Here’s a clean little summary of Ayn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged, from this Wall Street Journal article:
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.
Sound familiar yet?
The point of the piece is that we’re walking right into precisely what she predicted, and that it could get much worse with Obama.
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.
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.
I’ve worried for a long time that this was a problem; it’s why I was so behind Ron Paul. But I’ve come to believe that the danger on the other side (corruption and selfishness) is actually much worse, and that we need a correction of the general social breed.
Once we get that, to whatever degree, (or once it fails), it’ll be time to correct once again. It seems all we can do as an immature society is bounce back and forth between extremes, as people are most happy when they are pursuing something that they think will make them happier. ::