Click here: Pajamas Media » Ask Dr. Helen: Is It Time to ‘Go John Galt’?#comment-137269
363. James Solbakken:

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I believe “economics” is the scientific study of how the world works notwithstanding one’s ideology.
“Capitalism” works, however imperfectly, because it allows for the reality that people are primarily motivated by what they perceive to be their self interest, i.e. one can expect to keep a reasonable share of the fruit of their productive activity.
“Socialism” fails because it attempts to break the connection between one’s productive activity and their share in the fruit of their productive activity.
In that sense, the repeated failures of “socialism” come about because of “Galtism,” i.e. the tendency of productive people to respond rationally to having the fruit of their productive activity confiscated by the socialistic thieves.
For some reason, many people are inclined to believe that productive people will work just as hard, get up just as early, invest just as much, take the same risks, and put up with just as much bullshit, no matter what they receive in return.
It’s hard for me to believe that people could be that stupid. But there they are.


Oct 27, 2008 – 5:02 pm
I should have added that the illusion that socialism is not destroying a community can exist because of a perception lag. People have a tendency to make the best of bad situations, and hope for the best, and presume that the system under which they labor is somewhat rational, even when it isn’t.
Like inflation, prices do not explode at the beginning, but at the end of the process. I would expect that, like hyperinflation, our present bullshit system will collapse in an explosion of “Hyper-Galtism.”

– Pajamas Media – http://pajamasmedia.com

Ask Dr. Helen: Is It Time to ‘Go John Galt’?

October 15, 2008 – by Helen Smith

I recently [1] wrote a post on my blog asking readers to react to the creeping socialism and expectation in our society that those who are productive must pay for the cost of our society:

Do you ever wonder after dealing with all that is going on with the economy and the upcoming election if it’s getting to be time to “go John Galt”? For those of you who have never read Ayn Rand’s [2] Atlas Shrugged, the basic theme is that [3] John Galt and his allies take actions that include withdrawing their talents, “stopping the motor of the world,” and leading the “strikers” (those who refuse to be exploited) against the “looters” (the exploiters, backed by the government).

Perhaps the partisan politics we are dealing with now is really just a struggle between those of us who believe in productivity, personal responsibility, and keeping government interference to a minimum, and those who believe in the socialistic policies of taking from others, using the government as a watchdog, and rewarding those who overspend, underwork, or are just plain unproductive.

Obama talks about taking from those who are productive and redistributing to those who are not — or who are not as successful. If success and productivity is to be punished, why bother? Perhaps it is time for those of us who make the money and pay the taxes to take it easy, live on less, and let the looters of the world find their own way.

My question to readers is, what are some ways to “go John Galt” (legally, of course) — that is, should productive people cut back on what they need, make less money, and take it easy so that the government is starved for funds, or is there some other way of making a statement?

The comments to the question posed ranged from “It’s not time to ‘go John Galt’ yet” to “Cut off the money!” to everything in between. [4] Here are some examples:

Paul Hsieh, MD says,

I’m not quite ready to give up in America yet and “go on strike.” Yes, we are going to be in for a rough ride, regardless of who is elected president.

But rather than going on strike, I’d rather try to advocate for laissez-faire capitalism and individual rights, and work to make things better. We still have free speech in this country and we still have a culture that (for the most part) values reason, success, and prosperity.

The next few years will be critical for this country, with respect to both domestic and international issues. If the better people choose now to “go on strike,” then we may simply be ensuring the victory of the bad guys, whereas if we speak out (in whatever capacity we have), then we still have a chance.

Pete says,

I sold my business.

I sold several properties, two of them to my children at a significant “loss.” (Ka-Ching!)

I’m raising a great deal of my own food and have taken to raising sheep and poultry. All for personal consumption, not sale.

I live in a rural area, so while Andy and Bob and Charlie might buy some sheep to be raised by me, Andy is buying swine, Bob is buying beef, etc.

Canning. Freezing.

Buying bulk.

Locomotivebreath1901 says,

Until the electorate demands the abolition of the insidious withholding tax nothing will change because the only way to kill the nanny state beast is to starve it.

Cut off the money!!

On the other hand, [5] reader James Racicot at Instapundit would welcome our new socialist overlords should Obama win the presidency:

A Democrat president, a Democratic Congress, and perhaps a filibuster-proof Senate is all the public needs to hold the entire Democratic Party apparatus fully and completely accountable for the next few years. It’s a good thing! As a frequent reader of “right-wing” blogs (and less frequent commenter), I look forward to hectoring from the sidelines, opposing for the sake of opposing, and generally making an ass of myself. Hell, the Kos kids seem to have had a ball these past few years: all the fun with none of the responsibility.

So many decisions, so much fun with the upcoming elections! So PJM readers, if you are a conservative or libertarian, what do you think? Is going John Galt the answer? Would turning into the Kos kids float your boat? Or is rationality and critical thinking going to get us anywhere?


If you have a question you would like answered, please leave it below or email me at [6] askdrhelen@hotmail.com. Your questions may be edited for length and clarity. Please note that your first name only or no name at all will be used to identify your question — if you want me to use your name, tell me; otherwise you will be referred to by your first name or as “a reader,” etc.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/ask-dr-helen-is-it-time-to-go-john-galt/

URLs in this post:
[1] wrote a post on my blog: http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2008/10/going-john-galt.html
[2] Atlas Shrugged: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fprodu

[3] John Galt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_is_John_Galt%3F
[4] Here are some examples:: http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2008/10/going-john-galt.html
[5] reader James Racicot at Instapundit: http://www.pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/archives2/025673.php
[6] askdrhelen@hotmail.com: mailto:askdrhelen@hotmail.com

Copyright © 2008 Pajamas Media. All rights reserved.

1. sam:


I am at least partially going John Gault. Like a lot of people I took some losses recently to cover earlier gains in the market. I intend to utilize some of that cash to cover expenses as a means of avoiding income taxes. The funds I reinvest will be invested in as tax efficient funds as I can find. My bond allocations will likely be in municipals. Again to reduce taxes. Unfortunately I have not been able to find anyway to shelter my retirement income.


Oct 15, 2008 – 1:41 am 2. joeblough:


I’m considering moving to a small family farm in a foreign country, and looking into the practical side of the issue right now. It will take a year or two of preparation, but might be feasible and even comfortable.

Another way to go for the highly skilled successful individual is to work part time, a few months here, a few weeks there, rake in enough in a fraction of the year to live on the equivalent of a laborer’s salary with 10 times more free time.

Another way to go is to dedicate one’s time to the propagation of the ideas that must be preserved for future generations with better opportunities.

Then again, there’s always the path of Ragnar Danneskold.



Oct 15, 2008 – 1:50 am 3. HM:


The world “selfish” comes to mind.

Those who think the super rich are there because they are smart should think again – especially in today’s world when we have seen the cons that the smart people have perpetrated to become super rich.

Guess what, even the super smart rich people get in trouble, they need help from the gov and tax payers. over $700 billion to be exact – that’s a whole lot more than what the so called under-performers would require to improve their lot.


Oct 15, 2008 – 2:24 am 4. L Raj:


Caring for others makes us human.

If we looked after only ourselves and had nothing but contempt for the weaker sections of society, how would we call ourselves any better than “animals” ?

Remember, you were also unproductive once – as a child and will become unproductive again when you retire.


Oct 15, 2008 – 2:28 am 5. Typewriter King:


David Friedman thinks a cryptographic e-cash will mostly be enough to protect profits and income from parasites, and to an extent that sounds workable. But physical properties can and will still be confiscated.

States will have to show more backbone than they have been, and reintroduce nullification- strictly for the sake of liberty- to American jurisprudence.
If states can hold their ground and remain unrelenting against any irrational interpretation of the interstate commerce clause, I think we’ll be alright.

It’s vitally important to ditch the dollar. Don’t be swayed by sophistic speech about how doing business in US Dollars is patriotic. By any reasonable measure, Americans are entitled to disavow the nation’s odious debt. I’d like to see 20,000 community currencies bloom in the country within the next ten years.


Oct 15, 2008 – 3:16 am 6. robert verdi:


I bought a fresh copy of Atlas Shrugged last week in honor of our wonderful new era. The answer to your question is no. Here are the reasons, as angry and frustrated I get by the looting of our tax dollars which are then funneled into specific intrest groups to empower and entrench Democrats, I am also an American. Yes Mozzillo and fannie and freddie could have been a chapter out of her books, and yes the demonization of fossil fuels and nuclear so that tax dollars can be funneled into alternate energy which really doesn’t produce energy is also annoying. But what do you believe, that their are no safeguards in our country? How long can a system that relys on a printing press and shell games last before reform kicks in. How many hundreds of billions can be wasted on ethanol and the like before utter disgust sits in. Be paitent, believe in your country and trust the judgement of the people, even if you lose an occasional election. The great thing about America, lose one election, just wait 2 years for the next one.
Cleary you never read Atlas Shrugged, half of the villains in the book are wealthy industrialists just like the guys you talk about.
Rand has contempt for rotten and vile people who under the cover of altruism destroy. There is no contempt for people who work and earn, from the guy who shovels coal to the genius, its how you act that defines you.


Oct 15, 2008 – 3:21 am 7. RE:


Funny, I’ve too been considering the John Galt option more and more as I watch recent events.

Ayn Rand truly nailed the character types at play. Those who would destroy society do seem to be gaining the upper hand. The Left and media have completely poisoned the environment such that the next 4 years will be very contentious and perhaps even violent, no matter who wins this election.

The Left offers absolutely nothing positive in their vision. They have repeatedly demonstrated themselves to be driven by the worst aspects of human nature. One must plan accordingly.


Oct 15, 2008 – 3:22 am 8. Douglas:




Oct 15, 2008 – 3:27 am 9. RE:


L Raj,

‘Contempt’ is your projection. There are thousands of private organizations that make a difference in peoples lives. Americans voluntarily support them with billions of dollars of contributions. They do a far better job than any government. Actually it’s the politicians that view segments of the population with contempt, using them only as pawns of obtain and hold power. That’s where the real ’selfishness’ lies – in the creation of dependent voting blocks. The record seems to strongly suggest that government has done more to destroy the lives and families than anyone else.

Washing your hands of the personal responsibility of caring for your fellow man by declaring it government function is morally bankrupt. But that’s what so much of leftism is about – absolving oneself of any personal responsibility or accountability. That’s an excellent recipe for societal breakdown.

If you really do care about the weaker members of society, donate to the private charities that actually help them. The IRS will even accept donation, if you think government the answer.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:06 am 10. Chris in Toronto:


I wrote this the other day. Talk about GMTA! And it all started as a new signature line for my email. Here’s the whole thing.

“If you need further proof of Zen look at the world TODAY. We are living through the ultimate Zen moment: ideological forces unleashed over past hundred years are coming to their final, epochal battle. And we get to be part of it!” (Marx-Lenin-Gramsci-Alinsy-Ayers-”Cloward-Piven”-ACORN-Obama.)
— Chris Nicholson, Thanksgiving 2008 

That last line, (Marx-Lenin-Gramsci-Alinsy-Ayers-”Cloward-Piven”-ACORN-Obama.), really got me to thinking.

“Who is John Galt?”

I cannot help but see everything that has been happening since the start of the US primary election campaign through a lens supported by a shiny blue-green handle of polished Reardon Metal. I just can’t.

“Health care is a right.”, “Wall Street greed”. “Fairness” in taxation. “Progressive”. Hideous cronyism. Food rations. Government-forced actions for the good of “the poor”. Unabashed collectivism run rampant. Conniving, preening newspapermen, sure of—and exploiting—their power. Fuel shortages. People freezing in the cold. All that’s missing is “Brother can you spare a dime?”. Of course, that’d have to be up-priced to $4.50. starbucks is a right just as surely as healthcare is a right,

“Who is John Galt?” John Galt is the walking, talking end result of a man who lives his life in a fashion consistent with a philosophy* based on the concept of human rights, Then, against all odds, he causes the world’s economies to stop via removing the “intellectual capital” necessary to stop the cascading failures rippling through the infrastructure of the economy in order to save himself (and thereby, as luck would have it, others) from the horrors of life in an advancing collectivist dystopia.

*This philosophy, known as “Objectivism” was created on a base of, primarily (imho), of Aristotle, logic, by Ayn Rand, and was most unequivocally laid out in John Galt’s speech in Atlas Shrugged, my favourite book of all I’ve read. It has been deduced from first principles from the sole idea that what makes “man” (ie: humankind) unique is our ability to reason. Oh, and upon the basic premise that a person is dropped into this existence by no choice of his/her own, into a situation not of his (or her) choosing. Everything else, from property rights to how humans band together to form civilizations, the roles of government in those civilizations,to freedom of speech and the right to bear arms, flows from these two underlying pillars. Much more about Ayn Rand, here.

“Who is John Galt?” is also the question that characters throughout the novel have adopted as a common refrain in response to news of the latest failure in the system, or as answer to the “who is responsible for the failure of x” question. “Who is responsible for the mess at Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac?” ”Who is John Galt?” It is an early literary instance of the “meme warfare”. (I think it’s unintentional, but there it is.) In Atlas Shrugged, the expression’s origin is a mystery that is explained as the story unfolds, because NOBODY KNOWS WHO HE IS, he’s a cypher and is a metaphor for what is causing the world to stop. Ironically, it turn’s out that he is in fact a person who is in fact stopping the world’s engine. But I digress.

“Where is John Galt?”

John Galt is a metaphor. He is the ideal of the human superman. He is the personification of reason (that which separates us from the other animals), rigourously applied. He acts, rationally—with all that THAT implies—in his own self interest. John Galt is political man acting on his own behalf to make is way to the best of his ability who asks only for an equal playing field.

Thus, he’s a part of everyone, to lesser or greater degree. John Galt’s clarity of thought and expression is needed in this period. The historical allusions are patent: he explains (over the nation-wide radio network (that he “hijacks” to get the message out) how evil collectivism is and how the “virtue” of altruism is actually the most antihumanitarian idea ever proposed. (Of course, it’s fiction, so Miss Rand can have her hero “name names”). I think the question should be rephrased, for today, to be “Where is John Galt?”

If John Galt’s inside everyone, where is he? The signs are slowly starting to come to fore: the crowds at McCain events are demanding answers and demanding that the message get out. They’re demanding answers because their own personal John Galts are demanding answers, and answers that are consistent with their values; the media-arm of the Obama campaign, having long since cast their objectivity aside, are pulling out all stops to beat the John Galts into submission by repeating the big lies, but John Galt, the personification of reason’s application, is not buying it. Our John Galts are screaming for the truth, aching from the cognitive dissonance when our reality and our common sense rub, chaffingly, against the constructed reality being foisted upon us by the forces that seek to undo us. McCain seeks to speak to our Galts, as they slowly awaken from their inter-election hibernation.

And then, out of the west, blows a breath of fresh air in the form of the plain-spoken Sarah Palin. Values-based without question. The Alaskan unafraid to deconstruct, faux-grecian column by faux-grecian column, the media-constructed facade of the opposition’s reality. In an Objectivist sense, Palin is beyond the pale as Objectivism is atheistic to its core. That said, Palin helps awaken our John Galt because she appeals to core values, (admittedly not Objectivist, but close enough) that are shared or, sadly, vaguely-remembered: the greatness of “Man”, the primacy of reason and the necessity of character, the joy of being alive.

All of which leads me to my point. When I amend my own line to include the adversary, thus “Marx-Lenin-Gramsci-Alinsy-Ayers-”Cloward-Piven”-ACORN-Obama vs Aristotle-Smith-Locke-Jefferson-Madison-Rand-Reagan-McCain”, and focus on the end of each line we see that Obama is the perfect end of that particular line while McCain is not John Galt, and John Galt is the perfect end of the line.

In this epochal battle, though, we have to ask have McCain/Palin aroused and spurred to action John Galt?

