Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Atlas Shrugged" Becoming Reality - Is Ayn Rand a 20th Century Nostradamus? Obama's Economic Plan Eerily Similar to Classic Novel


The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI seeks to spearhead a cultural renaissance that will reverse the anti-reason, anti-individualism, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist trends in today’s culture) released this press release yesterday titled "Obama's Backwards Economics"

Washington, D.C.--“Barack Obama claims that Americans can only stave off economic disaster by trillions in government spending--which means trillions of dollars taxed or borrowed to finance government make-work programs,” said Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.

“Obama-nomics couldn’t be more wrong.


“Prosperity requires that the government drastically cut government spending. That way, as much real capital as possible will remain in private hands, and be put to productive use by entrepreneurs to create valuable goods and services to sell at home and abroad. By taxing and inflating our wealth away, Obama will simply be creating more of the crushing debt that brought about the current crisis.” “You don’t put out a fire with more gasoline. And you don’t end a recession by destroying capital.”


Stephen Moore wrote a wonderful column in Friday's Wall Street Journal titled, "'Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years".


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."


Finally, from Wikipedia "Atlus Shrugged":


Atlas Shrugged portrays fascism, socialism and communism – any form of state intervention in society – as systemically and fatally flawed. Rand said that it is not a fundamentally political book, but that the politics portrayed in the novel are a result of her attempt to display her image of the ideal person and the individual mind's position and value in society.

Rand argues that independence and individual achievement enable society to survive and thrive, and should be embraced. But this requires a "rational" moral code. She argues that, over time, coerced self-sacrifice (Conservativexpress note: This refers to forced altruism, i.e. welfare) causes any society to self-destruct.


Anybody alive out there!?! Anyone listening?




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