Monday, January 26, 2009

Atlas Shrugged--Fiction?

ht/Dr. Sanity

Stephen Moore writes in the Wall Street Journal that our economic crisis is straight out of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged:
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.

The current economic strategy is right out of "Atlas Shrugged": The more incompetent you are in business, the more handouts the politicians will bestow on you. That's the justification for the $2 trillion of subsidies doled out already to keep afloat distressed insurance companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses, and auto companies -- while standing next in line for their share of the booty are real-estate developers, the steel industry, chemical companies, airlines, ethanol producers, construction firms and even catfish farmers. With each successive bailout to "calm the markets," another trillion of national wealth is subsequently lost. Yet, as "Atlas" grimly foretold, we now treat the incompetent who wreck their companies as victims, while those resourceful business owners who manage to make a profit are portrayed as recipients of illegitimate "windfalls."

In the book the country falls into ruin as the people who end up doing all the work decide why should they. The world comes to a stand still when the ones with the ability to fix the things that start breaking disappear. Moore thinks this should be required reading for Congress and the Senate. I think too many of them are still of the mindset that Marxism didn't work because it just hasn't been tried by the right people yet.

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