Here’s the strategy I believe he’s following in face of the hostile media. (Lifted from my earlier post [http://web.me.com/chris_nicholson/Site/desmondiswatching/Entries/2008/10/10_McCain’s_Strategy_Unfolds_Before_Our_Eyes_%26_thegreatschlepp_is_gonna_backfire.html]). By “grassroots” and “electorate” I’m referring to our John Galts.

Strategy: Mobilize the grass roots. Via a timed release during CSW* of precision-guided memes into the popular culture using advanced semiotic techniques and by asserting control of the news cycle, that is by manipulating the manipulating deadwoods—which, happily, demonstrates a uniquely linear modality of thought—the campaign’s messages can be brought to the electorate in the age of YouTube in snippets, where there they’re amalgamated on-line by allied cyberforces and promoted by allied media. 

Allow the electorates’ flames of natural curiosity to be stoked by promoting the available alternate information sources and judiciously add fuel to keep the fire burning. 

I firmly believe that McCain has come to some similar assessment of the theatre of engagement and consequences of failure. If he has come to a similar strategy conclusion then it comes down to us (well, by “us” I mean Americans, one of whom I sadly am not). Are we John Galt enough to finish the battle? Because he currently is executing a strategy that will force the answers that will be Obama’s undoing and in the process exposing the rampant collaboration of the deadwoods. Our personal John Galt will surely act to save himself and Atlas will shrug. If Ayn Rand believed in heaven, it would be nice to think of her looking down, saying, “don’t you say I didn’t warn you!”


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:09 am 11. Sarah Rolph:


Self-reliance does not imply a lack of caring for others. Comments 3 and 4 conflate two things–economic principle and social issues.

I may or may not become unproductive when and if I retire. In a free society I have the right to choose how productive to be for how long. This right is linked in principle to the responsibility for my own life. In other words, I can do what I want but I must take the consequences.

Under socialism, one has neither these freedoms nor these responsibilities. Socialism holds that the government should make these decisions for me. The claim is that there is more wisdom in central planning–that the government knows better than we do. This is demonstrably untrue.

Because socialists (and their ilk) can’t win the argument based on the facts of reality (the system has never worked and can never work), they continually rely on the emotional argument about the fate of the “weaker sections of society.” These arguments dupe a lot of people, because most of us do care about others.

The idea that some “sections of society” are naturally “weaker” is a strawman argument based on a Marxist contruct. In fact, under capitalism, everyone in society has a chance to become stronger, by working and trading.

In my view, it is the notion that some people are just “weak” that shows contempt for others.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:26 am 12. edwin:


At this point with the media digging in the minds of so many people and for this matter the ones specially that want somethings for nothing is a lost cause.It seems that we are going down hill from here .It looks like to many people want to dare try that socialist system that Obama wants to impose on this country……… I say let it happen .I can only imagine the caos.That would be a very interesting experiment .Mind you I don,t want it but it,s ineviteble it,s coming so hold on to your horse its going to be a bumpy ride…..


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:27 am 13. CR:


I think L Raj is an ignoramus and is very likely one of those unproductive types. Children are “unproductive” on purpose. Plenty of other countries have productive children manning sweatshops. Besides that, the last time I checked the various markets serving the wants and needs of children from toys to schools are quite large. Retired folks are not unproductive – they pay taxes like the rest of us and they contribute to society and our economy in a big way. They have time to engage in leisure activities and travel, and where do you think that money goes? I have never minded helping others in need, as long as they are actually in need and not just lazy. The spirit of individual giving is alive and well in this country as it has always been. It is not the government’s job to mandate charity, that’s called socialism and I am NOT game for that. As a business owner, I work very hard for the money I make. I already give to a variety of charities and organizations and I will not participate in federal mandates concerning redistributing wealth, as proposed by Obammy and crew.

I have not curtailed spending on the personal or business fronts just yet. I believe that would just hamper the recovery of our financial markets. In the unlikely event of an Obammy election victory I will immediately scale back all business operations and cut my personal spending to a bare minimum. I will then discuss my options for protecting my savings and investments from the government with my CPA, accountant, and attorneys. Obammy will be unable to redistribute money he can’t locate. I will simply adapt to the government’s tactics to take my money and give it to others. One of two things will happen – I will continue to enjoy laissez-faire capitalism or I will stop contributing to the federal bankroll.

It is very disappointing that we are even talking about this subject and that it could actually become a reality. I believe in the innovation and creativity of the American people and we will outsmart and defuse attempts to socialize our economic system. This is not a matter of being “human” or caring for others, it is a matter of keeping the government out of our lives. America is the most charitable country on earth in terms of private donations, and we don’t need our government telling us we need to do more. The feds can’t have my guns, and they can’t have my money either. I believe in our system of Democracy and the multitude of built-in controls for guaranteeing individual freedoms. Unlike other forms of governments, we can fight back against overreaching and power-hungry leaders. At the end of the day, the real power rests with American citizens, not the federal government. Perhaps I’m a bit idealistic in those thoughts but I will fight to preserve our Union and I know I’m not alone.

Historically speaking, America isn’t very good at preventing problems. We are however, very good at correcting them and ensuring they never happen again. Perhaps this is one of those times and we won’t prevent an impending calamity. If that’s true, I am quite confident that we will correct the errors and move on, having learned a valuable lesson. I have no fear of the future because I know we can defeat any enemy and meet any challenge – after all, that is the American way. I remain optimistic – I’m hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

The Left has illusions of grandeur but they are just that, illusions. Their time is almost up. As Douglas said – “Wolverine!”.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:29 am 14. Sioux Lady:


I haven’t re-read Atlas in a while. I think it was Francisco who said, “Watch gold . . .” After less than 50% of Americans were sufficient to re-elect William Jefferson Clinton to a second term, I started buying gold coins (not certificates) and have them in a safety deposit box. My husband and I are retired, live fairly cheaply and could farm if we had to. The gold is for my grandsons so they’ll have something of real value when the crash comes.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:30 am 15. Chris in Toronto:


Typewriter King, your “20,000 community currencies” idea is interesting. Could you explain how this might work, please. I’d like to hear your thoughts on that. Thanks.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:38 am 16. Rogan:


I agree with those who advocate fighting back by spreading rational ideas to counter the collectivist Democrats. When they countrol both Congress and the White House, they will drive the country into the ground quickly enough to cause a national backlash before the next election.

The time to withdraw all productive activity will be when and if they manage to quash freedom of speech. When it is no longer possible to speak out against collectivism, when advocates of individual liberty and Capitalism are driven from the radio, bloggers begin being prosecuted by a Democratic controlled Justice Department and thugs begin beating and killing those protesting the policies of an incipient dictatorship, then there will be no other option.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:43 am 17. Judy:


Atlas Shrugged was published when I was in high school, and I read it then. It was one of my motivations to join campaign staffs of John Tower and, later, Richard Nixon. At first, I felt I was helping stave off the coming of the day to “go John Galt.” But I learned in the campaign trenches that the choice is not between the ideologies — individual freedom and welfare state. Those are healthy points to argue, but they are not what decides elections. The reality of the choice in an election is between the level of corruption of candidate. I have re-read Atlas Shrugged this year, and Rand catches this truth.

The reason Obama is so deft at changing his positions on issues is that he only uses those positions to get votes. These switches are thoroughly corrupt. Don’t kid yourself: we are about to elect someone who is corrupting massive numbers of voters by promising idealism that shrouds his ambition. Obama is not a new liberal, he is a garden variety manipulative and corrupt politician. If John McCain loses it will be because he is not corrupt. It is not easy to elect an honest candidate, but we still have three weeks to try. Lincoln said “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Let’s hope this election is one of those times, or our democracy is going to be trashed for the next four years.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:52 am 18. Dubya:


I like the idea. John Galt? Who’d have thunk it?

I will no doubt be downsizing my business if Obama is elected. Not because I want to, but because I will be forced to re-think my whole business plan. The $250K is a threshold for many like me.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:03 am 19. Free In Idaho! » Blog Archive » Who Is John Galt?:


[…] Dr Helen has a post that wonders if it’s time to “Go John Galt“? […]


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:14 am 20. RE:


Judy, I do believe you have boiled it down to its essence – Obama is a corrupt individual at his core. It is as simple and basic as that.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:20 am 21. Trey:


L Raj wrote: “Caring for others makes us human.”

So what does stealing from others make people? Nobody is talking about children and the infirm you mush brained dolt. We are talking about the liberal fed culture of dependency and sloth.

Ben Franklin said that anyone who cares about the poor should help them feel uncomfortable in their poverty. He said that the countries which treat their poor best have the most poor.

He was not a much brained dolt.

Conservatives can be shown to care more for the poor because we give more money to the poor and give more volunteer time to the poor. It is not that we hate the poor, we are just smart enough to understand that what the government subsidizes will increase. No rocket science needed to understand that.



Oct 15, 2008 – 5:21 am 22. KY:


Between federal income tax, state income tax, local privilege tax, sales tax, and property taxes, half of what we make goes to taxes.

My husband and I, and others we know, have purposed to limit the taxes we pay by limiting our production. Why grow our business any larger, just so we can have more responsibilities, (employees,) take more risks, and work smarter and harder.

We might as well relax a little, because it doesn’t pay to be so industrious.

We are putting as much as we can into retirement. We just took a big loss on our stocks, but the purchase money came from tax deferred income. If we didn’t set it back in tax differed retirement accounts, half of it would be lost to taxes anyway.

We have a professional firm. Our employees are paid well. Our local community could really use more job positions in that income bracket. Too bad the benefits don’t make the risks and headaches of growing the business worth the effort.

We don’t put any real effort into marketing our business, we just take what comes by word of mouth and we have all we want to remain the size we are. I love marketing, and some times I am tempted to do it just because of my love of doing it. Then I remind myself of the consequences of more business: more work, more headaches, more responsibilities, more taxes, and VERY little more after tax spending dollars.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:27 am 23. section9:


People are already traveling to Galt’s Gulch as if Galt himself had walked into their offices and sat down and convinced them to join the Strike.

The news that Obama intends to impose redistributionist policies has already forced small business owners to make plans to let people go and downscale ambitions for their own businesses to preserve their own firms. You may not realize it, but the Strike of the Men of the Mind has already begun.

So, I say again, which way to Galt’s Gulch?


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:31 am 24. Roger Godby:


I am currently an expat thinking of returning to the US mess because it’s the same in all the developed countries: massive debts, greying demographics, ever more costly empty promises; however, the US still has replacement rates and ample land.

Overseas, where would one go? Central and South America are largely cheap but unstable (Chile an exception), thanks in part to the ridiculous “War on Drugs”; much of it is violent as well. Canada and its thoughtcrime Human Rights Commissions? Western Europe is too expensive and slowly turning militantly Islamic, like Turkey; Eastern Europe is depopulating, but not as fast as Russia. Red China? An Islamic country? Disease- and corruption-ridden sub-Saharan Africa? Japan (and soon South Korea too) is already shrinking in population with massive debts but remains adamantly opposed to mass immigration although it’s safe and culturally stable. The Philippines is cheap but dangerous. You could probably buy residency in a Pacific island nation, but without infrastructure or industry of any sort, what would you do?

India perhaps. Australia and New Zealand seem not yet to have gone wholly insane, but maybe I’m misinformed. Thailand has appeal, but its Muslims like killing, reportedly have higher birth rates than Buddhist Thais, and are moving north.

And once you make that move abroad, what will your USD be worth? Once President Obama turns on the printing press, a lot less.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:33 am 25. Bill in NY:


Objectivism is based on reason, and logic. That was taken out of schools long ago, in preparation of leading the sheep to slaughter. The Democrats are led by communists, and the Republicans sold out to the politically connected pseudo-businessmen who buy influence. The government has nationalized over 50% of home mortgages, the biggest insurance company, and now the banks… what’s left to save? We’ve been riding the slippery slope for a long time, and we’ve reached the point of critical mass where the system can no longer support all the rotters. There’s about half the country now who openly support socialism. It looks to me like the old saying, “the way to cook a frog is to put him in a pot of water and slowly turn up the heat, until finally when he realizes what’s happening it’s too late – he’s cooked”. If Obama does get elected, and the Democrats do control both houses of congress, can they possibly do more harm than Abramoff and the Republicans did by selling us out? What “side” is our side? Perhaps, if Obama and the Democrats have all the power, they will rush forward with the communist agenda quickly enough to force the frog to jump out of the water before it’s too late… if it isn’t already too late. I tell my family and friends who have bought-in to the Democrat socialist propoganda, “be careful what you wish for, you might get it”. I think that is what Ayn Rand was warning us about… after all, she experienced it first hand before coming to America. One last thought, when the laws of man contradict the laws of the creator, we self-destruct by our own choosing. The ten commandments are pretty clear, and not subject to the Supreme Court’s interpretation. When America decides to correct course, and align ourselves with the universal laws of our Creator, then and only will we ever again enjoy God’s blessing… it’s our choice. John Galt? Who’s John Galt?


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:37 am 26. Dennis:


Please excuse a couple of comments Re: some of the commentary.
First the child sweat shops; There was a very big fight in the United States over child labor. The parents wanted it. They did not want their children growing up without contributing to the family income. They did not want lazy children. The fight was led by the ASPC!
America has a very noble goal of educating every student. There are very little rules to prevent any child from going to school. Many choose not to take advantage of this opportunity. They should not be granted a free ride. They should be told go to school; learn a trade or study to enter college. College is not required to earn a good living in the U.S. The plumber who spoke to Obama has the right of it. A good trade is very valuable.
Envy is one of the 7 Deadly Sins. Worry about what you can do and how well you can earn a living. Don’t waste so much energy on what someone else is doing or making. Sure the Boss makes more; if that bothers you study to become the boss! You are the key to you and your earnings. We, all of us, should provide not just sustainment for those who cannot for medical (includes mental) reason make it. They are not at fault and should be feasted and comfortable. They ask; why did God make so many handicapped? Ever think it was to see how we, the able bodied, help them?
Live your life and help those who cannot help themselves. The lazy are not helpless, they are just lazy.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:41 am 27. Cato:


Atlas Shrugged is an interesting, if flawed, work. Rand’s philosophy, which she styled “objectivism,” is as completely materialist and as dogmatic in tone as anthing Marx or his epigoni have written — and occasioned Whittaker Chambers’ famous comment in his review for the National Review:

“Out of a lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal. In addition, the mind which finds this tone natural to it shares other characteristics of its type. 1) It consistently mistakes raw force for strength, and the rawer the force, the more reverent the posture of the mind before it. 2) It supposes itself to be the bringer of a final revelation. Therefore, resistance to the Message cannot be tolerated because disagreement can never be merely honest, prudent, or just humanly fallible. Dissent from revelation so final (because, the author would say, so reasonable) can only be willfully wicked. There are ways of dealing with such wickedness, and, in fact, right reason itself enjoins them. From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “To a gas chamber — go!”

That said, like most high school students who read Atlas Shrugged, I enjoyed it, though with a bit of a jaundiced eye. One of my early objections to the book was how much the ‘bad guy’ characters seem to be cardboard caricatures rather than real people. However, a couple of years ago I read Amity Schlaes book, The Forgotten Man, in which she detailed a rather full portrait of Rexford Guy Tugwell (on whom Ellsworth Toohey in the Fountainhead was supposed to be based) and I concluded she was perhaps more accurate in capturing the essence of these people than I had believed possible.

I’m not sure if it’s time to go “John Galt” or if it would even be possible for me. I’m certainly going do everything I can to keep a low profile and try to keep income in a sweet spot that meets real needs without exposing myself to higher taxes. (I don’t expect that to work real well, but we have to try….)

