not this decades pejorative “Socialist,Socialism”…Aww fuck it; you people throw anything to see what sticks…..sad to say it works pretty well on the masses of uninformed dolts in this country….


Jhyder
Comment posted July 22, 2009 @ 3:02 am

They read Ayn Rand and watch Faux news….THEY DON”T KNOW OR WILLINGLY DENY THESE FACTS………………..


Jhyder
Comment posted July 22, 2009 @ 3:09 am

HIPPOCRATIC OATH!
SO, YES.


Jhyder
Comment posted July 22, 2009 @ 2:10 am

You are an utter incompetent buffoon….


Jake S.
Comment posted July 22, 2009 @ 7:23 pm

Seriously? You're going to sell your stocks NOW. Are you an idiot?


redeyegravy
Comment posted August 18, 2009 @ 2:23 am

Yes, the wingnuts are scared…why? Because those born of white middle-class privilege will actually have to work to succeed instead of just coasting along as they have for 230 years, always knowing that their wealth was protected by authority. Yeah, that's right “libertarians”, you're afraid
of having to perform in a REAL free market scenario where the government actually protects the unprivileged from being stolen from and where you actually have to CREATE and INNOVATE to succeed. Of course you're scared. Of course you're whining. You can't hack it…but really, you never could.


man
Comment posted September 4, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

great article, i really appreciate it


fgbouman
Comment posted September 25, 2009 @ 4:57 am

It's been a long time since I read Atlas Shrugged, so I might be wrong. But I cannot recall any of the main characters actually doing any work. In my recollection they sort of gave commands and things mysteriously happened. A bit of a magical mystery world as I recall. I wonder how I was sucked in by it. She must be a great writer even if she was abysmally ignorant about some things… like not trusting people who don't smoke, if what I read is correct.


