Battling Obama by ‘Going Galt’

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Friday, March 06, 2009 at 1:15 pm
A protester at the Chicago Tea Party on February 27 references Ayn Rand's novel. (Flickr: swyngarden)

A protester at the Chicago Tea Party on February 27 references Ayn Rand's novel. (Flickr: swyngarden)

?”Do you ever wonder,” wrote Dr. Helen Smith, “after dealing with all that is going on with the economy and the upcoming election, if it’s getting to be time to ‘go John Galt?’”

It is Oct. 12, 2008, and inspired by Barack Obama’s curbside debate with Joe the Plumber — and the likelihood of his election to the presidency — Smith, a forensic psychologist in Knoxville, Tenn., was tossing the readers of her blog a serious question. It had been years since she had read “Atlas Shrugged.”

“I had to refresh my memory with the Cliffs Notes,” she said Thursday in an interview. But the themes of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, and the themes of the climactic 40-page speech by self-imposed social outcast “John Galt”, had stuck with her.

Image by: Matt Mahurin

Image by: Matt Mahurin

The themes had stuck with her readers, too. Within days, Smith had collected nearly 200 comments and a steady stream of e-mails from readers who were responding to the possibility of a Democratic victory by brainstorming ways to pull out of the economy. Four months later, Smith — a host of “Ask Dr. Helen” on the right-leaning web site PajamasTV — is collecting stories and suggestions from readers scattered across the country, all of them using the “Atlas Shrugged” analogy as a rallying cry against President Barack Obama’s economic policies.

Smith was a little ahead of the curve of what has become an incredibly popular meme. Across the broad conservative movement, from members of Congress to activists to economists, Rand’s final, allegorical novel is being looked at with fresh eyes. According to the Atlas Society, a think tank that promotes and analyzes Rand’s work, sales of “Atlas Shrugged” have tripled since the presidential election. One congressman says that Rand wrote a “rulebook” that can guide conservatives through the age of Obama; another calls Obama’s policies something right out of the mind of Rand. One economist says that Rand’s fantasies have become reality. Smith is one of many activists citing Rand to explain their decisions to sell their stocks, or to explain why the president’s “demonization” of run-amok CEOs is aggravating the economic slowdown. The popular meme is giving critics of the president’s policies a way to explain why, they believe, it’s doomed to fail — because Rand predicted all of this.

“Just this weekend,” said Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) on Wednesday in an interview with TWI, “I had a guy come up to me in my district and tell me that he was losing his interest in the business he’d run for years because the president wanted to punish him for his success. I think people are reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’ again because they’re trying to understand what happens to people of accomplishment, and people of talent and energy, when a government turns against them. That’s what appears to be happening right now.”

The plot of Rand’s novel is simple, despite its length — 1,088 pages in the current paperback edition. The United States is governed by bureaucrats, “looters” and “moochers,” who penalize and demonize creative people. The country is in decline because creative people are disappearing — they have followed the innovative John Galt to a mountain enclave, “Galt’s Gulch,” where they watch society crumble. Creativity has gone on strike (the working title of the novel was “The Strike”), and the engine of capitalism cannot run without it.

For Campbell, this is a powerful and relevant story. The congressman calls “Atlas Shrugged” an “instruction manual,” and inscribes the copies that he gives to interns. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, also gives copies of the novel as gifts and refers to it to make the case against President Obama’s policies. “It’s an audacious scheme,” said Ryan in his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference last week. “Set off a series of regulatory blunders and congressional meddling, blame the free market for the financial crisis that follows — then use this excuse to impose a more intrusive state. Sounds like something right out of an Ayn Rand novel.”

Before that CPAC speech, Ryan put in a call to Ed Hudgins, the director of advocacy for the Washington-based Atlas Society. “He called me a day or so before that speech to ask about the ‘Atlas Shrugged’ movie,” remembered Hudgins in a Thursday interview. In 2005, Ryan spoke at an Atlas Society commemoration of the centenary of Rand’s birth. Republican appreciation of Rand’s work is nothing new, but Hudgins sees something else happening under President Obama.

“A lot of Obama’s new tax and regulatory policies target the productive industries,” said Hudgins, “sectors that produce jobs, businesses that expand the economy. These are pretty nutty policies. They’re something out of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ in every way, shape, and form. Look at the mortgage plan, which rewards the eight percent of people who bought bad mortgages with money from the rest of us.”

Ayn Rand (Phyllis Cerf) and Atlas Shrugged (Amazon)

Ayn Rand (Phyllis Cerf) and Atlas Shrugged (Amazon)

Hudgins is proud of the mileage Rand is getting these days, pointing to articles like Steve Moore’s January Wall Street Journal editorial “Atlas Shrugged: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years.” Donald Luskin, an economist who endorsed Ron Paul for president and later served as an adviser to the McCain-Palin campaign, concurs with Moore. “The current political process is a lot like the process in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’” he said on Wednesday.

Luskin, who named his daughter Roark after the hero of Rand’s novel “The Fountainhead,” sees basic economic concepts explained through the novelist’s work. “One of the reasons that the Laffer Curve works is because of the John Galt effect of creative people finding ways to cut back on their output if they know they’re going to be taxed, and demonized, for their success,” he said. “We have these sort of villains, like John Thain at Merrill Lynch, who tried to pay himself a large bonus. But then in response to that we have [Sen.] Chris Dodd slipping into the stimulus a new rule that in punishing Thain punishes everybody, even the good guys.”

This view of “Atlas Shrugged” has its detractors. “Ayn Rand romanticized capitalists,” said Jerome Tuccille, author of the libertarian history “It Usually Starts With Ayn Rand,” in a Thursday interview. “She saw them as great heroes. She doesn’t deal with these corporatists like Thain who were pushing paper around and using regulations to feather their nests. Some of these bastards like Thain should be in jail. I mean, I want them carted out of their houses, doing the perp walk at 3 a.m.” Will Wilkinson, a libertarian columnist for The Week magazine, worries about the hazards of Obama’s policy, but doesn’t consider Rand’s book a good handbook for resistance. “The book is a critique of the corporatist economy,” he said on Thursday. “I don’t see why Rand lovers would defend financial executives.”

The activists who have latched onto “Atlas Shrugged” don’t spend as much time thinking about the heroic-capitalist side of the analogy. For Dr. Smith’s readers, like their counterparts writing in to libertarian blogs and protesting Obama at “tea parties, ” the novel is most useful for the concept of “going Galt.” “I do some consulting on the side and the taxation on that income is unbelievable,”wrote one reader to Michelle Malkin. “So, to heck with this. I’m ‘going Galt’ on my consulting.” “I’m considering moving to a small family farm in a foreign country,” wrote a reader to Smith, “and looking into the practical side of the issue right now. It will take a year or two of preparation, but might be feasible and even comfortable.”

Smith, who’s still mulling over ways that she can “go Galt,” sees a possibility for a moral stand. During the Iraq War, she read about a painter who’d painted less, reducing his income, in order to dodge taxes and thereby make sure he didn’t fund the war. “I’d go John Galt just to not pay for programs I don’t believe in,” said Smith. “If we’re opposed to socialistic concepts — if we know they don’t work — why should we pay to support them?”

This, for Wilkinson, is another reason he’s still on the fence — although he’s “sympathetic” to the “going Galt” concept and the Rand comeback. “If we’re being honest,” he said, “it’s a right-wing version of ‘I’m moving to Canada if Bush wins.’”

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Comments

576 Comments

Seitz
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 10:27 am

When Rand wrote AS, the top marginal tax rate was 90%. Obama's suggesting what, 39.6%? These people are freaking nuts.


Not John Galt
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:14 am

I'm surprised to see no comments from the Ayn Rand Institute. Were they unavailable for interviews?


Thomas
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:14 am

“[Rand] doesn’t deal with these corporatists like Thain who were pushing paper around and using regulations to feather their nests.”

The hell she didn't. What else was the Oren Boyle character?


Meremortal
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:18 am

I'm going Galt. I'm selling my city home and moving to my country home (I'll be debt-free after the sale, and the market is not that bad here, YET.). I'm semi-retiring early, slowing my real estate business to a crawl. I've told my wife to quit her job in 3 months, and so, at 60 (me) and 53 (her) we are withdrawing from Obama's Great Socialist Utopia. I'm not busting my butt just to help support Obama's spending spree. Get your money somewhere else, Bambi.


John Galt
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:20 am

Except no one actually paid 90% due to huge loopholes, only the very richest were taxed at 90%, payroll tax was less, and total government spending as a percentage of GDP was less.


lorien1973
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:23 am

Obama's suggesting what, 39.6%?

That's just the income tax rate. Add it to the other taxes we are inflicted with – and will be inflicted with.

Add that to the fact that about 45% of people pay no income taxes; so the ones who do pay a larger % of taxes than even when it was 90%. So less people are paying to support more people.

Think. Would ya?


Morgan of the Ship Yar
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:24 am

Already making adjustments to my finances – had to let go of a few employees, I told them they can thank King Barry Hussain I. for their pink slips.


Dana H.
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:34 am

“She doesn’t deal with these corporatists like Thain who were pushing paper around and using regulations to feather their nests.”

This statement is COMPLETELY wrong. Some of the worst villains in Atlas Shrugged are businessmen such as Jim Taggart and Orren Boyle who try to use government force to destroy their more-competent competitors.

“I don’t see why Rand lovers would defend financial executives.”

Rand would not defend incompetent fincancial executives or those who run to the government for help. She would absolutely defend those numerous financial executives (e.g., in regional banks) who didn't take on subprime loans, did a good job of risk management, and are now being smeared by the government along with the others.


Mark Buehner
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:34 am

“When Rand wrote AS, the top marginal tax rate was 90%. Obama's suggesting what, 39.6%? These people are freaking nuts.”

Well… let's not forget payroll taxes, capital gains taxes, sales taxes, state, county, city, and luxury taxes. Oh, and then the death tax when you check out. I'm sure i'm forgetting any number.

The Galt thing an analogy. The problem isn't that a certain number of people are going to hang em up and let the economy rot. The problem is that millions of people are going to all be doing a little bit less than they might every time it becomes less profitable for them. The aggregate is a huge loss in the creation of wealth, which means fewer jobs, which means more government programs, which means higher taxes, which means less wealth… That's why this stimulus plan is so useless. Theoretically it works. In the real world, people rationally make the decision that if the government is spending like drunken sailors now, they will be coming for their money later, and hence it pays to save and is less profitable to risk capital now to make money in a future where taxes will be higher. Somehow Paul Krugman missed that simple truth in all his years of study.


erik
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:36 am

>>“it’s a right-wing version of ‘I’m moving to Canada if Bush wins.’”

The difference is, most of us would have been happy to have them leave.

Those who are tired of punitive taxes and confiscatory legislation are the ones propping up this society. If they give up, there will be hell to pay. Mayor Bloomberg estimates that 0.5% of the population of NY City pays 70% of the tax revenue for the city. Are those people not propping it up?

And going John Galt (withdrawal from the system) does not need to be petulance. If you assume that people value both their income and their time, then you alter the money they get to keep from their effort, they will find a new balance to maximize their personal happiness. And that balance will include less work. Get it? They value their free time and their income. You tax their income more, but you can't tax their free-time, so they will shift more of their time away from income generation, into free time.

They have just gone Galt.

Atlas Shrugged was about a smaller and smaller group of people keeping the country afloat, while politicians and corrupt businessmen looted their output, while demonizing them in speeches and in the media. They needed to demonize them to get public support, so they could pass new laws which would confiscate more and more of their output.

That is why it rings so relevant today.


Darby
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:38 am

I am going Galt to a small extent. I am severely cutting back on discretionary spending and putting those savings in cash and debt reduction. This reduction includes charitable giving. I will only donate as much to charity as President Obama donated as a percentage of income on average in 2000-2004, before he became a US Senator. This will be a significant reduction in my charitable giving. I will continue to directly assist family members. I will not have any family members living in squalor. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson – A government that is big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything from you.


Scott
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

Obama is suggesting 39.6, however add in the changes to charitable giving and home deductions and you are probably up to 42. Add in state taxes and the medicare taxes and you are at least at 50. Now add in the social security tax, which he will undoubtedly remove income caps on and you are at 56. When this isn't enough revenue, and it won't be – there is NO amount of revenue great enough to feed this beast – that 39 will go to 50 the overall marginal rate will be between 65-75.


johngalt
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

Unfortunately, “Going John Galt” won't stop the Democrats, since they'll just borrow the money they need.

What must occur is more akin to what our forefathers did. Paul Revere, and the rest of the Boston Tea Party gang realized that in order to stop tyranny, you must eliminate the government's ability to collect taxes.

Once the government cannot collect taxes, then other governments won't lend to it (think China buying US Treasury notes).

So, simply not working won't be enough. Active measures to prevent the collection of taxes must occur. For most people, that means not paying your house note … since it is through your house note that the government collects the most amount of tax (your property taxes, not income taxes, are the greater source of revenue for the government).

Along with “Going John Galt” and refusing to work, the real power of the people is their ability to choose not to pay their house note, thus depriving the government of its ability to collect taxes AND borrow money.


Scott
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

“Somehow Paul Krugman missed that simple truth in all his years of study.”

He didn't miss it, he disagrees with it. In Krugman's world not matter how high taxes are people will continue to work the same amount instead of taking more vacations and playing golf. You'd think he'd have heard of a guy named Ed Prescott, he apparently won some big economics prize some years ago…


uknowbetter
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

Here is another way of thinking about it: just be on the net consumer side of government largess as opposed to the net producer side.

Here is one woman describing how she is doing that:
http://pursuingholiness.com/2009/03/going-john-…


Andreas Pizsa
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

Minor correction: The title of the WSJ editorial actually was “Atlas Shrugged: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years.” – not “from fact to fiction”, although I'm looking forward to that one ;)


24AheadDotCom
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

Odd: Dave Weigel “forgot” to mention that Dr. Helen is married to America's favorite blogger/propagandist, Instapundit.

As for “going Galt”, I haven't read nor do I intend to read the book, but did those who “went Galt” realize that if not for the rest of the U.S. – specifically the defense infrastructure only possible when supported by millions of people – “Galt's Gulch” would be speaking Russian?

One of the key problems with libertarians is that – in addition to proving themselves to be nuts time and time again – they just can't figure out all the things involved in their policies and their side-effects. For instance, their support for massive immigration would give more power to those who are as far from libertarians as it's possible to be, resulting in policies that would not be libertarian in any way.


J.R.
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

please. using a piece of fiction as fact is ridiculous. sure, some of the themes and ideas in the novel might be along the same lines as reality but, it is a story. this is like reading the da vinci code and never going back to the a catholic mass because of it. people seem to be disconnected with reality. whatever that is.


24AheadDotCom
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

P.S. The easy, highly effective alternative to “going Galt” is not “tea parties”, demanding the note, or all the other loony schemes. The highly effective alternative is to do with hacks like Weigel and his friends in the MSM refuse to do: discredit politicians by asking them real questions:

http://24ahead.com/s/question-authority


Meremortal
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

Can't agree with you here. I going Galt to not participate, period. Stopping the Demcrats can only be done at the ballot box or the point of gun. I'm going to be free of the rat race, and out of the declining, traffic and crime-ridden city. I'm going to live a simple lifestyle of leisure.
Your take on property taxes is mistaken as those taxes go almost exclusively to the county where the property is located. The bulk of property taxes goes to local schools. Not paying those taxes results in an investor paying them until you make them up. If you don't make them up, you lose the property and someone else buys it and pays those taxes. But no one can simply “replace” income taxes that are avoided by not producing income. I currently pay about $35,000 in federal taxes per year, but only about $12,000 in property taxes (only a tiny percentage of which goes to the feds). Next year I will pay less than $2,000 in federal taxes, and about $4,000 in property taxes, due to selling properties. One closes next month, and my house will be sold by summer. What you must learn is that there are ways to make money that don't incur federal tax payments. I'm changing my production to minimize earned income.
Yes, the govt will borrow, but that ponzi scheme will collapse at some point. Also, I'm not saying I'm going to stop anything by going Galt. I'm saying I'm withdrawing my assistance to non-producers and the federal government that supports them.


Harold
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

Jerome Tucille is a nut case, and I say that to in no way imply that he is to be taken seriously. He has a bad case of the sour grapes. What the heck is a “corporatist,” and what the double-heck is a “corporatist economy?” It would have helpful if either Tucille or Wilkinson had provided some sort of definition to punch back on. In the meantime all I can do is disagree with the statements they provided. Of course Rand romantized capitalists in “Atlas Shrugged.” It's FICTION! But she wrote the book from a simple premise: “What would happen to the world if the men of the mind went on strike?” Every event, person, plot turn and punctuation mark followed from that. And she got it right. Ever heard the term “fact following fiction?” Or, “truth is stranger than fiction?” It is when you are living it, brothers.

Rand did portray men like Merrill's John Thain – if you know anything about the character James Taggart, you will know what I am talking about.

Not every person who has read the novel is a “Rand lover.” Many of us disagree with her politics, for instance. But we do admire her unique stance in the history of philosophy. Some dismiss her ideas as “reactionary.” Well, they were – and are. Rand went toe-to-toe with every subjectivist philosopher since Plato and his fellow cave men. And she is winning. Why? Because her readers understand that we are in the philosophical fight of our lives. And that nothing short of an intellectual revolution is called for.

We are ready. Bring it on.


Agoraphobic Plumber
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

“If we’re being honest,” he said, “it’s a right-wing version of ‘I’m moving to Canada if Bush wins.’”

I can see the parallel. However…the real question is whether they actually follow through, unlike the anti-Bush people. If they do in any significant numbers, it might not be good.


jkp
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

Surprised at Tuccille's comments – in Rand's later essays, she decried “pull peddlers” like T. Boone Pickens who formed businesses to make money off of government largesse.


Laura
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

Actually, I'm not trying to be on the net consumer side; I'm looking for that sweet spot in the neighborhood of 65k where I'm not supporting other people and other people are not supporting me.


armchairpunter
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

“This, for Wilkinson, is another reason he’s still on the fence — although he’s “sympathetic” to the “going Galt” concept and the Rand comeback. “If we’re being honest,” he said, “it’s a right-wing version of ‘I’m moving to Canada if Bush wins.’””

The difference is that, while one cannot decamp partially to Canada, one can make small and even substantial modifications to one's business/career that fall short of “Going Galt” yet profoundly impact the economy and society.

Fool Mr. Grasshopper once, shame on you, Mr. Ant. Fool Mr. Grasshopper twice, shame on Mr. Grasshopper.


david still
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

and you folks seem to miss two truths: work less so you won't be in the 250,000 bracket? that is 2 percent of Americans. Work less and you create job prospects for others who will do what you do but arte not doing for so many hours and days…

Why not make bundles of money and conceal in oversas accounts as so many of the wealthy have been doling for years?


thomass
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

Yeah, not the same as the moving to Canada thing. It is MY TIME. If I don't want to work or apply myself to work, thats MY CHOICE.

Maybe I just want to build gadgets in the garage if I'm going to be taxed too much for working hard…

Collectivists just can't get the 'my' concept… They think my time / life belongs to them.


Andy
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

I question whether Jerome Tuccille has read “Atlas Shrugged”. He says in this article, “She doesn’t deal with these corporatists like Thain who were pushing paper around and using regulations to feather their nests. “

I can't speak specifically to Thain's situation, but Tuccille should recall “Atlas” characters James Taggart and Orren Boyle. Both ran corporations and used government pull in order to pull off their looting schemes.

Jerome, you awake?


Dick Hertz
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

For a group of people who have collectively decided to ignore such petty things as reality, Ayn Rand is another step on the path to irrelevance and madness. These are the same types of people who build underground bunkers with years of food in Montana, or people with too-perfect Star Wars costumes. Koo Koo Bananas libertarians and conservatives who have decided reality isn't what it was cracked up to be and that everyone should be joining them in the delusion. Before the comet comes but after they cut off their balls.


Andy
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

One more comment. “Going Galt” is not the purpose of “Atlas”. While the strike is a major portion of this great novel's plot, it is not the real message. The real message is “We never had to take any of it seriously did we?”

Ayn Rand said of that quote, when Dagny landed in Galt's Gulch: “perhaps the most important point in the whole book…that one must live for the sake of such exalted moments as one may be able to
achieve or experience, not for the sake of suffering.” And “that the most fundamental division among men is between those who are pro-man, pro-mind, pro-life–and those who are anti-man, anti-
mind, anti-life.” (Letters of AR, 583-4)


erik
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

Sorry to hear about the pain. Have you tried a topical ointment?


Andrew X
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

Worth mentioning to the people who simply say this is all “fringe thinking” by crazies on the right, is that the core of Obama's world outlook was once “fringe thinking” of students and academics on the left. One of those fringes, a very molecule at the tip of the spear of the leftist counter-culture which has now penetrated to the aorta, was Mario Savio of the 'Berkley Free Speech' movement in 1964. And what was it that Mr. Savio so eloquently said….?

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

The Galtists are not proposing to “put their bodies” anywhere. Arguably, they are more moral in that they are not impeding anyone else from doing their thing. They are simply “removing their bodies” from the process entirely, since they are not bound to anyone for servititude. But the passion is the same, the immorality that they oppose is real and growing monstrous, and Obamites and ilk dismiss them contemptuously at the same peril a conservative academia dismissed Savio back in the day.

History and irony are long, long, long-time drinkin' buddies.


Posts about Michelle Malkin as of March 6, 2009 » The Daily Parr
Pingback posted March 6, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

[...] . O catering to the downtrodden.” (I guess if you’re Michelle Malkin, the fact that anybody Battling Obama by ‘Going Galt’ – washingtonindependent.com 03/06/2009 A protester at the Chicago Tea Party on February 27 [...]


Harold
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

Thank you Andy for reminding me of Rand's quote about the fundamental division among men. This division is why the anti-man, anti-mind collectivists cannot answer our arguments with any rationality. They do not possess any. At their core, they are indeed anti-life.


ewv
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

Ayn Rand discussed this topic herself in her 1964 Ford Hall Forum lecture “Is Atlas Shrugging?”, which appears as a chapter in her book “Capitalism the Unknown Ideal”. “As the title of this discussion indicates,” she wrote, “its theme is: the relationship of the events presented in my novel Atlas Shrugged to the actual events of today's world.” Today of course the situation is worse than when she was writing and speaking, as the country and many states are now being run by collectivist, “progressive” leftists.

Ayn Rand observed that people of ability have always resisted being controlled and punished for their ability, which she described through numerous examples. “Let me remind you,” she wrote, “that in Atlas Shrugged, John Galt states, referring to the strike [in Atlas Shrugged]: 'I have done by plan and intention what had been done throughout history by silent default.'”

But she did not advocate a strike as a strategy in contemporary society. “The purpose” of Atlas Shrugged, she wrote, “is to prevent itself from becoming prophetic.” A strike, she believed, would be ineffective, and she explained why she thought that. The strike in the plot of Atlas Shrugged served as an accelerated, fictional device to illustrate the theme of the novel — the role of the mind in man's existence — by illustrating what happens when it is withdrawn from a society of looters.

Most important, Atlas Shrugged and her subsequent non-fiction work, presented her famous ideal of what is right, defending the moral right of each individual to live for his own life and his own chosen values in accordance with his own rational mind, neither sacrificing himself to others or others to himself. If this is not recognized, America will continue to deteriorate over time whether or not there is a planned strike resisting the now accelerating imposition of progressive social and economic controls.

“There is no fatalistic, predetermined historical necessity”, Ayn Rand said in 'Is Atlas Shrugging?'. “Atlas Shrugged is not a prophecy of our unavoidable destruction, but a manifesto of our power to avoid it, if we choose to change our course. It is the philosophy of the mysticism-altruism-collectivism axis that has brought us to our present state and is carrying us toward a finale such as that of the society presented in Atlas Shrugged. It is only the philosophy of the reason-individualism-capitalism axis that can save us and carry us, instead, toward the Atlantis projected in the last two pages of my novel.”

The audio of the original lecture “Is Atlas Shrugging?” can be heard at the Ayn Rand Insititute web site at http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename…, along with many other Ayn Rand lectures and interviews.


erik
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 4:08 pm

well put.


Michelle Malkin » The “Going Galt” phenom spreads
Pingback posted March 6, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

[...] Papers has a comprehensive round-up of recent blog coverage from all sides. And here’s an interview with Dr. Helen. Excerpt: Smith was a little ahead of the curve of what has become an incredibly popular meme. [...]


The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Will Atlas Shrug? A Compilation of Blogosphere Commentary about “Going Galt”
Pingback posted March 6, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

[...] Donald Luskin via Dave Weigel:  “Luskin, who named his daughter Roark after the hero of Rand’s novel ‘The Fountainhead,’ sees basic economic concepts explained through the novelist’s work. ‘One of the reasons that the Laffer Curve works is because of the John Galt effect of creative people finding ways to cut back on their output if they know they’re going to be taxed, and demonized, for their success,’ he said. ‘We have these sort of villains, like John Thain at Merrill Lynch, who tried to pay himself a large bonus. But then in response to that we have [Sen.] Chris Dodd slipping into the stimulus a new rule that in punishing Thain punishes everybody, even the good guys.’” [...]


alberta treadway
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 5:59 pm

This is one writer, on one subject. There are books to conterdict this, if you care to read them. You can soak this up as the all mighty written word if you you want. The trueth of the matter is trickle down economy and giveing the top 2% tax breaks, and pre-emping war got us into this mess. For one book that the republicans can point to and these republican writters can throw out there to trash Obama, we can find others that say the opposite. In trueth non of us has faced is this, is real simply to understand. America is at it's best when it works together and pulls together with all it's might to right the wrongs, that is being put upon it's people! At this time we have a party who goes even against what they believe in and they themself have put forth in the past years, but becaus of their hate and greed they refuse to work with this president. It will be this that brings America down! The likes of Rush and Hannity who spews hate against the kindest souls like Ted Kennedy, and a grand Old Party who would allow such a hateful, drug out loud mouth to proclaim that he leads our party! It's sick and disturbing in these times that such Americans will bring not only their party down, but all of America. So don't think things are going as this writter says it will go, or that this republicans or any republicans are spewing any trueth, because it just isn't so! What's happening now they brought upon us with their greed, and the inability to face the fact that they no longer hold the power they thirst for and will destroy all of us to get back.


Pug
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 6:04 pm

This “going Galt” is some of the stupidest garbage to come from the right in quite a while.

First, you all act like you make $250,000 per and I'm betting that you don't. Maybe a couple of you, but not very many. That's why it's the top two percent.

Second, we're talking about paying an extra three cents on your 250,001st dollar. Get a grip. All you top two percenters did just fine in the '90's when the rate between $250,001 and $357,000 was 36%. I'm betting you will survive this time, too.

Third, nobody gives a shit if you “go Galt” anyway. You ain't as great as you think you are. You don't work harder than other folks, like you seem to think you do. If you want to find out what real work is, get a job laying pavement in Houston, Texas in July, Your soft little lawyer hands will soon learn that's real work. Thank your lucky stars if you make over $250,000 and quit being such a pathetic whiner.


erik
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

You know, I used to be suspicious of Rush too, but the I started listening. He's great, I highly recommend spending a couple weeks listening. His agenda is just about removing power from politicians and giving it back to the people. He gets bad press because many politicians and institutions hate those ideas of “power to the people.”

Also, I would recommend upgrading your browser to chrome or firefox. They have great spell checkers build it, and will help you sound better educated.