I do think it might be extremely useful if there is a spontaneous campaign among conservatives to Cato-like, end every speech, letter and other communication with



Oct 15, 2008 – 5:42 am 28. Greg:


If Obama is elected with a filibuster-proof congress — don’t expect the mainstream media to hold the Democrats responsible. No doubt they will continue to blame ‘the enemy’ weather it is the Republicans or some other group – the ‘jews’, the ‘rednecks’, etc…

It happened in Germany in the late 30’s it can happen here.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:43 am 29. Dennis:


Sorry: my last comment should have read ASPA not ASPC. There was no ASPC at the time.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:44 am 30. Cato:


Bill in NY: anent your comment “be careful what you wish for…”

H.L. Mencken defined Democracy (in The Jazz Webster in A Book of Burlesques 1920):

“Democracy. The theory that two thieives will steal less than one, and three less than two, and four less than three, and so on ad infinitum; the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

This is surely a case that if Obama is elected, the common people are going to getting good and hard.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:50 am 31. Mike Zenor:


“Caring for others makes us human.”

Caring for others at the point of a gun makes us slaves.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:54 am 32. TomJW:


Most of the people who went to Galt’s Gultch had no children. I need another 6 years to get my son through college. Still, we are not near the $250k mark. Sadly, the coming inflation will probably change that.

I used to work with a guy named John Galt. It struck me as funny when I read the book.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:00 am 33. Master of Obvious:


Steal pens from government offices.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:04 am 34. Peter M.:


The time has not yet come to “go Galt.”

I have a much better idea. Help fund the teaching of Atlas Shrugged in America’s colleges and universities. Ayn Rand is the ONLY antidote to creeping socialism because she is the only thinker who gave a moral critique of socialism and, more imortantly, a moral defense of laissez-faire capitalism.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:05 am 35. Peter M.:


Here’s a start:


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:06 am 36. Larry J:


The world “selfish” comes to mind.

Yes, selfish comes to my mind but not in the way you’re thinking. I think it is selfish for someone to demand that others be taxed at a higher rate in order to provide goodies and free money to the “less fortunate.” Obama’s candid remarks to the plumbing small business owner (about wanting to “spread the wealth around”) reminded me of something Abraham Lincoln said:

“It is the eternal struggle between two principles, right and wrong, throughout the world. It is the same spirit that says ‘you toil and work and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.’ No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation, and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.” [Lincoln-Douglas debates, 15 October 1858]

Obama is telling those making over $250k to “toil and work and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.” As Lincoln noted exactly 150 years ago today, that is tyranny.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:08 am 37. ljmw:


I own a small LLC and will likely fall into the 250,000 range this year. I will be using a large portion of that previously income taxed profit to pay for the loss of business I am currently experiencing and expect to continue to experience in the Obama future. I think I will sell and take advantage of the proposed no capital gains tax on small business that Obama is proposing. Since small business doesn’t pay capital gains otherwise there is no other way to take advantage.

Great plan Obama has should create a lot of jobs.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:15 am 38. WR Jonas:


It may be too far fetched at this point to really consider armed resistance . What could produce the kind of outrage which would cause conflict on that scale ? There are a few things which would do it. But let us suppose for a moment that a conflict did erupt, what would the men who are within the ranks of the government forces do. Which cause would they serve ?
Suppose the Democrats decide to prosecute George Bush and Dick Cheney , (as they have threatened ), I could foresee some difficulty in carrying out an arrest if the Democrats were to become that brazen.
Who knows what would ignite a conflict. But the days are near when we can sense our liberty and freedoms slipping away through a treacherous and greedy government. The Constitution is swiftly being gutted and reduced to trash .
I vaguely recall Jefferson making some reference to Liberty requiring renewal by the blood of patriots.
It was once possible and it may still be so.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:17 am 39. Tao Te Truth:


The problem with Going Galt if Obama wins is that it won’t matter. Obama and his Alinsky crowd are interested in the collapse of our system so they can put in a Socialist economy that will allow us to “evolve” into a Communist utopia. (You can’t make this stuff up. Read Alinsky and his fellow travelers.) Withdrawing from the system will only hasten this end.

Rather than withdrawing. The best medicine is to teach people how to make money, lots of it. The more people who believe that they can earn $250,000 in the next few years, and the more that actually do, the less enthusiasm there will be for confiscating “plumber’s wealth.”


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:17 am 40. Snoopy:


The thing is, I don’t think “going John Galt” is really manifested by some conscious or concerted effort to ’shrug’. That’s not the danger. The danger is that productive people will, in a more subtle and possibly even unconscious way, find other venues for their pursuits.

A capitalist investing their capital in India rather than Indiana is a form of “going John Galt.” Just as water finds its way to the lowest point, so too does capital find its way to the places its owner is best served.

There have been a few stories in the past year or so about Denmark fretting the flight of highly skilled labor — which some people there couldn’t understand, since the Danish government sprung for all their schooling, healthcare, housing, etc.

Well, these workers didn’t like the prospect of 60% income taxes, so they found places where their labor could be more beneficial to them and they emigrated.

I don’t think it could be any more clear that we’re headed down the same path.

But, hey, at least it will teach those bumbling Republicans a lesson.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:18 am 41. JMP:


As a self-employed person, I fully intend to do everything legally possible to minimize the amount the looters can take from me. Whether or not I can ‘afford’ a tax increase, I strongly believe that these highly progressive tax policies encourage sloth and will turn Americans into government slaves.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:19 am 42. hvs:


I think it’s time to go Ragnar Danneskjold…..


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:22 am 43. JE:


If marginal tax rates are raised on the very wealthy, they will tend to go “John Galt” by preferring the returns from leisure to the returns from work.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:25 am 44. Ask Dr. Helen: Is It Time to ‘Go John Galt’? | PoliticsMuch.com:


[…] orginally posted at PajamasMedia.com. We claim no responsibility for this content. Please click on the link above to read and comment on […]


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:27 am 45. Ken Nelson:


The time to Galt is long overdue.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:27 am 46. Paul Hsieh:


I’m not quite ready to give up in America yet and “go on strike”. Yes, we are going to be in for a rough ride, regardless of who is elected President.

But rather than going on strike, I’d rather try to advocate for laissez-faire capitalism and individual rights, and work to make things better. We still have free speech in this country, and we still have a culture that (for the most part) values reason, success, and prosperity.

The next few years will be critical for this country, both with respect to domestic and international issues. If the better people choose now to “go on strike”, then we may simply be ensuring the victory of the bad guys, whereas if we speak out (in whatever capacity we can), then we still have a chance.

Abraham Lincoln once called America “the last best hope on earth”. I still think he’s right, and that’s why I don’t want to give up yet.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:32 am 47. BobClasen:


I am not sure John Galt would see much difference between today’s Republicans and Democrats. Both see government as the answer to every solution. “Compassionate” Republicans also believe in redistributing the wealth to the lazy and incompetent. When productivity is to be punished by confiscation and redistribution, productivity will go down. That is the inevitable “Law of John Galt.”


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:33 am 48. Paul Hsieh:


FWIW, the October 14, 2008 edition of the UK paper The Telegraph printed the following interesting letter on Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged (towards the bottom of the page):


Sir – Ayn Rand has been mentioned several times in your pages of late, but it is startling how prescient was her novel Atlas Shrugged.

There is the socially responsible banker who went bust because he gave loans to those who needed them, rather than to those who could afford them. There’s the government regulation and takeovers to ensure that failed businesses keep going.

There’s the unthinking desire to cling on to “stability”, and the consensus that it is a global problem and everyone must pull together for the common good.

All is in denial of reality, a rejection of reason. Result: the rational is distrusted; men are guilty of being “unfair” if they value competence and “unfeeling” if they refuse to indulge failure. The individual is subordinated to the national, and the national to the international.

If Rand was right thus far, what of the years ahead? Perhaps the motor of the world is stopping.

Iwan Price-Evans, Enfield, Middlesex


[The big question is whether our version will have a similar happy ending or not…]


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:35 am 49. D. Martin:


Unfortunately, the crooks in this case are the bankers and financiers, who have speculated worthless debt into hundreds of billions of dollars of leveraged profits. Nothing the government will do, and nothing in the forthcoming election will affect these people. They have already made their money and will buy the best advice possible on how to keep it safe.

A lot of people have colored this very black and white in their minds, with Obama and the democratic party representing the looters, and McCain and the conservatives representing some sort of fairness. Rand herself never saw it that way. She was contemptuous of conservatives, and thought they were crooked businessmen. Just as Democrats wanted to rob productive people and give the cash to the undeserving, so did the conservatives. The only difference was that the recipients of democratic favors were idle poor people, and that of conservative largesse were crooked businessmen, who could afford to buy politicians.

You guys ought to read what she said about Reagan. She intensely disliked the man, and did not vote for him.

On a final note, I think that some of the people who make the profound decision to “shrug” like Atlas will only get dandruff on their shoulders. Much as many of us like to feel we are the key to the economy, the real movers and shakers probably don’t read this column. Yes, I’m not one of them either.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:37 am 50. Ex-fetus:


“The great thing about America, lose one election, just wait 2 years for the next one.”

Just because something has always happened in the past, doesn’t mean it will always happen in the future. Eventually, the sun will enter it’s red giant phase and there will be no more sunrise or sunset on the planet Earth. Eventually, a tyrant will grab power in America and there will be no more elections. That will happen much sooner then the red giant thingie.
Like this January. We already have a candidate that could care less about the Constitution. America IS the Constitution. So when he Hates America, he hates the Constitution. Can Tyranny be far away?

“The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.”
– General Ulysses S. Grant


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:39 am 51. Pixelkiller:


Back in ‘84 my accountant and I were looking over my 1040 and we discovered that all the “governments” were doing better than me. In black and white it had become too expensive to work. So, I just quit. There are lots of things to do, I discovered, when you don’t work.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:40 am 52. Patel:


I certainly think that Sarah Palin could be Dagny. A smart and determined woman who doesn’t want to let this country go down without a fight. I think that her basic appeal to so many is that she still hasn’t given up.

As to how can you pull off a Galt in today’s society. One, you definitely homeschool your kids or send them to a private school and trade/barter with other productive people as much as possible. My dad did this for my wedding, traded his services to the florist etc. I was talking to a plumber yesterday about a neighborhood that was doing the same thing. For instance, his neighbors worked off plumbing jobs by mowing his yard, cleaning his gutters, giving him fresh vegetables from their gardens etc. The government doesn’t get anything and the producers only deal with other competent producers.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:40 am 53. Bill in NY:


Question: in Atlas shrugged, the capitalists all left their toils and disappeared to a distant remote hideaway apart from the rotters… where is it that you would go today? Perhaps, capitalists who believe in free people and free markets, need to consider a place where they would at least outnumber the rotters (certainly not in NY), I’m not sure where that would be, but if enough capitalists decided to migrate to one place, could that even work? Like the old saying says, “you can run, but you can’t hide”. At some point, if you care about America’s future, you just gotta stand and fight… even if you lose… better to lose fighting for what is right than losing one’s soul and being a rotter. Who IS John Galt?


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:43 am 54. Janeway:


I had not read this article before I commented on Dr. Hanson’s article – I guess I am not the only one! It is not time to go John Galt but we should prepare for events should it be needed.
I just wished I didn’t feel so helpless – it’s like watching TV on 911 in slow motion. I am really hoping I am wrong-it would be good to be wrong!


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:50 am 55. Ben Franklen:


I have talked to several of my fellow small businessmen in just the last week who are ready to hang it up. The bailout was the last straw for a bunch of them. These guys work hard and meet payrolls while managing to scrounge out a living for themselves as well. When they see people who should be out of business getting bailed out by a bunch of politicians who just want to hide their role in creating this mess then is too disheartening for them to want to continue. No one is going to bail them out of their bad decisions and for the most part they are too honorable to even ask for such a thing.

I am hedging my bets against Obama. I am looking to offload part of my operations onto someone else so that they can struggle under his whip instead of me. It will put about 9-10 people out of work but I am sure Obama, the kind and compassionate, PBUH, will take care of them.

The funniest thing about this is that one of my employees was wearing an Obama t-shirt just the other day. She is one of the ones who won’t have a job if the guy gets elected because she is one of the least productive employees I have and is part of the operations I am off-loading. I can’t tell her that because there is no end to the trouble such things could cause but I can’t help but feel sorry for her. She is not the type who will land on her feet and will have trouble holding a job anywhere else than with me… (yeah, I know, I am a big sucker).

Everyone in the small business community is battening down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Obama.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:03 am 56. Rick:


I have an alternative idea I’ve started sharing with friends. Conservatives / achievers – should start infiltrating Canada. If we can get 10-15 million of us to move up there, we can take over the place. AND – since the liberals will be left behind in the USA and will be totally unable to do anything about global warming anyway, Canada will actually become a pretty nice place to live. First thing we do though is build a LONG fence.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:04 am 57. MarkJ:


For my part, I look forward to getting my “walking-around money” from His Majesty’s Government as I’ll be using it to buy additional firearms, ammunition, and MRE’s. ;)


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:04 am 58. JohnnyL:


Going “John Galt” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to completely withdraw from American society but you can work smarter. Determine if you are comfortable scaling back a little. Will the extra money you make at the margins justify the amount of hours you need to put in? Do you really need that second big flat screen? Learn a trade/skill. Barter for services. I’m 55 and going back to tech school on the weekends to learn woodworking. Not as an income producer but because I like to be able to do more around the house. Who knows? I may become skilled enough to be able to use it. that in combo with other DYI skills may help a bit.
For those that want to keep running that rat race at the same pace as before or feel its their ‘duty” , remember you will never be loved by those who receive your redistributed wealth. You will be castigated by the ruling political class for your “greed” and “selfishness”.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:05 am 59. D. Martin:


Mr. Patel comments in this thread: “I certainly think that Sarah Palin could be Dagny. A smart and determined woman who doesn’t want to let this country go down without a fight. I think that her basic appeal to so many is that she still hasn’t given up.”

I wonder if he/she has actually read any of Rand’s books? Or if he knows Sarah Palin’s views beyond some blurb on the news? Did you know that Sarah Palin is against abortion, up to and extending to cases of rape and incest? Did you know that she belongs to a church that believes the Bible is the literal word of God, and that she favors teaching Creationism in science classes? That her selection as Vice President was not for her Dagny-esque credentials (which she has none), but to appease the religious right, who didn’t altogether trust McCain?

Putting Dagny and Sarah Palin in the same sentence does serious injustice to both. I am not sure which of the two would be more offended (allowing Rand to speak for Dagny, if she were alive).


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:06 am 60. Quilly Mammoth:


Actually I recommended something similar on my site and was reminded in comments about John Galt. Of course, being the Right Wing Death Beast that I am, I am also for adding that on November 5th people should start putting “Impeach Obama” bumper stickers on their vehicles.

I think we should reciprocate the same treatment the Left gave George Bush as well as “stopping the engine”. We are in a situation similar to the 1850’s where a significant change is being pushed. It is very likely that there will be a strong push towards socialism if Obama is President. We can fight now or we can fight later. Later is harder.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:08 am 61. WWJGD? « Buttle’s World:


[…] WWJGD? Filed under: Posts — buttle @ 6:09 Is it time to go John Galt? […]


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:09 am 62. jjmurphy:


As tempting as it is to pull a John Galt, I think it is premature, at this point. My number one reason? I have two young kids. I want them grow up in freedom, where success is rewarded and you can be anything you want. Granted, we have fallen quite a way from that ideal, but I don’t think it is too late. If Obama is elected, and gets a super-majority in both the House and Senate, it will make things extremely difficult, but not impossible. Remember, it took the socialists 80 years to take control of our institutions. (Gramscian Long March) It might take us 80 years to get them back.

Plus, there is simply no other place in the world quite like the U.S.A.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:09 am 63. Jack:


I think that the first sign we will see of a “John Galt” movement is a sharp decline in armed forces enlistment. Any student of history knows that democratic presidencies kill far more members of the armed services than a republican presidencies.

An Obama presidency will kill far more of our soldiers than Bush has, just like Carter and Clinton.

If you are in the armed forces, I would suggest leaving as soon as you legally can.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:12 am 64. Jacknut:


Whew, this is about going on strike. I thought we all had to deliver a three hour monologue and then “take” the heroine.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:13 am 65. JNL:


Do it yourself if you can. A $30 oil change is really costing me $30 + (30 x .40(for taxes))=$42. The higher the taxes, the more attractive DIY becomes. It’s a lifestyle for us. Buy tools, lots of them, and learn to use them. Also, is there a barter website out there? You would think the internet would make a barter economy more feasable by getting the buyers and sellers together more easily.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:15 am 66. geokstr:


Paul Hsieh says:

“…We still have free speech in this country.”

