Video: Atlas is shrugging already

posted at 4:00 pm on April 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

In my review of the film Atlas Shrugged earlier today, I noted that Barack Obama’s latest policy address would fit perfectly into the story — as an example of the clueless and malevolent mercantilism depicted in both Ayn Rand’s novel and the film’s first installment.  Turns out that our friends at FreedomWorks were way ahead of me on this point.  Thursday, they released a mash-up video that did what the filmmakers deliberately chose not to do, which is to cast President Obama in a lead role by using his own words — and make the connection even more clear:

It occurred to me last night that this film wouldn’t have resonated nearly as well three years ago, or ten years ago, or perhaps not any time in the 54 years since Rand published the novel. The sense of crisis in the movie would have seemed too far from the experience of most Americans; likewise, the sense of aggressive, populist redistributionism would have looked hyperbolic and contrived. If this isn’t the perfect moment for this film, then it’s as close as I’d like to see it in my lifetime.

On a lighter note, Reason TV gave us a look behind the scenes of the film, speaking to cast, crew, and commentators:


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“Oh, does the American government have five-year plans leading to disastrous harvests? Have we a Trofim Lysenko managing crop genetics programs with oddball ideas and negative consequences?”

(Boggle) Are you being deliberately obtuse? No, we don’t have a Lysenko. He, at least, believed that humans should have food to eat that was developed by science, fake and junk-ridden though his was. Instead, WE have environmentalists turning off water to the Central California Valley, once one of the agricultural breadbaskets of the world.

We have a President who has both gone on record advocating the deliberate destruction of energy production -BEFORE- his election (excerpted in the above video) and been cited in court for the same just recently. Lysenko is a piker by comparison, he and his fellow Soviets just didn’t get a chance to live to see their theories wreck the U.S.

“It isn’t “our” oil, or “our” coal, or “our” gas, or “our” anything once a company is licensed to exploit and refine those resources. It’s theirs.”

You got it, buttercup.

“Regardless of who’s responsible, as Americans lose their ability to pay for these things, think these U.S. companies will sell to us at manageable prices out of sheer patriotism?”

Nope, and why is that condition obtaining in the first place?

“I agree-let free enterprise do its thing and we’ll all prosper as we historically have and will be able to buy what we need for survival. Pretty obvious to me.

But, what if it doesn’t happen that way? Is there a point where even Conservatives would demand that government demand that U.S. resources be made available to Americans first or should we stick to the free enterprise model no matter how cold and hungry we get?”

Well, “educator,” you’re going to learn the lesson that your parents should have taught you in the cradle:

LIFE

ISN’T

FAIR

Do you think the ending of this part of the movie is an exaggeration? You haven’t seen anything yet.

“How do we separate free enterprise from collusion, crony capitalism and monopolies via government, and yet claim we’re a Capitalist society? At what point to do regulations become not OK?”

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 18, 2011 at 1:23 AM

Well, by doing away with “collusion, crony capitalismmercantilism (FIFY) and monopolies via government,” for a start.

ebrown2 on April 18, 2011 at 3:16 AM

I probably have a greater chance of joining their ranks than you do, and don’t have anything against successful people.

bayam on April 17, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Right, because you can make a billion dollars adding comments to a political blog.

What an arrogant azz. Who do you think you are and why is it necessary to demean people as you try to debate with them? I’d put my current holdings and possible future assets against yours and I’d bet I’d come out ahead, Big Talker.

hawkdriver on April 18, 2011 at 6:48 AM

No, that’s not the case at all. Alan Greenspan, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, and many other entrepreneur – billionaires all say that taxes on the top 1% should pay more taxes in order to balance the budget.

bayam on April 17, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Of course… that’s because they’ve already made their fortune. So why haven’t they contributed voluntarily?

dominigan on April 18, 2011 at 8:52 AM

None of those billionaires proposed your ridiculous plan. You need to realize that when this country started 2 wars and increased all other spending across the board, without raising taxes, by 2008 the structural deficit had reached about $1 trillion (factoring out economic activity that resulted from the bubble and simply will never return). Bush’s move to lower taxes for the wealthy didn’t create a ‘miracle economy’ as so many claimed at the time. It merely extended an asset bubble and further distorted the economy. There’s no reason to pretend otherwise.bayam on April 17, 2011 at 11:24 PM

The wealthiest Americans don’t pay income tax.

You can’t have it both ways. No one who’s seriously examined the deficit problem in depth, not even Republicans like Alan Simpson and Alan Greenspan, believe that you can have a balanced budget with both spending cuts and tax increases.

