Both Merlyworm and I have done many posts here regarding the slippage of our world into the Randian (is that a word? If not it should be) world of Atlas Shrugged. So many that I’ve created a category for it now and will start moving posts into it! I’m calling what’s going on the “Atlas Effect“.
Over the last couple of years we’ve seen the world start shifting radically towards the bleak future describe by Rand. Lately people have been saying “Who is John Galt” in relation to the wealth redistrubition efforts of our Media sanctified and elected President Obama. With a stimulus bill designed to primarily spread government money around to those recipients that it deems most worthy i.e. government itself. There have been mass protests called “Tea Partys in multiple cities decrying the spending of our childrens inheritance. Oh what’s that you say? You haven’t heard about it on your local media? Of course not, you can not tell the emperor he has no clothes! Do a google search “Philadelphia Tea Party Inquirer“ and you’ll find nothing in Philadelphia’s largest newspaper about it. Ironically the 3rd link listed is one talking about how the owner of the cities 2 largest newspapers filed for bankruptcy! We’re told that the stimulus plan and the coming tax hikes on the rich are for the benefit of the middle class and for the poor. What’s that Vice President Biden, it’s our duty to be patriotic and pay more taxes? When people start talking like that, when they use words like “fair for everyone” and “equalization of wealth” it’s a sign of the “Atlas Effect”.
We’ve seen people start to discuss whether or not it’s worth it to work so hard and make what they make. So imagine if you’re a small business owner. You’ve worked hard to build a clientele and it’s paying off for you now. You’re income is starting to rise above that 250k a year line. What do you do? Do you expand, hire some more people and build on your clientele or do you pull back and make less? Sure you could make more money but is it worth being classified as “rich” and falling into an excessive tax bracket? Of course it isn’t, you’d end up working even more just to bring home as much as you did below that line so you don’t hire those few more workers, you don’t expand you product line. You go Galt. Going Galt hurts the government by hurting it’s ability to rake in tax revenues. Unfortunately, it has the collateral damage effect of really hurting the economy. Another sign of the “Atlas Effect“.
We also need to remember that this is not just an American problem. We live in a global economy and an ever shrinking world. The “Atlas Effect” just doesn’t show up here in America. Rand wrote about things that would happen in other countries. An integral part of her book was how Venezuela’s nationalization of the copper mines and Mexico’s nationalization of an American built railroad effected situations here. Well guess what folks, Venezuela has nationalized energy production, steel plants, cement plants, telecommunication companies and just today nationalized a rice processing plant owned by American company Cargill. Cargill operates 13 plants in Venezuela (well I guess 12 now), when Chavez turns his eye towards the other plants don’t you think that might have an effect on Cargill here? Perhaps the loss of that plant causes them to rethink opening a new feed mill in Arizona while they recoup those losses? Once again, the “Atlas Effect” in action.
When you look at all that’s going on through a larger scope, looking at all the pieces as they are falling in place you have to be worried. Events unfold every day here in America and throughout the world that are practically cribbed right from Rands book and if you read it, you realize there was no happy ending in it. Have we started to slide down this slope too fast? Are we too far gone to avoid the ending? I don’t know. I like to think that the country that survived the Great Depression, that basically saved the world 3 times (WWI, WWII, and the cold war) will not be brought down so easily. It does make me all wonder though, if this much of her story is coming to pass then who and where is John Galt now?