If he gets a veto-proof majority of the Senate, expect one of the first things Pres Obama does is sign the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” back into law. Bye-bye talk radio. And he doesn’t really need to get 60 democrat Senators to do that, because he already has a handful of RINO’s like Snowe, Collins and others that he can probably count on.

His campaign and leftwing groups have already made aggressive attempts to intimidate both the rightwing internet blogs and conservative public organizations into silence with threats of legal action and IRS audits. Wait until he actually has real power to be able to do this.

He has told his supporters to “get in the face” of republicans. Is there any reason to think this will stop if he wins?

The left already controls the speech of all college and public school students through PC and outright speech codes. They already have the media and the entertainment industries on their side.

Talk radio and the internet are the only two effective means that the right has to express itself, organize and communicate. When those are stifled, we will have no means to get our views out at all. How are we supposed to fight back against all that? Word-of-mouth?

This election is critical to keeping our freedoms. It’s too bad that all we have is McCain in the breech trying to hold back this tide. Even if he wins, you never can tell when he’ll go all “maverick” on us again.

We may have to hope that the military will not stand idly by and allow this to become another Reich or Venezuela.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:17 am 67. Ratatosk:


Rather than looking to Ayn for ideas, I’m gonna quote someone else:

“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

” When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me,”

Then he will turn to the others and say, “Hope your tax haven is Armageddon proof!”


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:17 am 68. No Surrender:


There’s no doubt that lots of people are looking at ways to reduce their tax liabilities.

But this race isn’t over. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s over. For the current polling to be correct would require a lurch to the left in American politics such as has NEVER been seen. The current polls smell bad, are probably dramatically oversampling Democrats and young voters and seem at variance with historical trends.

The “It’s over, stay home” vibe coming off the Democrats is a bluff, delivered by an oily cardshark. Don’t be bamboozled.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:18 am 69. exDemocrat:


“especially in today’s world when we have seen the cons that the smart people have perpetrated to become super rich.”

Yeah, and if you notice, most are Democrats. Bill Gates? Warren Buffet? Oprah Winfrey? Democrats.

Get off the pipe.

Let’s roll America…..McCain/Palin ‘08


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:19 am 70. Gary S.:


One small thing I plan to do if Obama wins is switch my 401(k) contributions from Roth to traditional.

I am betting that Obama’s tax rates would be higher than tax rates in a few decades when I retire, so I would save money. But even if I’m wrong and I wouldn’t save any money, at least I would be withholding my taxes from the corrupt Obama regime.

It’s small, but it’s an easy way to help.

DISCLAIMER: As you can probably tell, I am not an economist or financial advisor. Also, I am talking about future contributions. I don’t think there is a legal tax-free way to switch existing funds from Roth to traditional or vice-versa.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:20 am 71. kevIN:


Perhaps our forefathers had it right that only the propertied class could vote. These days we could make it the ‘Investor Class’. If you don’t have a stake in the system, then how can you be expected to make a reasoned decision?

Thought I’m solidly in the middle class – my wife is a full time mother now – I have fears of my income and future inheritance being reduced. I rarely have apocalyptic fears of the future, but lately I’ve been thinking that America is ‘broken’. The dream of the founders has been taxed, lawyered and loopholed away. This is what America (left/’independent’/right) wants? I shudder at the thought.

The anarchists had a saying – “Whoever you vote for, government wins”. True words.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:24 am 72. Ragnar Danneskjold:


I’m moving to China.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:24 am 73. geokstr:


There is a story attributed, perhaps incorrectly, to Alexis de Tocqueville nearly two hundred years ago. I paraphrase:

“Democracy contains the seeds of its own destruction, when a majority of citizens realize they can vote themselves benefits from the public treasury.”

Sounds like the precursor of Socialist philosophy to me.

How many of you knew that at the 1972 democratic convention, over 70% of the delegates got most or all of their income from government? I’m sure it’s gotten a lot higher, in both parties, since then.

Too bad there is not a Capitalist Party, or a Productive Party, or a Freedom Party.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:27 am 74. SAF:


I have gone been doing the “John Galt” for a number of years.

But let this article put your minds at ease:


There isn’t much difference between the republicans and democrats. And even less difference between a socialist and Obama.

Perhaps 4 years of democratic rule will spark a reawakening in the republican party and the country in general.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:32 am 75. prom:


Chris in Toronto:

You said:
Values-based , Palin is beyond the pale as Objectivism is atheistic to its core. That said, Palin helps awaken our John Galt because she appeals to core values, (admittedly not Objectivist, but close enough) that are shared or, sadly, vaguely-remembered: the greatness of “Man”, the primacy of reason and the necessity of character, the joy of being alive.

Remember, Rand herself said that she was intransigently but not militantly atheist . Palin’s beief in God or even her pro-life beliefs do not dsiqualify her as she DOES not believe in using government to force those values on others. She wants to persuade people by setting an example in “respecting culture of life”. Remember, in a free society this is exactly the pattern to be followed for rational co-operation.

All virtues considered, Palin is a great pick and Objectivists should back her with gusto, particularly when faced with evil on the other side.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:36 am 76. Ursa Major:


I welcome the Obama presidency along with a filibuster-proof Senate and a 275 seat Democrat majority in the House. Because after 2 years (actually 4 if you consider the damage done between 2006-2008) the Socialist Democrats will finally be routed once and for all. Of course we will still have to deal with the remaining two years of the Messiah but he will have been sufficiently weakened as to ensure ineffectiveness.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:36 am 77. swift boater:


Jim Rodgers, George Soros old buddy and a financial talking head now, has relocated to China. Said America is done.

Now the old saw, “no one ever won betting against America” at one time was true. But perhaps it should have included the terms responsible, capitalist America.

No one ever said betting against socialist Europe was a loser. I beleive betting against a socialist America (which is what we will be in Jan 2009 if the polls are to be believed) would be a good bet, esp if we dont regain our moorings in elections to come.

Assuming the Messiah allows elections.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:36 am 78. Michael Smith:


I’ve just re-read Atlas and I was thinking about the easiest way to “go John Galt” and realized that it has been taken away from us. The most effective way is to dry up the tax coffers but for 85% of the working public, that option was taken away in the ’30s with the legalization of the most insidious of all socialist tools, the direct withholding of taxes from payrolls.

I think that the repeal of this act should be a plank in any conservative/small government platform. The American public has been turned into one big ATM…and the sad fact is that we don’t even miss the money that we never get.

I’ve been offered an executive job in Dubai and I’m doing something that I would never have expected – I’m seriously considering it…at least for the next 4 years.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:37 am 79. Tim in CT:


My wife and I are seriously considering a 50% Galtian move.

We both work, and together make well over the 250K amount Obama called out (although we are far from rich, living in one of the most expensive parts of the country).

Between the marginal tax difference and daycare, it would not be that much of a hit for my wife to give up her job and stay home (and reducing the very high day care costs we incur).

There is also the “black market” economy of untaxed labor (watching children, house cleaning, etc.) available – although we probably won’t go there.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:38 am 80. Taxpayer:


I retired from the Fortune 500 world a few years ago – advanced technical degree, middle management. Going John Galt was not the main motivation, but it was something I explicitly considered in making my decision.

We live pretty simply. No debt. I do a little consulting work (about 1 day a week), but have made no attempt to grow my business. The marginal tax rates make it not worthwhile.

I suspect that a lot of people will make similar decisions – less effort to makes those sales, working over the weekend to complete that software projects, etc. The impact of going John Galt will be incremental – many, many people just cruising. I think as a society we will move toward the European model over the next few years – higher taxes, less freedom, more government, higher unemployment.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:39 am 81. hvs:


Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine will have the effect of reinstating the Ellsworth Toohey’s of the media in their former seats of power. But the effect will be temporary, a brief intermission in the slide to their inevitable end.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:39 am 82. Concerned Mommy:


There’s a very simple solution to creeping socialization — go back to the Founders’ vision and DON’T GIVE PARASITES THE RIGHT TO VOTE. I say this even as a WIC-collecting parasite. Shut the “takers” out from the political process and allow the “makers” to decide how much of their wealth they’ll allow the government to confiscate. Unless we take this measure, the results are inevitable and depressing. Do you think someone living off 700/month from the government (I know such folks) for a bogus “disability” cares anything about small business owners etc.? Hell and no.

I find it hilarious that people are championing McCain in the same breath as Rand. Face it, guys, the Republicans turned socialist years ago just to stay electable.

Keep importing massive numbers new Americans with sub-100 IQs from Mexico — that’s the ticket!

I really hope I qualify as the most reactionary commentator on this post. )


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:45 am 83. Steve Leer:


One way to ‘John Galt’ for the wealthy is to take money and work offshore. When Clinton imposed the ‘Luxury Tax” on the rich, Broward County (Fort Lauderdale, FL) alone lost over 10,000 jobs in the marine industry. Rich people aren’t stupid (or, if they are, they usually have smart financial advisers). Yacht/bizjet purchases and rennovations can be done just as easily in the Bahamas as Florida. Look at bank stats for the last 6 months and see the $$$$s going out of this country.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:46 am 84. Fderfler:


I wrote a piece for my Website titled: “IF Barak Hussein Obama is Elected – Things to Do”

See http://mostlyflying.com

My piece includes advice on how to invest in automatic weapons for capital gain.

In this thread several people proposed going to a foreign country or even having a conservative exodus to Canada. Here are my thoughts on moving.. this is #8 on the list of things to do.

8. Move: Go Reinforce a Red State: With liberal judges moving into courtrooms, life in liberal states could get tougher. Your nuanced and entitled liberal neighbors will make you angry. Where is a good place to move? I want someplace that is far from the southern border and with a smaller population density. Texans generally have the right attitude and Texas has no state income tax, but that’s a long border. Since a liberal federal government won’t protect our borders, crime coming up from Mexico will be a big problem. Alaska is perfect in all ways but the weather. The same is true of Montana. Personally, I’d look at Utah or South Carolina for reasonable environments of all kinds -although they do have state income taxes. “


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:46 am 85. Horatio:


HT The John Galt LIne – http://www.whoisjohngalt.com/

John Galt “Mini-speech”

One of the most significant passages from Atlas Shrugged is a 60-70 page speech by John Galt. In the novel, Galt interrupts a presidential address to explain why he has called for a strike of all the great industrial minds of the world.

The speech was written as a single continuous quote that goes on for hours. While it’s central to the plot of Ayn Rand’s book, the Galt speech is also a complex philosophical proof which actually took her years to write. It’s easily the most difficult part of the book to read.

This is a digest of John Galt’s speech, compiled to under a thousand words. It’s excerpted from a screenplay of Atlas Shrugged, adapted by Daryl J. Sroufe in the early 1980s. Reprinted here with his permission:

For twelve years you’ve been asking “Who is John Galt?” This is John Galt speaking. I’m the man who’s taken away your victims and thus destroyed your world. You’ve heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis and that Man’s sins are destroying the world. But your chief virtue has been sacrifice, and you’ve demanded more sacrifices at every disaster. You’ve sacrificed justice to mercy and happiness to duty. So why should you be afraid of the world around you?

Your world is only the product of your sacrifices. While you were dragging the men who made your happiness possible to your sacrificial altars, I beat you to it. I reached them first and told them about the game you were playing and where it would take them. I explained the consequences of your ‘brother-love’ morality, which they had been too innocently generous to understand. You won’t find them now, when you need them more than ever.

We’re on strike against your creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. If you want to know how I made them quit, I told them exactly what I’m telling you tonight. I taught them the morality of Reason — that it was right to pursue one’s own happiness as one’s principal goal in life. I don’t consider the pleasure of others my goal in life, nor do I consider my pleasure the goal of anyone else’s life.

I am a trader. I earn what I get in trade for what I produce. I ask for nothing more or nothing less than what I earn. That is justice. I don’t force anyone to trade with me; I only trade for mutual benefit. Force is the great evil that has no place in a rational world. One may never force another human to act against his/her judgment. If you deny a man’s right to Reason, you must also deny your right to your own judgment. Yet you have allowed your world to be run by means of force, by men who claim that fear and joy are equal incentives, but that fear and force are more practical.

You’ve allowed such men to occupy positions of power in your world by preaching that all men are evil from the moment they’re born. When men believe this, they see nothing wrong in acting in any way they please. The name of this absurdity is ‘original sin’. That’s impossible. That which is outside the possibility of choice is also outside the province of morality. To call sin that which is outside man’s choice is a mockery of justice. To say that men are born with a free will but with a tendency toward evil is ridiculous. If the tendency is one of choice, it doesn’t come at birth. If it is not a tendency of choice, then man’s will is not free.

And then there’s your ‘brother-love’ morality. Why is it moral to serve others, but not yourself? If enjoyment is a value, why is it moral when experienced by others, but not by you? Why is it immoral to produce something of value and keep it for yourself, when it is moral for others who haven’t earned it to accept it? If it’s virtuous to give, isn’t it then selfish to take?

Your acceptance of the code of selflessness has made you fear the man who has a dollar less than you because it makes you feel that that dollar is rightfully his. You hate the man with a dollar more than you because the dollar he’s keeping is rightfully yours. Your code has made it impossible to know when to give and when to grab.

You know that you can’t give away everything and starve yourself. You’ve forced yourselves to live with undeserved, irrational guilt. Is it ever proper to help another man? No, if he demands it as his right or as a duty that you owe him. Yes, if it’s your own free choice based on your judgment of the value of that person and his struggle. This country wasn’t built by men who sought handouts. In its brilliant youth, this country showed the rest of the world what greatness was possible to Man and what happiness is possible on Earth.

Then it began apologizing for its greatness and began giving away its wealth, feeling guilty for having produced more than its neighbors. Twelve years ago, I saw what was wrong with the world and where the battle for Life had to be fought. I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality and that my acceptance of that morality was its only power. I was the first of the men who refused to give up the pursuit of his own happiness in order to serve others.

To those of you who retain some remnant of dignity and the will to live your lives for yourselves, you have the chance to make the same choice. Examine your values and understand that you must choose one side or the other. Any compromise between good and evil only hurts the good and helps the evil.

If you’ve understood what I’ve said, stop supporting your destroyers. Don’t accept their philosophy. Your destroyers hold you by means of your endurance, your generosity, your innocence, and your love. Don’t exhaust yourself to help build the kind of world that you see around you now. In the name of the best within you, don’t sacrifice the world to those who will take away your happiness for it.

The world will change when you are ready to pronounce this oath:

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 the sake of mine.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:47 am 86. anonymous:


Instead of going John Galt, what happens if people start going Henry Bowman?


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:48 am 87. Kelly:


For those of you bastardizing the term “selfish”, I strongly encourage you to read The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand, then I challenge you to tell me why rational egoism is a bad thing. For that matter, I challenge you to tell me how rational egoism won’t save the world from all its current crisis. And for those of you who want to help everyone (even those undeserving of help), remember, you can’t help anyone unless you take care of yourself first. Please put on your oxygen mask, then secure the masks of others. And finally, I am an extremely benevolent person (moreso than any socialists or leftists I know), but it is immoral to FORCE me to help anyone, much less those who are unwilling, yet able, to help themselves.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:50 am 88. glenn:


Anybody who thinks this (the John Gault syndrome)isn’t already happening hasn’t looked at the size of the underground economy.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:52 am 89. Eric:


My wife and I both work and we make a pretty good combined income. We’re thinking about having her quit and stay home to lower our tax burden. Sure we’ll miss out on some luxuries but we also won’t be paying as many other Americans not to work.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:53 am 90. Hucbald:


Having never read Atlas Shrugged, I had to read the Wikipedia entry after reading all of the comments here (I have some free time today!).