Appeal to Authority Fallacy

To believe that lower taxes for the wealthy- paid for by borrowing more money from China- is going to revive the economy is about as useful as believing in the Easter bunny. It’s forgivable if you’re a child but at some point you have to grow up.

The wealthiest Americans don’t pay income tax.

fossten on April 18, 2011 at 8:56 AM

dominigan on April 18, 2011 at 8:52 AM

dear leader should lead by example for them, no?

cmsinaz on April 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM

fossten: “The wealthiest Americans don’t pay income tax.”

REALITY: the wealthiest Americans pay 60% of ALL taxes…but yes, at the top end much of it is not in hourly wages, it’s from investments. The top 10% still pay over 60 % of the cost to run the government.

nearly 50% of Americans pay NO taxes…and are in fact paid NOT to pay taxes

Justrand on April 18, 2011 at 9:13 AM

For decades, I’ve seen/heard people saying how ridiculous was the plot of Atlas Shrugged. “Oh, that would never happen!” For years, I’ve heard people saying how ridiculous are Glenn Beck’s “wacko theories”.

But the damnedest thing is how many of the “ridiculous” things of which Rand and Beck have warned us are either clearly in the process of happening, or have already happened, and how few of the them seem impossible in the light of recent history.

None of the people who poo-pooh their work ever acknowledges all the times their “crazy” ideas turned out to be true.

The Monster on April 17, 2011 at 4:51 PM

The first two parts of Atlas Shrugged are a keen observation of how FDR’s policies and ideology actually impacted the economy, and is a distinct warning against some of the policies now in place.
It is the third part that hyperbolic beyond even what the Soviet Union experienced as it collapsed.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 9:14 AM

The first two parts of Atlas Shrugged are a keen observation of how FDR’s policies and ideology actually impacted the economy, and is a distinct warning against some of the policies now in place.
It is the third part that hyperbolic beyond even what the Soviet Union experienced as it collapsed.

But of course the Soviet Union did not have a John Galt. The reason the United States collapsed so quickly and so completely in Atlas Shrugged was because the lynchpins of the entire economy were removed — the builders, the producers, the engines. The men and women of the mind went on strike.

That’s the beauty of Atlantis, and John Galt. He convinced people to shrug their chains from them, and once they did the looters had no way to survive, and they didn’t. Who can forget the sight of New York with the lights going out as Dagny’s plane flies towards Atlantis?

bonnie_ on April 18, 2011 at 10:09 AM

The actresss that portrayed Dagney Taggart looks remarkably alike to Brittany Murphy, who left us shortly after the movie “Happy Feet.” Such a talented actress and singer.

Another pair that look alike (but differ a LOT in politics), are Larry Elder and Juan Williams.

ProudPalinFan on April 18, 2011 at 10:21 AM

What an arrogant azz. Who do you think you are and why is it necessary to demean people as you try to debate with them?

Class act. You accuse me of being one of the jealous ‘little people’ who just can’t tolerate low taxes for the successful, and then starting whining when I point out that you’re wrong. Yes, you’re truly a victim.

You can’t have it both ways. No one who’s seriously examined the deficit problem in depth, not even Republicans like Alan Simpson and Alan Greenspan, believe that you can have a balanced budget with both spending cuts and tax increases.

Appeal to Authority Fallacy

Ok, other than Greenspan, name two other preeminent Wall Street economists who say that tax cuts for the wealthy are sound long-term economic policy when there’s a massive deficit funded by debt purchases from China and other foreign nations.

It wasn’t only Alan Greenspan who opposed the tax cuts. Even Bush’s own Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill predicted at the time that the tax cuts would result in a massive, structural deficit. O’Neill’s position wasn’t simply a political opinion- it was backed up by extensive analysis of tax cuts by economists at Treasury. And they were obviously right.

bayam on April 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM

“Regardless of who’s responsible, as Americans lose their ability to pay for these things, think these U.S. companies will sell to us at manageable prices out of sheer patriotism?”

Prices can’t be managed. And businesses should charge as much as they can, for their own good and everyone else’s. Let me put in a way even a socialist can understand. Companies employ workers. In order to pay workers, companies charge for their goods. The more they charge, the more they can pay workers.

hawksruleva on April 18, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Ok, other than Greenspan, name two other preeminent Wall Street economists who say that tax cuts for the wealthy are sound long-term economic policy when there’s a massive deficit funded by debt purchases from China and other foreign nations.

