In this new age of Obama the words of Atlas Shrugged seem a little too accurate for comfort. People could always make the argument that the government had too many regulations, was strangling business, and hampering the overall good of society as a result. But there weren’t people who were “going Galt.” That is, the men of the mind never retreated never ran away. They continued to persist, just shouldering additional government intrusion as a necessary part of doing business. I very well may be wrong about this. For all I know there could have been all sorts of people “going Galt” in the past. Perhaps during Jimmy Carters reign? But I don’t know about that. So, for this essay it is irrelevant.
In the past week or so, however, there have been two examples of “going Galt,” which were made strikingly clear in the news media. First was the public resignation of an AIG exec, who was fed up with receiving nothing but ridicule and abuse in return for working 12 hour days for $1 a year. And this was simply to attempt to safely wind down a company, which in the case of collapse, would the pretty much be the end of the world (This is what everyone was told at least). Rather than thanking this man for serving his company, and realistically his country well, he is essentially held up as an example of true evil in our time. So he said enough is enough. He donated his retention bonus to charity, rather than giving the money back, because he realized it would be wasted by the government or AIG, although they are essentially one in the same now.
The second example of going Galt was the threatened cancellation of an order of Boeing jets by Fed Ex. Fed Ex essentially came out and said we cannot guarantee we will take those planes, because if card check legislation is passed it will greatly impact how we do business. The law in questions has not even been passed yet and already a shrewd company is hedging its bets. How many tools will go unused because of a cancelled order? How many workers will not get pay check? How many children will go to sleep hungry because Congress might pass a patently un-American law? (That last part is a good example of typical liberal hyperbole turned back on them, WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THAT!?!?!)
Any way, you may read this and decide I am simply drawing conclusions based off of anecdotal events, and that may very well be the case. But there have been other stories of people talking about paring down their business so they are under the 250k mark to avoid taxes. If this is not curbing ones productivity because of the government, then I don’t know what is? Feel free to comment, especially if you know of other examples of people “going Galt”. I would like to see how many other examples are out there so forward this likes it’s hot.
I am about 100 pages away from being done with Shrugged, and this post may very well be the results of being simply engrossed in the text. I may be seeing the world through Rand-Colored glasses, but I think we will begin to see more people “going Galt.”