I suppose, then, that I’m a Randian small-l libertarian insofar as I think any government coercion of the individual is immoral. This would, of course, include any forceable confiscation of income. As far as economics is concerned, just read Milton Friedman and you’ll understand what I believe: Free markets are the only moral system.

What may come as a surprise – or not – is that I agree with these two avowed atheists based upon my faith and understanding of Biblical principles. There is a reason that the Commands of God begin with, “I Am the Lord your God” and end with, “You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor’s.” It’s like a God’s-eye – or top-down – view of the metaphorical Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: The end result of all sin is godlessness, and the root of all sin is covetousness. Since covetousness is a multi-faceted thing, you can look at it through many different prisms: Covetousness is envy, jealousy, lust, greed &c. and covetousness leads to every other sin in the list of God’s commands – thefts, adulteries, murders, &c. Covetousness boils down to any unholy desire for something God blessed another with.

Income taxes, especially progressive income taxes, are nothing other than government-imposed covetousness, and they really are truly theft. When leftist politicians say things like they, “want to spread the wealth around” or, “paying income taxes is patriotic” they are supporting government theft and they are also inducing citizens to sin by buying into the idea that institutionalized covetousness is legitimate. In fact, all appeals to class envy are inducements to sin.

Property taxes are also a form of institutionalized covetousness, because only those with property – the successful and productive – will be subject to those taxes, and the moneys will be redistributed to the unsuccessful and unproductive. Besides, if the government can steal your property for not bowing to their extortion demands, then YOU DON’T OWN THE PROPERTY, THE GOVERNMENT DOES!

So, the first thing you have to do if you want to make ANY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS AT ALL in life is to get the idea into your head that it is none of your business who God blesses with what. He has His reasons, and whether things seem fair to you or not is completely irrelevant. The further our people have gotten from this most basic of moral principles, the further our government has strayed into the immorality of the institutionalized covetousness known as socialism. It’s a simple cause and effect relationship.

Where the atheist libertarians run into the wall, however, is over what societal laws are actually necessary, and almost all of those have to do with protecting the innocence and safety of our children.

As far as “going Galt,” I’ve been there all my life… because I’m a musician. LOL!


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:54 am 91. Eric:


We need to rediscover the 10th Amendment and live in Red States willing to fight back against unconstitutional Federal overreach like Oklahoma, written about in this great piece by Walter Williams: http://townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2008/07/16/oklahoma_rebellion

Oct 15, 2008 – 7:55 am 92. Keith_Indy:


Successful people don’t make a good victim group that the political class can exploit.

What are we (wife and I) doing?

1 – Getting debt free. We’ve whittled our debt almost down to car loans and mortgage. See Dave Ramsey for how.

2 – Living below our means. That means being patient and saving money for what we need and want. It also means recognizing the difference between needs and wants.

3 – Next year we will start growing chickens. Wife wants fresh eggs. After that probably goats for milk. We already had a good garden this year, which reduced our need to buy produce from the grocery store. (We moved into our current house last year.)

4 – Getting and staying healthy.

5 – We will be doing everything we can to minimize our tax liability. This is getting harder since the company my wife works for is just to successful, and her team is exceeding their goals (big bonuses.) We’re not going to stop our careers based on Washington, but we might seek other forms of compensation.

6 – Speak your mind. We’ve got free speech, we need to use it. Also donating to those causes or groups who are effective advocates for you is a good idea. Though a part of me feels that if we took all the money wrapped up in political campaigns, lobbying, and political issue advocacy groups (NRA, etc.) it could be put to better use actually helping people.

Right now, our retirement plan is to be debt free and as self-sufficient as possible. An Obama/Pelosi/Reid governing triumvirate may change our investing decisions, but not our overall plan.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:57 am 93. John Work:


The circumstances now continue to remind me of Francisco and the unraveling of the economy in Atlas Shrugged. But I don’t think it’s John Galt as much as it is that the number of looters is beginning to overwhelm the efforts of the productive minority. It’s what happened eventually in the Soviet Union when the pressure to compete with the West overwhelmed their limited ability to produce. But as one of the commenters here pointed out, the ending of our story may not be as happy as that of the novel. Creeping socialism has done a number on the majority of our population, and “progressive”, government-controlled education has done a number on the majority of our youth, and we are not the people we once were. We are poised and ready for our Hitler, our Obamamessiah, our Great Leader that will tell us all what to do. In the Lord of The Rings it was “One Ring to bring them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them and in the darkness bind them”. Just substitute Obama for Ring, and you’ve got it. Modern technology (tracking microchips, UAV and satellite surveillance cameras, and weapons of mass destruction) makes possible a tyranical control of the population like nothing that has ever existed in the past. Instead of John Galt on strike, think John Galt in chains. The John Galt of the novel would have died rather than produce in chains, but I doubt that most of us are as clear and firm in our reasoning and principles.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:57 am 94. Billy Beck:


Paul Hsieh: “We still have free speech in this country, and we still have a culture that (for the most part) values reason, success, and prosperity.”

Look, Paul: you can talk about what the culture values, but we both know the source of values, and the fact is that *individuals* are responsible for what they think and value. Now, you might be right as a matter of statistics and if we stipulate to mush-definitions for the concepts that you list, but the more principal fact is that only a rare few can actually reason to the bottom of “reason, success, and prosperity”. The anti-reason in comments on this post alone should adequately demonstrate the epistemic material to work with in the culture. Most people regard the 1990’s as a “success” because of that creep from Arkansas, and if Ben Bernanke personally dropped a satchel full of Federal Reserve Notes on their porches, they would happily call it “prosperity”.

“Free speech”. Look around you: that hasn’t stopped a steady march of imbeciles for generations since, say, FDR. I see a lot of people holding “free speech” as a political standard against which to judge the advance of tyranny, as if being allowed to point out to imbeciles every other sort of violation of freedom that they actively sanction makes it all worth bearing.

You are hollering from the prison-cell, and calling it freedom. The herd at the cannibal-pot will give you their reply next month.

I’ve been making a lot of people online angry for a long time at pointing out ugly truths. I am now here to tell you that, as ugly as they are, they are positive joys compared to the price of letting this disaster run its necessary course.

Get this straight: no nation in history has *ever* voted its way out of straits like these, and we won’t, either. You’re one of a few qualified to take up this discussion, Paul, and that’s why I say you should understand why that’s true. Go look at the Twentieth Century Motor Company again. That’s what you’re seeing right in front of you, with *America* as the object.

The principal ethical/political confrontation of our times is nothing more or less than collectivism versus individualism. Make no mistake about this: everyone will be called upon to stand on one side or the other, sooner or later and one way or another. The central question is whether they will know what they’re doing when their time comes, and why.

Voting will not relieve them of this responsibility. There will come a time sooner or later when that political narcotic will no longer suppress the intensity of the central conflict.

For anyone seriously interested in American freedom, it must now be time to reject every manifestation of democracy in politics on moral grounds: understand the immorality of voting, stop doing it *now*, and tell everyone *why*.

And then, here’s one of my comparative “joys”: start letting go of everything that you love that the state can use against you as hostage, in order to prepare yourself for starving it out of existence. *Stop paying for it*. This government will always keep stealing your productivity as long as you let it, and there will be no other recourse.

All my life, I have believed that there was enough of a moral conscience remaining in this country to which to appeal with passive civil disobedience. (See MLK, et. al.: flood the courts, and embrace the prisons.) As this rot advances, doubts encroach. I know this, in any case: it’s either that, or someone starts shooting sooner or later (and in the current political pressurization, you can never tell who or why), or the long anesthetic slide into the oblivion of totalitarianism will run its full horrible course right here where untold precedent generations would weep eternal heartbreak if they could see it.

That’s it. That’s what you’ve got left:

* Start blazing away at random right now.
* Claim your “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” from the very mouth of the beast.
* Keep doing what you’re doing.

Why anyone thinks they can get away with the last one is beyond me.

You people have been voting for the lesser of two evils for so long that evil is all that’s *left*, now.

“Galt’s Gulch” will never be a place.

It’s in your *mind*. That’s why you *have* a mind.

If you don’t put it to work for *yourself*, nobody else ever will.


“For one, the worst event of this day, though it may deject, shall not break or subdue me. The call upon us is authoritative. Let who will shrink back, I shall be found at my post.”

(Edmund Burke, speech at Parliament, 1785)


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:57 am 95. David:


I have not read Atlas Shrugged in years. I will have to re-read it. As to going “John Galt”, I had not thought of it that way, but I have been doing it for years. Basically I’ve been dropping out of sight, left the corporate world, moved away from the liberal big city, live very basically and have no desire to earn more, because I am more happy with less. I refuse to get married or have children, for me it’s just an invitation for the state to dictate how I live my life. I am happier than I have ever been in my life.
I have been keenly aware of the slow boil happening in the US, and have given up trying to point it out because of the venomous repercussions. I can just wait it out, under the radar, thinking the whole time, I told you so.
People want to believe the boiling pot is a jacuzzi and not even consider they may be as dumb as a frog.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:58 am 96. James Bennett:


The most relevant Rand book for today is not Atlas Shrugged, but her prescient little dystopian novel Anthem. She foresaw, long before it became obvious, that the left would eventually turn against technology. Anthem shows a future society enjoying the fruits of communitarian soft totalitarianism and rejection of technology.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:09 am 97. John:


It is time to go John Galt or better yet Peter Muhlenberg and Thomas Jefferson.

I worked 9 years in an inter-city ministry. I completely gave up on the looters and moochers. For the most part they will not change until judgment falls upon their head. The amount of lying, cheating and killing to get what they think they deserve because of “racism” is beyond most peoples imagination.

I did not see many Jeremiah Wright churches but his beliefs are very prevalent in the inner city. The hatred of America and successful hard working whites was only paled by the hatred of Jews. It is often hidden beneath a smiling exterior, but the deep anger is real and frightening. Seeing that I actually moved to the Ghetto, they let me know their real thoughts.

If anyone thinks that Obama will not do everything possible to lie, cheat and steal and give to the moochers and looters, you got another thing coming. Who is John Galt? Who is Peter Muhlenberg?


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:10 am 98. St Wendeler:


Those who think the super rich are there because they are smart should think again – especially in today’s world when we have seen the cons that the smart people have perpetrated to become super rich.

I’d like to point out that this is an example of the Aristocracy of Pull… it’s impossible to say that the US economic system has in any significant way represented a true free-market system for some time.

The $700B bailout would not be tolerated by John Galt or any true proponent of free markets. Nor would the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie/Freddie, Subprime mortgage mandates, ACORN, bailouts of airlines, the Big Three automakers, the hybrid healthcare system (with >50% of healthcare spending being socialized and the private spending on routine care being paid by anyone but the individual).

Why is the government awash in special interests, lobbying slush funds, earmarks, and influence peddling? Because the government has given itself the power and the money to grant favors to those special interests.

Fortunately for the special interests, the feeding trough will only be larger and more delectable under a government run by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

St Wendeler
Another Rovian Conspiracy

Oct 15, 2008 – 8:11 am 99. Farnoosh:


I love Ayn Rand. I worshiped her work and her novels, her characters, her mind and her world. I am a true capitalist at heart, have no forgiveness for the wasteful lots in society and wish the worst on any who like to live by “share the wealth”! I started from nothing and am the envy of all who are less motivated, less disciplined, and exert themselves far less than their true potential, and I love it. Envy me all you want. I shall treat myself well, spend my wealth as I wish, travel all I want, pamper myself, live carefree, and continue to apply my brain. I am not going to feel sorry for the poverty-stricken pathetic losers of the world, who still live on my hard-earned income and taxes, and I shall not anymore donate to any other causes, because guess what – I already donate far more than I would like and the return in gratitude comes instead in the words of “Why can’t you pay more – to help us in our misery and be a little less happy than you are”!
Thank you for your post, Dr. Helen.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:12 am 100. Brown Line:


The problem with “Atlas Shrugged” is the fact that Atlas does not hold up the world. The notion that he does is, literally, a myth. The world spins along on its own, regardless of what Atlas, or John Galt, or you, or I, or any of us may do. So the notion that we can somehow bring the country to its senses by withholding our participation in the economy, is nonsense. The world will simply carry on: perhaps not quite as well as it would if we pitched in, but it’ll do so regardless.

That being said, our goal under the rule of The One is not to improve our lot in life, but to try and preserve what remnants of liberty and prosperity that we can. For the country is about to be transformed into one vast Cook County: politically correct, corrupt, utterly dominated by the Party; where the ballot is a joke, nobody can buy a handgun, and William Ayers is Man of the Year. Jefferson would be so proud.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:13 am 101. Marxism, Communism, Socialism and now Obamaism:


I read Atlas Shrugged about ten years ago and found the feelings matched mine exactly. Rand knew and warned us about the soul destroying life under Communism.

Horatio – Thank you for reminding me of some of my favorite words:

“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 the sake of mine.”

“Yes, if it’s your own free choice based on your judgment of the value of that person and his struggle. This country wasn’t built by men who sought handouts. In its brilliant youth, this country showed the rest of the world what greatness was possible to Man and what happiness is possible on Earth.”


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:15 am 102. comatus:


I’m short-selling d’Anconia Copper.

Cato: Hmm, Whittaker Chambers, literature reviewer. Where have I heard that name before? In a pumpkin patch? Oh, I have it: he translated “Bambi” and made the hunters the bad guys. Youse can look it up. And he was still taking orders from his handler when he wrote that review.

Steve Leer: Little as I revere Clinton’s memory, it was Bush Sr. who signed the luxury tax, and ran my favorite little car company right out of business, along with your yacht-fitters.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:26 am 103. Self-hating boomer:


Anybody who thinks this (the John Gault syndrome)isn’t already happening hasn’t looked at the size of the underground economy.

I lived in Yugoslavia for a few months in the ’80s, and anyone who was living above the poverty level had some sort of cottage business running out of their homes. They’d go to their government jobs and screw off for 8 hours, and then go home to their real jobs.

I think this is the future for the productive under an Obama regime. People will barter and use gold coins, and generally shun the government economy for what’s important, and will warm a seat at a government job for beer money.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:30 am 104. Jim Baker:


I think Obama will be exposed for what he is when he begins to act in consort with his cohorts. All democracies in history have succumbed to the tyranny of the majority. We are no different. But I hope they will be thrown out on their collectivist ears in 4 years. Right now it appears the “last best hope” is dying a slow, and soon to be painful, death. As for John Galt, where would anyone go? A little town in the mountains of Colorado? I live in Colorado.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:32 am 105. Michael Gold:


Dr. Helen: Thanks for this post!! You and the commenters have brought up some interesting, deep ideas and things to consider. Thanks.

I’d suggest — strongly suggest — reading Rand’s “We the Living” as well. It is about life under a socialist regime; specifically, it tells the truth about life under the Russian Communists. As with details in “Atlas Shrugged,” some of the details in “We the Living” hit home. The novel was made into a movie in 1940’s Italy — a very good movie, well worth seeing. The movie was taken out of circulation when the Mussolini regime realized that the movie was anti-totalitarian, not merely anti-Communist.

We are headed for something similar if we do not do something about it, if we do not stand up for the doctrine of natural rights and for the idea of man as a rational animal. “We the Living” lets us know what our future will be like if we are not successful in fighting the Kantian, John Deweyian, socialistic ideas destroying us and our culture.

Rand’s “Anthem” is good, as well.

As to your question, I’d say you can “Go Galt” in some ways, by withdrawing your wealth from the governmental and societal parasites in whatever legal ways you can: control your spending patterns, alter the hours you work or how you are paid, etc. But stay within legal limits so you don’t go to jail. Damn, we don’t need good people in jail.

Don’t sanction the destroyers — socialist, “communitarian” (aka Communist), environmentalist, multiculturalist — materially, and don’t sanction them ideologically. Take away support, and their facade will fall like the Berlin Wall. Don’t sanction them by being silent in their dishonest attacks on capitalism, rights, and reason.

Remember that one aspect of “Going John Galt” is fighting for rights, reason, objectivity and reality. Staying true to those concepts (and to man’s life qua rational animal) is the reason he went on strike; and the reason he gave a long speech to the country — his own “Declaration of Independence.” If you withdraw without standing up for a rational philosophy, you are not “Going John Galt,” you are merely giving up.