It wasn’t only Alan Greenspan who opposed the tax cuts. Even Bush’s own Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill predicted at the time that the tax cuts would result in a massive, structural deficit. O’Neill’s position wasn’t simply a political opinion- it was backed up by extensive analysis of tax cuts by economists at Treasury. And they were obviously right.

bayam on April 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM

So, when called out for your fallacy, you a) double down on it and b) move the goalposts.

And now you’re trying ad nauseum and proof by assertion.

Again, the wealthiest Americans don’t pay income tax.

I guess you don’t know how to argue the point on the merits.

fossten on April 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Ok, other than Greenspan, name two other preeminent Wall Street economists who say that tax cuts for the wealthy are sound long-term economic policy when there’s a massive deficit funded by debt purchases from China and other foreign nations.

bayam on April 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM

I don’t care what economists say on this issue. People deserve to keep ALL of the money they earn. We should take as little as possible from them.

Further, if your goal is deficit reduction, then remember that raising taxes on the rich doesn’t increase revenue. The most Uncle Sam can squeeze out of the economy is about 19% of GDP. As taxes go up, production stagnates. That means less hiring, less spending, and more misery for everybody.

Government doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.

hawksruleva on April 18, 2011 at 10:51 AM

We – conservatives – need to stop talking or allowing talk about the deficit. The deficit is not the real problem. Spending is the problem. Do not get sucked up into talk with libs about how to solve the deficit problem. The problem is spending and that’s ALL we should be talking about.

happi on April 18, 2011 at 10:52 AM

If only the film was as passionate as the trailers, they might have been on to something. They should hire whoever did the online video to re-edit the full movie.

DailyDanet on April 18, 2011 at 10:53 AM

That’s the beauty of Atlantis, and John Galt. He convinced people to shrug their chains from them, and once they did the looters had no way to survive, and they didn’t. Who can forget the sight of New York with the lights going out as Dagny’s plane flies towards Atlantis?

bonnie_ on April 18, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Which brings up another point — how elitist Rand was. She imagined that a bare handful of people were necessary to keep the nation running, discounting all of there underlings as basically useless.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

It wasn’t only Alan Greenspan who opposed the tax cuts. Even Bush’s own Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill predicted at the time that the tax cuts would result in a massive, structural deficit. O’Neill’s position wasn’t simply a political opinion- it was backed up by extensive analysis of tax cuts by economists at Treasury. And they were obviously right.

bayam on April 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM

They were obviously wrong. Revenue went up after the tax rate cuts. The reason for the deficit is that spending soared past it.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Prices can’t be managed. And businesses should charge as much as they can, for their own good and everyone else’s. Let me put in a way even a socialist can understand. Companies employ workers. In order to pay workers, companies charge for their goods. The more they charge, the more they can pay workers.

hawksruleva on April 18, 2011 at 10:46 AM

You. Just. Don’t. Get. It. Do. You?

Businesses should only charge for a good what the people can afford to pay. Additionally, businesses should pay their workers according to the needs of the worker, not the business.

If a business can’t afford to pay their workers properly, then the government will dictate to them what a fair wage is – regardless of the impact on business.

Don’t you realize that business is allowed to exist – not for its sake – but for the sake of the underprivileged?

catmman on April 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Here I was sure we would have a line or two from Biden about high-speed rail.

darcee on April 18, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Which brings up another point — how elitist Rand was. She imagined that a bare handful of people were necessary to keep the nation running, discounting all of there underlings as basically useless.

Ayn Rand wrote several beautiful passages in Atlas Shrugged where she discussed the good, honest people who didn’t have the intellect and drive of the industry giants but appreciated and honored them.

Remember the mom in Atlantis? She wasn’t a great inventor or captain of industry, but she considered her role as a mother just as important and just as worthy of entrance to Galt’s little paradise. Dagny watches the two little boys playing and agrees that this mother’s role is just as vital as her own.

The whole “elitist” claptrap is just the usual looter’s whining. They don’t want anyone to be excellent. They wish to destroy since they cannot create. Go read Atlas Shrugged, for heaven’s sake. You obviously have not.

bonnie_ on April 18, 2011 at 11:52 AM

She died before Deng Xiaoping.

AshleyTKing on April 18, 2011 at 1:01 AM

Not like they’d get the right message from Deng.