Suzanne
Comment posted February 10, 2010 @ 8:30 pm

> This has to be the email forward of the year!
> Please take a few minutes to read and absorb just what this
> woman had to say, and then hopefully everyone will
> pass it to their entire mailing list, and theirs to theirs
> until it circles the nation! Time is short and
> arrogance, stupidity and ignorance
> abound….
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> The following letter
> read on Glenn Beck's show, is rapidly circulating around
> the country. Americans everywhere identify with this
> 53-year-old woman. She has given us a voice. Once you read
> this, you will want to forward it to all of your
> friends…
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> “I am a home grown American citizen, 53,
> registered Democrat all my life. Before the last
> presidential election I registered as a Republican because I
> no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my
> views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no
> longer feel the Republican Party represents my
> views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is
> I no longer feel any political party or
> representative in Washington represents my views
> or works to pursue the issues important to
> me. Instead, we are burdened with
> Congressional Dukes and Duchesses who think they know better
> than the citizens they are supposed to
> represent.
>
>
> There must be someone. Please tell me who you are.
> Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that
> you're willing to fight for
> our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up
> now.
> You might ask yourself what my views and issues are
> that I would feel so horribly disenfranchised by
> both major political parties. What kind of nut-job am
> I? Well, these briefly are the views and issues for which I
> seek
> representation:
>
> One, illegal immigration. I want you
> to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our
> borders. Close the underground tunnels.. Stop the
> violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No
> amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no
> resolution.
>
>
> P.S., I'm not a racist. This is not to be
> confused with legal immigration.
>
>
> Two, the STIMULUS bill. I want it repealed and I want
> no further funding supplied to it. We told you No, but you
> did it anyway.. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed.
> Freeze, repeal.
>
>
> Three: Czars. I want the circumvention of
> our constitutional checks and
> balances stopped immediately. Fire the
> czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the
> process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our
> Constitution, and honor it.
>
>
> Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not
> over. There are many conflicting opinions and it is too soon
> for this radical legislation. Quit throwing our
> nation into politically-correct
> quicksand.
>
>
> Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive
> decision that will burden me, my children, and
> grandchildren. Don't you dare try to pass this
> in the middle of the night without even reading
> it. Slow down! Fix only what is broken — we
> have the best health care system in the world — and test
> any new program in one or two states first.
>
>
> Six, growing government control. I want states rights and
> sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my
> life, not more. More is not better! Shrink it down.
> Mind your own business. You have enough to take care
> of with your real [Constitutional] obligations. Why
> don't you start there.
>
>
> Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates
> in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do
> not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every
> time on every real estate deal that closes — how
> did
> they pull that one off? Stop the funding to
> ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits
> and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the
> census with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with
> any of our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations
> against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any
> more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and
> talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political
> buddies. You work for us, the people.
> Investigate.
>
>
> Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is
> mine. I have always worked for people with more
> money than I have because they gave me jobs — and that
> is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I
> never got a job from a poor person! Why do you want me to
> hate my employers? And what do you have against shareholders
> making a profit?
>
>
> Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person,
> I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local
> communities, where we know our needs best and can use our
> local talent and our local resources. Butt out,
> please. We want to do it ourselves.
>
>
> Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Every company must sink or swim
> like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead,
> we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the
> strong survive. Quick and painful. (Have you ever ripped off
> a Band-Aid?) We will pull together. Great things happen in
> America under great hardship. Give us the chance to
> innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have
> disappointed us.
>
>
> Eleven, transparency and
> accountability. How about it? No, really, how about
> it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the
> buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk.. Please
> stop trying to manipulate and appease me with clever
> wording.. I am not the idiot you obviously take me
> for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back
> rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a
> prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things
> from me.
>
>
> Twelve, unprecedented quick
> spending. Stop it now.
> Take a breath. Listen to the people. Slow
> down and get some input from nonpoliticians and experts on
> the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop
> speed-reading our bills into law. I am not an activist.. I
> am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a
> militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a
> grandparent.. I work. I'm busy. I am busy, and I
> am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care
> of the business of government so that we could work,
> raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation,
> complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our
> personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends
> and be responsible contributing members of society and teach
> our children to be the same all while living in the home of
> the free and land of the brave.
>
>
> I entrusted you with upholding the
> Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to
> keep from getting far off course. What
> happened? You are very far off course. Do you really
> think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to
> unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed
> into law without knowing what it contained? I do
> not.
> It is a mockery of the responsibility I have
> entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not
> laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I
> feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision
> about my own life and how I would live it but
> you should expect that I should trust you with the debt
> that you have laid on all of us and our children. We
> did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it
> if we could. I am sure that we still cannot.. There
> is needless urgency and recklessness in all of your recent
> spending of our tax dollars.
>
>
> From my perspective, it seems that all of you have
> gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these
> feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits
> have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to
> stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is
> being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice
> back. You
> have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out
> the mess that you are making. We will have to
> give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any
> relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford
> to spend on bringing our concerns to Washington
> . Our president often knows all the right
> buzzwords like unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many
> tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to
> come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced
> words. Stop treating us like we're
> morons.
>
>
> We want all of you to stop focusing on your
> reelection and do the job we want done, not the job
> you want done or the job your party wants
> done. You work for us and
> at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are
> coming. We will be heard and we will be represented… You
> think we're so busy with our lives that we will never
> come for you? We are the formerly silent
> majority, all of us who quietly work, pay taxes, obey the
> law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone…
> and we are now looking at
> you.
>
>
>
> You have awakened us, the patriotic freedom spirit
> so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too
> long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are
> great. They may surprise you. For every one of us
> who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could
> not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent
> them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the
> polls on voting day to usher you out of
> office.
>
>
> We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last
> few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us
> and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask
> for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not
> come in violence, but we are angry. You
> will represent us or you will be replaced
> with someone who will. There are candidates among us who
> will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made
> of our constitution.
>
>
> Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian.
> Understand this.. We don't care. Political parties are
> meaningless to us Patriotic Americans are willing to
> do right by us
> and our Constitution, and that is all that
> matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you
> who abuse power and seek more. It is not your
> power. It is ours and we want it back. We
> entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are
> dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed
> of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not
> representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly
> and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party,
> you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer
> care about your political parties. You need to be
> loyal to us, not to them.. Because we will get you fired and
> they will not save you.
>
>
> If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views,
> please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make
> some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are.
> If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest
> of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if
> need be one by one..
>
>
> We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do
> you represent? What do you represent?
>
>
> Listen. Because we are
> coming. We the people are
> coming.”
>