So write your Congressmen, write your local news media, speak out — and don’t let anyone try to put the blame for a social or moral ill on reason and capitalism, when the fault is irrationality and socialism.

Don’t undervalue the power of ideas — look at the power of “freedom” to drive the Spartans and Athenians to fight the Persians; look at the power of “natural rights,” “independence,” and “self-sovereignty” to drive the American colonists to shrug off the yokes of the British, and establish history’s first government based on the idea of natural rights for each individual man. As Rand pointed out, America was the first country established by ideas, not by force or conquest.

We can get some great ideas from Rand here: http://www.aynrandlexicon.com/ (where Ayn Rand can speak for herself — you don’t have to listen to dishonest smears of what she supposedly said and believed) and about Objectivism here: http://www.aynrand.org.



Oct 15, 2008 – 8:37 am 106. MICKLARR:


James Bennett: I agree, ‘Anthem’ was even better. ‘We the Living’ was also a great book. Isn’t it odd that these old books relevent today as the country seems to be headed to Obamaism?


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:38 am 107. Irving:


I find it terribly amusing that the conservative reaction to a liberal government is to start living in communes. Considering the results of their latest election, perhaps fleeing to Canada might be an option as well.

Freaky deaky, man. It’s the ’60s, only backwards.

Considering how well most communes fared, I don’t give this plan much hope of success. And I find it arrogant (although not unsurprising) that so many “libertarians” seem convinced that the world will literally fall apart without their personal involvement.

“Who is John Galt?”

Good question. Who is, in this modern world, as omnicapable and super intelligent as Ayn Rand’s superhero? You? Bill Gates? Anyone?

Or is John Galt – and by extension, “Atlas Shrugged” – as unrealistically and self-delusional as L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction?

But please, go ahead, pick up your marbles and go home. Feel free to pout. It demonstrates some point very capably.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:40 am 108. Eric:


“We need to rediscover the 10th Amendment and live in Red States willing to fight back against unconstitutional Federal overreach like Oklahoma, written about in this great piece by Walter Williams: http://townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2008/07/16/oklahoma_rebellion


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:43 am 109. Ditto:


The Left seems sufficiently put off by Alaska and its Governor. Maybe I’ll move north… I refuse to quit thinking of myself as an American and call myself instead a “U.S. Citizen”. No, I’m an American and proud of it. I bet I can skin a moose. Time for some frontier stubbornness.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:44 am 110. John Galt’s sister:


I began using the name John Galt’s sister upon reading about Obama’s ties to the socialist organization, New Party. I had no idea that so many others were thinking along the same lines.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:45 am 111. Bret:


I believe that each person should optimize his (or his family’s) position giving the ruling regime.

I readily admit that I personally am primarily motivated (in the economic sense) by laziness and greed. Prior to the Reagan tax cuts, laziness won out and I typically only worked a couple months a year and spent the rest of the time motorcycling, crewing on sailboats, and generally partying. After the Reagan tax cuts, greed won out and I’ve averaged 70 hour work weeks since then and started 3 companies (2 still going), employing 100+ people.

If the new Administration raises taxes significantly, laziness will win out again, and I will shut down the current company and start bumming around again, especially if there’s government provided health care and other hand outs.

But I’m not advocating that other people do that. If you like working and don’t mind paying taxes, why would you stop?

Indeed, I hope enough people keep working and paying the higher taxes so I can get my handouts!!!!


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:45 am 112. Keith_Indy:


There’s always Alaska, if Obama wins.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:46 am 113. Jim,MtnViewCA,USA:


“Sell stock, buy guns and canned goods.”
Looks like some of us started before the election.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:47 am 114. Justrand:


It WILL be time if Obama becomes Emporer/President.

In fact I am already making plans along those very lines. It will take a lot of us, and we need a way to find each other. What better way than simply asking: “Who is John Galt?”


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:51 am 115. iconoclast:


An earlier article noted the number of productive citizens who were leaving the confiscatory tax state of New Jersey. In the past, we have seen the same thing happen to Massachusetts and California. When the greed of the non-productive class–government workers, those who escaped paying any taxes, and those who live off the welfare of the productive citizens–becomes too great to support, then those of us who have created wealth and work for thousands will relocate to friendlier political environments. Better than ending work and productivity is to demonstrate how states who simply reward personal responsibility and productivity prosper and how states who penalize and parasitize such behavior fail.

As for confiscatory Federal taxes which attempt to protect such behavior as seen in places like New Jersey or California, good luck with that. Does anyone really believe that a 1.5+ million line tax code benefits anyone but those who can afford (and understand) the infinite variety of loopholes the government leaves in that mess for their supporters? Is anyone dumb enough to believe that those loopholes cannot be gamed by people much smarter than the drones who forced those loopholes to exist? Finally, does anyone really believe that the few % of us who pay all the taxes won’t simply pass those expenses on to the consumers of our products and services, thereby penalizing the poorest amongst us?

Fools. I would prefer a simple tax system with 0 loopholes. Everyone pays something so we don’t end up with a voter cohort who sees no downside to simply voting themselves more benefits and a second class group of citizens whose responsibility it is to pay for those never-ending parade of goodies. But the corrupt political class and their cheerleaders in the (laughably failed watchdog) press cannot game that for their own benefit. So until then, I will game the system with my advisors, do well, and watch everyone else impoverish themselves.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:53 am 116. BMoon:


I am amazed to find so many intellectual kindred here. It was Ayn Rand’s writings that inspired me from 13 years old on that there was an alternate worldview to the mealy-mouthed, craven patently evil Leftism that permeated the environment of my childhood and youth in the 60’s and 70’s. (I still have original copies of the <I<Objectivist and subscribed to Reason when it came out ( I was 14.) Her understanding of the nobility of man and of reason kept me from sliding into that cesspool of madness that enveloped so many of my generation. Inspired by von Mises, Hayek and Friedman, I went on to study economics.

Yet there was an inherent flaw in Objectivism that is part of the problem today. Radical materialism and individualism have led us into the degraded state of infantile narcissism, hedonism, and statism we see ominously engulfing us. Another ex-atheist who woke up when he was assigned to be the correspondent for the Leftist Guardian in Moscow during the 30’s, put it succicntly this way: “If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.” The understanding of the true nobility of man that emerged from the Reformation-Enlightenment period originated from a simple Biblical concept – that man was made in the likeness of God and was made to be in perfect union with Him. All the heroic struggles for freedom and dignity came from that wellspring.

As for me, like Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus Christ is my John Galt. He is the true liberator of mankind. When I realized that the system is far more corrupt than even Ayn Rand could imagine in Atlas SAhrugged, I shrugged many years ago and went to my refuge in the mountains -it’s called the Church.

The independent, honest, hardworking producers of the earth, like the Joe Wurzelbachers are still my heroes too, and I see an inexorable link between the two, the producers and the mystics, that libertarians will hopefully come to see also. The Sarah Palins, like myself, are your friends. The enemy wants to divide us.

One might start with reading GK Chesterton, especially The Everlasting Man and Orthodoxy.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:55 am 117. Michael Gold:


Commenter “L Raj” said, in comment #4: “Caring for others makes us human. If we looked after only ourselves and had nothing but contempt for the weaker sections of society, how would we call ourselves any better than “animals” ? Remember, you were also unproductive once – as a child and will become unproductive again when you retire.”

No, being a rational animal makes us human. And without the ability to engage in “selective focus” that reason (and its concomitant, volition) allows, we would not be able to have compassion for others, nor to care for others in a way that only humans can do. Other animals can care for another, but not in the same way or to the same depth as humans can.

Plus, being “selfish” does not mean being against others — if that is what you are implying. That is one theory of selfishness, yes, but it is not Rand’s. See http://www.aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/selfishness.html. If you disagree with Rand, fine — you have that right — but those who do should disagree honestly. (I’m not saying you do disagree, L Raf; I do not know.)

You can “care for others” by caring only for others and trashing your self; by caring for the environment and trashing humanity; by caring for the “proletariat” and trashing self; by caring for God and trashing self…etc.

The Nazis and the Communists both cared for others over self. Research the issue yourself — calls for sacrifice and hate for “selfishness” filled their speeches and their ideology. And they practiced what they preached: they sacrificed millions: adult, child, male, female, of every race and creed.

America was founded on the idea that you had the right to your own life and mind: you were slave and vassal to no one, and no one was slave or vassal to you. You were free to pursue your own happiness, whatever that meant for you.

Now isn’t it interesting how, when people can be selfish and rational, they value other people, especially good coworkers, family, and friends??? Wow, who’d a thought…

Yes, when people are free to pursue their own interests, they fight for their friends, for their values — and they have the money and passion to do so. Look in Rand’s work and let her speak for herself on this issue: characters in her novels say they’d be willing to die for another or to die for an ideal…if I remember correctly.



Oct 15, 2008 – 8:57 am 118. MGA:


Pray tell, how can one ‘go Galt’ when the state owns everything? Currently, the majority of my overhead is my tax burden and it’s not because I make a lot of money. If I fail to pay the taxman for my property, I no longer have a place to live.
If a confiscatory tax policy deprives you of a right to earn and to keep property, there’s not much left is there?


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:00 am 119. Saltherring:


I have read Helen Smith’s article plus all 89 (to this point) comments and am surprised only a few (most notably glenn @ 87) mentioned America’s “underground” economy. Network your skills and resources among a circle of like-minded neighbors and contemporaries. Someone mentioned purchasing tools, another trading services for goods and/or return services. I realize this doesn’t work for all, but I am certain we would all be surprised if we indeed knew the magnitude of America’s “untaxed” economy. But don’t think for a moment Yo-bama and his thieves aren’t preparing a massive offensive against off-the-radar entrepreneurs.


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:05 am 120. John Stephens:


How I’m going Galt:

1. Work less. Earn less. Own less.

2. They can’t take what you don’t have.

3. Learn the difference between need and want.

4. Obey the law if possible, avoid attention if not.

5. Remember that nothing lasts forever, both good times and bad. This, too, shall pass.

6. And just to make the ’70s revival complete, I intend to spend the next four years playing lots of D&D. Why? Because I HATE golf!


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:09 am 121. Wendy:


It’s not a matter of Obama winning though…both candidates are complete statists and guaranteed to take the country in the wrong direction.

I agree with Dr. Hsieh–as long as there is freedom of speech, I’m willing to stick it out and do my best to persuade people to adopt a philosophy of reason.


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:12 am 122. gus3:


Ayn Rand projected her self-image onto “how everyone should be.” As a result she never took into account the entire broad spectrum of human experience, including the most fundamental task of raising a small child who is totally dependent upon his parents for food, clothing, and shelter. Such responsibility leads one to take jobs of need, rather than as fiscal trade.

Not just children, but the mentally-retarded, the permanently disabled, the chronically ill…

That’s just one example of Rand’s short-sightedness. In her world, these people wouldn’t exist.

For exposing real macro- and microeconomics, Rand was a genius. For the human mind and body, she was ignorant.


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:13 am 123. F.A.Hagen:


In response to the discussion about “caring for others” – caring for others is a voluntary action. I agree that we should care for others. Stealing from some to give to others is not my definition of “caring for others.” Forcing some to support others is not “caring for others,” it is slavery. The resulting government bureaucracy has a horific track record of “caring for others.” The best way to “care for others” is to support a free society where free people search for the best ways to “care for others” through voluntary coordination.


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:17 am 124. JSC:



“But please, go ahead, pick up your marbles and go home. Feel free to pout. It demonstrates some point very capably.”

We’ve been told that “we are our brother’s keeper”, and learned “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” (paraphrased) in an exchange between Senator Obama and a plumber.

I think that Rand’s point was “why would any rational person produce anything beyond subsistence if that surplus production could and would be diverted to another without consent in the name of the public good”. Also central to Rand’s theme was “who gets to define the public good”. In Atlas Shrugged it was the traders of “pull in Washington”, and the public good was used to justify any grab for power or wealth.

Any rational person can choose not to participate in enabling their own immolation, as evidenced by some of the comments here. They’ve scale back their income to service themselves, not benefit others through higher marginal tax rates. I’m pretty sure that as more and more people do this, a natural contraction the economy would occur that would continually seek a lower level of uniform misery.

There is no need of a real John Galt to consciously lead a strike when any producer can occasionally opt out of generating economic wealth for the service of others.


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:22 am 125. Patel:


Yes D. Martin, I have read Rand’s books and understand the basic concepts of Objectivism. I was not trying to make a serious argument that Palin was the ideal Objectivist candidate.

Helen asked is it time to “go John Galt”. Is it time to just let the socialists take the government and retreat to the gulch? Some above say yes, others want to continue to fight. Sarah Palin definitely still wants to fight this battle.

Despite the odds being against her, Palin continues to go out there and forcefully speak up for less government. Dagny also stubbornly (or perhaps foolishly) continued to fight when others had already retreated to Galt’s Gulch. (I put them in separate sentences, feel better?) My point was that I think this is what the crowds are responding to at the McCain/Palin rallies. I don’t think they want to give up to Obama and his Progressive allies and head to the gulch – they want McCain and Palin to fight.

I do find it amusing that you snarkily accuse me of parroting news blurbs when your argument is nothing more than a regurgitation of what the mainstream media has told you to think about Palin. To the press, Palin is a scary, Christian theocrat – heck they are even describing McCain as “right-wing” now and I don’t know a single “right-wing” person who would agree with that.

I myself do not agree with all of Palin’s religious views, but I have found no evidence that she has ever used her political positions to forcibly impose her views on others. She has said that she would not attempt to do so in interviews. Her actions as governor in regards to the same-sex benefits for Alaska employees give me reason to believe her.

With the media’s assistance, Obama has tried to hide his more progressive tendancies and Palin is successfully calling attention to this, while getting her “government is not the answer, it’s the quite often the problem” message out. The media led attacks on Palin and her family are nothing more than the looters and their elite enablers trying to silence her. I can’t imagine Rand cheering them on.


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:22 am 126. William Woody:


How odd; my timing (quitting my 6-figure day job and going back to school full time to get a Ph.D., while living off my cash savings) seems to be perfect: not only am I going “Galt” (in the sense of no longer paying taxes), but I’ll also be bettering myself so that in four years when our political recession is over, I’ll be extremely well positioned to take advantage of it.


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:28 am 127. AnnInFL:


We must begin changing society by educating people to understand the evil nature of collectivism. You can start by sending this 8-minute video called “The Philosophy of Liberty” to everyone you know. It is the way to begin opening people’s eyes.


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:38 am 128. anotherJeff:


There are little things we can do without going into a shell. If you live in the city-bike or walk to work. Avoid paying taxes to the city governments. Don’t buy sports tickets(city taxes); when you travel, stay with friends and family (no hotel taxes): shop on the internet as much as possible (no sales tax); shelter as much income into retirement vehicles as possible, and wait out the taxes;

Buy solar and wind power and hook it up to your home-sell electricity back to the government.

Avoid paying any and all taxes-starve the beast.


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:41 am 129. frieda:


” This country wasn’t built by men who sought handouts. In its brilliant youth, this country showed the rest of the world what greatness was possible to Man and what happiness is possible on Earth.”

I am also American by CHOICE like Ayn Rand. I immigrated here to run away from socialism and I can not believe that be electing Obama, I will witnessing socialism here in America. That’s not why I came here ..and I hope we will at least have a divided government so Obama will not do what he intends to do.

I even started a blog 18 months under “John Galt” authorship to show American’s how stupid Obama is:


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:58 am 130. frieda:


Actually one better dies in 2009 when inheritance taxes are ZERO.


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:59 am 131. St Wendeler:


107. Irving:

I find it terribly amusing that the conservative reaction to a liberal government is to start living in communes. Considering the results of their latest election, perhaps fleeing to Canada might be an option as well.