Deng only whitewashed China’s despotism. Deng’s only accomplishment is to swap direct government action for indirect “security actions” on equally controllable “private in name only” organizations. The crackdowns are the same, the lack of liberty is the same. Deng only gave despotism a friendly-enough face for trade.

Countries that have seen jobs and industries arrive from the US, have kept their despotism. Not only are those countries not Gulches, they are more transaction-focused Looters.

Attempting to destroy the United States, will not save it or change in the desired direction.

sethstorm on April 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Which brings up another point — how elitist Rand was. She imagined that a bare handful of people were necessary to keep the nation running, discounting all of there underlings as basically useless.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

That’s not true, she simply emphasized the fact that the origin of all wealth is the human mind. Put 100 workers into a field and ask them to build a combustion engine from scratch. It doesn’t matter how keen they are, how willing to work – without someone to conceive and design it, there will be no engine. That’s not putting the workers down, it’s simply a recognition of the fact that we all depend on thinkers for our standard of living.

Sharke on April 18, 2011 at 12:20 PM

catmman on April 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Nice! You had me going there for a second…

Practice safe sarcasm — use tags. Here, take some of mine!

//////////

Hope this helps! :-)

Mary in LA on April 18, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Which brings up another point — how elitist Rand was. She imagined that a bare handful of people were necessary to keep the nation running, discounting all of there underlings as basically useless.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

I think a fairer reading is that Rand belief that one’s own conscience are sovereign and that no one should be able to impose his or her obligations or morals on another. And that people should be free to pursue and enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Now, I would argue that is not an elitist position. An elitist, IMHO is not one who accmplishes much but rather one who believes that he or she is fit to tell other people who to do, how to act, and how to spend their resources because he or she has the right credentials, eduction, or social standing. The elites are the ones who feel free and entitled to organize the whole world for the “benefit” or “instruction” of the masses. The protagonists in “Atlas Shrugged” only desire to organize their own worlds with the realm of their own creations.

I think Rand would look at Dagney and the lowest employee on her railroad as equals in the sense that they are equal to pursue happiness within the limits of their talent and initiative.

Or do you suppose that it is elitist to observe the fact that some people are just more talented and show more initiative than others?

PackerBronco on April 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Mary in LA on April 18, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I know, Mary.

I don’t use the sarcasm tags sometimes – usually when it should be painfully obvious. With some of the trolls we have around here though, I know sometimes it can be hard to tell.

:)

catmman on April 18, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Again, the wealthiest Americans don’t pay income tax…

fossten on April 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM

What’s your evidence for that, and how do you define “the wealthiest”? According to this, the the richest 400 Americans payed 16.5% of $138 billion (or about $23 billion) in 2007.

elfman on April 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM

What’s your evidence for that, and how do you define “the wealthiest”? According to this, the the richest 400 Americans payed 16.5% of $138 billion (or about $23 billion) in 2007.

elfman on April 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM

From your link:

There are two important things to note from this chart. The first, and most visually apparent, is that the tax rates of the rich are far more closely linked to the capital gains taxes than income taxes. Salaries and wages, the source of income taxed at the blue line, represented only 6.5 percent of these filers’ income. Nearly two-thirds of their income comes from capital gains, and this is why you see a much tighter coupling between the orange and red lines.

So yeah, thanks for strengthening my argument.

fossten on April 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

And now you’re trying ad nauseum and proof by assertion.

Again, the wealthiest Americans don’t pay income tax.
I guess you don’t know how to argue the point on the merits.

fossten on April 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Yes, you’re right that the opinions of economic experts are irrelevant to ideologues like yourself who already possess all the answers.

According to the CBO and Treasury, the latest extension of tax cuts for the wealthy will reduce tax revenues significantly. Your assertion that wealthy don’t pay income tax is clearly incorrect and a misleading attempt to play down the relevancy of the issue.

But your attempts to belittle opposing opinions might work on a high school debate team so I applaud your efforts.

They were obviously wrong. Revenue went up after the tax rate cuts. The reason for the deficit is that spending soared past it.

The tax rate cuts fueled additional debt-based bubble economic activity. There was no ‘economic miracle’ under Bush.

But I agree with you that increased spending was an even bigger problem- and that applies to both domestic and military spending.

bayam on April 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Yes, you’re right that the opinions of economic experts are irrelevant to ideologues like yourself who already possess all the answers.

You have yet to actually debate the issue on the merits. Fail.

According to the CBO and Treasury, the latest extension of tax cuts for the wealthy will reduce tax revenues significantly. Your assertion that wealthy don’t pay income tax is clearly incorrect and a misleading attempt to play down the relevancy of the issue.