Suzanne
Comment posted February 11, 2010 @ 1:30 am

> This has to be the email forward of the year!
> Please take a few minutes to read and absorb just what this
> woman had to say, and then hopefully everyone will
> pass it to their entire mailing list, and theirs to theirs
> until it circles the nation! Time is short and
> arrogance, stupidity and ignorance
> abound….
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> The following letter
> read on Glenn Beck's show, is rapidly circulating around
> the country. Americans everywhere identify with this
> 53-year-old woman. She has given us a voice. Once you read
> this, you will want to forward it to all of your
> friends…
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> “I am a home grown American citizen, 53,
> registered Democrat all my life. Before the last
> presidential election I registered as a Republican because I
> no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my
> views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no
> longer feel the Republican Party represents my
> views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is
> I no longer feel any political party or
> representative in Washington represents my views
> or works to pursue the issues important to
> me. Instead, we are burdened with
> Congressional Dukes and Duchesses who think they know better
> than the citizens they are supposed to
> represent.
>
>
> There must be someone. Please tell me who you are.
> Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that
> you're willing to fight for
> our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up
> now.
> You might ask yourself what my views and issues are
> that I would feel so horribly disenfranchised by
> both major political parties. What kind of nut-job am
> I? Well, these briefly are the views and issues for which I
> seek
> representation:
>
> One, illegal immigration. I want you
> to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our
> borders. Close the underground tunnels.. Stop the
> violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No
> amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no
> resolution.
>
>
> P.S., I'm not a racist. This is not to be
> confused with legal immigration.
>
>
> Two, the STIMULUS bill. I want it repealed and I want
> no further funding supplied to it. We told you No, but you
> did it anyway.. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed.
> Freeze, repeal.
>
>
> Three: Czars. I want the circumvention of
> our constitutional checks and
> balances stopped immediately. Fire the
> czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the
> process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our
> Constitution, and honor it.
>
>
> Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not
> over. There are many conflicting opinions and it is too soon
> for this radical legislation. Quit throwing our
> nation into politically-correct
> quicksand.
>
>
> Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive
> decision that will burden me, my children, and
> grandchildren. Don't you dare try to pass this
> in the middle of the night without even reading
> it. Slow down! Fix only what is broken — we
> have the best health care system in the world — and test
> any new program in one or two states first.
>
>
> Six, growing government control. I want states rights and
> sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my
> life, not more. More is not better! Shrink it down.
> Mind your own business. You have enough to take care
> of with your real [Constitutional] obligations. Why
> don't you start there.
>
>
> Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates
> in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do
> not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every
> time on every real estate deal that closes — how
> did
> they pull that one off? Stop the funding to
> ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits
> and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the
> census with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with
> any of our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations
> against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any
> more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and
> talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political
> buddies. You work for us, the people.
> Investigate.
>
>
> Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is
> mine. I have always worked for people with more
> money than I have because they gave me jobs — and that
> is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I
> never got a job from a poor person! Why do you want me to
> hate my employers? And what do you have against shareholders
> making a profit?
>
>
> Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person,
> I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local
> communities, where we know our needs best and can use our
> local talent and our local resources. Butt out,
> please. We want to do it ourselves.
>
>
> Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Every company must sink or swim
> like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead,
> we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the
> strong survive. Quick and painful. (Have you ever ripped off
> a Band-Aid?) We will pull together. Great things happen in
> America under great hardship. Give us the chance to
> innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have
> disappointed us.
>
>
> Eleven, transparency and
> accountability. How about it? No, really, how about
> it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the
> buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk.. Please
> stop trying to manipulate and appease me with clever
> wording.. I am not the idiot you obviously take me
> for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back
> rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a
> prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things
> from me.
>
>
> Twelve, unprecedented quick
> spending. Stop it now.
> Take a breath. Listen to the people. Slow
> down and get some input from nonpoliticians and experts on
> the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop
> speed-reading our bills into law. I am not an activist.. I
> am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a
> militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a
> grandparent.. I work. I'm busy. I am busy, and I
> am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care
> of the business of government so that we could work,
> raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation,
> complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our
> personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends
> and be responsible contributing members of society and teach
> our children to be the same all while living in the home of
> the free and land of the brave.
>
>
> I entrusted you with upholding the
> Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to
> keep from getting far off course. What
> happened? You are very far off course. Do you really
> think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to
> unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed
> into law without knowing what it contained? I do
> not.
> It is a mockery of the responsibility I have
> entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not
> laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I
> feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision
> about my own life and how I would live it but
> you should expect that I should trust you with the debt
> that you have laid on all of us and our children. We
> did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it
> if we could. I am sure that we still cannot.. There
> is needless urgency and recklessness in all of your recent
> spending of our tax dollars.
>
>
> From my perspective, it seems that all of you have
> gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these
> feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits
> have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to
> stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is
> being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice
> back. You
> have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out
> the mess that you are making. We will have to
> give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any
> relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford
> to spend on bringing our concerns to Washington
> . Our president often knows all the right
> buzzwords like unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many
> tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to
> come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced
> words. Stop treating us like we're
> morons.
>
>
> We want all of you to stop focusing on your
> reelection and do the job we want done, not the job
> you want done or the job your party wants
> done. You work for us and
> at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are
> coming. We will be heard and we will be represented… You
> think we're so busy with our lives that we will never
> come for you? We are the formerly silent
> majority, all of us who quietly work, pay taxes, obey the
> law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone…
> and we are now looking at
> you.
>
>
>
> You have awakened us, the patriotic freedom spirit
> so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too
> long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are
> great. They may surprise you. For every one of us
> who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could
> not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent
> them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the
> polls on voting day to usher you out of
> office.
>
>
> We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last
> few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us
> and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask
> for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not
> come in violence, but we are angry. You
> will represent us or you will be replaced
> with someone who will. There are candidates among us who
> will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made
> of our constitution.
>
>
> Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian.
> Understand this.. We don't care. Political parties are
> meaningless to us Patriotic Americans are willing to
> do right by us
> and our Constitution, and that is all that
> matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you
> who abuse power and seek more. It is not your
> power. It is ours and we want it back. We
> entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are
> dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed
> of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not
> representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly
> and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party,
> you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer
> care about your political parties. You need to be
> loyal to us, not to them.. Because we will get you fired and
> they will not save you.
>
>
> If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views,
> please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make
> some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are.
> If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest
> of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if
> need be one by one..
>
>
> We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do
> you represent? What do you represent?
>
>
> Listen. Because we are
> coming. We the people are
> coming.”
>


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