Galt’s Gulch as envisioned by Ayn Rand bears no resemblance to a commune. Nor is this a “conservative” reaction – Going Galt resonates as a liberty-loving, individualistic response to the soft-statism that is being perpetuated in the US. Perhaps you should be more well read before you expound.


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:01 am 132. Greg:


For some perspective on the novel and its importance, here is a great lecture by Ayn Rand Institute scholar Dr. Onkar Ghate. Best of all, it is online and free for viewing:

Atlas Shrugged—America’s Second Declaration of Independence

“In 1776 Thomas Jefferson announced to the world America’s plans for independence. For the first time in history, there was to be a nation and a government dedicated to the individual’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But from inception, and from both within and without, the ideals of the new nation were under attack.”

“Without a full justification of an individual’s moral right to pursue his own life and happiness—not serve his neighbors, God or country—the nation was vulnerable, and its founding principles were slowly chipped away. In 1957 the missing justification came with the publication of Atlas Shrugged. On this, the book’s 50th anniversary, we will examine the moral revolution launched by Ayn Rand, without which the political revolution of the Founding Fathers had to remain incomplete. We will see what this moral revolution has meant for America so far, and what it promises for the future. We will see why Atlas Shrugged should be considered America’s second Declaration of Independence—a declaration not of political but of moral independence.”


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:01 am 133. dadgervais:


With three weeks ’til election day, the question is premature. If the American electorate (faux polls notwithstanding) reject the closet-marxist, then the answer will be “not yet”, and with the enemies of civilization now exposed, we will know where to direct our efforts toward regaining our birthright.

If, on the other hand, the darkside does get elected (by fair means, or foul, it matters not) then the question should be must be asked again.

Let us not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory just to teach the unteachable a lesson.


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:09 am 134. Nunya:


Interesting thread everyone; great points all.

Don’t sanction the destroyers — socialist, “communitarian” (aka Communist), environmentalist, multiculturalist — materially, and don’t sanction them ideologically. Take away support, and their facade will fall like the Berlin Wall. Don’t sanction them by being silent in their dishonest attacks on capitalism, rights, and reason.

I don’t own it, I don’t know who sponsors it, I only know about it, but here’s one good place to know what to support with your $$ and ideals – and what not to: http://www.boycottliberalism.com/

And most importantly: The One is not President yet! Don’t give up! It’s not over ’til it’s over! Everyone afraid of an Obama Administration needs to vote against him next month, or else you have only yourselves to blame for what happens to this country when/if he wins, er steals the WH.


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:33 am 135. Dana H.:


In crisis, there is also opportunity. Besides the crisis of the economy, there is a crisis of ideas in this country. The Democrats offer good old-fashioned socialism, which should have been discredited forever with the fall of the Soviet Union. But the Republican alternative is unprincipled, mealy-mouthed pragmatism on economic and defense issues, and theocracy on social issues.

These ideas are dead-ends — intellectually, morally, and practically. There is a vacuum waiting to be filled. The current economic crisis gives those of us with a rational set of ideas the opportunity to point out: this is where government meddling in finance leads, this is where fiat money leads, and more fundamentally, this is where altruism leads.

As long as free speech remains, it’s not time to “go John Galt.” If the whole system crashes as it did in Atlas Shrugged, living on a subsistence farm in the wilderness won’t be any protection. Better to fight to preserve freedom in the nation that discovered it than to resign oneself to a new dark age.


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:37 am 136. Austin:


If the top wage earners took a month of unpauid leave next year, it would drop federal revenues by a significant amount.

Given that Obama wants to eliminate the ceiling on FICA, thus raising taxes by 15% on the top wage earners ( anyone making over 100K), it would be a good investment to forgo those earnings to send a message.

One could also go back to college to sharpen skills.

If you own a business, you could just close the doors and adjust your personal life. The AR in the pipeline would be a good enough payoff in the short term.

If the sabattical mentioned above were planned on the same month, we could all show up in DC for a protest. We could call it the million taxpayer march!


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:41 am 137. wGraves:


Mr. Obama seems to want to double the cap gains tax. Well, in anticipation of his ascent to the throne, the market hasn’t acted very nicely. Someone should explain to the brain trust that 2*0=0. During the great depression, many people closed their businesses so as not to pay the large tax increases mandated by the government. I was a sort of John Gault behavior. Stay tuned. You can just structure your investments so that they are targeted at capital appreciation through vehicles which don’t pay a lot of dividend income. Wait them out. The trouble with our financial commissars is that they think we’re all fools. They could be mistaken about that.


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:47 am 138. Whitehall:


Obama certainly looks like the tax eater party’s candidate. In response, the taxpayers will work less to shift reward to leisure time from cash. I certainly expect to put in less overtime in the future under higher marginal tax rates.

On a systemic level, the Democrats’ energy policy will be a disaster for the country, both economically and for national security. Already, the electric grid is being prepared for remote rationing of electricity (and natural gas through thermostat control) in anticipation of shortages due to deliberate policy. Construction of new nukes will stop since the only real risk is government licensing. That risk blocks any prudent commercial investment. On the West Coast, we’ll become dependent on Russian LNG to keep the lights on.

I tried reading “Atlas” but quit about half way through. Besides being repetitous, none of her characters addressed the need for us to reproduce and care for our children. That is a critical social function that has driven my life decisions, as it does for most people.

The first hint of a move to suppress free speech on the internet or at FCC licensees or to make permanent voter fraud will cause me to radically ratchet up my political opposition.


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:49 am 139. Dana H.:


One more point: Although the Democrats are ideologically committed to socialism, it is *not* true that the Republicans are anti-socialist in any meaningful sense. Under Bush, and with his sanction, we have seen in the Medicare drug benefit the greatest expansion of the welfare state since Johnson. We have seen unprecedented intervention in finance. We have seen true socialism — defined as government ownership of the means of production — in Paulson’s purchase of bank stock.

McCain has not come out against *any* of these. He does not believe in free speech (McCain-Feingold). He does not believe in capitalism (he voted for the bailout; he favors restricting carbon emissions). He believes in sacrificing American troops for altruistic purposes having nothing to do with our security (e.g., to “prevent genocide”). He believes in restricting individual rights for religious reasons (anti-abortion). So in what sense is he a better alternative than Obama?

I say all this in response to those who say “wait and see” who will be elected president before deciding whether to shrug.


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:51 am 140. Joseph Marshall:


“rewarding those who overspend, underwork, or are just plain unproductive.”

In other words, Kill The Poor and Eat Them–It’s Good Business.

The so-called standard of full employment is about 4.5%. I believe actual joblessness is currently around 6%. These figures are comfortable distancing for lack of contact with “the parasites”. But that’s 18,000,000 living, breathing human beings including their families.

And this doesn’t even count the people who work at the bottom of the national retail and service food chain whose wonderful employers dump them onto Medicaid, Free Clinics, or Hospital Emergency Room charity care.

If anyone here actually has the nerve and the courage to examine of what real life is like for four of them [under psudeonyms to protect what shreds of privacy they have left], just click on the link attached to my name.

I’d also suggest to you all a trip to one of the Food Pantries, Free Clinics, or the Jobs–Skills–and Public Assistance offices, to do a little observation and eavesdropping and learn a little about the real people who are the “last hired–first fired”, whom Ayn Rand dismissed so disdainfully.

Objectivism is no philosophy for grown ups

That’s who “the Poor” are, that’s who the “parasites” are. And this economy has been deliberately managed, from obsessive paranoia about Inflation, to keep millions of people unemployed or underemployed for the rest of their lives.

They should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps? As a psychologist you should know better. The capacity and talent to do that is distributed unequally just like any other human talent. If you are in forensics you should also know what a con who wants to go straight faces in a country with a constant supply of “surplus labor”, who can stand a background check [another one of those disingenuous distancing euphemisms].

Who is John Galt?

Who cares?


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:00 am 141. a few notes while fishin’ « lumpenscholar:


[…] Helen asks, “Is it time to go John Galt?” Do you ever wonder after dealing with all that is going on with the economy and the upcoming […]


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:03 am 142. Mark:


Ayn Rand’s novel Anthem lost its copyright when it was not renewed in the 1960s. That means we can all freely make copies and give them away.

I might start a nonprofit that gets government grants and uses free student volunteer labor (under the Obama mandatory volunteer program) to print millions of copies to hand out to everyone.


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:06 am 143. David Elmore:


No, it is not time to Go John Galt. It is time to donate lots of money to The Ayn Rand Institute, which is working with its millions in donations each year to change the culture of America through its highly successful free-books contests to students, its free literature to teachers and professors, its training of objective academics (who are starting to get into academia and make a difference), its hundreds of editorials each year published in the best publications, its insight on CNN, FOX, MSNBC and elsewhere, and much much more.
Going JG right now will only hurt you. We have to wait till we have a million-strong army of Objectivists, including the leaders of industry, before we can have even a remote chance of winning an ideological battle.
Until altruism (sacrificinng your life and money to others) is nearly eradicated in this great country, we’ll stand little chance of going JG.


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:18 am 144. Allison Finegold:


Here is the problem with waiting until after the election to prepare: it is the same as waiting for the Hurricane to strike before making preparations.

You rush to the store but everyone else has been there before you. The food, water, and supplies have all been bought up. No more supplies are coming for days or weeks. Why did you wait?

Happy to see Josh Marshal representing the Obama shock troops on the forum. Marshal’s is no philosophy for grownups. But then you knew that. Heh!


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:21 am 145. Dana H.:



If you’re willing to put your own money on the line, and not just wait for grants from Obama, the Ayn Rand Institute actually has a free books program:


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:21 am 146. Billy Beck:


Michael Gold: “Damn, we don’t need good people in jail.”

I disagree, sir.

When Thoreau refused to pay the poll tax, Emerson visited him in the jail and asked what he was doing in there. Thoreau asked him in return, “My friend, what are you doing out there?”

The jails would be one very good place for all the “good people” in America. That contradiction could not escape world notice.


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:23 am 147. Billy Beck:




Oct 15, 2008 – 11:24 am 148. Billy Beck:


Joseph Marshall: “That’s who ‘the Poor’ are, …”

I do not care, sir.

I cannot afford it: this government has priced me right out of that market.

Do you understand? I don’t care, and there is nothing that you can do about that.


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:30 am 149. Helen Smith:


Joseph Marshall,

“They should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps? As a psychologist you should know better. The capacity and talent to do that is distributed unequally just like any other human talent. If you are in forensics you should also know what a con who wants to go straight faces in a country with a constant supply of “surplus labor”,…”

What’s with the exaggeration? I never said anything about “killing or hurting the poor.” I never said people don’t go through bad times, they do. But going through hard times does not give one person the right to hold a gun to another’s head through government and force others to pay for them by use of another’s labor. That is called slavery, even if it is done with a smile on the face and a twinkle in the eye.


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:44 am 150. Allison:


–Caring for others makes us human.

Caring for others by choice is not the same thing as perpetuating and growing the Leviathan. Forcing me to “care” by feeding the state is slavery, and it’s lunacy.

I care for people through charity–time, money and talent. If Obama wins, I will maintain my current level of charity, but I darn well won’t work so he can steal more of my money.

I’m at home with small children now, but was considering returning to the workforce as they reach school age in two year. If Obama wins, I’ll wait all four.


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:58 am 151. David:


To Joseph Marshall:

You are illustrating the point, and not the one you profess, Helen just responded exactly as I would. The arrogance of your post, the exaggeration, the over emotional rant ….

It just makes me sad that your political ilk have so much passion with so little understanding.


Oct 15, 2008 – 12:04 pm 152. Seerak:


“Objectivism is no philosophy for grown ups.”

On the contrary — a quick look at the mainstream reveals just who it is that sees things in terms of the State as parent, and the individual as the child. The only differences are in the details. Conservatives see the State as a stern Parent, and wish to be the Parents — while Leftists see the State as a doting parent, and wish to be the Children.

The original American notion of treating people as morally sovereign adults, free to decide for themselves who they take care of first — well, that’s just beyond the pale. So scream the Parentalists.

“Don’t Tread on ME.”


Oct 15, 2008 – 12:05 pm 153. Seerak:


No, it is not time to Go John Galt. It is time to donate lots of money to The Ayn Rand Institute.

Of course. Not only does it tweak the socialists directly, it’s tax deductible. More bang for your soon-to-be-devalued buck!

Oct 15, 2008 – 12:09 pm 154. JSC:


Joseph Marshall:

>>“In other words, Kill The Poor and Eat Them–It’s Good Business.”

I don’t recall that being a sentiment expressed in any of Ayn Rand’s works. Rand consistently writes about an exchange of goods and services between consenting individuals; each benefiting from the transaction. How would destroying a poor person be beneficial to anybody?

I personally believe that the most effective charity work is accomplished in the private sector, and not through a government program. The difference between the two is that a private charity can place conditions, stipulations, on the assistance for the explicit purpose of changing a person’s behavior. Government programs are not judgmental, and while provide needed assistance, they don’t require the social compacts that help a person to change.

When a private organization provides assistance it is with the conscious consent of its members who donate their own money, and they often want to make sure that their limited resources are put to the best use.

I don’t want you to think that I, and probably most people posting comments here, don’t care about the poor. For me it’s about a hand up and not a hand out. I clearly don’t have all of the answers on what can be done to help the poor, but I don’t think that throwing money at the problem is the answer. We’ve been doing that since 1965 without any success.

>>“The so-called standard of full employment is about 4.5%. I believe actual joblessness is currently around 6%. These figures are comfortable distancing for lack of contact with “the parasites”. But that’s 18,000,000 living, breathing human beings including their families. “

One solution to lower the unemployment rate would be to eliminate the minimum wage. That would bring more people into the market and give them an opportunity to build an employment history. I realize that these would not be the types of jobs for supporting a family, but they are ideal for young workers just entering the job market.

Are you aware that the unemployment rate is generally much higher in the more socially progressive European western democracies?

>>I’d also suggest to you all a trip to one of the Food Pantries, Free Clinics, or the Jobs–Skills–and Public Assistance offices, to do a little observation and eavesdropping and learn a little about the real people who are the “last hired–first fired”, whom Ayn Rand dismissed so disdainfully.

Again you allege that Rand disdained the poor. While I have worked food drives for the scouts, and arranged for free eye examines for kids with the Lions Club, I think that you want us to see the grittier side of life. Tell me what makes a person poor? A lack of money, a lack of education, or a lack of an opportunity? In what way would you lift the poor up from their present condition? Or would you prefer to give them just enough money to stay poor?

>>They should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps? As a psychologist you should know better. The capacity and talent to do that is distributed unequally just like any other human talent.

We can’t guarantee that anyone will succeed at a particular endeavor, but we can guarantee that they be given the freedom to try. As Winston Churchill said, “Continuous effort- not strength or intelligence- is the key to unlocking our potential.”

Best regards,
Jeff Crump (JSC)


Oct 15, 2008 – 12:24 pm 155. Robert L. Mayo:


John Galt’s strike is unnecessary.

In Galt’s world, individuals chose to withhold their productivity from society because there was no other alternative to submission. Socialism is only enforceable when productive people have no other choice.

But Ayn Rand did not forsee the rise of an integrated world economy with dozens of advanced nation states competing for intellectual and financial capital. As Obama, Pelosi and Reid punish productivity, capital will naturally withdraw from the US economy to invest in more friendly markets.

After a bitter taste of socialism, we will learn this lesson and return to the economic freedom that attracted millions of immigrants here to realize their dreams. Or we will not, and they will go elsewhere, and the best and brightest of our children will follow them.

In a competitive world economy, Adam Smith makes John Galt obsolete.


Oct 15, 2008 – 12:25 pm 156. cfbleachers:


The top 50% of income earners pay a whopping 96.5% of federal income taxes, while the lower 50% pay just 3.5%. The top 25% pay 83.88% of federal income taxes


The top 10% pay 65.8% (these are people with an adjusted cross income of about $95,000 or higher in 2006)

The top 5% pay 54.4%

The top 1% pay 34.3% (these are people with an adjusted gross income of about $300,000 or higherin 2006)

In addition, About one in seven U.S. taxpayers reported taxable capital gains in 2006, the latest data available, according to Eric Toder of the Urban Institute, which does economic and social policy research.