Mega
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 6:12 pm

To understand where Rand's fiction is coming from culminating in Atlas Shrugged, you should start with We The Living. These early novels (probably the 'best' was Fountain Head as far as construction) really show her philosophical development. A lot of girls in the dorm asking each other 'Who is John Galt” it was a 1960's way to separate the Students from the students…worked well actually.

From these novels and others, of course, I took substance that has helped me survive the good and bad times, but WOW I'm not sure about now.


erik
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

Don't you get it? Capital has already gone on strike. Obama is raising taxes on business, and raising taxes on investments, and raising taxes on dividends. He is talking about nationalizing banks, and forcing lenders to alter the terms of their mortgages.

Those things hurt business, so people with money to invest don't want to own those businesses. This is not theory, it's what I did (get out of the market after Obama won). And a lot of people are doing it. More people selling than buying is what makes the market go down, and down, and down.

Besides I am sure I could work your ass under the table on any day of the week. I suspect I already do. But I am not going to work my ass off for you, or anyone else.


Dotar Sojat
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

Well,Slick, I make over $250K,and it took me 35 years startingat $387 a month to do it, and it wasn't by only working 40 hours a week.. If the Obataxes and deduction cuts go into effect, I will work less, and make less. I will still save and invest for my own benefit, and have the comfortable life I have earned, but I will be circulating fewer dollars to those who pay no income tax, but will receive a “tax cut.” The marginal return on the time and effcort of earning those additional dollars won't be worth it. Kind of a modified John Galt. I have no moral or “patriotic” duty to work more than I wish, as long as I don't take from others' labor. Look for someone else to further subsidize your ass.


IgnoramusRUs
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 7:01 pm

Good article but I think it's misleading to say Rand “predicted” all of this. She and many other critics of socialism from the early 20th century didn't simply “predict” the failure of socialism and promote the idea of free market capitalism and individual freedom. They experienced and observed the complete and utter failure and destruction that big government and socialist policies brought to the nations of Europe. The rise of fascism from the left and the smothering effect that the distribution of wealth and excessive government regulations and beauracracies have on economies and society.

Rand wasn't the only one. Go read Hayek, Von Mises and Haslitt.

The only people that were for socialism were the control freak elite and their useful idiot followers.


Ring
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

If it is such a small amount of money, why even collect it? The point you miss in your rush to defend dear leader is that when people do a little less, they earn less from the higher tax bracket. You seem to have this idea that people are just giving up their jobs, they aren't but there are many who are choosing to work less. I won't be doing any more extra consulting because on top of my salary, I get hit with 36% taxes. Instead someone else can take the work who might only be in a smaller tax bracket. Either way the government loses out. It's not just about high taxes it's about what is done with those taxes. If the Dems want to pour billions to fix the housing market they broke and fund healthcare which has nothing to do with fixing the economy, then so be it, but I won't be busting my hump to send $$ to washington to do it. Whether this was Ayn Rands intention or not, this is the path that people are taking and have taken since last fall when this all started. Consider that Obama said he would raise the capital gains tax by 10% this year, at which point the market started tanking. If you were going to sell a capital asset, would you do it in a year where you pay 15% taxes or 25%?
This notion that Obama's current actions are having no effect is ridiculous, the Stock market is usually always looking to the future, and has spiralled downwards since it was apparent he would be winning the election. Even after the Dot Com Bust and 9/11 the markets lost less than 4,000 points and at that time we thought we were looking at bankrupt airlines, banking institutions going under and so on, Time to clue in and see how serious the problems with an Obama Administration really is,


Mega
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

Scattered thoughout my long life and in various small villages and towns, I remember many 'gone fishing' signs….often for the last month or two of the year….why close shop for a month or two….ah, they had reached the top of middle backet and didn't want to pay 60+% taxes…they just went fishing. It was really very common. An ex-IRSer (ex-student of mine) didn't believe it and couldn't understand why….Galt does.

Next, will come inflation so I best get busy and buy some of the things I may need in the next few years.


Joel
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

No, actually you seem to miss the “truth”. Those 2 percent who make over 250,000 also go by another name. They're called small business owners. You know what small business owners do to cut profits (and thus income)? They cut production. The best way to cut production is to lay off workers. Or can you spin higher unemployment to giving people more free time to enjoy the little things in life?

(Like being forced to live in a little apartment with a little government cheese for dinner)


connecticut man1
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

You people are seriously dangerous. To yourselves, that is.

You are all screaming now that you have to pay the price for the incredibly stupid policies that your loopy movement is, in a large way, responsible for. Go Galt? Go to the john instead. At least in there you won't be crapping on the economy anymore.


Monique
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

Pug:
The top 2% already pay over 40% of the federal income tax. See http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html. We are quickly approaching a point when a majority will not pay any federal income taxes. I cannot speak for others but I am not whining and I do know what real work is. I am just done accepting insults for sacrificing, working hard, and succeeding. That is it. You have the absolute right to speak your mind and I can choose to spend my money as I see fit. I am conserving my resources as much as possible to prepare for an even worse economy. My mother taught me to expect the best, but prepare for the worst. So I expect the Obama administration and Congress to all wake-up tomorrow and put aside their desire to fundamentally change this country and instead focus on sound fiscal management. But I will prepare for the economy to tank and the world to become an even scarier place with Russia, China and the Middle East realizing that this administration does not have the guts to hold their feet to the fire. I hope that I am being too pessimistic and Obama matures into a great president. Thanks for laying pavement in Houston. I drive to Houston every day.


T.Cern
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:12 pm

“The Galtists are not proposing to “put their bodies” anywhere. Arguably, they are more moral in that they are not impeding anyone else from doing their thing. They are simply “removing their bodies” from the process entirely, since they are not bound to anyone for servititude. But the passion is the same, the immorality that they oppose is real and growing monstrous, and Obamites and ilk dismiss them contemptuously at the same peril a conservative academia dismissed Savio back in the day.”

Perfectly stated! Many wish to paint the Galtists as “pouty, temper tantrum elitists” who are trying to show everyone “how necessary and valuable they are to the world–boy they'll sure miss us”, but it's not it at all. Galtists are simply deciding that they want no part of funding the looters and the moochers. They're kicking back a bit and taking a holiday. If others decide they want to work hard and pay for moochers and looters, fair thee well :).

Forced labor and productivity are not the country's MO (yet), so going Galt shouldn't be a concern to anyone nor ruffle anyone's feathers, it's simply a personal choice–an alternative lifestyle choice :).


IgnoramusRUs
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

Wrong idiot. It is not free market capitalism that is to blame for the economic collapse. It is government intervention that caused the housing bubble and the central bank – the Federal Reserve that provided the cheap credit that fueled the housing bubble and reckless speculation that caused the bubble.

So don't go running around blaming free markets and capitalism for todays problems. They are the result of socialist policies and fraud. You don't even know what it means to be an American. Go read the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith – one of the founders of this nation. America was not founded by Karl Marx you fool.


IgnoramusRUs
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

Wrong idiot. It is not free market capitalism that is to blame for the economic collapse. It is government intervention that caused the housing bubble and the central bank – the Federal Reserve that provided the cheap credit that fueled the housing bubble and reckless speculation that caused the bubble.

So don't go running around blaming free markets and capitalism for todays problems. They are the result of socialist policies and fraud. You don't even know what it means to be an American. Go read the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith – one of the founders of this nation. America was not founded by Karl Marx you fool.


IgnoramusRUs
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

Wrong idiot. It is not free market capitalism that is to blame for the economic collapse. It is government intervention that caused the housing bubble and the central bank – the Federal Reserve that provided the cheap credit that fueled the housing bubble and reckless speculation that caused the bubble.

So don't go running around blaming free markets and capitalism for todays problems. They are the result of socialist policies and fraud. You don't even know what it means to be an American. Go read the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith – one of the founders of this nation. America was not founded by Karl Marx you fool.


emazur
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

Rand certainly admired the men who conquered the market within the bounds of the free market, but at the same time she was quite aware that there were men who used government power to monopolize their positions, and she referred to them as “the original collectivists”, watch the first minute of this video:
http://blip.tv/file/1802381/


debbiesim
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

Ah, the difference is that nobody on the left actually moved to Canada when Bush won. But there are plenty of folks on the right who will limit their productivity under Obama.


Chris M
Comment posted March 6, 2009 @ 11:05 pm

The plot of 'Atlas Shrugged' is taken straight from the Holy Bible.

Men are hopelessly lost in sin and reject Christ, the only one without sin and the only man that can save them. They continue in their self-destructive path of folly until the entire show collapses and finally Christ returns to restore order and to deal with the underlying problem, sin.


shawn214
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:05 am

WTF?
“Luskin, who named his daughter Roark after the hero of Rand’s novel “The Fountainhead,” sees basic economic concepts explained through the novelist’s work. “One of the reasons that the Laffer Curve works is because of the John Galt effect of creative people finding ways to cut back on their output if they know they’re going to be taxed, and demonized, for their success”
Ummm…..when did the Laffer curve “work”?


shawn214
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:09 am

In which case others will take their place. Some of you act like the rich really are supermen rather than people who were able to get into certain instutional postions in society; the instituions will survive. Besides, it is not as if our elits have aquitted themselves well.


Bart
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:38 am

“This view of “Atlas Shrugged” has its detractors. “Ayn Rand romanticized capitalists,” said Jerome Tuccille, author of the libertarian history “It Usually Starts With Ayn Rand,” in a Thursday interview. “She saw them as great heroes. She doesn’t deal with these corporatists like Thain who were pushing paper around and using regulations to feather their nests.”

Sounds like Jerome Tuccille never read the book. James Taggert? Oren Boyle? Hello?


Greg
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 6:21 am

The problem here is that conservatives and the people that bankroll them take deregulation as a license to steal. They rig the system in their favor at the expense of the rest of us. And that person that allegedly said they were losing interest in running the business they started because they was being punished for their success — GROW UP. That is incredibly idiotic and would seem to be at odds with the “selfish self-interest and screw the rest of you” philosophy these conservatives buy into.


Scrybe
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 7:57 am

Been lurking here, but it's time to put my 2 cents – reduced for inflation to about .0005 cents – and remind you all of something that you are all forgetting: He who makes the tax laws can change the tax laws. Today, BO is targeting $250k earners – tomorrow it could be $ 50k earners.

Think on this for a moment: a business that is losing money, pays no taxes. Hence, on your schedule C, you show a negative – a loss for the year – you pay nothing!
But a W-2 earner has to pay taxes – they have “income”. So, who really is going to pay?


hustle13
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 8:52 am

Pug, no one who makes over $250,000 does it because they are “lucky”. They probably also do not lay pavement either. Laying pavement is a job that is not worth $250,000 a year. These people use their MIND to make money, not their muscle.

A smart man once told me that the difference between someone who makes “real money” and someone who does not, is that for the former the work week is just getting started at 40 hours, not coming to an end.


weisshaupt
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 8:57 am

Did it ever occur to anyone that when the Right says it will do something, that it will? It may not occur to Libs who are neither surpised nor bothers by Obama's unkept promises, because they don't keep promises (like moving to Canada) either. The right consists of people with jobs, who work hard, and who just want to live and let live. They don't need veryone to do as they do like the left does. And they will just quietly drop out. I am just one example. I used to work 60 Hour weeks travelling all over the US – I am now a contractor LIMITED to 40 hours a week. Nope, its not as much money, but since an ever larger portion of that money will be stolen from me, it seemed I would be happier to just stress a lot less and stay at home with my family. If you take away the Carrot- it shouldn't be surpising when people stop chasing after whatever is left. Its called the law of diminishing returns, and anyone with economics 101 under thieir belt should understand it. You don't need to read Ayn Rand or to intentionally cut back in protest. Atlas will shrug simply because the incentives have changed. Welcom to realisty liberals – what you do there has reprecussions that don't care on jot about your feelings about what would be best or what you think should happen


third world county » You’re Just Not Trying Hard Enough
Pingback posted March 7, 2009 @ 10:04 am

[...] Print all the bumper stickers you want from this. Don’t send me any royalties or anything. I’m seriously considering going John Galt. [...]


Hawaiianstyle
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 11:11 am

Going Galt my Axx. If you want to bail do it. If you need a guru to follow, follow Rush Limbaugh, the Wizard of Oz, or Mr. Steele, or just go back to work. You are crying because you don't have free play in the school yard any longer because you abused the natural rules. The rules that say what goes around comes around. You took too much, too fast, too often, too long.

You Republicans are the biggest cry babies I've ever seen. You had all the years since Regan managed to con you into scapegoating the Government to make money. Now that the system of unrestrained greed reached its logical conclusion, and the gov is again going to restrain your excesses you think you are being punished. If you could have voluntarily restrained your greed your government would not have to do it. If CEOs did not value their Sooo valuable company leadership by the size of their compensation and compete to see who could grab the most you would not have the government in your company lives.

You think I'm wrong. How do you rationalize a CEO of a company ASKING for GOVERNMENT MONEY to bail out his failing company, and then giving himself a bonus after he gets it? Where's his Galtian philosophy? Why didn't he just blame the government for all his problems and go to his velvet lined cave? His belief in some system where he is entitled to a bonus for allowing his company to fail is the problem. Its called unrestrained greed. Its called unconscious greed. Its called the natural consequence of Capitalism.

If you republicans, you heroic entrepreneurs, you great capitalist philosophers really believed in what you are blathering about, and you really believed in your Galtian philosophy you would have said I don't want government money and gone broke.

Unfortunately that means all the labor folks that made your products, the ones that you said to make, and the ones that didn't manage to compete in the world market, the capitalist market that you love so much, would suffer. They would suffer from your inability to predict that capitalist market you love so much. Take some responsibility for your own choices.

What you professed to want for too long is what you got. Free competition. You got it. Live with the consequences or don't, but grow up, take responsibility for the consequences of your system and don't cry about it, Galt was a cop out. He was not a capitalist


Carol
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 11:13 am

I do! Absolutely!! I remember all those promises they made too! They got us into a war, promising that the oil from Iraq will pay for it. Promising that we would be greeted as liberators. Promising less government and then bringing us the Patriot Act. i also remember the biggest disaster during Bush's early months – 9/11. It was terrible! The Republicans controlled the house and the senate, with a Republican president and look what happened!

If you make over 250,000 after profits, that will be taxed at 3% more, you might be paying a bit more. The tax decrease that you've benefitted from, brought to you by the Republicans had a sunset clause in it anyhow, it was always intended to expire in 2011. This way they could look like heroes, then bludgeon the next administration with it when it was time to expire.

If you work less, you will give another person the opportunity to take the work you don't want, that's a pretty good thing. Someone who would be otherwise on unemployment would have a job and pay taxes. Someone whose job might have been outsourced by a company that receives a lot of tax breaks already. It would be a good thing if you stayed home and relaxed with your family, that's a great idea, you should be happier. Hmmm… working less and being happier, that's two more good things coming out of this new administration. Not too shabby!

I think… there are a lot of creative people, hard working people who are now struggling financially. For example, a lot of architects have lost their jobs because building has halted. I don't think that people who make over 250,000 have cornered the market on creativity.


noone
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 11:30 am

Nice piece, Dave. Wilkinson is wrong, though (at the end). There is no evidence liberals flocked to Canada during the Bush administration. But there is ample evidence that production decreases when government intervention increases (the Laffer curve is a good proxy for this).


chris
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

CREATIVE TYPES…….WHAT A BUNCH OF HORSESHIT. WAS IT THE SO CALLED CREATIVE TYPES THAT CAME UP WITH THE INSTRUMENT OF CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS……..LIKE AT AIG……..TAKE IN BILLIONS IN PREMIUMS………AND KEEP ZERO OF IT JUST IN THE HAPPENS STANCE THAT MAYBE THEY WOULD HAVE TO PAY A CLAIM?? AND THAT MORON HANK GREENBERG CALLING AIG “A NATIONAL TREASURE”


I am John Galt
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

Going galt can just mean immigrating to another country. Singapore is a great example. They will let you immigrate if you are productive and a producer. They have very lenient tax burdens on individuals, and the state has little tolerance for mediocrity.

I plan on going there if Obama gets worse.


chris
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

HEY GALT……….AS THEY SAY “DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE ASS” THE WORDS “PRODUCTIVE PRODUCER AND MEDIOCRITY” GALT…..YOU KNOW THIS THE INTERNET……HOW DOES ANYONE REALLY KNOW IF YOU ARE NOT BEHIND A COMPUTER IN A HOMELESS SHELTER ! ! ! HEEEEE HEEEE
BIG TALK……..LIKE ALL OF YOU REPUBS ! !


PopeRatzo
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

Maybe you can give us ONE SINGLE EXAMPLE of the “folks on the right” who have “limit(ed) their productivity under Obama”.

Otherwise, you're just whining again.


Pipee
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

There will be plenty of folks to replace you, enjoy your civil liberties in Singapore.


Carol
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:32 pm

That's fine. I know tons of really smart, creative, hard working, productive people who are delighted to stay.


David
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

Oh, what a beautiful dream it would be if all the free-market ideologues in the U.S. emigrated to small farms in foreign countries. You could all fantasize together in small communes about welfare queens, ACORN, and insidious Carter administration plots to destroy the Republican party 30 years in the future.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the rest of us could try to restore and build on the prosperity laid waste by your fanatical dismantling of the social safety net and de-regulation of the financial markets.


mint_tea
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:45 pm

I am absolutely terrified that all the CEO's and hedge fund managers most penalized by progressive taxation will go Galt on us. It will be sheer chaos. Who will replace industry giants like Nardelli and Thain? These Atlases earn 1,000 times an average person's income because they are utterly irreplaceable.

What will we DO if the go Galt on us?


mint_tea
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 2:52 pm

In Atlas Shrugged, the Giants of Industry established their own little utopia in the mountains.

Can you imagine what such a place would be like in the real world? Joe the Plumber wouldn't qualify, but just imagine all the CEO's and Wall Street board members beached on an island somewhere. /giggle


Carol
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 3:15 pm

PLEASE! TAKE JOE THE PLUMBER!!!


Jamie
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

From Yahoo news:

“Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Friday that he will decline stimulus money specifically targeted at expanding state unemployment insurance coverage, becoming the first state executive to officially refuse any part of the federal government’s payout to states. “

There are plenty of people who are refusing to opt into the spending going on in Washington. Republican or Democrat, it doesn't matter who is running the show since the state is always against the private individual. The investment bankers and CEO's are a product of their environment: of course the the best dealmakers and big talkers with rockstar egos floated to the top of the industry. They had to, since that was the only way to deal with the crushing amount of regulation heaped on the industry.

Tinker here, tinker there… make a new law here, make a new law there. Ever stop to wonder just why it is that we have new laws created each year since the dawn of the country? Do we really need that much “protection?” Regulation breeds influence peddling, and THAT is what we are seeing exposed here.


Desertrat
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

You really shouldn't rely on Conservapedia so much…Adam Smith lived, for all his life, aside from a few years at Oxford, in Scotland. He never came to America, let along 'founded' the country


Pickle
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

“This, for Wilkinson, is another reason he’s still on the fence — although he’s “sympathetic” to the “going Galt” concept and the Rand comeback. “If we’re being honest,” he said, “it’s a right-wing version of ‘I’m moving to Canada if Bush wins.’””

That statement misses a central point of the novel, which is that you didn't have to literally move to “Galt's Gulch” in order to “go Galt”. The point was that your mind was going on strike, not your body. Many skilled, talented professionals made the choice to stay within “the world” and simply put their talent on strike; engineers gave up their jobs to become janitors.


Pickle
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

Those of you scoffing about the uselessness of “fat cats” also miss the point. While Rand acknowledged the value of captains of industry in her novel, in the end, it was not them moving away that caused the world to collapse. Joining them were all the other creators: engineers, architects, technicians, doctors, scientists. The vast majority of them simply quit their chosen professions and became labourers, thieves, or sponges themselves, rather than actually moving anywhere. In other words: in Rand's novel, the working professionals who you socialist cretins would like to conscript into providing the motive power for your pathetic welfare state, told you to shove it and quit.

Just like they're starting to do in the real world.


John Galt was a welfare queen
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

What will happen to this country's wealth when forensic psychologists and law professors withdraw from productive activity? Has Obama thought about this?


Matthew Yglesias » Going Galt on the Taxpayer Dime
Pingback posted March 7, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

[...] Weigel has a neat piece on the “going Galt” fad currently reverberating through the loony-bin known as the [...]


Chris
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

Please, do “Go Galt.” When us “looters and moochers” we rebuild the nation and the economy please stay away. We'll be happier without you and your insane adolescent revenge fantasies.


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

MMMMbuh-bye, you worthless pieces of garbage. Don't let the door hitcha. Take Joe the Plumber. Please. This world could use much, much less of the likes of Mr. and Mrs. Instapundit and friends. I can't wait! Whiny jacka$$es.


Watts
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

“I won't be doing any more consulting, because on top of my salary I get hit with 36% taxes.”

Okay. Look, maybe you can explain this to me, Ring: the tax “increase” we're facing under Obama is essentially moving the top marginal rate back to 39.6%, which is what it was 10 years ago. Why is a top marginal tax rate of 35% capitalism, but a top marginal tax rate of just under 40% socialism? If this is true, then we were apparently living in Soviet Russia during the first part of the Reagan administration when the top marginal tax rate was OVER 40% … and it's actually been over 40% for all of the time since the Great Depression. In Rand's heyday, the top marginal tax rate was well over 50%, but somehow, she failed to consider that reason enough to move back to Russia.

I'm serious here. Have any of you Ayn Rand fans actually LOOKED at the tax rates you're protesting? Are you aware that all those “creative types” earning less than $250K a year are going to see their taxes go DOWN under Obama's plan? (They would have under McCain's plain as well, for the record: these particular details were announced well before the election.)

Last but not least, as for fixing health care having nothing to do with fixing the economy — we spend more of our GDP than any other industrialized nation on health care, and unlike any other industrialized nation, we fund it primarily on the backs of employers. I can just about guarantee you that if we ever get something like “universal health care” in this country, it's not going to be driven by the socialists of your imagination — it's going to be driven by corporations.


Bob H
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

I went Galt last year – I payed over 26K in total taxes for year 2007. After paying an additional $1900 for the ATM for 2007 I reduced my work hours and commission in 2008 to just under the qualifying ATM requirements. I live fine – no debt, no payments, no credit card ballances. I just liked to work, and I am good at what I do. I help people save money and improve their comfort. It is a shame the federal government places an undue burden on me when I assist more people with their problems. Obama has a different world view than I do – he believes things are not fair for most people; therefore, the few must be forced to assist the many. It is a real shame that more and more producers will finally do what I did last year; that is – stop producing at the rate we are capable of. Most producers wish to produce – it is a shame the Obama can't see past his training in socialism and realize that people can succeed on their own, without his help.


mint_tea
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 6:07 pm

I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged, but the real world simply doesn't work that way. The supply of talented people is very large, the fruits accrued to those at the top are disproportionate and significantly based on luck.

For every would-be John and Jane Galt that goes on strike, a thousand hungry people will eagerly claw and scratch to take their place. They'll miss a paycheck, but the world won't miss a beat.

Ironically, if they were unionized, their collective action might mean something (lol).


simon dupree
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 6:27 pm

I went Galt immediately after high school and never looked back


chris
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

THAT IS WHY MR OBAMA WILL HAVE TO RAISE THE TAXES ON YOU FULL OF SHIT SUPPLY SIDE LOSERS A BIT HIGHER………….TO MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE……..DOESN'T SEEM LIKE YOU ARE SMART ENOUGH TO FIGURE THAT OUT ! ! WHAT IS YOUR BIG ADVISE TO CLIENTS…….SOMETHING LIKE ” BUY HIGH…..SELL LOW ” THAT WORKS ! !


The woes of wealth
Pingback posted March 7, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

[...] to come on the insane civil disobedience of the übermenschen that is the “Going Galt” movement, but the proper prelude to the latest case of plutopersecution is Tom The Dancing [...]


Carol
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

Wasn't 2008 under a Republican administration? Didn't the democrats try to reverse what you are calling the ATM, I think you mean the AMT – the Alternative Minimum Tax and were turned down?

That's great that you live so well. You're healthy and educated and work hard. I'm sure that there are a lot of people who help you as well, if you have children, they teach your children, nurses who provide care and other people who work really hard also but now are having financial problems partly due to being uninsured or underinsured. Our country has one of the highest infant mortality rates. Statistics show that most personal bankruptcies are due to hospital stays and medical treatments, even for people who have insurance. I don't understand why this is OK with people, we aren't a third world country. I see every day, everywhere I go people are working really hard, providing assistance to everyone. I mean, the woman who helps me clean my house, she works harder than anyone I know! She helps me make my life a lot easier and boy do I appreciate it and pay her well!! It seems like everyone thinks that unless you make over 250,000 you're lazy and are holding out your hand. Actually, the opposite is true, the people with their hands out are the heads of banks and the auto industry. I guess they are the ones having trouble succeeding right about now.


Carol
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

A lot of lawyers are out of work right now, I'm sure they'd be happy to fill in those spots. And not all psychologists and law professors are Republicans. Many, many are democrats and voted for Obama. Not all wealthy people have a tight sweaty fist around their wallets. Warren Buffet for example endorsed Obama, knowing full well that his taxes were going up. On the other hand, everyone in the country knew they were going to go up because the tax break was slated to be repealed in 2011 anyhow. This was written into the original tax break by the Republicans.


Jay
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

Wow. This is the conservative movement? What an embarrassment to actual thought. The financial meltdown is a product of government restricting individual creativity? Anyone who believes this must live in an alternative reality.

Rather than follow empty minded platitudes (like those espoused in this 'article'), it may be helpful to invest in understanding actual conservatives thinking about the economy — there's large #s of brilliant and conservative economists, none more notable than Martin Feldstein. Consistent with the empty-headedness of the conservative movement, though, people would rather take their cues from a know-nothing drug addict adulterer (Limbaugh) than truly thoughtful (and conservative!) people like Feldstein and Greg Mankiw.


shecky
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

I fall in that bracket that'll get hit. And while I kind of like to say I'll stick it to the Man by cutting my productivity, the truth is that my productivity will be limited due to economic trends whether I like it or not. Given the choice, I'd just as soon prefer making more money, even if I'm paying more to Uncle Sam.


chris
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

HEY………GIVE ME A BREAK. YOU ARE GOING TO TELL ME SMUCK HUSTLE THAT A-ROD IS NOT LUCKY BECAUSE HE AND OTHERS LIKE HIM HAVE HIT THE “GENETIC LOTTERY” THIS SYSTEM REWARDS WAY TO MANY PEOPLE FAR TO MUCH FOR FAR TO LITTLE EFFORT. AND THAT GOES FOR A GOOD PORTION OF THE TOP 2%


Carol
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

My brother and sister in law are both doctors. I think they still are, as far as I know they haven't quit nor are planning to. They also voted for Obama. I think they're staying, they just bought a new house.

My other brother in law is an architect. He also voted for Obama and believe me, he doesn't make nearly the $250,000 rate that kicks in the marginal tax rate. Architects just don't make that much money. Actually it doesn't matter, not many architects make anything anymore because they're all out of work because all the building has ceased.

Atlas Shrugged is a novel, there's so much more that moves the world than capitalism, the free market and taxes.


Laura
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

I am absolutely terrified that all the CEO's and hedge fund managers most penalized by progressive taxation will go Galt on us. It will be sheer chaos. Who will replace industry giants like Nardelli and Thain? These Atlases earn 1,000 times an average person's income because they are utterly irreplaceable.

