Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Has "Atlas Shrugged" become our reality?

It's practically a blueprint for what we are seeing now:

'Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years
[...] Many of us who know Rand's work have noticed that with each passing week, and with each successive bailout plan and economic-stimulus scheme out of Washington, our current politicians are committing the very acts of economic lunacy that "Atlas Shrugged" parodied in 1957, when this 1,000-page novel was first published and became an instant hit.


For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises -- that in most cases they themselves created -- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.


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." [...]

Punishing people who succeed and rewarding people who fail can only lead to destruction. How far will we have to go before we wake up to that reality?

Maynard at Tammy Bruce's blog did a post about this too:

Atlas Shrugged: Life Imitates Art

I agree with his opinion about Ayn Rand. The messenger may not have been perfect, and all of her solutions may not have worked in the real world, but the warning in her message was and still is right on target.

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