What part of “Salaries and wages, the source of income taxed at the blue line, represented only 6.5 percent of these filers’ income.” do you not understand? So, in the face of facts, just keep pushing your baseless assertions in the hope that your ad nauseum argument will somehow overwhelm your opponent?

The CBO only works with numbers that are given to it. But by all means, keep spinning your false tale. In the meantime, answer this question for me:

Can a cow survive by only feeding on its own udder?

But your attempts to belittle opposing opinions might work on a high school debate team so I applaud your efforts.

bayam on April 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Stop using flawed arguments and I won’t give you as much reason to whine about me pointing it out. Until then, boo freaking hoo.

Again, you have yet to try to appeal to any sense of reason. Your posts are nothing but meaningless assertions backed up by no empirical evidence whatsoever.

Socialism fails everywhere it’s tried. Deal with it.

fossten on April 18, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Or do you suppose that it is elitist to observe the fact that some people are just more talented and show more initiative than others?

PackerBronco on April 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

It’s elitist to divide the population so cleanly into the “talented” and the “untalented” as Rand does, particularly when the “talented” are just the barest sliver of the population. I don’t mean to bring anything about responsibility or authority into this, I just not that Rand had her “supermen” who were not only legendary at their specialty, but also better than every single “untalented” at every other task as well. Worse, Rand clearly expects the “untalented” lesser men to do as they are told — only the “talented” have the privilege of (or, perhaps, in her mind, the capacity for) liberty.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 2:34 PM

It’s elitist to divide the population so cleanly into the “talented” and the “untalented” as Rand does, particularly when the “talented” are just the barest sliver of the population. I don’t mean to bring anything about responsibility or authority into this. Its not just that Rand had her “supermen” who were not only legendary at their specialty, but also better than every single “untalented” at every other task as well. Worse, Rand clearly expects the “untalented” lesser men to do as they are told — only the “talented” have the privilege of (or, perhaps, in her mind, the capacity for) liberty.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Boy, did I garble that one…

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 2:36 PM

That’s not true, she simply emphasized the fact that the origin of all wealth is the human mind. Put 100 workers into a field and ask them to build a combustion engine from scratch. It doesn’t matter how keen they are, how willing to work – without someone to conceive and design it, there will be no engine. That’s not putting the workers down, it’s simply a recognition of the fact that we all depend on thinkers for our standard of living.

Sharke on April 18, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Put 100 inventors in the field, and you still won’t get an engine. You are completely missing the fact that it takes scores of experts in a variety of fields, all with capital equipment and infrastructure to back them, in order to accomplish that kind of thing. Even the dichotomy between “workers” and “thinkers” is hopelessly obtuse: all work is thought, even if some kinds of work require more physical effort than others.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 2:43 PM

I don’t care what economists say on this issue. People deserve to keep ALL of the money they earn. We should take as little as possible from them.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Folks, we have a winner!

Quoting “economists” who are complicit in the wanton theft and criminality practiced by the US govt as it pursues it’s unconstitutional “social justice” agenda is about as morally and logically valid as stating that the Mafia “isn’t so bad” because they’ll throw block parties ever so often with the money they’ve stolen.

IOW: no matter how many fresh toppings you put on sh!t sandwich, it’s still shi!t.

This country was founded upon the notion of govt existing to secure the inalienable RIGHTS of men…not to secure an inalienable govt check or benefit. As we are a country that is supposed to operate on the premise of EQUAL PROTECTION under the law, the costs of operating the Federal govt should be borne equally amongst the adult population, either as a fixed, actual cost (everyone owes $500 a year and that’s it) or as a consistent percentage of taxation (10% of sales or income or whatever).

If a poor man can’t afford his share, the onus of responsibility doesn’t fall on the rich man to pay more…it falls on the govt to make do with less.

rvastar on April 18, 2011 at 3:11 PM

They were obviously wrong. Revenue went up after the tax rate cuts. The reason for the deficit is that spending soared past it.

The tax rate cuts fueled additional debt-based bubble economic activity. There was no ‘economic miracle’ under Bush.</

blockquote>

How exactly do you claim that tax cuts “caused” debt based bubble economic activity? I suppose by that logic Clinton’s tax increases caused the bubble that happened on his watch leading directly to Enron?

And, even if true, that does not dispute that revenue went up with tax cuts – which it always does.

