Atlas Shrugged: Fiction or Reality?

ayn ryanThe other day I watched the second installment of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged movie. Though it had been some time since I saw the first part of the sequel of 2011, this one rekindled disturbing eeriness that the first one left in me. The sense that this book, and movie, is hitting just a little too close to the reality of today, particularly in America.

This movie centers around what our world would be if the government was not governed by the tenets or principles of documents, such as the Constitution, where the right of citizens to their life, liberty, and property, i.e., pursuit of happiness, were supreme, that restricted the reach of the government, but was governed by what was good for the society, or majority, as a whole, PERIOD! This governmental ideology was greatly stifling to the producers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

Both individuals and companies were taxed and regulated simply based on their capacity to earn, and produce. And the amount of their wealth was to be redistributed and made accessible to those based on their need and want. Words and phrases such as “fairness”, “the collective”, and “the common good” were used by government representatives and agents like they were getting points of word usage.

Industries of production were being placed under government control. There was a strict limit on the amount of money companies could earn. And if a company sought to exceed the government imposed profit limits or act counter to the demands of the government, they were run out of business, or faced prison time and or crippled with financial penalties. Some owners and creators of businesses even went as far as to destroy that which they had spent a life time to create, rather than let the government have it. Citizens of great wealth and talents were being taxed to the point that many of them chose to simply no longer work or exercise their God-giving talents and skills – to disappear. There were scenes of mobs of citizens championing the agenda of the government to tax the “evil rich” to give them more of their wealth. But their tunes soon changed once they saw the consequences of businesses and producers being so heavily taxed and regulated.  It meant that fewer of them had jobs, the price of goods sky-rocketed, and their quality of life plummeted.

But that’s just fiction. Make-believe. Right?

Have you been listening closely to the words that have been coming out of the mouths of the government creatures over the past 6 years, or so? Have you been paying attention to their actions, and the results thereof?

Before Mr. Obama became president he let it be known that taxes should be raised on the producers, not for the sake bettering of the nation’s economy, but for the sake of “fairness”. With regards to the coal and the energy industry, he promised to bankrupt the coal industry and regulate the nation’s energy complex, supposedly so that we may all have clean air, to the point that the natural ramifications would be soaring energy prices for the folks, you and I. In order for everyone to have healthcare, and have someone else pay for it, the government passes Obamacare, i.e., The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Obamacare is forecast to raise healthcare cost and encourage people to not work. There has been more regulations placed on the American economy and industry like in no time in our history that have acted like a 2,000 ton albatross around the angle of the nation. Coupled with the unprecedented fact that there are over 98 million citizens not working and over 100 million on Food Stamps. Even though the top income earners are paying the vast majority of the federal taxes, the ignorance of the populous leads them to demand the wealthy pay more of their “fair share”.  To top it all off, a record number of U.S citizens, the producers, are turning in their U.S Passports. 

The simple fact is if you were to look around at every other nation that has the government as the main engine of the economy, whether it’s socialists as in Greece, Sweden, or England, the E.U is an economic dumpster fire, or communist/authoritarian as in North Korea, Russia, or China, were you have to force people to stay at gun point, they all have several things in common; one, none of them can naturally out produce America on a per-ca pita basis, two, many of their best and brightest hit a granite ceiling, their income or what they can earn, no matter how talented or productive they may be, is capped by the government. That causes many of them to stay and suffer, stop producing, or leave the country all together. And three, the nation’s economies will eventually stall or collapse under the sheer weight of there being more people on the dole of the government than paying into it.

But, since economic and historical weights are what are most absent from this production, America appears to be headed down this already worn out path of government-centralized power that has yet to create a economic super power.  Where the drive to dare to dream and to get rewarded for your success, as well as feel the sting of your failures, the education of life, is suppressed by the big hand of the government. Despite the popular perception, government does not create any wealth. It can only redistribute wealth. But, eventually even the greatest most powerful government will run out of people to redistribute from. America was created to be different. Where people controlled the government. Where the individual had his unalienable rights to his property, his life, and his liberty protected above the cries of the “common good” or the collective. But if this theatre continues to play out, where more of us surrender more of our responsibilities and liberties to the government, more of us will be asking, Where is John Gault?.