What will we DO if the go Galt on us?

I for one will rejoice….all of these corporate rapists should be rounded up and hung with their Gucci underwear.


John Galt was a welfare queen
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

Well, I was joking.


Laura
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

I am John Galt….Singapore is an apt name for the country….they have a very singular culture….I hope they will embrace you as an American; have a nice stay…bring me a souvenier.


babyming
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 9:15 pm

Atlas Shrugged ends with the destruction of the United States. I am afraid that many people are attracted to the novel today, not because of the novel's great merits, but simply because they want Obama to fail, and they want this so passionately, that they really would not be bothered by the destruction of the United States. What would really bother them is if Obama succeeded. Ayn Rand wanted the Soviet Union to fail, and thanks in significant part to her writings, the USSR did fail. I don't believe that Ayn Rand would want either Obama or America to fail, whatever disagreements she would have with some of Obama's ideas.
In Ayn Rand's dedication to exposing the miserable USSR, she tolerated personal associations with some of the most dysfunctional and unattractive people on the planet. It's a shame that in a way, this is happening yet again, as quite a few extremist Republicans are apparently the latest people to discover Atlas Shrugged.


eli
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 10:15 pm

I think it's fantastic. They can buy a bunch of land somewhere and pollute the crap out of it. The first thing they'll realize however, is that when everyone is an “Atlas”, no one will want to actually do the (literal) heavy lifting.

At which point they'll be forced to hire immigrants – who will eventually form unions and protest unfair working conditions, demand public education, clean streets, parks, streets, legal representation, etc.

Uh, yeah. Good ol' Ayn Rand.


eli
Comment posted March 7, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

“people can succeed on their own, without his help”

I've never understood how this argument exists in the face of basic socio-economic statistics. I teach at a poor, largely immigrant K-12 school, where the 16 year old, sophomore mothers' babies will be entering Kindergarten in 5 years. The research on human development/learning overwhelmingly points to parenting, genetics, peers and schooling as explaining just about every developmental outcome imaginable. If you remove those factors, there is literally no other explanation for human achievement.

Everyday I see anecdotal evidence of this over, and over again. And I can't thank society enough for having the wisdom to invest in our well-trained, albeit always under-resourced staff. Whether it's having an extra minute to spend on a kid's reading skills, helping two angry boys learn to peacefully resolve conflict, inspire a neglected child's artistic abilities, provide counseling on career options, or translate a confused parent's concerns about her daughter's test results… the list is literally endless.

And it is all about helping people to succeed.


American Street » Blog Archive » Conservatism Is To Conserve As Dogma Is To Dog
Pingback posted March 8, 2009 @ 1:41 am

[...] their world would be a better place without us, or determine they have to teach us a lesson and go John Galt on us.  It’s our responsibility to make their lives better too.  It’d be a [...]


Conservatism Is To Conserve As Dogma Is To Dog | E Pluribus Unum
Pingback posted March 8, 2009 @ 1:43 am

[...] their world would be a better place without us, or determine they have to teach us a lesson and go John Galt on us.  It’s our responsibility to make their lives better too.  It’d be a [...]


Tom
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 1:23 am

Dave's piece seems to have attracted a very, very lofty class of people. WAY more than two percent of his commenters seem to be earning more than the magic number of $250,000. (Yeah, right.) Even more, I had no idea that the majority of high earners were such friggin' morons that they can't understand the “marginal rate” concept. It must take a special combination of something or other to make that much money and be that stupid, all at the same time. And libertarians are supposed to be much more intellectual than the Republicans. That should give one pause.


Fen
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 1:57 am

“If we’re being honest,” he said, “it’s a right-wing version of ‘I’m moving to Canada if Bush wins.’”

Uh no. Idiot.

Its more like “if you're going to punish me for working hard, I'm less inclined to work hard”.


weisshauptisanidiot
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:48 am

“Welcom to realisty liberals – what you do there has reprecussions that don't care on jot about your feelings about what would be best or what you think should happen”

What ? Clearly we will miss your brain power

So go live in your conservative “Gulch” Just be sure to provide your own food, water, power, and all of the other infrastructure you're now sucking down off the public commons. Be sure to build your own roads too.

No one makes money in a vacuum.


goethean
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 8:23 am

In other words, making you pay for roads and bridges that you use and benefit from = punishing you.

Poor baby!


What Does it Mean to go John Galt « Rantings of mine
Pingback posted March 8, 2009 @ 8:28 am

[...] Dr. Helen (one of my favorite bloggers) explains in the Washington Independent. [...]


P
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:17 am

I will believe you when you actually stop working hard. Especially in these times of declining incomes. Dr. Helen Smith is a “forensic psychologist” in the TN criminal justice system, a government agency. So she is a “looter and a moocher” according to Rand. I'll believe in the sincerity of her intentions when she quits her job.


P
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:19 am

If increasing the top income tax rate to 39% is socialist then Reagan was more socialist (40%) then Obama. Don't get me started on Nixon (70%).


P
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:20 am

LOL! Especially when they work in govt-funded agencies/organizations. Wonder what Galt would think of that?


P
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:24 am

Even if we accept your premise, engineers wouldn't give up their jobs to become janitors; they did so because they had no other choice. Either a janitor or starve to death. Provide a real-life example and a direct causation otherwise its all BS


P
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:25 am

Please do. There are hundreds who will take your job.

PS. Singapore is not a democracy and doesn't exactly have freedom of speech so don't shoot off your mouth there.


deeproy
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:33 am

http://www.angryflower.com/atlass.gif

That is all…


Hawaiianstyle
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 10:19 am

Jamie,

There are a few govenerors that for political noteriety are opting out of
federal unemployment money.
Note the S. Carolina (?) Legislature just passed a law saying their governor
could not refuse the money on behalf of the state.

I suggest you ask those that are unemployed if they want to refuse the
money. When you get a significant amount (over 20) say, that are real
unemployed in serious need whose benefits have run out to say they don't
want anymore, I'll agree with you. Til then I don't think a govenor has the
right to say no for all.

Thanks for the reply,


Joseph Rohland
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 10:48 am

Why do we need to read a fictional account of the destruction of the U.S. to help us get off our duffs and do something about it ? Read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I love Ayn Rand and her writings, but the forefathers of this country have repeatedly warned us about the dangers of losing freedom in this country if we the people allowed the central banks and government to take control. Thank God for authoring Liberty and thank God for our Forefathers for making Liberty popular. God bless the Campaign for Liberty, We the People Foundation and all Fighters for Freedom. To Hell with Left vs. Right… It's the State vs. You……. The political parties are two wings of the volturous bird of prey.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 10:49 am

I'm starting to understand this argument now. People don't want to pay higher taxes because they don't want their money going to social programs, to people they're calling whiners and I have a feeling there's more to it that just that, but I won't say here. There are people who might need help, who are working, who have sacrificed to provide betterment for us all, for example people in the military who fight for our freedom, and their families. I know they don't make a lot but I would argue they provide a service that's beneficial to everyone, everyone who thinks they've done everything all on their own, without anyone's help. I could say that i want to “Go Galt” because I think our military spending is out of control and I don't want my money going to fund that.

If the government should stay out of business's way, perhaps we should start with the FDIC and shut that program down.

Would George Bush be considered socialist then because he sent out stimulus checks last year? That wasn't even to do anything productive, it was to get people to buy more stuff and that was just handing out money, a very temporary solution.


Carol
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 10:58 am

Ooooooh. Tee hee.


kth
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

I don't understand your rationale for working less. The next dollar you make (above the limit you have set for yourself) would presumably be taxed at a higher rate. But you would still have more money overall.

If you have decided that the marginal benefit to working one more hour is not worth the marginal utility of the leisure you would have to forego, that's fine, but I don't see what is so earth-shattering about your decision. Especially as, at a moment when the unemployment rate will soon be close to 10%, plenty of people will be glad to take the work you don't want.


You Can’t Increase Wealth By Dividing It
Pingback posted March 8, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

[...] Battling Obama by ‘Going Galt’ [...]


The Story So Far… » Blog Archive » Atlas Shrugged…Then Charged It To Someone Else…(continued)
Pingback posted March 8, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

[...] novel would suggest, or trying to lower one’s income, as many of the people quoted in stories about "going Galt" [...]


Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » We are all John Galt now
Pingback posted March 8, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

[...] Yglesias points out that we’d probably be better off if a lot of wealthy Americans went Galt, the Washington Independent has a nice run-down of the whole movement, if it can be called that, and commenters all over point [...]


Fix It For Profit » Blog Archive » At Least Noon Was Only Joking…
Pingback posted March 8, 2009 @ 3:54 pm

[...] David Weigel uncovers some entertaining new information about internets legend Donald Luskin: Luskin, who named his daughter Roark after the hero of Rand’s novel “The Fountainhead,” sees basic economic concepts explained through the novelist’s work. “One of the reasons that the Laffer Curve works [sic] is because of the John Galt effect of creative people finding ways to cut back on their output if they know they’re going to be taxed, and demonized, for their success,” he said. [...]


Jeff
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

It wont happen because neo-cons are all about controlling people with their religion.

John Galt (and Ayn Rand in particular) were Atheists so it is not palatable to the neo-con breed.

I could go on and on…


Alan Peery
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

Any writer considering “going Galt” against the US should consider moving to Ireland, where a writer's income is taxed less.

But is this truly “going Galt”? Inquiring minds want to know.


paxalot
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

Why is it that a supposedly Christian nation insists on a Darwinian tooth-and-claw treatment of those born poor and disadvantaged? The answer? American Christian values are simply a vain posture. At their core American Christians are as bleak and selfish as Joseph Stalin.


Fred Fredricks
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

The noe cons should hold off “going Galt” until the know if they need those social programs. They might be in the bread lines themselves.


Carlos
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum or Ayn Rand as she is now known, took the style of communist propaganda, that her own people (secular Russian Jews) had participated in developing, and reinvented it in capitalist propaganda with her two famous alternate reality novels.

She smokes and made undercarriage available to some wealthy capitalists. She is not missed.


Ken
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

You should read up on economics before you make asinine posts. Seriously. Please do the world a favor.

“Would George Bush be considered socialist then because he sent out stimulus checks last year? That wasn't even to do anything productive, it was to get people to buy more stuff and that was just handing out money, a very temporary solution.”

No that is NOT socialist in the slightest. As far as “wasn't even to do anything productive,” goes, it was. Giving people money to SPEND will theoretically triple the money in the economy. In layman's terms for you: Spending money allows business' to pay employees. It allows those employees to spend that money. When they spend that money it passes on and on, after awhile it effectively becomes MORE money and raises the GDP.

Now the biggest problem/argument against the stimulus is that people weren't using it correctly, they were using it to pay off their debt they created by living beyond their means. Paying off debt doesn't add anything to the economy.

READ: Keynesian multiplier


Fred Fredricks
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

Then you will be in the bread line too.


Jake
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

Rand would not support Thain. She was opposed to those that operate in a mixed economy. Many people think this novel is just a hype for raw capitalism, yet they do not realize it is really a story that lays out her philosophy, Objectivism. She was opposed to those that demand everyone exist as a sacrificial animal. I suggest all the critics that post comments here take a look at the book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Peikoff to get a real understanding of what she was about. You would have quite a change of heart about her if you actually dug a little deeper


Hack
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

Google “straw man argument” and get a clue.


Hack
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

Google “straw man argument” and get a clue.


Kyniska
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

I never hear about these people. I'm someone who'd like to understand both parties, but each seems to have their own agenda. All I see in the news are Michael Steele's and Sean Hannity's, who cause liberals to froth out the mouth and become totally unreasonable. Why aren't the sensible conservatives speaking out so we can actually have some intelligent conversation?

I'm not poor (I'm college grad, though, so I soon will be), but I'm interested in 'going Galt' because I love the earth and want to get away from all this consumerism. The idea of a bunch of wealthy people moving out into the wilderness sickens me a little because I feel they're doing it to avoid responsibility for the amount of money they have and they just don't care about other people who work hard to bring them their food and provide them with services.

I do not want Obama to fail, but I do want to be well-informed about both sides of the argument so I can make my own decisions about what to support and what to debate. Any other sane conservatives who I could look into?


Captain
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

Why do you attempt to demonize people who wish Obama to fail when Obama's objective is to establish a socialist society in America? Saying Obama's success in this “would bother them” is hardly profound.


Captain
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

Nixon? You mean Carter. And his ~19% interest rates.


Graham
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

The Keynesian multiplier is a fantasy. If such a multiplier existed, there would be no reason not to borrow endlessly and spend endlessly. This type of behavior is completely unsustainable. These Keynesians have no concept of what capital is or how it works.

See: http://independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=… for a brief example additional fallacies in Keynesian “economics”.


Graham
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

There won't be any bread in the bread line if there's nobody left for the government to loot.


Captain
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

Your Caps Lock key is still broken.


Graham
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

The writer of this cartoon clearly hasn't read the novel.


modle
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

Going Galt…I almost feel like a looter for never thinking of that term for myself and now using it everywhere.

Spread the word, people.


haywould
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

I'm stunned by the vitriol aimed at Rand. All she did was write the truth. The moocher scum who vote for the looters must be scared right now. Trust me the DOW is heading to 2500. When that happens their will be no more producers to tax. We will all be serfs. Stalin and his socialist friend hitler are dancing…..


Carol
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

“You should read up on economics before you make asinine posts”

When someone answers a question with an insult, it's obvious they have nothing important to say. I asked a legitimate question in my post. You're getting defensive. There are never stupid questions, only stupid answers. Now try being civilized.

“Giving people money to SPEND will theoretically triple the money in the economy. “

That's it? That's your argument? We are even in agreement. Paying people to do things like build bridges and fix roads will also give them money. To spend. And pay taxes. And pass that money on.


Graham
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

Why are these schools getting worse and worse in the face of more and more federal involvement and funding?


Zack Ham
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:07 pm

“The idea of a bunch of wealthy people moving out into the wilderness sickens me a little because I feel they're doing it to avoid responsibility for the amount of money they have and they just don't care about other people who work hard to bring them their food and provide them with services.”

Everyone who participates in the economy eats and consumes services. Everyone pays for them as well. Your idea that social responsibility is requisitely associated with wealth is exactly why people align themselves with Rand's ideas. If I go knocking on doors and mow lawns, and you come over asking for a cut of my income, I am rightly so irritated at a very primitive level, as you are assuming some level of ownership over the fruits of my labor. The fundamental argument is there is no original sin, or in this case, preexisting societal debt. I will pay the market rate to take part in your society, but you don't own me, and I reserve the right to walk away from this arrangement if I become dissatisfied with your terms.


obamasucksit
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

Wow…the liberals/neo socialists/obamaniacs are flipping out all over the blogs about Going Galt…their vitriol and hate levels are ramped up…it is killing them to think that some of us are simply not going to go along with paying for their laziness and crap government programs


booboo
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

The Republican party divorced itself from sensiblity and rationality long ago when its powers-that-be (the very very rich) gambled they could maintain a winning political coalition through low-level pandering such as FoxNews/Limbaugh/HateRadio rather than any real ideas for intellectual or civic leadership.

GWB was the culmination of that strategy: eight years of pillaging of the civic good.

Anyone who thinks unregulated markets work after the financial disaster is displaying willful ignorance far beyond the warped reasoning of a heroine addict in pursuit of their “precious”


neurochubby
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

It should be noted that the Republican's tax breaks for the rich are completely contradictory to Objectivist philosophy. The only role of government is to protect individual rights. For the past 8 years Republicans have lost their roots and the result is this economic meltdown. Brothers, You Asked For It!

Vicente Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia Martinez


Zack Ham
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

Federal involvement has been the imposition of testing that is used to determine levels of funding. This is arguably not an effective use of federal resources. Our education system is not being reconsidered and modified*, more money is being thrown into it. Putting money into keeping an inefficient machine running doesn't make it more efficient, it just prevents its failure.

* There are exceptions but by and large this is not the case.


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

You don't have to earn over $250K to disagree with Obama's “punish the rich” and redistribution of wealth policies. No one wants to hurt the homeless or make the poor suffer. But we do not agree with rewarding those who choose to live off the hard-work of others. Frankly, if I know my taxes are going up, even at the marginal rates, then I'm going to think really hard about limiting my income or “go Galt” myself.


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

Excellent. I've been going Galt for some time now. I'm self employed, and earn what I need to earn to pay the bills but not so much as to have to pay taxes. Business is slow and I'm thinking of getting a job, but I resent the notion of having to pay in to support this nonsense.


Thummp
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

Obama's objective is not socialism. That's just right wing rhetoric that right wingers are only too happy to eat up. He is restoring tax levels back to where they were before Bush. Hardly Socialism. Parroting the big words Rush taught you makes you feel informed, objective and knowledgeable though, don't it?


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

paxalot, you mean the American Christians who run the vast majority of charitable organizations in the US that feed the poor, give hospice care, offer homeless shelters, and provide medical services to low-income families? Those American Christians?


edwardscpa
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

Easy. ~35% to federal, several percent to FICA, 8% to state… that's pretty much half of the next dollar earned. The looters are claiming half of my efforts as their own, which I resent, because the effort was mine and not theirs; they have no claim to my work product, or money. I suppose I could go along with it, but then every time I read in the paper that they're pissing away more and more money, handing it to the undeserving, I'd cringe knowing that part of that money was mine. It's nice knowing I didn't help support it.


Carol
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

Okaayyyyy, you convinced me. I went to Wikipedia for Keynesian Multiplier and found this?

Keynes argued that the solution to depression was to stimulate the economy (“inducement to invest”) through some combination of two approaches: a reduction in interest rates, and government investment in infrastructure. Investment by government injects income, which results in more spending in the general economy, which in turn stimulates more production and investment involving still more income and spending and so forth. The initial stimulation starts a cascade of events, whose total increase in economic activity is a multiple of the original investment.[2]

And my question wasn't literally, is GW a socialist, I know he isn't. It was a more subtle why does it seem like it's OK for him to try to stimulate the economy by distributing money but it's not OK for Obama to invest in infrastructure. I'm trying to understand the distinction. I also perfectly well understand why people didn't use the money so it didn't work.

Mostly i am trying to understand to understand why people are so upset about the stimulus package, which is supposed to help our own people for example, but not protesting how much money we spend on the military which I believe is over 600 billion a year, and far exceeds China's and exceeds the military spending of all other countries combined. Do you think that's an asinine question? Are people not allowed to ask questions on this site?


Brian
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

I agree with not standing in the way of the capitalist class but also not having the capitalist class utterly marginalize the working class whom they ultimately benefit from. I don't believe in paying skilled wages for semi-skilled or otherwise interchangeable labor positions.

I believe the financial system needs to be regulated heavily because the money supply is just as important to our society as good soil was/is to an agricultural soceity.

Everybody should not own a home. Irresponsible people should and will remain that way. If you resent thinking or acting intelligently because someone is trying to “make you do something” you're an idiot and heck if I care if you're making 18 an hour as the ceiling wage in your life.

Charity could solve most of our problems of redistribution. Noblesse Oblige or whatever. Also a lot of fashionable ways of giving to charity do not have a lot of utility, cancer research is….well….someday maybe there will be a breakthrough, until then…..give to disadvantaged children's education funds or something worthwhile. Too much Leukemia research going on, not enough truly effective ways of voluntary redistribution.


Roger
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/…


Lilamae
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

This, for Wilkinson, is another reason he’s still on the fence — although he’s “sympathetic” to the “going Galt” concept and the Rand comeback. “If we’re being honest,” he said, “it’s a right-wing version of ‘I’m moving to Canada if Bush wins.’”

Unfortunately, the Leftists never moved to Canada. Conservatives are capable of going on a creative “strike.” Not only capable but in a lot of cases willing and able. It's a lot like civil disobedience, I'd say, only without the disobedience.


WakeUp
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

Another reason to check out of the system is when the government wants to spend “our money” because they don't feel we will spend it as wisely as they will; or we will not “invest” in the types of charity or redistribution that they propose. Hey all you representatives of the people in Congress: “it's our money”! If we choose not to earn as much or to spend it to pay down debt or give to our church or favorite charity that's our business. And, when a bankrupt government scolds and talks down to corporations for being irresponsible, well, that's almost the last straw. To pass an $800 billion stimulus package and then hold a Fiscal Responsibility consortium the next week is laughable at best and criminal at worst.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

Does the nonsense include the money intended to fix and update the roads you use to drive to work? I resent having to pay for so much for the military. That budget is way too high, I'm with you!


James Carville
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

This is the wordy version of “fine – I'm going to take my ball go home!” Give me a break! What a load of bull shit. I have a ten thousand acre parcel up in Montana – any Conservative “creative-types” who want to get out of the way and hang out there are welcome to it.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

To whom are you referring exactly? Veterans who have defended your country for you? The recipients of the biggest transfer of wealth ever, the banks and auto industry? Who, precisely do you see as living off other's hard work? People who are now receiving unemployment because they just got laid off?


Roger
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

It is a huge waste of tax payers money. The majority of it isn't going to come right-away, when we need it most. It's coming years later. Our kids are going to be paying for this big mistake as well. Here's an article that gives a brief overview of the problems:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/…


MomTFH
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

Ditto. I resented my money going to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the past eight years, to no bid contracts for Halliburton and Pinkwater. I resented billions of dollars being wasted on abstinence only education. Why are conservatives so self centered that they think they are the first ones to be the minority party?


MomTFH
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

There has been a redistribution of wealth to the rich for eight years. The rich are not being punished. They are being asked to pay a fair share.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

That's OK, really, there are tons and tons of creative, smart, wealthy democrats who didn't move to Canada during the Bush years, who voted for Obama and are happy to continue doing just what they were doing right here.


edwardscpa
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

I pay gas taxes. And license taxes for my cars. And -some- income tax.


Justin
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

George Bush was the worst president of all time. He imposed the “conservative” social agenda which robs people of freedoms while spending like a liberal. Oh yea, and the war in Iraq. Worst part, he polarized the country against conservatives and allowed one party to take control of the entire goverment – a truly scary thing either democrat or republican!

I want to see a third party revolution, we need a real choice. Visit campaignforliberty.com to help this along.


Lilamae
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

Amen!


Justin
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

I think it is fantastic that you have not read the book.


CitizenKane
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

” I think people are reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’ again because they’re trying to understand what happens to people of accomplishment, and people of talent and energy, when a government turns against them. “

people of accomplishment, and people of talent and energy?
Are you kidding me???
The people Obama is going after are the farthest I could imagine from that description.

We had 8 years of unchecked incompetence (from the top), it's time for a little accountability and competence.

Accountability is a bedrock of strong capitalism.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

I may or may not agree…. I'm not sure it will work either, that's not really my question. My question is really where were the Galts when billions of dollars a month went to Iraq where the military was trying to build an infrastructure and get the electricity back on and so forth and when GWB sent out the stimulus checks last year and last fall when the banks and auto industry received a seemingly infinite amount of redistribution of wealth.


Justin
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

Raising taxes on the wealthy and sending money to people who actually don't pay taxes might not be extreme socialism, but people see it as a heavy step in that direction.


dave
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

Well I know of millions who have read “Atlas Shrugged” but nobody who has even heard of Tuccille's book.

I will make this controversial suggestion though– if in fact shareholders (not the general public!) have actually lost money due to a next-feathering executive, then those shareholders should –

1) take disciplinary action, including sacking and perhaps even demanding payback of the company funds stolen by the feathered fiend, and

2) create company policy on behalf of all the shareholders that roots out this kind of behavior and better answers it in the future.

It is NOT for Barney Frank, not a law enforcement officer, to pursue, arrest and jail the 'offenders'. It is for the corporations to deal with their own. Unless it radically alters the economic landscape of the nation to the worse, I see no reason such matters should even be brought UP except by the newspapers.

If, of course, damage has been done to the general public, then there should be laws and actions available for use by government, in a transparent and limited way. Barney Frank shouting for hides from the House floor is not what I have in mind.


Justin
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

We were pissed off. The war is criminal, the stimulus package was completly useless. If you go back and look at Ron Paul before the election crap even started, he was against all this. I would make the argument that true fiscal conservatives are no longer even aligned with the republicans. I align myself most with the libertarian party.

On a side note, while I want the federal govt. to be as small as possible and stay the hell out of my business, I actually consider myself more of a liberal locally. I want to pay my taxes to my CITY, and to a lesser degree, my state. I will vote yes for any program in my city that would be better for the people of my city, even if that means higher taxes! I just don't want to pay for the iraq war, subsidizing businesses, supporting unions, federal welfare, and the general govt waste.


River Tam
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:16 pm

Galt and his ilk were not penalized paragons of creativity but rather the exploiters of a flawed society, who used their intellects and resources to exploit the system and then withdrew when their abuse was limited by the sheer incompetence of the bureaucracy. Capitalism ground to a halt because, after siphoning off the bulk of the resources and value in the economy, these people failed to contribute to society by reinvesting.

Those who ascribe to an objectivist or libertarian perspective are often the most vile sort of self-centered idealist, and we would be well rid of them. It is in fact a misattribution to lump them with “conservatives” and other people considered right of center. They are not “American Conservatives” – their world-view does not draw from right-wing classical liberalism but rather from an obscene mixture of staunch traditionalism/mysticism and utterly irresponsible focalism; it rests upon pride, greed and self-delusion in equal parts.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:21 pm

OK, but what about the veterans who haven't been helped enough the last 8 years? Are they also nonsense? What about FEMA? the NIH? Homeland Security? I'm not trying to be snide, I've learned so much today and I just want to know, which government programs are nonsense that you're not willing to pay for, but it's OK for other people to pay. The FDA that is supposed to keep food safe but hasn't worked lately? Is it OK to help people hit by a natural disaster but not a manmade one?


Will
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

I don't know where to begin with all of the completely uneducated claims in this comment. First and foremost, Rand believed that free market capitalism was a perfect system. If you can find me a single economist who agrees with that theory I will stand corrected. For that matter, a simple college principles of economics class will show the errors of that way of thinking. Secondly, if the DOW does drop to those levels, unemployment would be through the roof. If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you are unemployed as a result of this, you may thank the “looters” for following Keynes legitimate economic theory and giving you a job. As a brief history lesson, Not only did Hitler and Stalin go to war AGAINST each other, Hitler was a Facist, the political opposite of a socialist.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:27 pm

I didn't choose to go to war with Iraq in 2003. I didn't choose for my money to go to banks and auto makers in 2008. No one asked where I wanted my money to go then.


Say it ain't so
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

It's their self-centered idealism that has them thinking everyone will miss them when they all “Go Galt”. According to some, they already have done that. Have you missed them? I didn't even notice they were gone.


David Rochlin
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

Hard working, skilled people earning over $250K , but not millions might actually decide it isn't worth working as many hours, once they hit a 70% tax bracket, just not worth their time.
A much, much more common situation will be the employer faced with a higher tax bill, who will decide that he is not going to take a pay cut, and will lay off a couple workers. In this economy, the money is going to come out of payroll, and not at the top, like they think.
This really was the wrong time to tell business' to watch out for big brothers boot, while they are already down. Obama's progressive policies will doubtless result in a lot of additional lost jobs, just from the threat of higher cost burdens on business and I don't mean just the taxes.
Already job losses are higher than the administration projected. This is partly, because of the fear factor. They have already made threats, and business reacts to what they believe will happen.


