Friday, March 13, 2009

Go Galt Young Man

Atlas Shrugged

Image via Wikipedia

Everybody’s been talking about Going Galt these days. Our conservative friend, Nate, commented about it on his blog just last night.If you’re late to the tea party the NYT Opinionator posted a rundown on the movment which is inspired by the late Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged a week or so ago. 

I just have a couple of quick observations.

First of all, this idea that the wealth creators, as they like to think of themselves, are going to sit back and make less money is problematic at the moment. Less than what? Haven’t they noticed what’s been going on?

Secondly, it seems to me that if anyone has demonstrated how the world would suffer for their absence, it’s the American consumer. Frankly, I’ve been a little worried about that for years. For this whole decade it’s seemed like the aim of business has been to hire their labor wherever they can be had for cheap. It seemed pretty obvious to any school child that the American  middle class was shrinking and becoming increasingly weighed down with debt as a result of these policies. Therefore, it seemed reasonable to assume that the business world had taken that into account and was counting on creating new markets across the globe, and that they could continue on that way – creating and destroying markets by turns, for decades.

As it turned out – no, they really didn’t have a plan and it turns out that American consumer dollars are really missed now that they’re in short supply. It may turn out that you can replace a CEO a lot more easily than you can replace the consumer.

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