Ayn Rand. Lover her or hate her, she was a prophet. In “Atlas Shrugged”, Rand writes of a socialist America that tries to heal a faltering economy by financially strangling innovation and production in the private sector. The federal government meddles in capitalism by limiting corporate ownership and capping production of successful companies in the name of fairness. The end result of the burdensome regulations is the creation of an artificial marketplace, thus making it more and more difficult to carve out a profit. Classic crony capitalism becomes rampant, catastrophic shortages occur and heads of innovative companies give up and vanish. Companies fail, unemployment skyrockets, and the strain of entitlements peaks. The government’s solution to repairing the economic crisis, that they created, is to declare the equivalent of martial law by forcing corporations to continue operation, freezing wages, forbidding layoffs, forcing citizens to spend money, seizing patients, forcing heads of successful corporations to remain at their job under threat of imprisonment, and outlawing any innovation that would give any one corporation a competitive advantage.
“Atlas Shrugged” is a work of fiction. However, the last four years of our government’s meddling in capitalism (including President Bush’s last quarter) read like entire chapters of Atlas Shrugged.
- Bailouts to the most irresponsible commercial lenders;
- Bailouts to the least profitable automotive companies;
- Demonizing the petroleum industry due to profitability;
- Billions of dollars of secured loans to failed “green energy” companies that had no profitable business model;
- The establishment of new entitlements;
- Laws passed to give tax breaks to specific companies (see GE and crony capitalism);
- Demonizing personal wealth of any kind and all corporate profitability.
Watch our calendar. We plan to see “Atlas Shrugged II” on October 12th as a group. Stay tuned for more information about the theatre and time for our next Movie Night Out!