Have the galts gone yet? « Stocks Go Up. Stocks Go Down.
Pingback posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:41 pm

[...] Have the galts gone yet? Jump to Comments I can’t wait to find who among the galtist are the creators, the entrepreneurs, and the beautiful people who drove capitalism to such great heights only to see the dream all destroyed by the socialist, President Obama, raising their marginal tax rate by 1%. [...]


bushwhacked
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

hitler was the exact opposite of a socialist…he was a fascist. far right, whereas stalin was far left. but i guess trying to explain these concepts to conservatives pushes your intellectual limits…


Nick
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

Uh. When have they not looked to Ayn Rand.

hmm Ayn Rand, the same one that dated Greenspan and the one Greenspan idolized??

Good luck


bushwhacked
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

no i think hes referring to the american christians (fundamentalists especially) who ran our country to the ground in the last 8 years and were too busy assaulting abortion clinics to protest the illegal war going on in iraq


Member of Society
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

I understand what you're saying.

My question still stands though, why people are complaining about big government now, when George Bush expanded the roll of government with things like the Patriot Act:

The Act increases the ability of law enforcement agencies to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eases restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expands the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities;

and so forth

I don't recall the Going Galt battle cry then, only now. Why now? Why not then when government's control was expanding and the level of spending unprecedented? Where were the senators with their copies of Atlas Shrugged then?


Jacob
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

First of all – Ayn Rand was batsh!t crazy.

Second of all, Ayn Rand was certainly NOT thinking of stock brokers when she wrote about “creative and talented people.” In fact if you had actually READ the book instead of the cliff notes, you'd see that the bureaucrats were in fact all greedy businessmen who had taken over the government.

Here's the truth: The creative and talented people have already been shut out of society, know why? Because they all became stock brokers and investment bankers, instead of scientists, architects, artists or engineers. Its known that most high school kids who score incredibly well on standardized tests either go into business or law, and only a handful into science or the arts. This isn't because they aren't interested, but rather they think that they can make a ton of money really fast and then do what they really want to for the remainder of their lives.

What we're seeing now is a RETURN to fostering of creativity and intelligence. No one in their right mind graduating from high school now would want to be a stock broker or investment banker, and with higher availability of college loans, we will see in the next 4 years a huge influx of bright creative minds into working society.

Now…If you have read this article or have read 'about' “Atlas Shrugged” (or “The Fountainhead”), dont you DARE attempt to reference either of these books in conversation in the way that the author of this article has. In the rare chance someone in your conversation has actually read the book, they will know immediately that you have not, and your argument becomes transparent.

So this is my challenge to you. If you read this article and felt good about it, go read Atlas Shrugged. Even if you read it when you were young and think you remember what it's about, read it again.


Aikmen
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

“Galt and his Ilk” did not exploit anyone they used their creativity, skill and ambition to create wealth. They did not withdraw their 'abuse' they simply walked away from their life's work. They gave their life's work to the looters and looked what happened. The economy ground to a halt without the skill and talent of creative people.

Looters are the same breed, be it government looters or corporate looters — they are parasites which feed on the hard work and determination of all workers.

“Those who ascribe to an objectivist or libertarian perspective are often the most vile sort of self-centered idealist, and we would be well rid of them.”

Personally I've never heard of a libertarian advocating for getting rid of 'parasites and looters”. We just want to be left alone. You are another just another Hitler or Stalin preaching the use of force to exploit a nation.

Is it irresponsible to be proud of yourself? (pride) to have the ambition to feed and educate your children? (greed) to think that your accomplishments mean something (self delusion). If these are 'irresponsible' then clearly you don't know what responsibility is.


Fred
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

Well, actually, no. The bedrock of strong Caplitalism is the mitigation of risk and responsibility. Ever heard of “limited liability corporations”? In fact, corporations were chartered solely for the purpose of limiting risk and responsibility through the use of stock. Before stock, if a merchant's ship sank, he was personally responsible for the entire amount. After the introduction of stock, the investor was only responsible for the amount he had invested. It wasn't until this limitation of responsibility was introduced that world commerce really blossomed. This innovation is largely responsible for the rise of England.


cokane
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

You're a brat. You have the luxury to not work and the nerve to think you're being punished?

Yeah, Obama's really screwing you alright…


cokane
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

You're a brat. You have the luxury to not work and the nerve to think you're being punished?

Yeah, Obama's really screwing you alright…


cokane
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 6:57 pm

Where's the line?

your marginal taxes are going from ~35% to ~39%. So tell me, where in that four percent is the line between unacceptable socialism and capitalist nirvana?


anon
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

Yeesh. Anything less than 100% taxation is not punishment for working hard. You work more, and thus earn more, and thus take home more. Meaning that more work = more benefit, so more work is *not* being punished. The fact that you don't get to keep 100% of the wages you're paid is not a punishment. All it does is decrease the marginal benefit of extra work hours. To quote Atlas Shrugged, 'someday, you should learn that words have an exact meaning'.


Steve
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

I'm kinda doubting anybody is “asking”….


Matt Barney
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 7:14 pm

The Free State Project is the real world “Galts Gultch” http://www.freestateproject.org


Say it ain't so
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

“You are another just another Hitler or Stalin preaching the use of force to exploit a nation.”
No one's being forced to do anything. You don't have to work if you don't want to.


Joe Plummer
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 7:33 pm

You work more, thus PAY MORE for the exact same army, streetlights, roadways, schools, police, etc. that the guy who works less (or not at all) gets for little or nothing. Yes, that is punishing hard work.


sambolini
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

Try the last thirty.


gmony
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

if you're going to go, go now. do not bother to pack your bags, just leave your stuff where it is. Don't let teh door hit you where the good Lord split you – the last thing we need in these troubled times is a bunch of selfish jackasses who refuse to pitch in.


anon
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

Oh DEAR GOD. Your net after-taxes income is still greater than before, unless you're in the 0.00001% probability case of increasing your income by exactly one dollar to go to the next highest tax bracket. If that's the position you're in, you're fucked yes – and goddamn it if Ayn Rand doesn't think that life ain't fair.


Kevin
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 1:22 am

Nobody who actually pays the 35% rate gets hit like that.

1. You don’t pay “several percent to FICA” when you’re in a 35% tax bracket (hell, you don’t even pay it in a 28% bracket). You pay 1.25 for medicare (2.5 if you’re self employed).

2. There are many tax deductions that would make you pay far less. Try getting a better accountant.

Nobody who actually contributes anything to society worth a damn is going to change any of their work habits because of the current government’s tax policy. Of course, 90% of the people bitching about it don’t currently and never will make enough to actually be impacted by these policies anyway.


W Action
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 8:41 pm

The talk of “Going Galt” makes no economic sense. Top individual marginal tax rates are at an all-time low. Obama would raise them to less than what they were under Reagan. Capital gains–passive income for which no labor is performed–is taxed att the lowest level ever. In addition, our corporatist masters have successfully lobbied to drastically reduce institutional rates and throw the burden onto those in the shrinking middle class. Whine, whine, whine. It's never enough for the money lovers. So they should just stop working so that you don't have to pay a third of their net income after deductions to support the country that has made them wealthy. Greed and selfishness are the real engines of success tin the minds of Rand cultists, not recognizing that those traits are exactly what put America in its current crisis of pervasive upper-level fraud and corruption.


Michael
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

I'm going to have to go ahead and say that you are wrong in the same way a high schooler thinks the Matrix Trilogy raises some great questions. It's not that it doesn't. It's just that you haven't gotten to the good ones yet. I do appreciate your gusto though.

Here's the truth: Ayn rand wasn't thinking maglevs when she wrote Atlas Shrugged. That was probably just because they weren't around then. Now that's not to say that there were no stock brokers as there are now, but you have to keep in mind that back then the dollar was a hard asset. It meant something that it simply couldn't mean now.

What we're seeing now is in many ways the darkness that led to the appointment of Wesley Mouch. The creativity that you're seeing is just a new toolset that has become available at the apex of what we currently think of as the digital age – a computer in every home and classroom… People are able to do more than they have in the past because it's easier to do. Everyone has a blog. Everyone has a digital camera. Everyone has a forum to be heard. The problem is that just because everyone has a place to be heard, everyone does not have anything worth hearing. There may be more creation happening now than has ever happened before, but any trip through youtube will show the quality that is generally being created.

And because of the heightened availability of college loans we are simply seeing more people going to school. That does not increase the creativity of people anymore than locking people up rehabilitates them. I'm not saying that school is hurting everyone's quality of life – far from it. I'm saying that, in general, school is more destructive to the upper echelon of intellect and creativity than it is helpful. Don't believe me? Go to a school board meeting or talk to the dean at a school. If school is a place where everyone “gets their chance” as they are sure to tell you, the top students must be held back to work at the pace of the slower students.

So, this is my challenge to you, if you read Atlas Shrugged, looked around at this country, and felt good about its direction, go reread Atlas shrugged, and as you do, don't assume that you're a Galt or a Dagny. You're probably a James Taggart who feels pretty good about everything because you know you can keep up your facade of control knowing that your position secured by the talents and creativity of others. And please don't ever come into a room calling one of the most influential idealists (right or wrong) of the century batshit crazy because you read a book in high school one time.


haywould
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

no moron, he was a socialist. Mussolini was a facist, franco was a facist. H was a socialist. When you get done reading some angry liberal blog, look up what national socialist means. in the meantime here is something you can read to help explain things. it has very small words so it won't overpower that soggy libtard brain of yours.

Socilist programs remain widely praised today, even given their failures. They are features of every socialist “democracy”. Keynes himself admired the Nazi economic program, writing in the foreword to the German edition to the General Theory: “[T]he theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state, than is the theory of production and distribution of a given output produced under the conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire.”

Keynes's comment, which may shock many, did not come out of the blue. Hitler's economists rejected laissez-faire, and admired Keynes, even foreshadowing him in many ways. Similarly, the Keynesians admired Hitler (see George Garvy, “Keynes and the Economic Activists of Pre-Hitler Germany,” The Journal of Political Economy, Volume 83, Issue 2, April 1975, pp. 391–405).

Even as late as 1962, in a report written for President Kennedy, Paul Samuelson had implicit praise for Hitler: “History reminds us that even in the worst days of the great depression there was never a shortage of experts to warn against all curative public actions…. Had this counsel prevailed here, as it did in the pre-Hitler Germany, the existence of our form of government could be at stake.


William Murray
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 8:52 pm

You're not “fucked” when you earn that extra dollar to get into the next tax bracket. Tax brackets are progressive; that single dollar is the only dollar of your income that gets taxed at the higher bracket rate, every dollar before that gets taxed at the same rate that you've already been paying. The guy who makes $250,001 still takes home more than the guy who makes $250,000.


W Action
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

Wow, just reading recent comments I see that someone actually believes there is a 70% tax rate! Uh, that would be no. Did you know the McCain tax plan would have raised taxes on the middle class in order to extend deductions for the wealthy and keep capital gains on investments at a rate lower than the rate on your own salary? Oh, and if YOU have investments in a 401k, those are not taxable at withdrawal, by law. So that capital gains deal is NOT HELPING YOU, now or ever. Nor is the break point at which the wealthy don't have to pay into Social Security because they earn too much. Before going to bat for those much wealthier than yourself, check out some sources other than Rush, Hannity, Beck, Savage, and the editorialists at the WSJ. They're lying to you! Not just misleading you–lying on purpose. They are wealthy men who want to keep their taxes too low by making YOU pay instead.


Phoenix Woman
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:06 pm

Note the age when most Randians become Randians: Adolescence. That's right — the period when people are moody, self-absorbed jerks who think the world is an evil conspiracy designed to stifle them and specifically them.

That's why the Randians are pushing her books onto high-school reading lists (that is, when they can get them past school boards unaware of Rand's glorification of rape and subjugating women — she was not into sisterhood). They have to nab the kids then, because by the time a kid's made it two years into college, it's generally too late: He or she has too much real-world knowledge and too realistic a view of his or her own ego for the Randian virus to infect him or her. (Beware anyone who becomes a Randian after the age of twenty-five. That's about as sure a sign of looniness as use of multiple exclamation points or Comic Sans IT font.)


William Murray
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:10 pm

Don't you understand how taxes work? Just because you make over $250,000 doesn't mean every dollar of your income is taxed at the higher bracket rate. The first $250,000 of your income is taxed at the same rate as the guy who doesn't make a penny over $250,000. This idea that people will stop working because the taxes are too high is asinine. Short of a 100% tax rate you'll always take home more money the more you make. Also, where are you getting the 70% rate? Obama's plan only brings the tax rate for those making $250,000+ back to the levels they were at when Clinton was president, to about 37%.


W Action
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

The statement by Samuelson means the exact opposite of what you think it means. Which explains your enthusiasm for Rand, who meant the opposite of what you think she means, too. And I don't think you'll find more than handful of historians who think Hitler was not a fascist, despite the Doughy Pantload's attempt to redefine the word. Hitler was “socialist” in the sense that G. W. Bush was “conservative” and Fox News is “fair and balanced.”


edwardscpa
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

I voted for him because a) Ron Paul didn't make the cut and b) Palin. McCain would have done a lot of the same stuff. The Republican party is dead, and the Dems are turning Socialist. Screwed.

Oh and F you. I earned the luxury not to work.


William
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:18 pm

Rand would reject current conservatives as looters too- perhaps even worse looters than the liberals due to their dishonesty on being looters. Objectivism is very much all-or-nothing and cut-and-dry.


edwardscpa
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

There are too many veterans from too many wars that should not have been fought, though they have been getting the short end lately and that is a shame.

FEMA – I avoid living in disaster prone areas, and don't care to pay to help those who don't do the same.

NIH – Why not the National Institute of Science too?

Homeland Security – give me a break. This, on top of local police, FBI, CIA, and five branches of the military.

FDA – looks good on paper.

The bottom line is this: in a democracy, the peons will one day realize that they can vote for programs that benefit them while also voting that the minority should pay for them. This is the beginning of the end of the democracy, which in the USA seems to have happened early last century.


edwardscpa
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:22 pm

Bush blew, what can I say?


Joe Plummer
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:22 pm

What most of you who are complaining don't understand is ordinary hard-working people (I'm not talking about bankers) do not get wealthy because the government collects “income tax,” they get wealthy in spite of it. America became the “richest nation” in the world BEORE there was a so-called “Federal Income Tax.”

The income tax is SOLD as something to punish the “greedy rich people,” but that is lie. The federal “income tax” was created (along with the Federal Reserve System) because the financial elite (those who drafted and benefit from our monetary system) wanted it. THEY get to create money out of thin air, THEY get to create crises like the one we're in right now and then shift all the costs on to the back of the taxpayers. …THEY get to seize more power without any accountable whatsoever while all of you think you're “helping out” by “chipping in.”

Worried about the poor and middle class? Don't want to see them screwed by untouchable financial elites. Good. Learn a little about our monetary system and maybe you'll start to see who the government really serves. (It isn't us.) Here is a short / FREE book on the topic: http://joeplummer.com/meet_the_system.html


edwardscpa
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

Define “fair share”. I think the poor and middle class should pay their fair share. Some economic and social groups use a disproportionate amount of the social services (social security, medicare, medicaid, etc.), but ignoring that, let's assume everyone uses an equal amount of gov't services. Under a flat tax regime, the rich would still pay the overwhelming majority of total tax dollars despite being the minority, population-wise. Without them, these social programs would not exist, regardless of the tax % scheme. Currently, while the middle class might enjoy an effective tax rate of maybe 15-20% times a modest amount of income, the rich might be paying 35% times a great deal of income (which was earned, rather than conferred upon the rich by the good graces of the population). By what right does the gov't take such a great deal more money from the wealthy individuals and hand it to others?


Mark
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

OK, then go. Go, all you important movers and shakers, move along, and leave those opportunities open for those who would prefer to contribute, and don't get their undies in a bunch over a 4% tax hike on income over 250k per year.

Go, the sooner, the better


Pat
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

I like you.


scott
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

This concept seems to really scare you parasites out there.


anon
Comment posted March 8, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

This is absolutely false. Taxes are on the total, not scaled in increments.

When I still worked for someone else, there were times I would call off because the extra hours put me into a higher bracket and ended up paying more in taxes. I could actually work less hours and take home more. I also remember one year that I made $75 that put me into the next bracket, and instead of receiving a $200 refund I was forced to write out a check for another $500.


pickerap
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:00 am

Atlas Shrugged is as shallow as a Bible tract. The first 25 pages will tell you all you need to know about the book. Everything, and I mean Everything, is laid out in black and white. For example, all the people who do anything productive hate government. All the people who don't hate government are useless, unproductive, spineless, lazy. All the heroes are productive masters of their universe who do not feel physical pain or fatigue simply because they will it to be so; who can do anything they want because they are super geniuses. It would take a few hours out of an afternoon for one of them to make a car out of dirt and some twigs, and run it with their amazing brain power. I picture them all wearing Superman capes.
I'm sure Rand fans swoon over these heroes, thinking, “boy, that's me through and through!” but they are a cartoon. The bad guys are as two-dimensional as children's unflattering stick figure drawings of people they're mad at.

A simplistic book for simplistic people.

All you commenters with your phony threats of cutting back your work load and withholding from the world the benefits of YOUR amazing brain power seem to think that you're all John Galts and Hank Reardens, that surely nobody else could step in and do what you do. Your threats are hollow because you aren't Ayn Rand's supermen – other people can take your place and they will jump at the chance.


Freemark
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:46 am

You really don't have a clue. If you came up with a difference of $700 because of $75 more you have absolutely no understanding of how the US Federal income tax works.

And, by the way, sometimes your payroll deduction was much higher if you earned more for that period than normal because of the way the payroll deduction was calculated by your employer. But you got it back at the end of the year.


Freemark
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:58 am

The 'rich' generally pay a much lower percentage of their income in taxes than the middle class does. Most rich people get their money through capital gains which is 15%. They also don't pay medicare/SSI taxes on most of their income. Not to mention regressive taxes like sales, property, and registration taxes which generally take a much larger proportion of the middle-class incomes.


Say it ain't so
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 3:51 am

I agree with you all. I guess I did the same thing during the Bush years – reduced my salary because it seemed so wasteful to pay taxes and see all that money disappearing into Iraq and fattening the wallets of the contractors, i just didn't think of it that way.

I believe I understand what you're saying, you want government out of your life, you want the government to be reduced in size and you don't want to see the built in sunset clause on the tax code go into effect. You want to keep your hard earned wealth, decide where your money should go and leave well enough alone. I can completely appreciate that and see your point of view.

If your hard work isn't paying off for you any longer and you want to “Go Galt”, you absolutely should. You're right. It may actually benefit to you to do so. You can spend more time with your families, pursue a hobby, learn a language, take care of your health and exercise and enjoy yourself. You deserve it, you absolutely do, take advantage of it, it's an opportunity. It could have the additional benefit of allowing you to live longer and healthier and possibly decreasing the need for prescription medication later on, saving you even more money. It's a very good thing.

One person who should set an example by doing this is Rush Limbaugh. He works really hard, makes a lot of money but he doesn't look well at all. He needs to address his eating problems and his health before he finds himself having a heart attack over a fettucini alfredo. He will be affected by the tax increase on his salary and he should also battle Obama by either reducing his salary, reducing his hours, or leaving the country because I am pretty sure he doesn't want his tax money going to the looters either.

Meanwhile, there are all kinds of people who make up this world and there are many world views. For every business owner who wants to contract their business, there is a business owner who will expand. There are many brilliant, creative people who voted for Obama, doctors, professors, scientists, business owners, entrepreneurs. Rightly or wrongly, they were done with the shenanigans of the previous administration and elected Obama. They will continue to work and earn and progress and be ambitious because they just look at things differently and are motivated differently.


Jason
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 3:58 am

Atlas Shrugged is an awful novel, a childish philosophy, and wingnuttery of the highest order. The story appeals to middle-class egomaniacs with an overinflated sense of self worth. The only value the book brings to society is in exposing the fools who worship at the altar of Rand.


Beatnik
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 4:31 am

Nor did I.
You need to realize that you're not really talking to Hannity zombies and dittoheads. Significant numbers of us hold an ideological position that is at odds with government spending of any sort, regardless of who it benefits.
We don't want to saddle Leviathan and ride it in the direction we want to go. We want to kill it.


Beatnik
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 4:43 am

The line is at ZERO percent.
Anything more than ZERO percent is socialist and anti-freedom.
Anything more than ZERO percent is stealing my personal property at gunpoint because you do not trust me to serve the general welfare voluntarily.
The Republican party is dead because of all of us who wised up to this in the last three years. It's going to remain dead until it realizes that it can't win without our votes.
I don't care who is trying to steal my money or what reason is being given. It's theft, whether you're threatening my employer with jail to get them to steal it preemptively so you can fight wars, or whether you're making the county charge me rent on property I'm supposed to own so other people's brats can spend six hours a day not learning to spell.


Josh
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 4:45 am

Like all the people who promised to move and never did when Bush was elected, I doubt we'll see this come to fruition. Atlas Shrugged was part protest of FDR and his New Deal politics and part response of her life in early communist Russia, yet FDR is constantly rated in the top 5 presidents of all time.


Josh
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 4:52 am

PS – Alan Greenspan was a close personal friend and long time fan of Ayn Rand and objectivism.


Say it ain't so
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 5:13 am

And here it seems our elected officials are promoting the idea. If Democrats tried to pull that one a few years ago when Bush was in office, they would have been labeled anti American. Now we're free to say what we want. Yay!


Member of Society
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 5:37 am

I realize now. I just don't remember anyone talking this way while Bush was in office and spending and expanding government and running up deficits and pretending like it was all fine.


Matt
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:00 am

It seems to me that NeoCons are now using Rand's works to draw the most skeptical conservatives into believing that their agenda during Bush's dictatorial reign was an honest attempt to realize her ideals. In reality it may take an age of cautious socialist policies to root out the thieves that were manipulating the world economy. Wall Street, big bankers, and even the local mom and pop were touting the power of free markets to enable their wealth. There were legitimately creative, smart, principled business people out there, but they were forced into working in the corrupt dealings of an economy shaped by Monsanto, Cargill, Dow Chem, Bank of America, GE, etc. These huge corporations need to have the unconstitutional protections given to them by our government removed, and the protection of our government's power given back to the people of this nation. Don't believe the liars touting Ayn Rand's ideals in this article with only a “Cliff's Notes” understanding of them, give Mr. Obama a chance to begin the repair of our country and then take personal action everyday not to support the corporations that are dragging all of us into their grip. By the way, FDR sold this country to the bankers (Federal Reserve), and we need to keep pressure on the current president to not give in to their scare tactics.


dave
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:32 am

well, then you weren't listening to the huge majority of conservatives who made this exact complaint, over and over again.. it fell on deaf ears… the things we don't like about Bush are not really even a short list, but running up deficits and giving away money and stuff to certain groups for political reasons are certainly at the top of that list.

Bush is a decent and good man who tried to do what he believed was right. He was not, and is not, a conservative. As always, politics renders our choices far narrower than we would like.


Another Galter
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:34 am

That's only because you weren't listening.

The drum was indeed there. It's louder now because this administration is gouging deeper… and very honestly, I didn't think that was possible 45 days ago.


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:39 am

This “Going Galt” idea is pretty hilarious. It demonstrates how divorced from reality American conservatism has become. After reading through all of the comments on this article, I can conclude that:

1 – There are a hell of a lot of people on the right who delude themselves into believing that they are not only creative geniuses who work so much harder than most people, but also contribute so much to our society that their withdrawal would cause a great collapse.

2 – This comment board is the rarefied domain of that 2% of our populace who make over $250,000 per year.

3 – the right is afflicted with an even greater hysteria than has thus far been evident.

I love the sheep-like bleating of conservatives who label Democrats or any policy that benefits society as “socialist”. Eight years of rabid republican conservative ideological lockstep have taken discussion into that gutter. Most of the righties on this board seem content to parrot Rovian talking points and mantras mindlessly. Most of the Galtist cheerleaders simply are not the creative geniuses whom they claim to be, will not be taxed excessively by the Obama policies, work no harder than those they decry as looters and socialists, and will indeed benefit from reforms made to a system that they and their ideological soulmates have badly broken.

The collective amnesia on the right about the past eight years is notable for its idiocy. The financial meltdown is the result of what you and your Bush administration wrought on this country and the world over the past eight years. Blaming Obama won't change that. At least his administration is going about trying to fix what is obviously broken instead of presiding over the destruction and congratulating itself on how well it's running things. Those who wish to take their ball and leave the game a la Galt should be encouraged to do so. Society will most probably be better off without you.


dave
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:47 am

“moving to canada' is not comparable. It's one thing to make loud mouthed moral declarations of superiority, like so many libs do, and then not follow through on them, like so many libs do. It's darn hard to make a living in a foreign country, and America is still the best place in the world to do that, so no surprise they didn't actually leave.

But the Galt complaint is that of being robbed every day. Very different from hypocritical moralizing upon which the moralizer does not follow through for reasons of personal comfort… We taxpayers are being robbed every day, quite literally. Taxation is theft, the taking of what belongs to you against your will with use of threat of force. We endure theft on the grounds that the thieves have no other recourse to fulfill constitutional duties, and in return we demand from them fiscal and fiduciary responsibility, the stealing of as little as possible and the most efficient possible use of the loot.

Needless to say, in my lifetime the failure of government to fulfill these two responsibilities has grown steadily worse, with a very refreshing pause in the 1980s… now the fulfillment of responbilities to the taxpayer has simply been defenestrated, tossed out the window, and they are literally spending as MUCH as possible as fast as possible.

We cannot overthrow government (yet), and our remaining recourse is the refusal to be slaves and have the fruits of our labor simply taken from us. I refuse. We refuse. So far, at least, Ogabe has not indicated he will FORCE productivity from the productive, but honestly, if a leftist government has obligations to its voters and revenues continue to decline, I fail to see how they will NOT consider forcing productivity at some point.. it is the great failure of socialism, that human nature will not permit the productive to meekly be harnessed to the wagon like that… freedoms are necessary to encourage the productive..

and I seriously doubt that high earning Dems will just sit and let this happen to them. Perhaps the wealthy will remain, but after all, they don't pay much in tax. Buffett says his secretary pays more than he does. It's the difference between earning and HAVING money.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:48 am

I guess you're right then, I didn't hear hear John Campbell mention it back then. I thought it was just the Democrats who wanted to move to Canada. Goodness knows, we talked about it. So, this has been going on for a long time, why now are you being heard and not then?


dave
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:51 am

Ogabe will utterly destroy charity, and won't be sorry about it, because he desires for as many people as possible to be dependent on government. It is how one maintains and increases party power and personal power. Lefties know they cannot just 'propose' solutions, that force of some kind is necessary, and they prefer the 'power of withholding benefits'.


Shinobi
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:55 am

Dear Everyone Thinking about Going Galt,

Please go. I look forward to taking your job and paying the extra taxes on money I would not have had otherwise.

Thanks,
Currently underpaid smart people


dave
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:56 am

if you resent billions wasted, then you should be exploding all over the room with resentment right about now.


Logical
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:00 am

I would like people to remember that although 2% of the population are the ones makeing over $250,000, they are the ones creating the majority of the workforce. The private sector! Tax them, punish them, they will be forced to cut down on the jobs they created.

So, you lose. We all lose. The economy loses. Not 2% of the people.

Are you satisfied being a part of a nation that punishes the successful and rewards the unsuccessful? I'm not. Socialist policies are destroying the foundation of this nation.