Regardless, even if taxed all of the rich at 100% going forward, it would not solve the problem. So all the crying over the top 1% is idiotic – it just demonstrates how psychologically wedded to punishing the rich that liberals are. They cannot see any other answer to anything – they must always increase taxes on the rich. That is the answer to everything, even when doing so won’t solve anything. It’s almost as if you have internalized marxism, but todays progressives share nothing with that ideology surely?

Monkeytoe on April 18, 2011 at 3:27 PM

It’s elitist to divide the population so cleanly into the “talented” and the “untalented” as Rand does

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Is it elitist to keep score in a game to determine the winner or are you one of those guys who like to hand out awards for participation, because to do otherwise is “discrimination”?

Rand clearly expects the “untalented” lesser men to do as they are told — only the “talented” have the privilege of (or, perhaps, in her mind, the capacity for) liberty.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 2:34 PM

I’m not an objectivist by any means, but only an idiot would ascribed that statement to Rand. So you think that an objectivist, a person who pledges:

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

ALSO believes:

““untalented” lesser men [must] to do as they are told [by talented men].”

You hold a belief that you want to hold, but like I said, it’s not one that is stated or even implied in “Atlas Shrugged”. And like I said, I’m not an objectivist, but
c’mon …

PackerBronco on April 18, 2011 at 3:36 PM

The first work by Rand that I read was Anthem at 15. Every high school student should receive a boxed-set of 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and Anthem. Sadly, it won’t be long before those works will confuse booksellers as to whether they still belong in the fiction section.

I had heard of Atlas Shrugged at age 17, but had also heard someone I trusted say it was Bircher stuff in novel form, so I ignored it, and by association, We the Living and The Fountainhead (had I realized it was the same author as Anthem, I might have read them anyway). About fifteen years later I read We the Living, and immediately sought out that “trusted” friend and had words with them for misleading me. Then I read the other two works in short order.

I re-read Atlas Shrugged about every three years, just to keep the rhetoric clear in my mind. I am by no means an Ayn Rand devotee, as several parts of her personal and interpersonal philosophy don’t square with the world I know. But her stance on government, on business, and on the power of the individual are unmatched.

I’ve been telling people ever since my first reading of The Fountainhead that this society was heading in exactly the direction she described. Most either laughed or rolled their eyes. “I told you so” is so very hollow, but I greatly desire to shout it at them.

Freelancer on April 18, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Worse, Rand clearly expects the “untalented” lesser men to do as they are told — only the “talented” have the privilege of (or, perhaps, in her mind, the capacity for) liberty.

This person obviously has never read Atlas Shrugged and is merely parroting talking points. Ignoring my post about the mother in Atlantis who is there as a mother and nothing more, he continues to rant about how Rand creates “supermen” that are unrealistic and elitist. He knows nothing and yet continues to splutter along, trying to defend a ridiculous and patently untrue position.

Fail. Pathetic fail.

bonnie_ on April 18, 2011 at 7:11 PM

So yeah, thanks for strengthening my argument.

fossten on April 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Capital gains are income, and the tax on them is an income tax. The author of that article incorrectly use the terms “ordinary income tax” and “income tax” interchangeably. Income tax is defined here , Capital gains taxation and Ordinary income taxation is defined http://apiexchange.com/index_main.php?id=8&idz=238. It appears that most of the income taxes that the wealthiest 400 Americans pay is on capital gains, but it is still by definition an income tax. So unless you can source a credible definition to the contrary, the claim that “the richest Americans do not pay taxes” that you repeat is unsupported nonsense.

elfman on April 18, 2011 at 8:06 PM

How exactly do you claim that tax cuts “caused” debt based bubble economic activity? I suppose by that logic Clinton’s tax increases caused the bubble that happened on his watch leading directly to Enron?

I never said that Bush caused the debt based asset bubble that imploded in a massive economic crisis. But a number of factors extenuated the bubble, including artificially low interest rates and fiscal policy that borrowed money from foreign investors in order to finance tax cuts.

Bush did not cause the bubble and anyone who blames him is just playing partisan games.

So all the crying over the top 1% is idiotic – it just demonstrates how psychologically wedded to punishing the rich that liberals are

That’s right… all those insanely rich billionaire Dems like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Eric Schmidt, and Steve Jobs aren’t patriots who care about this country, but self-loathing liberals that secretly with to destroy themselves. Your analysis is spot on.

From Hot Air’s headline news:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/04/18/the_politics_of_wishful_thinking_109575.html

bayam on April 19, 2011 at 12:45 AM