Atlas Shrugged: You Must Read This Article!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA RM420589

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123146363567166677.html

'Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years

 

Click the link above to an online article from the Wall Street Journal. It is GREAT in putting in perspecting 2008/2009's government tactics ... TARP ... the Bailouts ... etc. For those of us who've been saying for months that TARP is not going to work, that there must be more oversight, that the Bailouts of specific banks and golden child industries--and not others--is ridiculous ... we're right! You must read this article.

 

Here is an excerpt to whet your curiosity: (the bold emphasis is mine)

 

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.

Rand, who had come to America from Soviet Russia with striking insights into totalitarianism and the destructiveness of socialism, was already a celebrity. The left, naturally, hated her. But 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.

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. In the book, these relentless wealth redistributionists and their programs are disparaged as "the looters and their laws."

Every new act of government futility and stupidity carries with it a benevolent-sounding title. These include 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. Why didn't Hank Paulson think of that?

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.

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."

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Show All Comments
Rainer
207,212
Shane OnullGorman
Eau Claire Realty, Inc. - Eau Claire, WI
Eau Claire Wisconsin, Real Estate Agent & Realtor- Buy or Sell

I honestly no longer trust the WSJ as a news source since it is owned and operated by Rupert Murdoch. The articles that they come out with now are clearly biased and intented to promote his agenda. I actually like Ayn Rand a lot.

Jan 11, 2009 02:05 PM #1
Rainmaker
632,644
Brian Block
RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President - McLean, VA
Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate

Erica, I read this article the other day.  Anything Ayn Rand related catches my attention.  I first read Atlas Shrugged 13 years ago and then re-read it this past year out loud with my wife since she had never read it.  It's truly startling the parallels between the book and the last few months of actions by our government.

Jan 11, 2009 02:08 PM #2
Rainmaker
453,503
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

So, are we ready to create Galt's Gulch? Government is definitely out of control and there seems no hope of restoring rational thought to the process.

Jan 11, 2009 02:19 PM #3
Rainmaker
318,661
Tony Toto
Freelance Writer & Photographer - Travel - Kenosha, WI
The Walking Traveler

Erica,

I love this post!  Thank you.  Have you ever watched the "zeitgeist movie and the zeitgeist addendum."  It may provide some insight for you. 

Just google zeitgeist.  They are both 2 hours in length.

Like everything else, it is a matter of interpretation. 

I will say no more.

Jan 11, 2009 02:26 PM #4
Rainmaker
449,501
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
The Agent Who Uses "Watermelon Tough" Sign Posts

I read Atlas Shrugged about ten years ago.  I don't read much fiction but I loved this book.  I couldn't believe that they never made a movie based on it.  I think I'll have to pull it out and read it again.

Jan 11, 2009 03:35 PM #5
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Ambassador
1,238,717

Erica Ramus

MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate
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