Logical
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:02 am

PS: Shinobi,

If you think you are capable of working in the jobs that people are leaving through Going Galt, then prove yourself by taking action now instead of waiting for people to give you the “ok”. Feel free to enter the competition of the market today if you truly think you are better than them. None of them waited to take someone's place.


Jim/The Velvet Blog
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:05 am

>>This concept seems to really scare you parasites out there.

Oh, that's hysterical. Point out one comment that suggests, “Oh my God! They're going to go Galt! Stop them before it's too late!”

Go ahead, do it. Please go Galt. The country needs a laugh.


sean
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:18 am

Contrary to the statement by Tuccille in this article, Ayn Rand DID deal with corrupt businessmen in her novel, Atlas Shrugged. Pick up a copy and read all about James Taggart and Orren Boyle if you want to see what she thought of this type of personality.


Hugh Chardon
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:21 am

Fine… GO Take your callused souls bent on greed, your tunnel-like focus on amassing more more more, and your niggardly views of charity…GO
I am willing to stay, I will help business grow without abandoning morality, i will help the young and gifted see their visions can be the future. I will stay and see these difficult times through. And my reward is to have lived well. No pie in the sky bullshit, no obtuse sci-fi, no empty rationalizations. I will STAY.


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:24 am

Equating the proposed reforms with socialism is so typical of rightwingers. The term 'socialism' has been thrown around so much by the conservatives lately that they may succeed in undoing the intended pejorative meaning they wish to convey.

Taxation is “punishment”? Really? You and your ilk say it as though you are the only ones who pay taxes. I'd say that Americans have been collectively punished over the past eight years by your Bush admin.

Let the healing begin.


JackDoitCrawford
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:26 am

I think business owners should “Go Galt” on tax day to show who is important to our everyday life, and that we will not tolerate tyranny.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:36 am

The ones that receive tax breaks by cities to attract them there, the ones that have done so well by us outsourcing jobs to other countries? The ones that have laid off employees and then pile the work on the remaining employees who have to work longer hours to make up for the missing staff without a promotion or raise? Those businesses?


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:38 am

Ha! You speak of this Going Galt bullshit as though it's actually happening. It's an empty threat from sore losers – unfortunate but true.

You write as though anyone who isn't in ideological lockstep with your bankrupt conservatism is an underachiever or a freeloader. Delusional thinking on your part, simply a way of compartmentalizing those who disagree with you as unqualified to be a part of the discussion.

I completely disagree with you, and I run my own business, and I compete in the market, and I don't wait for anyone to give me the ok before I take action. Initiative and hard work are not the exclusive domain of conservatives. It's also not about thinking about being “better than them”. They aren't the yardstick by which I measure myself. And it's not about taking someone's place – just because your notions about getting ahead involve shoving someone else aside doesn't mean that's how everyone else operates.


Max
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:39 am

Okay. Go Galt. Take the energy futures market and I'll take the power plant I operate. I don't think the people “going Galt” understand that they don't provide any real goods. In my area, the farmers, miners, and construction companies are doing well and are more optimistic than ever!


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 8:05 am

Riiight. The majority of voters in this nation that voted for Obama and rejected conservative republican lies, idiocy and scare tactics, those are the “parasites” to whom you refer? The majority of voters who must be underachieving, lazy freeloaders who always have a hand out and never contribute? Righto buddy boy, we're all just scared shitless that you and your superior class of super genius overachievers will just drop out and laugh while the rest of us ruin all of the great things you've done for us.

Drop out. Get out. Fuck off. Good riddance.


Common Sense
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 8:07 am

While it is true that people in finance don't actually “produce” hard products, they do “produce” wealth through speculation and investment that explicitly funds entrepeneurs, etc. Unfortunately, Big Labor and the advent of “a living wage” has destroyed this country's ability to compete in industries that “produce” things. No one actually has to “Go Galt,” because the fact that a union guy with no college education who rivets for a living will make more over his lifetime through pension benefits and a fully-funded medical plan than an entrepeneur that employs people and creates wealth, forces productive people out of the economy. Class warfare is never productive.


amorougen
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 8:25 am

I read this junk in my 20s. I am now a Sr Citizen. Somewhere during that span of time I learned
to read and write and to think critically. You should do the same.

You cannot use the rantings of some deluded dreamer to form policies upon which to run a nation. What is good microeconomic decision making for an individual has zero to do with good macroeconomic policy for a nation.

Jeeze people, get a grip!


dave
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

In this world we live in, cutting military and bowing and smooching on our genuine enemies who wish our destruction will only embolden them and thrill their bazillions of fence-sitters. I do not expect our eight years of attack-free status to last two more years, perhaps not even one. Ogabe has firmly established his lack of will to use force in defense of America.

Roads? Most in Texas are state funded. Do you look to the fed to do everything?


Member of Society
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 9:15 am

You said it! No Child Left Behind! Bleh!!


stoooopid Galter
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 9:24 am

For all those that have complained that those of us that have or want to “go Galt” are bad people becuase we use “governement services” and don't want to pay for them: Will you apply that same scorn to those who for years have been availing themselves of the these same services (and much more) and haven't paid for them?

Are you going to say that they are disadvantaged and can't? Ok Fine. I can't pay for these services anymore either, I'm disadvantaged too. Will you say that I'm doing this on purpose so therefor it's not the same? Well, thats your opinion, as I have my own opinion about the moochers who have have done so for many years. The fact is, I no longer make enough money to pay income taxes, like lots of others in country, I have become one of the masses, where is my love?

If those “Going Galt” are stupid and will have no effect on this country, why does this matter to you? Why are you here, why did you read this story? Why are you responding?

Check your premises.


Michael
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 10:19 am

Yeah all the creative Republicans should leave this place behind to punish it. All of the great Republican minds: Rush, Coulter, Rove, Boehner, Steele, Malkin, Palin, and Joe the plumber should bail out of this socialist hell and establish a utopia and show this world how it is done. And somehow we will have to make do with everyone else.

Does anyone else think it is funny that a book that most intelligent people considered to be naive when we were in 10th grade is now the new Republican victory manual? You just can't make up this stuff.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 10:23 am

I don't think it's stupid. I kind of think I did the same thing during the Bush administration because I didn't like his policies either. I think what is bothering me is the fact that so many of Bush's policies has led us to this place, the war, the lack of transparency, borrowing from other countries, sending out stimulus checks, and many people on this list on all sides have said the same. I understand also that many people on all sides have opted out or thought of opting out and have been vocal about it for years because of Bush's policies. What is bothering me personally is that it's just now that it seems that one of our leaders, who is supposed to be helping us out of a crisis, is instead promoting this idea by giving away the book. Although democrats had escapist fantasies also, like Bill Maher had his “Exit Strategy” bit, I don't recall our elected officials promoting the idea. I want to know if Campbell was doing that before. We didn't just wake up on 1/20/09 with this situation, it's been going on for a while. It' s only March 9th. It bothers me because it feels like Campbell's latching on to this gimmick to get everyone riled up. We're all riled up already, we don't need his help and I think he's being… a hypocrite. You can scream and insult me all you want, and I've had plenty of that on this list, but it's the way I see it. And I do not begrudge anyone their beliefs, I completely understand what you're saying.


Allan
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 10:41 am

Ayn Rand did not predict what is going on right now. She documented what DID happen under the Bolsheviks in Russia during her youth. Today's economic crisis and the gov response is nothing new, it is only history repeating itself. Unfortunately this history is well documented and should be known. Our pathetic schools however don't teach our children history or even what form our government is or how it was setup to work.


Steven Hawking's Love Child
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 10:45 am

As a liberal conservative I think this concept has loads of merit. I agree completely that the GOP should pack up and move into the mountains where it belongs. Unfortunately for all the Rand pushers, the “creative” impetus of the United States has never been fat lazy Republican oil shareholders, dizzy pro-Nazi writers, or their rapidly-devolving, Bible-thumping fans.

Please, do the US a favor and move into a cave, the rest of us want to get on with the current century.


Wendle McShackleford
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 10:52 am

This sounds exactly like Scientology! How much is it to go Galt?


Reginald P. Freely
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 11:03 am

Whoever would have thought that the former supporter of a white supremacist writer turned Republican (Luskin) would endorse a Jew's theoretical ideas about governance…

If you ask me, in that scenario alone, liberal thought has already beaten the pulp out of conservative irrational allegiance to redneck tradition. Isn't it funny how selective memory works?


stoooopid Galter
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 11:07 am

I voted for Bush twice, he was the lesser of the evils that we had to choose from, but strongly disagreed with alot that he did, though the war was not one of them. I believed in '03 and even today that Iraq v2 was required for no other reason than to rid the world of Sadam and to finish what was not in 1991. The world is better off with Saddam 6 feet under. Your welcome to your own opinion on this.

I “shrugged” in early '08, I beleived that regardless of who won, we were headed for this mess. We've been headed here for 40+ years and I dont think anything can stop it. This is not a Republican vs. Democrat or even Rich vs. Poor. This is a generational war.

As a country we have been divided and subdivided, pitted against each other using labels and “wedge” issues. We are all firing at each other, while the real culprits stand to the side and sell us ammo and encourages the fight. I just choose not to fight anymore, you should do the same.

Let them have it. (You can define “them” however you want, you'll be right).


ibc
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 11:09 am

“If those “Going Galt” are stupid and will have no effect on this country, why does this matter to you? Why are you here, why did you read this story? Why are you responding? Check your premises.”

Sure, I'll field this one:

Because reading stories about petulant, self-indulgent, self-described–what was it–”people of accomplishment” is always hilarious reading. And to hear them talk about retreating to the caves if marginal tax rates are raised to Bush I era levels is *beyond* hysterical.

The red-state folks the Congressmen in the piece represent are–best case scenario–shower ring factory owners and exterminators. More likely, they're folks like Joe The $200k/year Plumber–you know, the guy who wasn't actually a plumber, was making $40k/year, and wasn't actually named 'Joe'. You know, “people of accomplishment” without whom US society would collapse.

The creative class, who actually generating wealth in this country, predominately live in blue-states and urban areas like to read stories like this and laugh heartily, then go back to pursuing the things that interest us, that make us wealthy, and that make America great.

Meanwhile, you go ahead and close up your carpet remnant business and “go Galt.” This is straight out of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: “Oh Noes! The telephone sanitizers and Wal-Mart greeters are leaving us to our fates!!!”

Classic.


Dave Atkins
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 11:16 am

If you actually read the book, all of the Republican pundits are leeches too.

When Ayn Rand talks about the creative impulse that drives industry, she uses in terms of creating something, or driving something, being productive.

I don't think that any of the popular politicians qualify under that scheme; neither do the scheming bureaucrats that used regulation to their favor to create this mess.

No, it's the Captains of industry, the mechanics, the construction workers, the computer programmers, the engineers, the artists, that have the productive creative impulse that separates the good from the leeches.


Common Sense
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 11:19 am

Yes Reginald, it is funny how selective memory works, like for instance, when the Left calls the Republicans racists when it was the democrats (read that, “rednecks”) that clung to racism as a form of empowerment in the Jim Crow south until the Liberal Northeast took over the party. The last time I checked, the Republicans were formed out of an abolition-movement and the Democrats still had a 90 year old former Grandmaster in their party. The only thing that liberal “thought” has beaten the pulp out of is fact-based, critical thinking.


S Calhoun
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 11:36 am

Rand was always a charlatan for plain reasons: her reductionist idealizations offer no veracious socio-psychological suppositions (to build a coherent framework from) whatsoever. That this ends up in the reflexive circularities of Objectivism should compel the studious to examine Rand's own weird life. She ends up the L. Ron Hubbard of libertarianism.

But her restoration is precious! We have conservatism's new icons. Joe the Plumber, Bobby the Exorcist Jindal, Sarah 'family values' Plain, Rush the addict Limbaugh, Michael 'hip hop' Steele. Sure let's add Ayn “logically greedy” Rand as their iconic thought leader.

She can mix it up with left counterparts John Dewey, James Madison, John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham. Seems unfair, but what you gonna do?

…it just gets better and better.


ibc
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 11:50 am

You still here? I thought you'd gone Galt already…


Funny
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 11:54 am

The area your talking about must be fantasy land. I know of nobody that feels good and is optimistic about anything going on right now.


Funny
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

overcat your us/them attitude shows you have no grasp of the current state of affairs. You need to get off the Kool-aid and do your own research and learn to think for yourself.


yawn
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

The first rule of Going Galt is that you don't talk about Going Galt.


Self Interested
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

It comes down to this — you won't be able to freeload, mooch, and steal from us anymore. We won't be there to pick up your slack. You know its true that its the few in every company that carry the burden for many. One that always does the work of three. One that has most of the ideas. Many that just coast in their wak. When society collapses we have the talents and knowledge for rebuilding. The moochers, freeloaders and theives don't have the capability to build a society that won't collapse within a decade. When hippies dropped out, life did go on, because they didn't produce anything useful anyway. Where are the collective communes now? Most of them imploded within months because there was nothing useful produced, they was no risk and no reward and no progress.


Funny
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

lol, you will not miss them until China stops buying our debt and the check is due. Then you will look around lost and confused.


rmmca
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

I made around $100K last year as an engineer. I had about $1300 of section 409A income taxed at: 28% marginal fed tax rate + 7.65% FICA and Medicare + 9.3% state tax. That's 45% so far. On top of that is a 20% fed additional tax + 20% state additional tax for a grand total tax rate of 85%. So W there are very high tax rates and not just for lucky ones making >$250K.


Dave
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

So, you're saying that an intelligent 10th grader has the worldview and experience to consider Atlas Shrugged as naive? I'd bet any 10th grader who comes up with that opinion does so because his/her teacher says it's naive. And what public-school employed teacher would say otherwise?


ibc
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

Hey! Break time's over! Get back to work; those McNuggets won't fry themselves!


deborah conner
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

Oh. Another non-reality haven for the self-important. Can we sit down and look at what has actually happened? Start here, little islands:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/business/28no…


Gene
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

Hey David Weigel Please go GALT.


mark
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

Seriously Calhoun- . Put your nose back in that self gratifying book you were reading and don't try to enter reality again. We will all visit you in la-la land some day.


The Negative Side of Group Politics. | Gil's Blog
Pingback posted March 9, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

[...] ‘Atlas Shrugged’: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years Battling Obama by ‘Going Galt’ [...]


good greef
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

Ironic that the man who got us into this subprime mess, Alan Greenspan, names Ayn Rand as a top influence? Deregulation fail.


Anon
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

Please, Go Galt!
I’d love to see the a**holes who are convinced they’re indispensable get out of the way. The world will move on without them, and they’ll get a great chance to sit back and stare at their empty lives.


Sid Almasi
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

Also, I think it might be useful to the conversation here to note that Ayn Rand was an unrepentant fascist who believed that 'superior people' (however that is defined) don't have to follow group rules, whether they be economic or moral.

I, for one, think that the best thing about American democracy is that it works hard to prevent Raskolnikovs and all other species of the ubermensch from seizing absolute power. I intend to do my part to support American democracy by scoffing hard at these people for being the morons they are.

I mean, seriously. You give a copy of Ayn Rand as a GIFT? It more or less announces your intention to blow up, set fire to, or otherwise destroy that which alters your personal creative vision. NOT a cheery accompaniment to a fruit basket.


“Going Galt” « Red Tory v.3.0
Pingback posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

[...] right-wingers couldn’t get more ridiculous, petulant, and wholly irrelevant, along comes the crackpot notion of taking a page (or 40 of them to be precise) from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” as the [...]


Cybrdg
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

You apparently misunderstand the concept of “going Galt”. You wouldn't “take their jobs” – John Galt , et al CREATED jobs. They stopped needing employees by in effect retireing when they realized they were putting more in than the “return” was worth. What would happen if Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, and the like simply shut down their respective companies today? Trust me when I tell you that you can't just “take” Warren Buffet's job.


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

Oh excellent Self Interested – perhaps you should more aptly name yourself Self Absorbed. Your notion that you and your similarly self congratulatory, self loving, self ordained overachiever class are somehow the engine that drives progress is both laughable and pathetic.

Exactly whom are the “moochers, freeloaders and thieves”, and what is their relevance to the discussion of the Galtian cowardice that you espouse? The Obama admin and Democrats in general? Everyone I know who voted for Obama is educated, accomplished and pulls their own weight. People who make positive contributions to society. People who don't seek to minimize their input while maximizing their returns. For many the return is seeing the positive outcomes of their input. This doesn't describe everyone who voted for Obama, but it's not as though everyone – or even a minor fraction – who voted for the others is someone who picks up slack, or is one of the few who carry the burden for the many, or is someone who built our (that is OURS, not yours, Self Interested) society.

Your moniker, Self Interested, says it all about you. You couldn't give a damn about anyone but yourself. You're all about you, so why should I care about you? Go fuck yourself, that way you can give and receive to the only person who matters to you – you.

There are plenty of folks who care about the common good, who understand that people's well being in our society is inter-related, and who are driven by far more than the self absorbed narcissistic impulses of you and people like you. Since that reality is such a problem for you and your ilk, by all means, go live in a cave, get out of our way, and stay out of the affairs of a civil society in which you obviously have no place.


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

Exactly. The self-satisfied smugness of republicans, fat cats and many conservatives belies the falsity of their facade of morality that they use to try to mask their real intentions. There so often seems to be an underlying conviction on the part of these people that they are the masters who should rightfully dictate how society works. To paraphrase the much overused example of the pigs in Orwell's Animal Farm – all of us are equal, but some of us are more equal than others. Division, class disparity, the valuation of people based on the judgment of those self ordained superior citizens. Now those same self ordained superiors are 'threatening' to pull out and let all of us lesser beings deal with the mess they've wrought because we had the gall to call their mess a mess and name many of them as the authors of it.


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

Sarcasm as a reply is no real substitute for an actual point.


Sid Almasi
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

Right on. If you're a fascist, it doesn't matter if you're a free-market capitalist or a communist — you take from people who you think are your inferiors.


‘Going John Galt’ - Ideas Blog - NYTimes.com
Pingback posted March 9, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

[...] sees a strong Objectivist strain in the vigilante hero of the new film “Watchmen.” [Washington Independent, [...]


Trickster
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

Rand would not have included people like Thain as one of the productive people. He's a looter, as are most, if not all “executives” in industry. Her creative people were the ones who actually thought of something new and made it happen. Right now, corporations are 99% looters to 1% creators. In Atlas Shrugged, the looters and moochers were all in Washington and the industrialists were the good guys. Now the looters have infiltrated everything.


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

PS: Yet another assertion of economic elites that the social contract of society has a clause that exempts them from the rules and laws that apply to all others don't apply to them and those that they determine are above it all. How neat. How fascistic. How philosophically useful to mold morality and socially acceptable behavior and attitudes around one's self-serving, self-loving, self-absorbed agenda. There must be a utopia of free thought and action for these social superiors. I think it's called Idaho, or perhaps Utah. In Idaho it's well known that inferior beings (read that to mean racial minorities or those who speak freely or against fascist philosophy) are unwelcome and would be wise to arm themselves against the violent natives. Texas must be jealous. In Utah, of course, freedom is about pedophilia, Taliban-like suppression of women's rights, and as has been empirically reported, the highest rate of internet porn subscriptions in the US. BIG LOVE – but damn, can't have them homos in Cali actually marrying. Actual people who are true to whom they are are a HUGE threat to the transparently fake fraud that is Utah and their idiot theocracy of Moronism – pedophiles, polygamists, hypocrites, liars, greed whores and influence peddlers. A great candidate for testing the neutron bomb – wipe out the residents, but leave the land untouched. Moronism contributes nothing to society but has a disproportionate negative effect. Maybe the self described Galtists could go to Utah and we could test the neutron bomb on them.

C'mon Galtists, now's your chance! Congregate in Utah! Actually do something useful and DIE! We worthy human beings might theoretically be able to use your remains for fertilizer or animal feed. YEEEEAAAHHH!


Trickster
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

I'd also like to point out that Rand was NOT a fascist as some here have stated. Group rules are evil by their nature and nobody should have to submit to the will of anyone else. As she stated, the only rules should be against the initiation of force, the use of coercion or fraud. The purpose of the government should only be to protect the rights and property of the citizens. So many of the laws now in force do not meet these requirements. It should be: no victim, no crime. Taxation and redistribution of wealth are evil and violate the individual's property rights. And if you read Atlas Shrugged and really understand it, you will understand that what currently passes for “morality” is based on self sacrifice and has the eventual outcome of suicide.


Trickster
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

Rand never advocated taking anything. She advocated mutually beneficial free trade.


John Galt
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

An empty threat? No not at all. In fact it is already happening and has already affected you. Why do you think so many people are pulling out of their 401Ks and helping to tank the stock market? It is because they see no future in capital investment, and thus they are going Galt with their investments.


John Galt
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:16 pm

Thank you, we already have. That's why your 401K is in the tank, because we have decided not to invest when our profits will be confiscated. If you could take our jobs, wouldn't you already have it?
Yes you would, and then you would be on our side. The only way for you to get our jobs (as you admit) is if you drop out. Are you starting to get the picture?


Amazed
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:19 pm

Wow..that pretty much sums it up..doesn't it?


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 6:33 pm

The fact that people like you drive on roads that I pay for is a violation of the social contract that is America. The fact that you and anyone like you benefits from anything that results from any sort of collective sacrifice or contribution is a violation of the social contract that is America.

No, you braindead moron, Atlas Shrugged was a piece of fiction that, while it might be a fantasy for you and your scum to masturbate over, is not a masterplan, like that of Hitler or Mussolini or Franco or Pinochet or Chavez, it's fiction that is irrelevant to the real world. Your bankrupt philosophies have run their course, you people had your chance and you blew it in spectacular fashion. Sit back and take your medicine, or better yet make good on your threats to drop out, get lost, and by all means FUCK OFF. We've had enough of you and your bankers and your speculators and your greed and your narcissism and your thoroughly useless, self-serving crap. Do the world a favor and fuck off post haste – you've done actual human beings no favors, your “god” that you use to try to pacify people understands that you're subhuman, and so do we. The people have spoken. Democracy sucks for losers who have it worked out that they're superior doesn't it? Cry motherfucker.

Rand was a FASCIST and so are you


Trickster
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

Yeah, democracy is great for losers who have it worked out that they are inferior. The basis of your philosophy is that you believe you have the right to extort at gunpoint the fruit of someone else's labors. You're a bunch of thieving thugs and you're so dug into your trench of righteousness that you'll never see it. As for roads, I'd gladly contribute to the upkeep of roads because it's in my best interests to have something to drive on. As for the rest, the corporate welfare, the endless warmongering, paying for my own oppression under victimless crimes… why the hell would I want to contribute to that? Oh. That's right. Because you have a gun pointed at my head. Fascist.


Sid Almasi
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

Howard Roark rapes Dominique Wynand?

Nat Taggart murders a state legislator for revoking his charter?

I mean, the woman testified before the House Unamerican Affairs Committee (the McCarthy hearings) — as a FRIENDLY WITNESS.

Do your reading!


Sid Almasi
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:28 pm

You know, it just occurred to me that the fact that I happily participate in a democratic system wherein citizens negotiate compromises in the hopes of creating collective strength, and the fact that my system is so overwhelmingly popular that you have no comfortable way to live outside this system, kind of makes me…superior to you. So I guess I get to do anything I want, right? Go Objectivism!


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

Where's my gun? You're delusional. Yes indeed, my democracy is 'delusional' as you've asserted. We The People, have somehow, by some stupid philosophy, have let you destructive useless crap soil our society. You had eight years of corporate socialism at the hands of the repub criminals to loot the treasury in the name of “freedom” from nonexistent weapons of mass destruction wielded by terrorists that weren't there until you and your corporate fascists created a pretext for them to show up in order that your precious oil companies could gain record profits at the expense of ordinary Americans who have yet to derive any benefit but have borne the brunt of sacrifice while you self-entitled chickenhawks have complained that there aren't enough people willing to take a bullet for your principles or spend enough money in your stores on the useless, vapid shit you shill.

Here's a plan, why don't you send your little precious cunt of a daughter or little cock rooster of a son off to face bullets? It's really about elitism, isn't it? You and your scum spend so much time accusing those whom you have so much contempt for of elitism, but that's just to cover for where you're really coming from.

I don't own a gun, I'm not putting it to your head, and nor have I ever. And no one else is either. Get over your drama queen crap. I'm not your oppressor. You people loved Bush and Co when they were committing their crimes, or if you didn't you sure as hell didn't have the nuts, guts, spine or intelligence to speak up. It's not your repub world now, you lost, you're wrong. You people made this mess. Shut up and step aside while we clean up after you.


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

Rand was a fascist, you just don't know the difference. Fucking moron.


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

Rand was a hack of a philosopher, that's the real point of the republican/conservative issue – they're vapid on economics, they're vapid on social issues, they're vapid on science, they could care less about the average American – regardless of what they say. Look at the voluntary war they sent other peoples kids to fight. False pretense. No risk for them or their children. Maximum profits for their industries (both Bush and Cheney from the oil industry. Most of the neocons from the Israeli apologist/military industrialist (3 plus billion a year to Israel a year and counting?) camp? Wow, no wonder. Record profits for oil companies – Haliburton – Cheney the “I had better things to do” so 5 deferrements from service during Viet Nam chickenhawk who profited MASSIVELY by creating the war that made Haliburton billions while he was on their 'deferred' payroll. Nice move parasite. Must be a classic move for one of Rand's creative geniuses. She'd probably get down and kiss his ass, if not lick it. For that she'd need to stand in line behind her braindead followers. The Bush family has huge ties to the Bin Laden family as well as the Al Sauds, but the braindead moron repub douchebags can't seem to get over that Obama's middle name is Hussein. Priorities I guess, or maybe just a question of being cozy with the fatcats who own the media outlets in the US (that the Bush family gave regulatory full reign).

Rand is a pathetic, philosophically bankrupt hack that repubs are clinging to because they need something, anything, that has any kind of legitimacy that transcends the TV and radio talking heads that have taken over what used to pass for intellectual philosophy for their DEAD movement.

You shit republicans lost. You fucked up for eight years. You put an idiot geezer and a dim bulb cunt forth as candidates, and you were rejected. Shut up, step aside, or get crushed. I'd like to be the first to grind my boot into your fucking face.

Bush, whose family


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 10:39 pm

Let's get real, the TROLLS are mentally masturbating over the thought of Rand's fantasy, because they lack the intelligence or imagination to come up with their own (never mind that stroking noise, that's just the trolls trying desperately to cum in the absence of Sarah Palin).

There's no real point to the republican smears other than to try to tear someone down in the absence of a point (remember Limbaugh's Chelsea Clinton jokes -”family dog” – ha ha ha, how funny to say that about an adolescent girl on nationally syndicated media). I've already heard the quotes of the Stones “Brown Sugar” regarding Michelle Obama – how long is it going to take for the right's heros to “quote” what they've heard, over and over and over?


Trickster
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

Man have you misidentified me! I guess you've bought into that 2-party bullshit. Well let me tell you Obama and Bush are exactly the same to me. They are both statist socialists with fascist tendencies. Republicans can't claim any more ties to Ayn Rand's philosophies than Democrats. The Reps had a chance at it, but the statist media laughed Ron Paul off.


Trickster
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

Rand's “fantasy” is realism. What passes as reality now is total fantasy – as explained in detail by Rand. Statists want to believe that A is not A. That you can pay a debt by borrowing money. That it is right to seize the fruits of someone's labor for any use they can con enough sheep into baaaing for. It's because of this non-A thing that the US can start preemptive wars based on total lies and still continue the war even after the lies are exposed. This denial of reality is also why you are able to label as “fascism” a philosophy which advocates individual freedom and why you don't recognize this philosophy as exactly matching the original intent of the USA. And at the same time, you can have a government that redistributes wealth and limits personal freedom with the final arguement being a gun and yet you don't see this as fascist. Hell, you can't even discuss it without falling back on name calling and hatred. Rand had you pegged Jim Taggert.


overcat
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

I don't “buy” that 2-party bullshit, and throwing around terms like “socialist” and “fascist” at anyone and everyone is intellectually lazy.

The choice to work outside the system is inherently marginalizing and muffles one's voice. I choose to work with the people within the system who are closest to my values system. A least at that point my voice can be heard.

Ayn Rand is a delusional moron. A novelist. Novelists don't need to think of practical applications of their ideas. Actual thinkers don't take Rand seriously, Trickster. Consider the real world, grasshopper, not the fictional terra Rand stipulates.


Trickster
Comment posted March 9, 2009 @ 11:49 pm

The “real world” sounds EXACTLY like the world described in Atlas Shrugged. And from what I can tell, all the same problems have been created by all the same means and for all the same reasons. And if I recall right, YOU were the one who first mentioned fascists, then had the irrationality to apply that label to a philosophy that considers the initiation of force, coercion and fraud to be evil and freedom, prosperity and life as good.


Hating on Ayn Rand « Apparatchicks
Pingback posted March 10, 2009 @ 1:56 am

[...] the worst books ever written, Atlas Shrugged. An explanation below [and no, this is NOT made up]- Some conservatives and libertarians are threatening to curtail economic production in homage to the book. The loose movement, termed [...]


Member of Society
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 4:43 am

Which losers do you mean who think they are inferior? There were many, many wealthy, brilliant people who voted for Obama. I would even go so far as to say the majority of wealthy, brilliant people voted for him, otherwise he wouldn't have won. Warren Buffet endorsed him and even said yesterday that we should stand behind him. Is he one of the losers you are referring to? Is it Colin Powell?

Haven't you been contributing to the distribution of wealth and thievery all along, all through the Bush years? You've been contributing to the contractors in Iraq, they've made tons and tons of money off your hard earned tax dollars. GW was the biggest thief of all, look around on this list, you'll see that everyone on all sides agree. The tax code that GW set up had a built in sunset clause in it of 2011, we all knew the break would end, so you can talk to your Republican representative about that.

You don't have to work if you don't want to, there's no gun to your head, if you feel that way, you are probably not well and should seek help. Who is standing over you with the gun?

It sounds like you are a believer in a very small federal government. That's absolutely fine, that's your belief. Consistency is important, though because I mean there are always stories about people who don't believe in social programs or universal health care yet received Social Security and Medicare themselves. I personally know 2 people like that.

What I want to know is, GW's administration grew the government so much, he borrowed so much money, he funneled so much to the contractors in Iraq, an enormous transfer of wealth over the years, all on my hard earned tax dollars and yours. He is the very definition of a looter so when did you “Go Galt”? 3 years ago? 5 years ago? it sounds to me like no one on this list was living by their principles then, sounds like they were taking what they could get.


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

Trickster. You are correct.

Why are people against mutually beneficial free trade?

To those linking Rand to fascism, look up the word in the dictionary.

Fascism:
A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.


ibc
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 7:25 am

Someone down thread called Rand “a novelist”. Just wanted to disabuse anyone of that notion. Here's an excerpt from the climactic scene where Galt addresses the world over the radio:

“All the men who have vanished, the men you hated, yet dreaded to lose, it is I who have taken them away from you. Do not attempt to find us. We do not choose to be found. Do not cry that it is our duty to serve you. We do not recognize such duty. Do not cry that you need us. We do not consider need a claim. Do not cry that you own us. You don't. Do not beg us to return. We are on strike, we, the men of the mind.”

Hilarious. No wonder the crotchety infants who keep threatening to “go Galt” eat this crap up. She sounds *exactly* like one of the unhinged Randian commenters. Philosophically bankrupt; aesthetically bankrupt; morally bankrupt. Looks like Rand hits the trifecta!


Stanley
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 7:38 am

Mark Scott from Detoit's AM radio, you are missed! I have to wonder what Mark would think of all this bail out CRAP! A is A Forsure!


Stanley
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 7:55 am

ibc, You most definitely sound like you are one of the looters and moochers. you know the kind, Like the girl I saw last night in the grocery store who paid for all her cookies with food stamps and then bought Beer with her ” I”m sure hard earned cash” that she crabbed from her purse just under her cell phone, and if that's not looter enough for you she left and got into to her Honda and lit a cigarette. So just like you she is nothing but a fat ass looter / moocher.


ibc
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 8:23 am

Back to the fry machine with you, Titan of Industry! You're already 20 minutes over your break time. Sheesh, as if anyone with two cents to rub together gives a crap about this kind of stuff. That's the great thing about Rand: although she writes in the style of a 14-year-old comic book addict, under all the bad poetry, it's really just such a *grubby* little mindset.

“That crack head bought gum with food stamps!!”

Pathetic.


Randian Collective Action « theConverted
Pingback posted March 10, 2009 @ 9:31 am

[...] Collective Action March 10, 2009 You know, in principle, I agree with the “Go Galt” crowd. I think its a brilliant idea to seceed, to withhold your labour and finacial support from [...]


Enlightened Liberal
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 9:05 am

So you would “Go Galt” and “deprive” society of your talents? Unemployment is 8%. Your “talents” will be replaced in a New York minute. You won't be missed.


Enlightened Liberal
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 9:07 am

Bravo Stanley! Let's scrap the food stamp program, which was created mostly as a subsidy for farmers. Why should those lazy farmers get our government cash?


TexasMirth
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 9:23 am

I disagree with Wilkinson's assessment that “going Galt” is equivalent to “moving to Canada if Bush wins.”
“Going Galt” is a moral stand against the cabal in Washington. Moving to Canada is a cowardly retreat.
Standing your ground takes a lot more mettle than merely running away.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 9:33 am

Then where was the moral stand 3 or 5 years ago when Bush was in office creating the biggest government ever? Where was Campbell then? Where were people standing their ground against all the looting going on? The Patriot Act? All the borrowing and debt increase while pretending everything was smoothly humming along? I didn't want my money sent to the contractors in Iraq, there's a great big transfer of wealth right there. Where were the Galters making their stand against the thieves taking our money? Why didn't the Galters take their stand then, when really needed them to? Were they waiting to get their stimulus check from GWB first?


TexasMirth
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 9:45 am

MEMBER OF SOCIETY — You said you didn't want your money sent to contractors in Iraq, but you wanted OTHERS to take a stand for you. I didn't mind my money going to Iraq and I supported Bush…so, there was no reason for me to do your “standing” for you.
Stop whining and do something YOURSELF. You'll be amazed at how good it feels to take your own stand instead of demanding (and stomping your foot) that others DO SOMETHING!


Member of Society
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 10:09 am

You think I'm whining and stomping my foot? I'm asking a question and trying to understand. Ultimately, my question really isn't “why didn't you leave when we needed you to” , if that's the part you're focusing on. I certainly don't expect anyone to take a stand for me and I really didn't mean that. I ask the question mainly because people here don't like big government, GWB really did grow the government, he really did send out stimulus checks and I'm just wondering why people weren't “going galt” then. A lot of people on this list on all sides have not supported Bush's policies, so I think it's a legitimate question.

What kind of a stand are you taking now, specifically?


TexasMirth
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 10:35 am

http://newamericanteaparty.com/ — Tea bags mailed to Washington DC on April 1st.
Make a statement!


Member of Society
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 10:40 am

I have my own sites I contribute to, thank you though.


Stanley
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 10:50 am

I just love how everybody is so naive to believe that there really is a difference in the republicans and the democrats! Just makes me laugh out loud. “The one” spoke “just words” about all the ear marks in the porkulas from last years budget and when he could of said “yes we can” stop this out of control spending he decided to say no we won't. Give me a break THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE they are all feeding us the same meal it just that one is forcing us to eat it the other is shoving it down our throats! Please someone prove me wrong….


Trickster
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 10:56 am

They are against mutually beneficial free trade because they produce nothing on their own and have nothing to trade. If they don't have the option of looting someone productive they will starve.


Stanley
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 10:57 am

Great ideal , I'll past it along


Trickster
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 10:59 am

If I create something of value and freely trade it to someone else, along comes Uncle Sam demanding his cut so he can spread my wealth to people who have created nothing and projects I do not support. If I refuse, the threats escalate to jail time, and if I resist that, it's a gun. Just because you personally are not holding the gun it does not mean that you are not relying on the gun for my “cooperation”.


Trickster
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 11:01 am

And neither I nor Ayn Rand would support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention Gaza and everywhere else). We'd both advocate free trade with everyone, not imperialism.


Trickster
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 11:05 am

There are very few people out there who can do what I do. I am very good at my work and produce a high quality product. But if she wants to, the girl at the grocery story purchasing cookies with food stamps is welcome to try. Too bad she believe SOAP is something you wash with and Flash is a comic book character. You personally might not miss me, but my clients sure would. And so would their clients.


Trickster
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 11:08 am

EVERY president in history has expanded government more than the one prior. EVERY president has made it worse. EVERY president has taken us farther away from the Constitutional ideal which this country is based on. When you argue in favor of any government programs of control, taxation and wealth redistribution, you are arguing against the Constitution, the USA and freedom.


Trickster
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 11:35 am

That DOES sum it up. You want to be able to live off of someone else.


Go Galt, Go! « Philosophy On The Mesa
Pingback posted March 10, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

[...] Via the Washington Independent: [...]


SamR
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 11:49 am

Hey, a teabagger! Hi! What's the statement you're making by mailing bags of tea to Washington? Does it matter that they'll never reach anyone in Congress due to the anti-anthrax security procedures?


jaci
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 11:50 am

I don't understand how the right wing capitalists of today can describe themselves as creative people. They are not creating anything but more money for themselves in pretty unremarkable ways (at least all of my right leaning breadwinners are that way). I thought the characters in Ayn Rand's novels believed in something.


SamR
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

Thoughts:
1. This is unlikely to occur, as Weigel is subtly mocking this idea. It is as if you asked someone who doesn't believe in global warming to drive a hydrid, or who believed the Iraq war was a mistake to join the military and request service in Iraq, or a teabagger to mail a contribution to the DNC.
2. Also, if you want Weigel to “go Galt”, which in his case would be to stop writing, why do you read him? I read people I disagree with, either because sometimes they make interesting points I hadn't considered before (Larison, Douthat), or because they are unintentionally hilarious (Gellar, Swank). But if I don't find value in someone's writing in some manner, I don't read them. Why would I? Limited hours in the day, and I'm sure I spend too much time online as it is.

So why read someone who you find to be horrible or stupid and not in an amusing way? I've never understood this.


Amazed
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

Trickster, the “SUM” I was referring to was that when scratch the surface with these folks you always endup finding a hateful, small minded, simplistic and murderous anti-life jerk.


TexasMirth
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

Oh, Jaci, your youth is showing. Ayn Rand characters exemplified self-reliance. When you no longer rely on your right-leaning breadwinners, then you will understand (hopefully) how creative it actually is to find new and innovative ways in which to create wealth. Art for art's sake is lovely, but doesn't fill the belly or pay the rent. Art that can do both is the most creative of all.


Member of Society
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

I'm sure you are very good at what you do. There are a lot of good developers out there now, highly skilled with lots of knowledge, some whose salaries have been cut and jobs have been outsourced to India. I'm sure with a little knowledge transfer of your clients' specific business needs it would be smooth sailing for them in no time. I don't think there's any person out there who is irreplaceable.


Say it ain't so
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

Is every breadwinner right leaning then? None of them have any other motivation, thoughts or world views? I'd better run and tell that business owning Columbia University Phi Beta Kappa, Columbia Law, SEC lawyer, business owning, hedge fund manager Obama voting brother of mine. That slacker. Kripes, I have a lot of emailing to do, my friend who trades stocks, her husband who owns a business, all voted for Obama. Another friend who does consulting for banks, better let him know. I'd better get busy. Oh, and darn, me. I forgot. I also have my own business.


TexasMirth
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

Say it ain't so –My reference to “right leaning” was in response to Jaci's post. Obviously, not ALL BREADWINNERS are right leaning…but Jaci's are, and that is what I was responding to.


TexasMirth
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

Trickster, I'm not sure that every president has expanded government, but I do agree with you that adding government programs diminishes the rights of the individual. The FREE LUNCH is way too expensive, in my opinion.


Say it ain't so
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

I don't think she means she's relying on them, I think she means they're the ones she knows of, that's how I read it. Like, the ones we've been hearing about, the heads of banks, the heads of the auto industry, that's what I read into by her statement “not creating anything but more money”. And not all right leaning people are great breadwinners either, if you look at some footage of people attending the rallies for McCain and Palin, you'll see a lot of right-leaning people.


Trickster
Comment posted March 10, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

Yeah, I was talking to overcat.


ginandtacos.com » Blog Archive » SERIOUSLY, FUCK AYN RAND
Pingback posted March 10, 2009 @ 11:32 pm

[...] Ayn Rand is making a comeback among the college-aged. Objectivism is even getting some mainstream press in light of Commissar Obama frog-marching the nation toward hardcore Communism. Heroic individualists are threatening to “go galt” now that Obama has completely [...]


Matt
Comment posted March 11, 2009 @ 9:01 am

To the idiots who fancy themselves to be Galt: you've been tricked. You've been manipulated and robbed. Corporate America has given you a false idol (Galt) and you took it hook line and sinker. You have not “gone Galt” by pulling out of the market, you have enabled the very crooks you detest (if you read anything Rand wrote, and not just going off the coffee shop rants of some Rand cult lunatic). The companies that sell on Wall Street are not as dumb as the actors who they call CEO's behave on the business news channel. They got you to give them alot of money (high stock value), they created a diversion that was a “crisis” (bank failings), then told you that the money you gave them was not worth much anymore. You Galters haven't gone Galt, you didn't take anything away from anyone. No one who took anything of real value would be on this thread. The Wall Street crooks and their banker buddies who run this country stole from the people of this country. Quit taking the wool from over your eyes only to believe an equally stupid idea.


Comrade Rutherford
Comment posted March 11, 2009 @ 10:00 am

My friend has been saying for decades that the only measurable difference between a Republican politician and a Democrat politician is how fast to institute martial law in America.

And I agree with that assessment. There is only one explanation why the Demoratic Leadership refuses to fight against the crazier-than-John-Birch Republican Party: The Dems are directly controlled by the GOP!


firelight
Comment posted March 12, 2009 @ 1:44 am

Type your comment here.http://disqus.com/login/?next=article:13159279
I spent a great part of my youth devoted to Ayn Rand and her philosophy as wonderfully woven through those magnificent figures of Howard Roark, Dagny, Dominique and Galt. We use to start our conversations with: 'who is John Galt?' So this is what I've learned and how I connect what is happening today with Rand's vision: I will say to all of you who are reading her for the first time: 'look and think deeper than the surface and you will see the real truth of our times as Rand would see it. It is far too
insulting to her philosophy to look at what has happened in the past eight years and displace the blame on the 'have not's' Conservatives are confusing those who have money with those who are creative and productive. There is a difference and that difference is at the core of the issue at hand.
In fact if RAnd were alive she would be the first to scream out that the thieves are those who take from those who have. But look at that concept closely in terms of our times. It is those investment bankers,
those empty, pitiful, impotent shells of what could have once passed for men that have stolen from the
creative potential life of those who 'have.' You have to define 'have' in Rand's terms. To 'have' isn't simply dollars if they are not earned by real substance and genuine effort. Rand saw those who stepped on the creative potential of others to falsely inflate themselves as the criminals. Conservatives can do what they always do, spin and twist and even steal a philosophy to justify that
in fact it is their actions that have crippled the potential of a society to rise to greatness, greatness
based on something earned.
The concept of 'poor' to Rand isn't a reflection of a bank statement, it's a reflection of character, genuine talent, passion, devotion, depth in terms of mind and spirit.
In fact, it is those who have these qualities that are being stolen from to feed the 'empty' people who
lie and cheat their way to positions of power and the ability to steal the spirit and soul of those who are anything but empty.
Rand would have been sickened by the administration of the last 8 years. A stolen election would have brought her to tears, Bush to Rand would have been the architypical Eddie Willers, the puppet
who is used to help feed the evil vampires i.e., Cheny, the true embodiment of an empty person who feeds on others to make himself appear as if there is something there. RAnd would have been nauseated to see how Bush lied to go to war. To her, that would be the thief. To see the idea of deregulation used essentially to steal. The idea that those who have not earned it are being given

goldenparachutes as a reward for 'not' doing their jobs would be disgusting on every level.
AS for Obama, she would have admired and adored his mind and his vision and seen him as the
John Galt to step in and attempt to fix the mess caused by the last administration. RAnd would have
gotten the obvious, it is those at the heart and soul of America, who are actually going to work every day and earning their way and participating in their society whether it be by actually paying taxes (instead of looking write-offs and a way out) and even joining the military.
Obama is our modern day John Galt and it is the people of America that are the heart, soul, talent and mind of our society whose passion and purpose has been stolen by those who rose to undeserved positions by syphoning off their strength and even their money through these banking and mortgage schemes. Obama is the 'idea' man and Rand would view his energy and devotion and quality of mind as characteristic of Galt's genious. Rand would see Obama is the 'liberator' from those that have put in the position we are in. The same cast of characters that now want to displace the blame for their mistakes onto Obama. How long has he been in office, 6 weeks? He has already done more and is trying to do more than most President's do in their entire terms.

And now, to add insult to injury these very same 'old white impotent men' and for some reason they are always the old white men who wear perfect suits and show up at religious services have the nerve
to use Rand's great vision to justify their theft. These are vampires in every sense of the word, sucking on the rich blood of those who seek life because they don't have any real talent other than the ability to
steal it from others and make it appear as if it is theirs.
To that end, in this is the thing and it's sad because it is as if our country is being held hostage because the banks and car companies who either produced nothing or a lousy product feel justified
in receiving a bail out. No those at the top of those companies don't deserve a thing, they got us into this mess but because if the companies go, the people who actually worked hard and have talent will
be punished without the bailout. The answer lies somewhere in getting rid of those that caused all of this and somehow go directly to the heart and soul of the American people who didn't deserve the idiots who ran these industries. Giving to Americans who are holding up America would be supported by RAnd, bailing out the jerks at the top who intentionally produced lousy cars and loans
based on nothing – they only deserve to be in jail, and they should start with Paulson and the last administration with their endless efforts to take care of themselves at the expense of the country.
I have no sympathy for a car industry that intentionally built cars that would break down. That is exactly what RAnd despised and cried out against. Anyone who had a part in that should get nothing.
But somewhere in those companies there are the guys with the mind and talent that wanted to build something better and stronger and where shut down because most likely that wouldn't have resulted in a big enough undeserved and unearned profit. It is that person, those millions of people across our country that RAnd wants to have the opportunity to rise and use their ability and yes be rewarded for it, because they will deserve it, they will have earned it. Everything about the last administration was about stealing from those with true stature as human beings and selling it as cheaply as possibly while they smoke a cigar in a back room, snickering all they way at the expense of millions.
So far all new Rand readers, look deeply and read the lines between the lines and truly understand that each and every person has greatness within them if they live in a society that allows it to come to fruition. Another great writer, Steinbeck wrote in Grapes of Wrath, and I'm paraphrasing the thought which goes something like: 'We're the people, we go on -' Those who are doing all they can to beat
us down, there is nothing in them and without us they can't last.

Obama is our John Galt and our Howard Roark, he gets that it is the American people that have the mind and the talent to rebuild our country. He'll need an awful lot of courage and strength to circumvent those that want to undermine his efforts to reward those who actually deserve it.
I once had a professor that said: 'it can be a good thing to have to face who you really are, to not
be bailed out if it's not deserved, in that way you can start over and find out if in fact you've got anything of substance to offer.

To all new RAnd readers: Don't let the conservatives tell you how to interpret her philosophy. That in and of itself is a violation of her beliefs. Think for yourself, form your own opinions – don't let them steal
your right to use your mind based on your own thoughts, not the garbage they shove down your throat to use to yet again spin the truth to their advantage; which ultimately is to rob you of your ability to think for yourself. They fear that most of all because then it will be clear that once again your being asked to not be who you are or what even think your own thoughts, just follow along. A true RAnd reader learns to see through these mental machinations. It's quite a rewarding experience to find your own thoughts and distance them from all that is 'spin.'
The editor notes in ATlas Shrugged: “You must be prepared, when you read this novel, to check every premise at the root of your convictions…” So true, so very true.
The only question left for a new Rand reader would be: “why is it that Atlas Shrugged was never
made into a movie?” I've always wondered about that.


Heidi
Comment posted March 12, 2009 @ 8:48 am

Good, I will have no problem with all the Republicans “going Galt.” That way the liberals can finally get some work done and move the United States to the 21st century.


Jerry
Comment posted March 12, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

I have not read all of the comments to see if anyone already mentioned this, but Didn’t Ayn Rand commit suicide? Why would anyone surrender their will to the words of someone who couldn’t figure out how to keep living? huh?


Trickster
Comment posted March 12, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

I was with you right up to the point of calling Eddie Willers a puppet. He was Dagny's assistant and the only one she could always count on.

Then you compared Obama to Galt and my head almost exploded. Obama is exactly the same as Bush was. He's spending money that doesn't exist to prop up the very looters who created the mess. The closest thing we had to Galt was Ron Paul who would have actually dismantled some of the controls, not add more.


SemiConscious Dot Org » Blog Archive » Atlas Shat
Pingback posted March 12, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

[...] give up jobs and income in order to starve the federal government of tax revenues and prevent Fidel Obama from stealing their hard-earned lucre to help the lazy, shiftless good-for-nothings that make up [...]


ever taught a poor kid?
Comment posted March 12, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

I am reading the novel for the first time, and I have been thinking for the last 500 pages what you have said here. Obama is John Galt… except better because (and this is what I have also been thinking) what happens when a man as competent and capable as John Galt uses his infinite productive ability to actually produce a better world? Or is Galt incapable of that (if not he should be. What's another unreal, over-exaggerated element of the Atlas reality)?

I guess I need to finish the book. I'm still trying to figure out why Hank Rearden saved Francisco D'Anconia.


Andrew
Comment posted March 12, 2009 @ 11:50 pm

I encourage all those who consider themselves the most productive and valuable members of society to Go Galt: go ahead and see if there isn't someone just as qualified who is willing to snap up your position in a heartbeat.

The fundamental arrogance of the idea is just overwhelming.


xgzgt
Comment posted March 13, 2009 @ 3:21 am

hey overcat you dont seem to know near as much as you lead on to be with your repub bashing , when congress is democratic for the 8 years of Bushs presidency . Our country has been getting more and more of you stupid ass democrats that dont really even know what caused this finacial downspiral we are in now . It was the democratic party and Obama and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the stupid loans that they made to people that couldnt afford houses in the first place . Probably someone just like you wanting the gov to pay for everything you can get them to pay for and get your free ride and your welfare check . I bet you voted for Obama in a second didnt even look at anything about him or what he stands for or who he is and the terrorist friends he has and the racist people he runs with , and why just because he was a democrat that is why you voted for a terrorist and a socialist and a communist in Obama . It is people like you who ruin our country by not doing your homework and reading a little about somebody , instead you hate repubs so bad that it isnt a problem to vote a terrorist marxist communist racist socialist anti american muslim islamic hate Rev . Wright supporter Obama is all of these . On top of that he was born in Kenya he isnt even supposed to be a president of the USA . Soon you will see because he is going down and all his outrageous laws and crazy bailouts and and stimulus packages that are just helping pay the people that got us into the mess in the first place more money and vacations . You should look into obamacrimes.com and see some of the things he has really done and you wouldnt be so high on him then , but you are a totally stupid asshole that doesnt know shit about what is really going on anyway so you would never read some real information about your so called savior . That man is the antichrist I honestly believe that he is beyond wicked and he is doing his very best right now in destroying our country just like the democrats have been doing for years trying to turn us into a communist nation . Look at the communist party USA it is an organization for people just like you why dont you just move to Russia or china or where they already have communists ? It is exactly where you belong with your own kind socialism is the step right before communism and that is all about Obama he is a socialist set out to destroy what our wonderful free world is here but it wont be for long because Obama isnt going to last long in there once they find out the truth behind him and where he was born in Kenya .


Atlas Shat
Comment posted March 13, 2009 @ 7:14 am

I hope all the Objectivists go Galt! Make sure to take the rest of the conservatives with you. We'll miss you…. but maybe not too much.


Objectivism is Fascist
Comment posted March 13, 2009 @ 7:19 am

Ayn Rand was also a drug addict.


firelight
Comment posted March 13, 2009 @ 8:48 am

First, let me apologize for the bad spelling and all the grammar! In the future I won't do these things in the middle of the night.Actually I had just watched the Colbert Report and when I saw how all the language being used to describe the literary characters were the exact opposite of what Rand intended, I couldn't help but speak up. Describing the 'heroes' in the book as those who are 'successful or movers and shakers' are misnomers. Rand would describe Galt, Reardon and Dagny as those with 'ideas, imagination, vision, creativity, inventors, passionate, and genuinely alive in every way.' When these characters are seen as Rand intended, then all the efforts to spin the book into a self-serving justification of the very actions that Rand cried out against can be seen for the distortion that it is. Maybe the best example can be seen in the thing with Madoff. Wouldn't he had been seen as 'successful and powerful?' But, in fact he was anything but and of course he was the 'mooching' off the very real productivity of those who are out there actually 'doing' something with their abilities. Madoff, the ultimate moocher in the parading around in a disquise of power and accomplishment that everyone bought into. How often have we known or even read about or seen in movies stories of someone in a position of power but don't have any 'real' ability themselves. Doesn't the scenario usually unfold with someone who no one knows actually doing the work, but it is someone else whodoesn't have a morsel of their talent other than to rape the talent of others, taking the credit. In her book The Fountainhead, which provides Rands laying the foundation for the character interaction wherein Keating take the rewards for Roark's work. Roark just wants to create until of course, finally just like Galt, realizes this only further undermines and encourages those who are 'incapable' to continue mouthing the words to songs that others are atually singing.
In Atlas, the reward of money is symbolic for being rewarded for achieving the best in each of us, whatever that maybe.That is why when they are in their hide-away the waitress is the best she can be, the cook and the food is the very best no matter what the talent of the character, the point is they are the best at what they are. This, then contradicts this bizarre notion that those with 'money' are going to take their toys and run. Oh please let them because very few actually represent a true Galt or Roark character. Most of them are 'mooching' off the talent of those who are 'unseen.' In that light, it is thenevident that all people, no matter what their bank account looks like have the capacity to rise to the greatest potential within their own lives. Often it is exactly those very people who don't have a chance at reaching their potential because the James Taggert's of the world need to keep them down. And this is what Atlas Shrugged is about and what it means – that if the heart and soul of people with the 'real talent and creativity' give up and simply withdraw because all their efforts to be productive are robbed by those who are 'seemingly' in power at their expense. Because it is actually these people holding up the very empty inflated pretense of those who only appear to be ' powerful.' Just look at what has been happening, what do the investment bankers actually produce? It seems their very existence relies on the genuine efforts of those who will never be rewarded for what they (we) have all had to pay to make them look good. That they invision themselves to be Galt-like characters is hillarious. They are exactly they opposite, they are the James Taggert's whose existence depends on those with 'real' ability.
Even Steinbeck's 'Grapes' addresses the greatness in what appears to be the guy who is down and out. Now look at those who are in so-called 'power' and all their efforts to keep 'them' down. Why, because those same people could not stay in theirunearned positions without controlling those with real ability. Obviously, the 'moochers' who are actually those with 'false'power and influence (not the poor as characterized by the very same 'moochers') can't exist without suppressing the realGalt's of the world. And yes, I do see Grapes as being in the same universe with Atlas, because it is the same thing whenseen as Rand intended and not as those would like to distort to make themselves appear to be something they are not: indispensable. It is those with imagination, genius, talent, creativity and brains. I had to be the only literature major that did a paper comparing Atlas to Grapes, but it is right on the mark for those who aren't afraid to face these truths.
And this is why I say Obama is in fact the Galt, Roark, Reardon symbolic figure relative to what is happening in our worldtoday. Our President wants for the 'hero' in each person, the Galt potential in each person to have a real chance to come tofuition not only for their own personal lives, but for the difference in can make in our society. Just think, imagine and entirecountry of people truly able to share their talents. What would it mean. First, people loving the work they do and feeling excited and fulfilled. This would in turn produce 'something' worthwhile and at the same time bring self-satisfaction. (This is what Rand means by selfishness, not hoarding, but rising yourself to your greatest potential. It would result in less unhappiness which would result in better health which would result in less medical costs. That's what Rand means by 'selfishness.' Not the form that the 'moochers' actually indulge in which translates to: 'I don't care who I screw over as long as I get what is best for me.' That interpretation describes the exact types of people (extreme conservatives) who are distorting the themes ofAtlas for self-serving purposes. They are exactly the James Taggert's in the novel. And in fact, if people really had the chances they deserve for a better life it would translate to less 'poor.' If all had the chance for a better education, if there is afterschool programs for those who don't have parents at home because they are working several jobs. Maybe, just maybe they wouldn't end up in jails that costs far more than school. And I'll never understand the fact that their pro-life views don't seem to extend to after birth. They don't seem to have any problem with limitless arms being sold to maniacs on the basis that a 2nd amendment intended for a militia 200 years ago that has nothing to do with the world we live in today. It's just an excuse forarms dealers to stay in business at the expense of the life. If they were really pro-life in every sense they would want to do all the could to protect life both before and after birth. Again, the 'moochers' could care less about the consequences as long as they get theirs. They are the Peter Keatings and the James Taggerts. The true 'small men wearing long pants in a very empty suit.' For the last 8 years the 'moochers' have been in charge essentially of insuring those with real potential have less ofa chance to emerge. Again, that would undermine the possibility of these incapable people who literally have to steal to obtain power they haven't earned. If the 'tax-break' ideology was effective then why hasn't it worked for the past 8 years and why isn't that even noted? 8 years is a long time for something to work if there were truly any subtance as a driving force. But there isn't, it's just the same types of false power that appeared to be in charge in the 30's and yet staying afloat on the backsof the rest of the country. Did you know that the Bank of America actually participated in encouraging the suppression of wagesfor the fruit pickers that were falsely encouraged to come to California for the very purpose of having an abundance of workers so that they could keep them as virtual slaves? Did BOA ever answer for that? I doubt it. Could you see a Galtian characterdoing that? of course not. It's the 'conservative moochers' with their fake power and syphoned-off skills of those who are truly have competent; which are they very same people 'they' claim to be bailing out. In fact, it is the fake parasites of power who feed of the strength of others like vampires that supports their very existence. And that is why they have to put up smoke screams, displacing blame in the hopes that they can't be seen for just how very empty they are.
I doubt our President sees himself as a Galt like character, but he is, if for no other reason than his vision and willingness totry to get it right. Are the 'moochers' screaming out in protest, you bet. Because without the vast illusion they have createdof their false empowerment at the expense of those who have genuine substance, they are simply nothing. So think like Howard Roark in the Fountainhead: imagine standing on a cliff, looking out at the beauty of our country and all of it's potential,think of those who want to undermine the greatness of it's people; there can be only one response for those who are truevisionaries – laugh and then dive in and go for the best within yourself -just laugh. That is the only response these 'conservative moochers' deserve.
As For Reardon. For years I wondered the same thing. How could he not be jealous? How could he not want to keepFrancisco down? Isn't that what would happen if it were a soap opera like “Young and the Restless. 'Now look at it in light of seeing how Rand intended these characters. Because if he had he would be just like the James Taggerts and 'moocher' who don't want greatness to see the light. RAnds idea of promoting the 'self' isn't at the expense of others the way the present day conservative moochers function. Reardon's greatness if not dependent on suppressing the greatness of others. He is paying tribute to all that D'Anconia has to offer and values the importance of that. Reardon's stature only means something if he rises to it in a world where everyone is trying to rise up. Your question is at the very heart of the point of RAnd's philosophy: It isn't necessary to suppress the potential of someone else to rise to greatness yourself. In fact, each person's individual accomplishments mean so much more in a world of others who are doing the same. And that is the genius of Ayn Rand. The fact that the 'conservative moochers' have to distort the intent of Atlas only exemplifies their empty rhetoric. For G-d sakes just look at the ridiculous characters they listen to, makes Taggert look intelligent. I mean, do you really think some of them can even read anything other than the Atlas cliff notes? Even then, they would have to have an interpreter. Just to think of some of those bloated hot-air characters reading rand is so funny. I think Rand would have loved the thought of it just for the pure amusement. Again, there is only one appropriate response, one that Gogol used in his story 'The Nose' (very good read, much shorter version of the same theme) Just laugh, see them without a nose on their face and just how totally obsurd, albeit dangerous, they sadly are. If nothing else, I hope this gives you the avenue to open up your own interpretation of Atlas and what it means to you. Above all else, I believe Rand would want her readers to develop their own opinion-this one just happens to be mine.
Enjoy the journey, it sticks with you for life – like re-reading East of Eden, there is always something new in it because your own life changes and that makes it possible to see things in these novels you didn't see before…
Isn't it amazing how a novel can be a life-changing event?


firelight
Comment posted March 13, 2009 @ 8:51 am

Your right, Apologize for middle of the night confusion, Meat James. I have sworn to not do this in the middle of the night again.
I'm amazed the bad spelling was forgiven…In any event, I hope the underlying message wasn't obliterated altogether. Enjoy, the Atlas journey,it's quite an ride.


stage2
Comment posted March 13, 2009 @ 10:57 am

http://www.dailykos.com/user/stage2
Atlas Mugged – Exciting Cliff Notes To New Edition of Ayn Rand's Classic Novel
by stage2 [Unsubscribe] [Edit Diary]
Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 10:23:10 AM PDT

The story of Atlas Mugged takes place in the United States in early 2009. After 30 years of general right ward drift, culminating in the extreme deregulation, tax cutting, and war profiteering of the Shrub Administration, the nations economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating…

The story of Atlas Mugged takes place in the United States in early 2009. After 30 years of general right ward drift, culminating in the extreme deregulation, tax cutting, and war profiteering of the Shrub Administration, the nations economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating…

From Cliff Notes:

Dagny Taggart works to maintain Taggart No-Bid Contracting's food-chain fraternity of cronies. Her efforts are hampered by the fact that many of the country's most talented bankers and CEOs are fleeing either culpability, or law enforcement.

Her crisis worsens when the Iraqi government decides to scrap plans to award no-bid advisory and technical support contracts. Plans for Taggart's San Sebastian Airlines are aborted. The airline had been devised to service Francisco d'Anconia's McMansion Megaopolis in Buckeye Arizona, but the McMansions turn out to be worthless, as foreclosures on bad loans force property values ever downward. Francisco and Dagney make dramatic, idealistic love, their ideals being idealized in a wet consummation of ideal ideal-ness.

Dagny must save Taggart No-Bid Contracting immediately and plans to use Rearden Derivatives, a new financial instrument created by top investment banker Hank Rearden. Francisco appears at an outrageously excessive 12 night bash at the Wynn Las Vegas for Rearden’s wedding anniversary. Rearden’s wife Lillian, his mother, his brother, and Rearden himself are nonproductive freeloaders who believe they have the government between a rock and a hard place, where it is obliged to support them, as they are too big to fail.

Francisco meets Rearden for the first time and warns him that the freeloaders have a weapon that they are using against his freeloading. Rearden questions why Francisco has come to the party, but Francisco says that he merely wished to become acquainted with Rearden, and that the 18 bottles of Heidsieck weren't bad either.

Dr. Robert Stadler, a brilliant theoretical scientist who heads The State Science Institute, is unable to issue a denunciation of Rearden Derivatives, as the Institute is pre-occupied with a years-in the-making animatronic diorama depicting Adam and Eve riding dinosaurs through all 10,000 years of Earth history.

Dagny and Rearden make hot steamy productive love. Not the vile kind of common love commoners make, but the Objectivist kind, where mutual orgasms become the execution of mutual reverence for their superior minds of gold.

Together they discover a motor in an abandoned factory that runs on “sun power”. They hire a scientist to rebuild the motor. Unfortunately, the scientist is formerly of The State Science Institute, and currently with the General Motors Company.

Soon, more capitalist titans disappear: Robert Rubin of Citibank vanishes with $17-million-per-year winnings intact. BofA's Ken Lewis engineers a dubious acquisition of disgraced Countrywide, then follows Lehman into nothingness. Merrill's John Thain finds an idiot to buy Merrill, then disappears.

Dagney believes there is a “destroyer”, who is causing the pure and free men of pure and free Utopian ideology to disappear.

Economic dictator and Reserve Chairman Wesley Mouch is called to testify before Congress. (Mouch, in an odd back-story that seems to pierce the fourth wall separating character and author, had developed a serious interest in the author of this stories philosophical ideas in 1952. He attended regular meetings at the authors apartment, which included the opportunity to read draft sections of this very novel.) Mouch concedes the meltdown revealed a flaw in a lifetime of economic thinking and left him in a “state of shocked disbelief.” He acknowledges under questioning that he had made a “mistake” in believing that banks, operating in their own self-interest, would do what was necessary to protect their shareholders and institutions. Mouch calls it “a flaw in the model [of ideal idealism]… that defines how the world works.”

Rearden, believing Mouch is a traitor, refuses to participate in the proceedings, telling officials they can coerce him by force but he won't help them to convict him.

The government passes new socialist legislation that requires easily circumvented limits on pay for bankers receiving government bailout money. Francisco visits Rearden and asks him why he remains in business under such repressive conditions. When a fire breaks out, and they work together like manlike men in a hotly charged display of Aryan homo-erotic manliness, Francisco understands Rearden's love for his money.

Dagny quits over the new legislation and retreats to an aerial wolf hunting lodge in Alaska. She receives a letter from the scientist she had hired to help rebuild the motor, and fears he will be the next target of the destroyer. In an attempt to stop him from disappearing, she follows him in an aerial wolf hunting airplane and crashes in the mountains. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a remote valley where all the fleeing industrialists have fled. They are on the lam, calling it a strike of their kind.

There, she meets John's Fault, who turns out to be both the destroyer and the moral of the story. She falls in love with him, and they make intense melodramatic love, reaching a glorification of the highest ideal of ideal-ness ever idealized.

As a new head of state prepares to give a speech on the economic situation, John's Fault takes over CNBC and delivers a 28 hour rant of an address to the country, laying out the terms of the strike he has organized. They will return to their looting and scams, but only after the populace has swallowed a story about how the recession that began December 2007, the softening of housing prices that began in the summer of 2006, The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, and Mouch's dropping of interest rates to 1% in 2003 for more than a year pumping trillions of low interest credit into the economy, is the fault of the new head of state.


David
Comment posted March 14, 2009 @ 1:13 am

I would just like to take this opportunity, on behalf of my fellow American moochers, to give my sincere thanks to any John Galts reading this post for your productivity, your richness, and your general superiority to the rest of us. Without you being so rich and so awesome, I do not know how my fellow moochers and I would be able to get by. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be so superior to others that, despite my far greater income from a comfortable white collar job, I would feel persecuted and exploited by a 3% increase in the top marginal tax rate which will only go to finance trivialities like basic medical coverage for children. This feeling of victimhood is due to a sense of entitlement which is extreme beyond my limited powers of comprehension, since John Galts are superior to me in a way I am unable to comprehend, and hence are incomprehensibly more entitled than a moocher like myself.

What I'm trying to say here, again, is thanks.


The Real David
Comment posted March 14, 2009 @ 4:43 am

It's really a shame the American public has lost the ability to think or learn from history. Every new generation of collectivists of whatever form believed they are/were smart enough to succeed where others failed. Now THAT is arrogance! We are literally on the verge of a new dark ages and the majority doesn't have a clue. If ignorance is bliss then most of the writers here should be down right euphoric.


knowbuddhau
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

Here's the perfect guide to this:

On Atlas Shrugged as a Guide to Our Times
By Ellis Weiner

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellis-weiner/on-a…

For this deeply adolescent piece of social science fiction one must read over 1,000 pages of tiny type, most of which are covered with blocks of print into which the reader's consciousness slams as though into a brick wall. Characters lecture each other in a stilted, faux-heroic tone about such matters as “the human spirit” and “intelligence” and “ownership” and “the meaning of money” and “rationality.” It's every bit as good as it sounds, a thousand pages of this:

“Don't ask me to tell you now what trail I've followed, trying to trace that motor and to find its inventor. That's not of any importance, even my life and work are not of any importance to me right now, nothing is of any importance; except I must find him.”

Don't you love that semi-colon? Me, too. The heroes are all handsome or beautiful except for Ragnar Danneskjold, a pirate–really–who is handsome and “beautiful.” The villains are all detestable weaklings. Everyone else–i.e., the population of the United States of America–is a loathsome, freeloading nobody. Everyone looks at everyone else “with contempt.” Paradoxically, although characters repeatedly “chuckle” and address each other in terms described by variants of “mock” (with mockery, mockingly, in a mocking tone, etc.), no one has a sense of humor. The whole vast saga is a mind-numbing forced march through a swamp of comic book profundity, an interminable one-night three-way between Friedrich Nietzsche, L. Ron Hubbard, and Judith Kranz.

In short, Atlas Shrugged is one of the worst books ever written–and, in the words of Gore Vidal, “nearly perfect in its immorality.” Still, Moore proudly notes that “…as recently as 1991, a survey by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club found that readers rated 'Atlas' as the second-most influential book in their lives, behind only the Bible.”

But of course. People naïve, ignorant, demented, or desperate enough to be primarily influenced by the Bible would be influenced by A.S. The books have much in common: vast stretches of unbearable tedium, one-dimensional characters with no resemblance to actual human beings, hectoring speeches full of indignation and moralizing, and discreetly implied sex. Both are works of fiction. The Bible took hundreds of years to compile, and Atlas Shrugged takes hundreds of years to read.

And, just as true believers find confirmation of Scriptural predictions in cherry-picked semi-coincidences in real life, so does Moore–former Cato Institute man, presumably a Libertarian, and what people smarter and funnier than I call a “Randroid”–discover that events of today (the bailouts, the economic stimulus packages, etc.) are proving Rand prescient. “…(O)ur current politicians are committing the very acts of economic lunacy that 'Atlas Shrugged' parodied in 1957.”

Are they? Let's see.

In the novel, stick-figure industrialists and businessmen find their noble, courageous, avowedly “selfish” efforts stymied and undone by stick-figure cowards, weaklings, and corrupt bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. Piece by piece, in Rand's depiction of governmental overreach, capitalism is dismantled. Moore lists several of the more egregious examples from the book: “the 'Anti-Greed Act' to redistribute income (sounds like Charlie Rangel's promises soak-the-rich tax bill) and the 'Equalization of Opportunity Act' to prevent people from starting more than one business (to give other people a chance). My personal favorite, the 'Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act,' aims to restrict cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies.”

Moore then goes on, “These acts and edicts sound farcical, yes, but no more so than the actual events in Washington, circa 2008. We already have been served up the $700 billion 'Emergency Economic Stabilization Act' and the 'Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act.' Now that Barack Obama is in town, he will soon sign into law with great urgency the 'American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.' This latest Hail Mary pass will increase the federal budget (which has already expanded by $1.5 trillion in eight years under George Bush) by an additional $1 trillion — in roughly his first 100 days in office.”

To draw an equivalence between these two sets of laws is to be, at best, stupid, and at worst, mendacious. The “Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Act” has no counterpart or equivalent in what the rest of us know to be real life. It's the creation of a petulant teenager throwing a tantrum about “society.” Other edicts are just as contrived and equally silly: No worker, anywhere, is allowed to be fired. No owner is allowed to quit or retire. All patents and copyrights become property of the state. No new products are allowed to be produced. No one is allowed to spend any more or less money on anything than they did in the previous year.

What, here, is being “parodied”? Not American society, either today or in 1957; not the ways in which government and legislation interacts with capitalism; and not even any reasonable depiction of the left. In fact, what's being parodied (if that's the word) is the Soviet Union, from which Rand (nee Alice Rosenbaum) emigrated when she was 21. Yes, in her magnum opus, her “moral defense of capitalism,” Ayn Rand dresses the U.S. in Soviet drag, and then watches in triumph as her soap opera heroes beat it up.

The putative reasons presented for these society-crippling regulations–”fairness,” “to give others a chance,” “because the group is more important than the individual”–are ascribed to the cartoon villains with the implication that they are commonly found out in the world. “This is what the looters and the moochers believe,” Rand says. “They hate individual genius and entrepreneurial initiative. They hate rationality. They want to drag all of society down into the depths of mediocrity in which they dwell. These are the laws and regulations they would pass if only they could.”

It's an outrage! Or it would be, if it were remotely true. But it isn't. No leftist calls for a ban on new products or campaigns for a law forbidding executives to quit. No liberal calls for a legal limitation on what you can spend in a year. Even in the age of the Internet, when some believe that “information wants to be free” and debate the abolition of copyrights, no one demands that copyrights be ceded to the state. (Quite the opposite, in fact.)

She made it all up. The bad guys are straw men, serving a straw government, empowered by a straw civilization. The whole thing is a mug's game, a poker hand dealt from a stacked deck, a self-subverting and ultimately ludicrous grand opera of bad faith.

Still, the mystery of Atlas Shrugged isn't, why is it so bad? Many books are this bad and some are even worse. No, the mystery is, why does anyone who made it out of eighth grade take it seriously?

Yet, obviously, people do. Individuals capable of dressing themselves apparently love this, one of the most turgid, contrived, pompous, and comically over-written books ever published in English. Why?

Because they believe. For Randroids, “glibertarians,” “conservatives” (whatever that means at this point) and Republicans in general, politics has become a matter of faith.

Never mind that studies show that the economy prospers more under Democratic than Republican administrations. Never mind that the first six years of the Bush administration provided the right with every resource it needed and asked for, from “a war footing” to majorities in Congress to a supine, spineless media, and the results were unalloyed catastrophe (for us, yes, but for them, too). Never mind that the Republican “big tent” is in tatters due to calamities they themselves created, as sideshow barker Limbaugh now tries to con the rubes into coughing up an extra buck to watch Ann the Six-Foot Blonde say rude things about Michelle Obama, while Ring Master Bush sulks in his trailer and thinks the problem was his “rhetoric.”

Faith not only requires you to ignore what happens in the world, it praises you for it. The more unsubstantiated, untenable, or preposterous the belief, the more virtuous the believer. So Stephen Moore's solution to global recession is to wave around one of the most unreadable books ever written as though it were holy writ. For him, and for the right, politics is now religion.

And, as with any mythology, believers want to emulate their heroes. Cable traffic on the wing-nut sites after the last election featured many writers and commenters musing about “going John Galt,” withdrawing their genius and talents from the rest of us and leaving us to our own moocherly devices. To which all one can reply is, Please do. Knock yourselves out. And take this hideous book with you.


knowbuddhau
Comment posted March 15, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

Bravo! I bow in your virtual direction.


Stanley
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 7:13 am

It looks as though many of you are threaten by this book! I feel the fear in your typing. Yes you all should hope the real producers in this country do not go Gaut, You know like the 40,000 or so wealthiest in NY that pay something like 50-60% of the taxes. If I where so fortunate to be one of them I would leave in a NY minute. Be scared be very scared ! Especially all you Huffingtonlooters, You all follow the biggest looter of them all “Ariana the hypocrite”


Johnny
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

Ayn Rand was a great romance novelist, just bodice rippin' good. I mean wonderful dialogue of great quality like Her breasts heaved wantonly as she breathed Oh Hank, Oh Dagny he exclaimed as he wantonly gazed at her wantonly heaving breasts. Oh Dagny, Ohhhh Hank.

You better take it serious too; just try teasing some business gal about her addiction to romance novels. Hell hath no fury like a Serious Woman teased about her chick lit. Ayn Rand is Danielle Steele for republican and libertarians.


Keith
Comment posted March 16, 2009 @ 8:00 pm

I don't know about conservatives but pro-freedom folks have been working on this plan for a few years. They are moving to the freest state in the nation, New Hampshire ( http://www.statepolicyindex.com ) as part of the Free State Project ( http://www.freestateproject.org ). I'm a part of the FSP and I made the move to NH last year. If you are looking for a place to Galt, may I suggest NH :)


I never wanted you to be my soapbox. « Better Reception
Pingback posted March 16, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

[...] a gospel— don’t you think?  especially since they also seem to think we’re living the plotline of Atlas Shrugged?  and if some poor, misguided soul took on that task it would inevitably take on the style of [...]


Rap, not Rand. « The Bleeding Heart Show
Pingback posted March 17, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

[...] one slightly more surprising consequence of all this political & economic change has been the explosion of interest in the Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged, which is staunchly defended in a [...]


O MEU sucesso « John Galt’s PT Blog
Pingback posted March 18, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

[...] este sucesso juntam-se as crescentes manifestações nos EUA e as referências ao meu nome em cartazes, noticiários e discussões um pouco por todo o [...]


Henry
Comment posted March 18, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

knowbuddhau,

Do you know what copyright infringement means? Did it occur to you to get permission and post such with your almost complete copy 'n paste of the author's article? Or are you just treating the author as you would the taxpayer?


knowbuddhau
Comment posted March 18, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

Yes; no; it's long, but hardly complete; and as the taxpayer, I am treating myself with the utmost respect, thanks for your concern. Follow the link if you like. Run and tell Mr. Weiner. I'm sure he'll want to sue my pants off.

No thoughts, other than veiled threats and specious accusations? You do realize you are making a fine caricature of the type of Randroid Mr. Weiner satirizes, right?


Henry
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 4:20 am

You're the one who used another's property without permission. By your own admission, you did it knowing what copyright infringement is, Clearly, then, it is in your nature to use another's property as you see fit, regardless of the owner's wishes.

What you do with your money, Mr. Taxpayer, is your business. But it seems you would treat yourself (or those you favor) with the utmost respect using my tax dollars too, regardless of my wishes.

There is indeed a fine caricature here, but one straight out of Atlas Shrugged.


knowbuddhau
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 9:04 am

Pardon me, pal, but you're egregiously overlooking that I provide the title, author, and link to said author's original post on HuffPo.

You are mistaking my use, “fair use,” as plagiarism, without actually coming right out and accusing me in direct terms.

And this is exactly the caricature to which I refer. You seem to think the cosmos consists of two types of stuff: yours, and not mine. My use of the quote is a fair use. You can't admit that, or your whole Randian edifice will crumble, like a sand castle when the tide comes in.

Like I said, pal: go run and tell Mr. Weiner about your sanctimonious concerns for his intellectual property rights. I bet he'll laugh.

Is this all you got? See-sawing got boring back in grade school.


jim
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 10:01 am

the real producers get paid 8 bucks an hour, and the super wealthy pay less in real taxes than the middle class because wealthy people have access to tax shelters

cry me a fucking river


hank
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 10:19 am

Plagiarism? No. Copyright violation? By your own admission, yes. Fair use? What follows are excerpts from the U.S. Copyright Office' page on the matter (http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html).

“…examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use:

. quotation of short passages…
. summary of an address or article, with brief quotations…
. reproduction … of a small part of a work…”

It goes on to say: “The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material”. The link above provides the full text, lest I be accused of distortion through omission. Oh, and I am abiding by their policy (see the legal notices page for more on that).

Whether or not Mr. Weiner cares, ex post facto, about your knowing violation is irrelevant. That you call my concern sanctimonious is yet more revealing of your nature. You appear cavalier with the use of others' properties. You seem to think that you have some sort of inherent right to their use. You bristle when you are called on it. I believe you would treat others' taxes in a like manner.

The attitude you display is central to the objection so many have to paying yet more tax. Within the framework of Atlas Shrugged, your behavior here epitomizes that of the looter.
.


knowbuddhau
Comment posted March 19, 2009 @ 10:59 am

What is the artist's intent here? Did Mr. Weiner intend for his blog post not to be used?

I applaud your use of a mythology, to give shape to the cosmos in which you act; the problem however, is your mythology does not conform to reality.

If you're so damn concerned about Mr. Weiner's rights, why don't you ask him if this is a fair use of his work?

I suspect you don't care about Mr. Weiner. I suspect you latched onto what you perceived as an opportunity to apply Rand's terms, whether they fit or not is of no concern.

Is your middle name “Procrustes,” by any chance?

You distort: a) Mr. Weiner's intent (to provide fodder for precisely this debate); b) my fair use of that work; and c) god know's what else, solely to keep this buzz going.

What was the intent of Mr. Weiner's review of AS? Solely to make money of every iteration of sufficient volume?

Thanks for the debate, but this is a tiresome see-saw. I'm getting off now. Don't let the earth hit you in the ass on the way down.


jcl
Comment posted March 20, 2009 @ 11:34 am

You musta flunked kindergarten arithmetic….


Une chasse aux sorcières ? « Rationalité Limitée
Pingback posted March 22, 2009 @ 10:11 am

[...] dit, faire partir sous des cieux plus cléments les talents de la finance américaine (”going Galt” comme on dit dans le jargon randien). Etant donné que les individus répondent aux [...]


Ernest Brown
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 6:58 am

“She doesn’t deal with these corporatists like Thain who were pushing paper around and using regulations to feather their nests.”

Gee, the chief villains of ATLAS SHRUGGED are two such individuals, James Taggart & Orrin Boyle. What book did Tuccille read?


Henry Bowman
Comment posted March 27, 2009 @ 10:58 pm

The major difference is that the liberals ended up not moving to Canada (more's the pity).


going john galt | 4BLOGGER
Pingback posted March 29, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

[...] The Washington Independent Battling Obama by Going Galt [...]


van
Comment posted March 30, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

Why do all the “Galt/Atlas/Rand haters” keep referring to her and her ideas as “conservative” and “Republican” and “right wing”?? The NYT and National Review- right and left- are recently savaging her book because it is so popular of late. This leads me to believe that she was on the right track.

Give credit to where it's due- she wasn't a “neo-con” or conservative Christian or a right wing Republican; and she sure as hades wasn't a liberal, left wing socialist.

While she rejected the Libertarian label- that is exactly what she was. Not an “R” and not a “D”; she was an “L”, the superior of the three.


terptwerp
Comment posted March 31, 2009 @ 8:59 am

Wow. By all means, disappear into some vaguely distant hinterland. I'm sure the remaining entrepreneurs will absolutely LOVE whatever void you supposedly creative people leave behind.

I mean seriously, you wackos are going to tune-out because you may face an increase in marginal tax rates?

“ZOMG, I'm going to have to pay 39.6% on income I used to pay 35% on!!! SIC SEMPER TYRANUS!!!”

You really are going to go this apeshit over this tiny percentage change on income earned AFTER you already pocketed $350,000???? “QQ, I had an AGI of $500,000 last year, and now the tax I pay on that last $150k is increasing from 52k to 59k!!! Darn those Obama poeple to heck!!”

Yep, it absolutely sucks being lucky enough to live in a country that, more than any other place in this world, affords you the chance to make $500k a year, and likely earn some amount close to that in the subsequent years, if not more. You are paying for income security you nitwits, that's what your taxes provide. If that's something you do not appreciate, then by all means, try to make your fortune in some third world rathole, and then keep hold of it.

Jeebus, get over yourselves.


Kendra
Comment posted April 6, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

To those who have never read the book, and therefor have no room to criticize, the “moochers” and “looters” do not refer to the working class. They refer to those who take things unearned. In this book most of those characters are actually quite wealthy and “successful” individuals, which is part of the irony.

The “rest of America”, the working and middle class, are rarely mentioned because they are unimportant to the novel. If you think they are, you miss the point. The Galts are Atlas, they hold the world. Without their ideas and intellect all the workers in the world matter – there is nothing to work on if these men do not achieve and create. That is their contribution to the world – they make it run.

When workers are mentioned it is normally to reference them siding with the industrialists; Eddie Willers is one character that comes to mind, also the Honor guard that stands watch over the first run on the Galt Line, and all the conductors who volunteer to be driving the train that day against the advice of the Union leaders. They act that way because, as rational men, they know their fortunes are tied to those of the industrials.

To all you Rand haters: Whats not to get? Do you just hate to have your ideas and their logical conclusions laid out so plainly and inarguably? Does knowing you aren't that great (most aren't) make you feel small and insignificant? Or are you just mad that the left has no literary equivalent that can encapsulate their [lack of] ideas? Either way, Rand rocks. <3


Kendra
Comment posted April 6, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

Yes, there are people who are irreplaceable. Very few people, but some. Where would we be if Bill Gates didn't create Microsoft? Or Steve Jobs? Edison? Tesla? Einstein? Newton? Fermi?

Someone else may have come up with the idea, or something close to it, maybe. Maybe not. The people who invent, who produce, not who labor, those are the people who are important in society. The people who are always seeking to expand, to grow, to make new and more. They push the limits of society and push us all along. They are irreplaceable.

I'm replaceable in my job, I'm guessing you think you are too, but some people aren't. They are the John Galts of the world, and instead of punishing them for their success we should realize and appreciate that we stand on the shoulders of giants.


Kendra
Comment posted April 6, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

Galt wouldn't be any politician. They are all looters. Government never produces, it only takes away from those who do in order to give to those who don't. (and those of you who say he is Obama are out of your ever-loving minds)

Even when it creates jobs, as in “stimulus” by creating public works, it can only do so efficiently temporarily, and it does so at the expense of the things that would have been created by the rightful owners of the money spent. Government cannot create, only re appropriate.


“Going John Galt: The Video!” « International Journal of Inactivism — Mindless Link Propagation section
Pingback posted April 9, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

[...] people Dr. Helen interviews is actually Going Galt. More to the point, neither is Dr. Helen. She claims to be “mulling over ways that she can “go Galt”. Allow me to help her out (along [...]


Pro America, NOT Pro Govt.
Comment posted April 11, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

~Sigh~ Good Grief People! What a bunch of pundints and bloggers stoking the fear of fascism, socialism, tyrannical governments… Without the “b@lls” to get in there and fight for what’s right.
You’d rather sit in here and discuss. Well, that’s sure gotten us far.

It's just a book. Like the bible, it is there for personal interpretation, nothing more.
I would hope no one actually lives their lives on the belief of the writing’s of others.
That will put us in a sad state indeed.

For all the effort put into ANY comment on this subject (my own included), we could have probably cured cancer.

Seriously folks, you have nothing better to do, than to get into “informed” discussions on literature???
TWITTER!?! Facebook, News article chats, etc…..Wasted breath, Wasted time.
If you want to waste your life discussing unimportant issues (such as Ayn Rand, and her writtings), at least discuss what YOU “bring to the table” to help solve the real issues (economy, homeland security, homelessness, etc…).

When it comes time, the very best thing we can do as a country, is REVOLT. The “Moochers” will run for cover like the cowards they are, and we can assume a way of life, the way “WE (the people…)” see fit.

Our greatest crime is that “WE” have allowed this to happen. “WE” have allowed the Govt. to tell us what to do, because that is what “WE” believe the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution. I assure you it was NOT.

“WE (the poor…)” outnumber the Rich. Don't let them take away your rights, your money, your pursuit of happiness. Be a leader! NOT a “lamb”.

“WE” have allowed this to happen… “WE” allow our sports players to be paid millions of dollars, because “WE” buy tickets to the game. Then those same players, are out committing crimes (Kobe – rape), using drugs (Rodriguez – steriods), buying expensive cars and houses, that we ourselves (“the poor” and middle class) can't even imagine affording.

I mean comm'on PPL!!!! When have you had enough!

“WE” continue to pay our leaders exorbitant amounts of money, to lead us like cattle, only to have those same leaders, break the very laws they put in place, and demand that “WE” follow.

WHA!?!?!?!

“WE” allow developers to build homes that cost them 80,000 to build, yet sell them for 300,000.

HUH!?!?!

Instead of “craving” the latest techno gadget, car, DVD, CD, sporting event, music event, or whatever “luxury” it happens to be, think of putting that money back into YOU.
Don't give it to a company, a person, a ………(whatever), that already has plenty of money.

If your just going to give it away, at least give it to someone that really needs it. (Now that's saying something about you as a person, that I can respect).

Does anyone here think, after reading this, that I give 2 sh!t's whether the car companies or banks get “bailed out”???
And, If you care, you shouldn't. They got themselves into this mess, they should get themselves out of it, or better yet, just “go away”.

More people care about American Idol than they do about the current state of affairs.
Really America, is that what “WE” are craving???? More MTV, more Ghost Whisperer, CSI, or any other number of just plain stupid shows on the “idiot box”.

I’d say that, since it's considered a major victory if more than 50% of the population gets out of their living rooms once every four years to vote for President. That nothing is going to change.

A mass movement in this country? Maybe to the refrigerator for another snack….Prove me wrong folks.

Oh… So now your gonna' start telling me about how, if we revolt, or allow our industry, or economy to “slide” in view of the rest of the world, that we are now “no better than them” (other 3rd world countries in civil strife), or that we will somehow be considered weak???
Well….. Only if “WE” allow it to happen.

Ain’t nothin’ FREE, especially Freedom. If your not willing to bleed for it, I have no sympathy or use for you. Now, go hang yourself, and save me the bullet to put you, out of “my” misery.


ds80
Comment posted April 12, 2009 @ 11:36 am

Hey terptwerp: what's YOUR marginal tax bracket? Feel free to voluntarily give much more than you are taxed. But keep your grubby hands off of others' money.


KJ
Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

It doesn't matter if the tax rate is “only” going up 4% in one specific category. The fact is that businesses and individuals have choices of which country to invest their money into and quite often they choose the country where its MOST PROFITABLE. So, looking at it this way, businesses have been “going Galt” against the U.S. for quite some time now. That is a big part of the problem we see right now, but demonizing them or trying to use protectionism and big fisted tax force isn't going to create unity and harmony – instead it chases them off – so that's not a valid response to the problem. In other words, you can't force people/businesses to work FOR your country, you can only encourage them and reward them so they WANT to do it.

The disturbing thing is that now it's not just big business but small businesses, small investors and other individuals – like reitrees who have accumulated wealth who are also moving their money to places where it will earn the maximum return. In their place we have new immigrants who may not be contributing nearly as much over the next decade in terms of taxes.

Apparently many people on this blog seem to see no problem with this so maybe they will be happy with the end results. As a long term business owner and investor, I'm looking at other countries as options.


AvgJoe
Comment posted April 18, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

My way of going Galt:
Find a way to lose from my job
Collect unemployment, welfare, food stamps,
Apply for BMR housing in a luxury apartment community (my state required all new apartment complexes to have percentage their units as BMR)
Then I can fully heartily support all the “change”
Why work when there are wealth people that can pay my way with their tax dollars
Besides only reckless CEO are bad people, not reckless average Joes


Dan Bullard
Comment posted April 28, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

If you have shrugged I'd like to publish your story at http://www.ishrugged.org.


Critos
Comment posted May 22, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

The first step to fixing our political system is to stop paying the “politician tax”….

Politicians are not like the rest of us…. they are keenly obsessed with “getting elected” as a measure of success, but although this would seem to suggest that they should care about representing the views of the electors — the people — it doesn't work out that way. With extremely rare exceptions, politicians preserve their interests by serving their party (whichever one it is) over the people, and by serving corporate interests and other special interests next to that, also over the people…. so where do we fit in?

They see us as votes and money, and many of us are suckers…. how many of you donated money to a politician or a party last year? The sad truth is that whatever you did donate was actually a tax imposed by the system through blackmail, one that you didn't have to pay at all, but volunteered…. I have to admit, I'm in that crowd, even though I only gave to Libertarian candidates (who all lost) and the amount I donated amounted to pocket change even in their meager coffers…. but I'd take it back if I could….

Look at it this way: imagine there are two bullies on your block, and both want to take your lunch money…. each says that if you “voluntarily” pay him, he'll protect you from the other one, and each one talks up how dangerous the other one is in order to convince you to buy protection… but the truth is, if you learn to defend yourself you don't have to give a penny to either of them.

That's what the Republicrats do — each side uses the other as a threat to pry your dollars away in the form of campaign donations, and the first and biggest thing WE can do to eliminate donation-driven corruption from the system is to turn off that voluntary faucet of cash flowing out of our pockets.

In short: DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY TO POLITICIANS!! not to a candidate, not to a campaign, not to a party, and if you can help it, not to a company that will pass it on to any of those (even a company that will hedge its bets by giving to both sides; in fact, especially such a company)…. clean up our politics, do NOT pay the politician tax!!


Steve John Galt DeGraffenreid
Comment posted June 16, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

my way of going galt:
praising CEOs for the job they've done
getting a job so i can get my lord and savior, money
finding a way to destroy welfare and unemployment
when i get enough money, watching the world burn down
watching people who thought they shouldn't destroy other people to get what the want die in the streets
“i will stop the egine of the world”
i will because obama and the rest of them don't deserve my working
i am howard rorak, dagny taggart and hank rearden
i am also midas mulligan, dan conway, ellis wyatt, hugh akston, and quentin daniels
i am also ragnar danneskjöld, richard halley, dick mcnamara, owen kellogg
i am also francisco domingo carlos andres sebastián d'anconia
the final person who i am is the one and only JOHN GALT
i am these people because i believe that bill gates should not spend his tax money on the lazy
money is the root of all good
and finally, you should never be sorry for being rich


Steve John Galt DeGraffenreid
Comment posted June 16, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

my way of going galt:
praising CEOs for the job they've done
getting a job so i can get my lord and savior, money
finding a way to destroy welfare and unemployment
when i get enough money, watching the world burn down
watching people who thought they shouldn't destroy other people to get what the want die in the streets
“i will stop the egine of the world”
i will because obama and the rest of them don't deserve my working
i am howard rorak, dagny taggart and hank rearden
i am also midas mulligan, dan conway, ellis wyatt, hugh akston, and quentin daniels
i am also ragnar danneskjöld, richard halley, dick mcnamara, owen kellogg
i am also francisco domingo carlos andres sebastián d'anconia
the final person who i am is the one and only JOHN GALT
i am these people because i believe that bill gates should not spend his tax money on the lazy
money is the root of all good
and finally, you should never be sorry for being rich


davidwotitzky
Comment posted July 4, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

My contribution in the Going Galt movement…

http://ecireport.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/the-a…


Going Galt | Eternal Blogs
Pingback posted July 7, 2009 @ 12:45 am

[...] concepts — if we know they don’t work — why should we pay to support them?” – WashingtonIndependent Mar 27 tea party in Hartford, [...]


Gird Your Loins, Indeed « The Recreant Right
Pingback posted July 7, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

[...] know, taxing all wealth in the US right out of existence.  I’ve never really bought into the Going Galt philosophy – but you have to wonder where the tipping point is – the point where people [...]


robertkilmarx
Comment posted July 13, 2009 @ 3:30 am

On July 30th, Conservatives are “Going Galt”. On that date, we are asking Conservatives all across the nation to “Call in Conservative”. On July 30th, Conservatives will not work, we will not buy. Instead, we will spend time with our families and friends. We will show President Obama and Congress who REALLY drives this economy. For more information on “A Day Without Conservatives” please visit http://www.teapartynation.com .


Eye on Williamson » The SBOE, religion, and corporations
Pingback posted July 17, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

[...] When going through issues on the far right it’s always interesting how those with a religious agenda are almost always intertwined with the free-market corporatists. It always seemed weird when members of the so-called Christian Coalition – that means you Ralph Reed – would be on cable TV ranting about tax cuts for the rich. Which begs the question, would Jesus have gone Galt? [...]


Galt
Comment posted July 21, 2009 @ 4:28 am

The late Dr. Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) offered the following observation several years ago and it bears poignant significance today: You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the rich out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply the wealth by dividing it.”


man
Comment posted September 4, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

great article, i really appreciate it


Jolly Jo in Vista, CA
Comment posted September 7, 2009 @ 4:09 am

You said it all. You expressed what I see as the problem, US, WE THE PEOPLE, are the problem. I am in the middle of my 80th decade. I didn't take any real interest in Washington DC, the candidates, the economy, etc. until the Clinton years. In the past three years I discovered Catherine Austin Fitts web page where I've learned more about how the government and the financial world really operates. So, yes, I say I have allowed the current mess to evolve over my lifetime. I admire Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich because they seem to be two truly honest Congressmen. And I'm listening to the “Atlas Shrugged” audio book. I like the characters and I like the story. And I enjoy the comments that point out how creativity is being punished. I thought that with all the unemployment people would “come to themselves” and get in touch with their creative spirit. And speaking of spirit, I feel there is a Spiritual Awakening evolving underneath all the stuff that is getting the media attention.
JollyJo in Vista California


Earn 50% On Beat The Banks E-book!!! | 7Wins.eu
Pingback posted October 7, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

[...] HarvestingDollars » Blog Archive » Bank On Yourself – Is This Strategy For Real?FOREX Time MachineBook Value – a Real Contradiction | Warren Buffett Worldis google fast cash a scam, or the real deal?China’s Rich and Super-Rich feel the pinch » The Peking DuckPOETRY KESSEL-LO POEZIE / 1-100 / a-z / wordlnet FREE Airline Ticket from American ExpressBattling Obama by ‘Going Galt’ « The Washington Independent [...]


BizzyBlog
Pingback posted October 23, 2009 @ 12:20 am

[...] The most productive people began to withdrew into their cocoon not because the economy was in a serious recession — at least as normal people define it (second quarter 2008’s annualized growth was +1.5%). What happened is that enough of them to matter started “going Galt.” [...]


H Roark
Comment posted October 27, 2009 @ 5:00 am

My progression to “Go John Galt” has been successful. I have managed to decrease my economic footprint on this world by over 35%. Though I am driven naturally to produce, solve, design my new goal of decreasing my lootable income has focused my efforts to conserving by abilities. I have had to lay off good people and change business strategy, but I have decreased my “aide” to government by $45,000 in 2009. Protesting never felt so good. To quote Legends of the Fall “Screw 'um”


Charles
Comment posted December 9, 2009 @ 10:58 am

Many of us are not necessarily “going Galt' but see Galt as a symbol and a more general call to action; the government needs to stop punishiing the producers. We need to elect small gov, lower tax, less regulation candidates in 2010. http://www.johngalt2010.com


Lon Stickney
Comment posted December 9, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

Please visit our web site Johngaltusa.com … We have a lot in common…Our mission statements are very similar, and we mean to make a difference…


Atlas Shat « Heavy Metal Librarian
Pingback posted December 29, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

[...] give up jobs and income in order to starve the federal government of tax revenues and prevent Fidel Obama from stealing their hard-earned lucre to help the lazy, shiftless good-for-nothing parasites that [...]


Rod k
Comment posted January 1, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

it is a shame the upper class might have to pay Taxes!


Jane Chischilly
Comment posted January 2, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

I read this idiocy about self-made entrepreneurs deserving to keep ALL their wealth. Oh, yeah,….. like you did it ALL BY YOURSELF, those damned employees had NOTHING to do with it. How dare they have any expectations of credit or reward or even a fair salary for their hard work and contribution to YOUR aquisition of wealth. How utterly ridiculous that you are so BLIND and so WILLFULLY IGNORANT and STUPID that you actually have made your self believe that poor people are poor because they are lazy. Most poor people work harder than YOU CAN EVEN IMAGINE just to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. In this country today, education has been made so impossibly expensive that it is, in practical terms, reserved for the wealthy or incredibly lucky. Without education or training, most are condemned to a life of struggle in the lower economic classes. This country used to have a policy that “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”. Not so anymore. Now it is more like an indentured servant who is helpless to defend his rights, speak his own mind, protest mistreatment, or have any hope of bettering his life thru education…… PRICELESS. You self-satisfied jerks who sit in your lofty financial positions and condemn perfectly good human beings as lazy wastes of flesh because they are poor……. well, my contempt for you is limitless. Your prized oligarchy has worked to take away the rights of the average citizen/worker so you can increase your profits by underpaying your employees. And with out an insanely expensive education… not much chance to escape from your greedy clutches. It is NOT a coincidence that the middle class, the bridge between rich and poor, has almost completely disappeared leaving a huge chasm between wealth and poverty. By the creation of an uneducated, desperate, sick underclass, you assure yourselves of subservient, manageable workers who, through economic necessity, must take anything their powerful corporate employers want to dish out. Additionally, you give no credit to the FACT that THIS COUNTRY ITSELF has made your wealth possible and YOU, you big, selfish crybabies, cry foul if you are asked to pay anything like a proportionate amount of taxes back to the country that has supported your gains. This is just disgusting. YOU are disgusting.


Jane Chischilly
Comment posted January 2, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

Your “logic” is flawed. Some used to feel that those who gained the greatest benefits from society, were under a moral obligation to give back to that society in proportion to their gains. You can't legislate the poor into a batter economic position (excuse me, but the issue of FREEDOM itself in this case should not be equated with financial class. moron). But, as I was saying,…… you CAN legislate them into eternal economic servitude by denying education, healthcare and what should be unquestionable human rights. I know very few people who are outright unwilling to work, how dare you lump an entire socio-economic class into a category of lazy leeches. The rich have gained their wealth on the backs of the workers, but insist they “DID IT THEMSELVES”……….HA!! rightttt….


vusarah
Comment posted January 7, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

I agree with this. I have been talking about Atlas Shrugged and Obama since before the election last year. And in response to Jane C.'s comment a few days ago – that is not the purpose of the book, or the reasoning. If you actually researched objectivism maybe you could make a halfway educated response. I believe wholeheartedly that producers should not be punished, and that is what is happening. Now, should corrupt financial executives go unpunished? Absolutely not. But for NON-CORRUPT financial executives and other business executives, physicians, lawyers, entertainment industry individuals – why should they not be rewarded for their hard work? They invested time and energy, and their own knowledge, into getting to where they are today. As for education being expensive – I am not rich, my family is not rich, and guess what? I am educated, have an undergraduate and graduate degree; how did I finance it? Through hard work and student loans. I took responsibility for something I deemed important and made it work. Are all “poor” people lazy or uneducated? Certainly not. But there are millions of people in this country who receive public assistance and are lazy and manipulate the system. Are there lazy rich people? Yes, there are; certainly some individuals have benefitted from a stroke of luck from family inheritance or some other “get rich quick” situation, and live the life of luxury without having worked for it. Bottom line is, people should be rewarded for their hard work, energy, and resource investment. People need to exercise self-control. People need to prioritize and create goals for themselves. We are responsible for our own lives, and should not count on the government to take care of us – nor should we want them to, unless we have invested in a system through a life of working and paying taxes. You cannot expect something for nothing. It's called common sense.


Hank
Comment posted January 11, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

It has been some months since I last wrote on this board/site. By now, it should be obvious to all how bad things are. The prior administration threw sand into the tank (what with Medicare drug entitlements and a ~$700B bailout plan). The current one is now busy punching holes in the hull (starting with another ~$800B bailout plan – and I'm sure all here know the rest).

All talk of just a few percentage points increase in tax is now obviously out the window. There is the expiration of the prior tax cuts. There are proposed increases in medicare/medicaid and marginal federal tax rates, taxation of so-called Cadillac medical insurance plans, tax penalties on insufficient medical insurance plans, war tax, a “cap and trade” tax, etc. The states add yet another layer to this vile cake.

I'm not going to re-iterate the objections to all this – they are common, clear and well-known.

We have done some restructuring of both our small business and our personal finances. Examples are (business) deferring the hiring of anyone (at least until we know how the land lies WRT entitlements, etc.) and (personal) preparing this year to convert much of our tax deferred accumulation into Roth plans. We are learning to make do with less (make more from raw material). We aim to minimize the damage and (if we deem it necessary) exit with as little loss as possible. For now, many of the aforementioned federal tax proposals are not (yet) reality (the state situation is another story). Thus, we have not initiated any exit plans. But it is good to be prepared. If it becomes necessary to have to make do with less, we can – and with less lost to taxes.

There is a difficult issue. Where does one put cash reserves? While our investments are in a wide gamut of productive vehicles (international and local), our cash reserves are in dollars. The massive deficit spending (past and present) must surely result in inflation. We believe the US dollar is going to shrink rapidly (indeed, perhaps it is started in some quarters – anyone examine their various services bills recently?).

The first answer many give is “gold”. But has anyone actually attempted to take physical delivery? What of the spread in price between that listed on exchanges and that asked by sellers of the actual metal? Does anyone have any fear of a repeat of the FDR gold confiscation? And then there's what happened to the price of platinum over the past few years – scary. Others say “property”. But that is terribly illiquid, and is usually subject to that most pernicious of taxes.

In the event that Going Galt becomes necessary, What asset class will be relatively immune to inflation, be liquid and be difficult to tax (education, perhaps :-) )?


bfheather
Comment posted January 18, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

I love the pseudointellects out there who want to tell me of all the advantages I had while I pursued my doctoral training. While these folks were taking the philosophy and math for idiot classes, I was knocking my brains out trying to pull a decent grade out of Physics, Chemistry and Calculus.

Folks, you don't like what I make. QYB!! This is, as you each point out, a free and prosperous country. So you pursue a doctoral degree and then you can hang your shingle out and provide all the free care you want to. Self-righteous and smug leeches.


bfheather
Comment posted January 18, 2010 @ 11:20 pm

By the way Rod K. 10 percent of the high income earners pay 80% of the taxes in this country, a fact that you obviously weren't taught when you attended your remedial classes at community college.


aheat
Comment posted January 18, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU


aheat
Comment posted January 18, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

Here is a solution to you self righteous Marxist swine…do a barrel role


aheat
Comment posted January 18, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESUDESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU DESU 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aheat
Comment posted January 18, 2010 @ 11:46 pm

I have a story very relevant to these socio-economic problems that have split America, and message boards like these in current times.

There was a striking young man who was born and raised in West Philadelphia. A bright young gentleman, and an outstanding basketball player was forced into a life of crime with hoodlums due to his incredibly poor living conditions. This particular youth became heavily involved in gang activities which in turn threatened his well being. One day while paying basketball outside of his school he was involved in a altercation with rival gang members and his mother got scared, so she sent him to live with his auntie and uncle in Bel-air, California…

Who then paid exorbitantly high amounts of money for his education. Ironically enough this aunt and uncle were incredibly rich, yet did not see fit to “share the wealth” with their siblings still living in the ghettos of Philadelphia. It may be due to the fact they are Bourgeoisie pigs, or because they earned it whereas their siblings did not.


bfheather
Comment posted January 19, 2010 @ 12:40 am

Oh oh don't tell me, the young man grows up, moves to Hollywood and like so many of his rich, apologist contemporaries, he condemns those who don't give their money up for the so called underfunded. Of course, perish the thought that he and his rich Hollywood cohorts would ever socialize their work and allow the poor and oppressed masses the opportunity to pirate their work so they, too, can be entertained. No..far better to be a hypocrite and condemn out one side of the mouth and indict those who “steal” his work. Maybe his rich uncle and aunt did teach him something


iExist
Comment posted January 21, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

Jane chischilly,
I am 20 years old with only one semester of college. In 2009, I started my own business. I work all the time, including weekends and holidays, because I want to be extremely successful in the future, and I am going to be. One day I am going to expand and hire employees, for yes, less than what I make. I'm in business to make a profit, not share it. Those future employees will have a job because of all of my hard work to create and expand my business, where they had no part. When they choose to work their butts off for me and make me a bigger profit, I will pay them more. I am one of those low income individuals you are defending, but one day I will be one of those you are attacking. Do you think those individuals you are attcking gained all they have by a stroke of luck? They all were once like me.


r5g3ggr
Comment posted February 15, 2010 @ 1:00 am

You are missing a basic point. A capitalist must provide a benefit to society for his wealth to increase. Only in your nightmare collectivist world with no private property rights does that axiom breakdown. The “rich” as you say are individuals who have created something with the productive effort of their own mind and are not to be villified for being rewarded with untold increases of wealth. Laissez fairre capitalism is the only path to an earthly utopia.


r5g3ggr
Comment posted February 15, 2010 @ 6:00 am

You are missing a basic point. A capitalist must provide a benefit to society for his wealth to increase. Only in your nightmare collectivist world with no private property rights does that axiom breakdown. The “rich” as you say are individuals who have created something with the productive effort of their own mind and are not to be villified for being rewarded with untold increases of wealth. Laissez fairre capitalism is the only path to an earthly utopia.


patrickhenry13
Comment posted April 17, 2010 @ 6:24 am

get a life,a brain,and stop watching fairy tales,you get what you work for.


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Even in Atlas Shrugged Galt's Gulch was not there at first… Time to start? I do believe so. Luckily for me I am but a student, and when I finish this damnable college I will go into teaching and hopefully 'mend' what few minds I can.
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“A lot of Obama’s new tax and regulatory policies target the productive industries,” said Hudgins, “sectors that produce jobs, businesses that expand the economy. These are pretty nutty policies. They’re something out of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ in every way, shape, and form. Look at the mortgage plan, which rewards the eight percent of people who bought bad mortgages with money from the rest of us.”


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They’re something out of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ in every way, shape, and form. Look at the mortgage plan, which rewards the eight percent of people who bought bad mortgages with money from the rest of us.”


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[...] 7.Battling Obama by ‘Going Galt’ « The Washington Independent Before that CPAC speech, Ryan put in a call to Ed Hudgins, the director of advocacy for the Washington-based Atlas Society. … There are proposed increases in medicare/medicaid and marginal federal tax rates, taxation of so-called Cadillac medical insurance plans, tax penalties on insufficient medical insurance plans, http://washingtonindependent.com/32772/battling-obama-by-going-galt [...]


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