That’s 13.4 million taxpayers in 2006, and more than half of them had incomes of less than $75,000.

The 3% who paid 83% of the capital gains had income of more than $200,000.

There are a little over 17,000 “big businesses” and over 25 million small businesss and sole proprietors. Over 2.5 million small businesses generate income over $250,000. Small businesses employ over 125 million Americans.

Inheritance taxes require something to inherit, Social Security taxes go up to $90,000 in income. So, in looking at the complete, total, whole picture of who pays taxes in order to sustain this land of ours…basically, the bottom half of the country contributes very little.

Small businesses and the top 25% of income earners…carry an unbelievably high portion of the weight to sustain our country.

Again, facts vs. sophistry in order to make decisions on how to self-govern this land of ours. It is an absolute sham that the “rich” are not bearing their “fair share” of the burden of sustaining our society. They are more than sustaining their “fair share”, they are carrying the bottom half on their shoulders. If you make $75,000 or you own a small business, you are our Atlas carrying America on your back.

The very notion that there has to be a more “fair” distribution …is essentially nonsense. What the request is…for “mandatory volunteerism”. Yes, it’s an oxymoron. In other words, forced charity. “Give til it hurts”.

What is most bothersome about leftists escalating their standing around with their hands in their pockets, to now wanting to stand around with their hands in your pockets…is the unmitigated gall they maintain…by suggesting that YOU are “unfair” because you make an income that they despise. (unless you are Soros or a trust fund leftist)

Why stop at taxes, why not simply take your property and give it to somebody else, because distribution of possessions shouldn’t stop at merely your dollars, should it? Isn’t it only fair that whatever you have should be “shared” with those who have less?

In fact, if you make $75,000 and someone else makes $25,000…you should give half your money to that other person…or, let’s be more “fair”, you should give $25,000 of your income, so that you both make $50,000. And…they live in a house that has 1500 square feet and yours has 2000, you have to give up a bedroom to them to make up the difference, for no rent and they get to put up posters of Che Guevara all over your walls.

When you pass away, your heirs must pay them either money or the equivalent in personal property that you pass along. It’s not “fair” that you have something to leave behind, while they don’t…so 50% of your possessions now belong to them.

If you have a capital gain, you must give them 50% of that gain. If you have a loss, you have to sustain it yourself. It’s not “fair” for your investments to make money, when they have none.

Since you have absolutely ZERO representation in the entrenched media, who hates you…and everything you stand for…you are a victim of taxation without representation in a manner of speaking.

Go John Galt? Or would you rather go John Hancock….Boston Tea Party style. Boycott EVERY element of society that mistreats you…and anyone who sponsors them? Trade in money and goods only with those people who don’t mistreat you? Turn off your televisions, stop going to movies, stop buying DVD’s, stop buying cd’s, stop buying newspapers that slander you, stop buying goods and services from people who ridicule you, stop supporting those who hate you?

Let your financial support dry up for those who slap you in the face repeatedly? Do not watch shows on a network that allows its news division to rape the truth? Do not buy products or services that support them? Would that work? Would it have an impact?

I don’t know. If you are forced into “mandatory volunteerism” and “forced charity”…you might have to swear allegiance to the king.


Oct 15, 2008 – 12:30 pm 157. John Venlet:


Billy Beck stated, in partial response to Paul Hsieh’s comment,

For anyone seriously interested in American freedom, it must now be time to reject every manifestation of democracy in politics on moral grounds: understand the immorality of voting, stop doing it now, and tell everyone why. 

In this interesting thread, I do not note any individuals grasping the validity of this aspect of Billy’s reply to Paul.

Albert J. Nock, who wrote Our Enemy, The State, and Samuel Edward Konkin III who wrote Our Enemy, The Party, both have some interesting thoughts which pertain to Billy’s proposal. Both of the above mentioned pieces can be read here. I posted on these pieces myself earlier today here.

Oct 15, 2008 – 12:30 pm 158. Adam:


It’s pretty clear most of the posts above came from people who never read the book.

At any rate, here are my suggestions:

1) Since the 2001 tax cuts will sunset in 2010, a premium will again be placed on tax avoidance measures and behavior modification to become eligible for various tax expenditures. Take steps now to change your lifestyle, such as moving closer to work, purchasing commodities such as gold, taking advantange of retirement savings accounts (especially with corporate matching), consult with accountants and tax advisors to gift property to heirs before you die, etc.

2) With increased income, capital gains and dividend taxes on the horizon, roll over your traditional, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs now into a ROTH IRA. In other words, pay the tax now under lower rates.

3) Perform work that you can do yourself for yourself, unless a tax deduction exists for it. Imputed income is not taxable.

4) Since the moratorium on sales tax on internet purchases will probably be lifted, make online purchases now.

5) Live within your means and save. Every dollar you spend is probably taxed twice (income and sales) before it is converted into goods or services. Reinvested investments are only taxed once (see Warren Buffett).

6) Sell your home if you won’t take a significant loss, especially in a state that depends highly on property taxes to fund school systems and municipal services. The market for real estate is projected to be poor for years to come. Pulling up roots offers you maximum flexibility to obtain a job in another state and avoid onerous state and local taxation, especially as municipal governments lose revenue from residential foreclosures.

My 2 cents.


Oct 15, 2008 – 12:32 pm 159. David:


Helen, please read Joseph Marshall’s blog (if you have not already), he is mentally ill and talks about it, also lives off the state so his views are not surprising.


Oct 15, 2008 – 12:40 pm 160. Electric Venom » Have You Ever Asked What Is The Root Of All Money?:


[…] On the financial bailout, Dr. Helen asks: Is it time to go John Galt? […]


Oct 15, 2008 – 12:47 pm 161. Billy Beck:


Kelly @87: “Please put on your oxygen mask, then secure the masks of others.”

After mine, yours is my favorite comment in the lot so far and I doubt it will be surpassed.


Oct 15, 2008 – 12:55 pm 162. Rich K:


WOW,Just WOW! In the 30 years since I first heard Rand speak on the Phil Donaghue show I have never seen so many express the knowledge that they ever read her works. I can see now that her legacy is well healed in the minds of so many Americans and it does make me feel proud of all of you here and those who never made it here to express your true feelings about what America and our society are really about and what makes it tick. Thanks to all of you for the affirmation of the Founders principles of what this great nation is and hopefully will be for all time,THANK YOU!!


Oct 15, 2008 – 12:58 pm 163. John Lynch:


Going Galt in the 21st century:

1) Two income household – no longer; cut back expenses, increase quality of life and time at home and with family. This reduces tax exposure and the ability to be a donor to the looters.

2) Move investment assets out of market and into hard assets, prefferably non-taxable assets. Precious metals, land in areas where de minimus tax applies. Reducesg both direct and inflationary taxes.

3) Go back to school. Improve your prospects for later, while being a looter. Garner tax breaks.

4) If you’ve a good idea for a business and will require time to develop the product / service; leave your corporate position, start your company, garner economic development funds, take the early year losses, establish value in later years. Examine off-shore incorporation (and gains.)

5) ?


Oct 15, 2008 – 1:01 pm 164. Leanne:


I woke up yesterday and bought a “Who is John Galt?” bumper sticker for my car. It seemed more fitting than any other political bumper sticker.

Anyone else feel like they’re just voting AGAINST Obama instead of FOR anything? Doesn’t it seem like we need a real change for once? Doesn’t it seem like we should be more offensive instead of defensive in these times? I finally understand what everyone in that book was feeling when they said- Who is John Galt?

I’m a small business owner who’s going to work my tail off like Dagny in spite of the looters, but I sure wish there were better opportunities to “Go Galt” besides sit around and watch the world get shrugged.


Oct 15, 2008 – 1:17 pm 165. RE:


But isn’t the core issue here the fact that the government is ultimately manipulating our behavior and constaining our liberty though the tax code?

It’s interesting how the Colonists dealt with it all in 1776.

It really doesn’t seem all that different to me.


Oct 15, 2008 – 1:24 pm 166. ReConUSMC:


Fore 9 years I ran a Major Furniture CO in Toronto Canada until 1992 . The Truth is it has only gotten far worse since I left there I am told often .
I got to see FIRST HAND just how screwed up Socialism worked(REALLY DIDN’T WORK) in Canada !!!!
I felt like a Man always running in Mud trying a drive a big ship but it was impossible .
The problem is ….. Very Powerful Unions actually run your Co and what is left over is regulated to death by Government and taxes are huge .
When I left Toronto we had 24 top Furniture factories . Today there are only 5 left since they cannot be productive or profitable .
Health care is horrible and you feel like your being SHEEP HERDED .
This is what Obama will bring us alone with the same race and religion problems that are killing Canada alone with SOCIAL PROGRAMS !


Oct 15, 2008 – 1:32 pm 167. rayhummel:


Let’s move to Texas. They can legally secede (part of the deal when they joined the US) and we’ll fill it full of red staters. It’ll be as crowded as Nigeria, but it will be all good folks.


Oct 15, 2008 – 1:37 pm 168. Stephen:


In regards to Atlas Shrugged, I have always viewed the strike in an abstract way. In reality, producers are not likely to consciously go on strike out of sheer protest. However, because of the increasingly anti-productive laws, and infringements on individual rights, people may wind up unconsciously deciding not to take on productive ventures they otherwise would have. So the effect is the same, although the dramatic unfolding events and personal decision aren’t.

I also agree with Paul Hsieh’s comments. If the government should show signs that it is readying to undermine free speech then it is time to worry. For now, if you’re unhappy with the way politics are unfolding, it’s up to each of us to change things for the better.


Oct 15, 2008 – 1:40 pm 169. Amit Ghate:


As a few comments have already suggested, I think I’d reframe the question slightly. Given that ideas ultimately shape a culture, I’d first ask myself if I’d consistently and persistently advocated good ideas in every venue open to me? And for how long? Only after doing so for a reasonable period of time (10 – 20 years?) and seeing no results, would I even consider giving up. But even then, given how bad the world could get, I’m not sure I’d really be able to get myself to do it.

Even if one doesn’t like public speaking or writing, there are many ways to enter the fray. Whether (as someone has already posted) it’s to support the books to teachers program http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_classroom_books, or it’s organizing a talk or debate http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=media_speakers_writers, or simply thanking newspaper editors or news producers when they present good ideas — it all counts.


Oct 15, 2008 – 1:48 pm 170. scotch7:


It should be said that Iraq went John Galt, or more accurately was sent there in 2003. For good or ill, if you wanted to be a manager or teacher or military officer in Saddam’s Iraq, you had to be a minority Sunni, and a member of the Baath party. When regime change was effected and nation builders arrived, they listened to the Majority Shiia, and booted all of the managers out of their jobs, because of political and ethnic alliances. Bad call. We all know what followed. The blood of thousands and treasure of millions has flowed for many reasons, this perhaps chief among them.


Oct 15, 2008 – 1:49 pm 171. Ragnar Danneskjold:


Why not help things along and rob the socialists? I’ve never had a problem with stealing from thieves. (My favorite The Wire character is Omar.) Go on welfare, disability, social security, Medicare. Consider it a rebate for over-taxation. Besides, U.S. dollars will soon be worth less than Monopoly money, so technically it isn’t even stealing. They’ll just print more!

Bleed the state. They can’t catch us all without creating a police state that would bankrupt the nation. Withdraw your financial support and the state will wither and die.


Oct 15, 2008 – 1:56 pm 172. robert verdi:


I read Atlas Shrugged at the same time I read David Remnick’s Lenin’s Tomb, the combination of real life reporting about the criminal and decaying soviet union, while reading Rands depiction of decay written some 50 years prior to the collapse of Soviet Russia was powerful to say the least. I got a lot of things from Rand, one of them is a general belief of the people can do if you just give them the chance, freedom, and risks to succeed.


Oct 15, 2008 – 2:06 pm 173. mark l.:


The liberal elite have gone ‘john gault’ long ago…

Ever wonder how much Katrina Vanden Heuvel or Paul Krugman or even George Soros pay towards taxes, relative to income? They advocate the working class rich pay 40% on wages, but if the govt tried to take 5% of any of the aboves nest egg, they’d go screaming to their mommas.

This is the distinction between ‘new’ money, and ‘old’ money.

If you are getting paid for real work you have the misfortune of holding the money for less than a year. The liberal elite have held their money for a much greater time, so they believe that it is more ‘their money’ than the slobs who are out there producing.


Oct 15, 2008 – 2:19 pm 174. Chuck Pelto:


TO: Dr. Helen
RE: Cutting Off at the ‘Source’

So. How do you propose we ‘Go John Galt’?

An income tax revolt?

Will you ‘lead the way’?




Oct 15, 2008 – 2:22 pm 175. mark l.:


there is a latin verb which seems befitting of those considering going John Gault…


wheelock’s latin offers this translation-

strive, struggle, hasten (and the obvious) contend.

What makes this country the geatest(by default?) is that we have an environment that allows individuals to strive, struggle, and hasten to make/achieve more. The people who are out there working hard, striving for more, struggling to rise further, and hastening the growth of our gdp are the soul of this country.

When these people are driven into hiding, we will become old europe.

an irony? some of the brightest countries emerging are in europe, struggling, striving, hastening to be more…poland, estonia…in 50 years, they will be the new face of Europe.

(any latin scholar out there who can give me the latin phrase for “they, who contend”?)


Oct 15, 2008 – 2:49 pm 176. CFT:


I have not read Atlas Shrugged for around 20 years, maybe more. I don’t like to think how long ago it was. It did change the way I viewed the world. I am not a “true believer” type of person, especially not now.

I had not thought about Ayn Rand for a long time because the crazy world of the leftists had retreated here in the US. Bill Clinton was not a crazy leftist. Obama is, but he hides it well, from most people. Obama does not have a clue as to how wealth is created, as he has never done it and has no interest in it. He has lived off of govt and grants his whole life as far I can tell.

If I could go John Galt I would, but in today’s interdependent world my standard of living would drop if I tried to withdraw from the economy, as my professional skills are not easily bartered and easy to trace, compared to some other skills. My desire to work overtime on my side job is greatly diminished as I am truly exposed to the marginal tax rate.

Obama does not seem to care that most of the people he wants to give money to are parasites. I look at the videos of the House of Rep. hearings on Fannie Mae years ago (via YouTube) and see Maxine Walters and all the other looters, talking about their housing “mission” and I want to puke. Parasites beget other parasites. The behind the scenes lobbyists described by Ayn Rand have been outed a little.

I do care for other people, and give to charity, as alms, not as a birthright of those people. I once lived in an apt building years ago, just south of Chicago. Over a couple years the building changed over until around 15 of the 18 units were single moms with kids on welfare. I don’t feel that people who make such stupid choices should have a right to force me to pay for them unless I have a right to force them alter their behaviour. Young people I know now feel they have a right to bring their babies to HS and have free day care while they go to classes. Their friends are the same way.

Obama uses such stupid phrases as “shipping jobs overseas” and “corporate tax breaks.” Corporations don’t pay taxes as they are legal bundles of paper. People pay taxes. Jobs are created in many places and die in many places. Just because we buy big screen TVs from Korea does not mean that the “great white race” shipped our factories to that country.

Obama can try to confiscate all the wealth he wants, it will vanish in his ignorant hands as quick as he can grab it.


Oct 15, 2008 – 2:59 pm 177. CFT:


To Robert Mayo and John Lynch:
Very nice posts. I agree with both of them. I have observed lately that many Chinese and Korean immigrants go back and forth. Capital, and some human capital is very fluid. One person told me he went to India and saw more Mercedes in his old home town than in America in his current, upscale town.

I wonder how an Obama tax code will handle women who stay home with kids vs those who work and pay for day care. He probably wants to both tax the second income to death and to urge the women to work outside the home. Maybe women who want to stay home should stay at home and take in each other’s kids as day care centers, charging $1 a week or something. maybe just stay home.

The one place where John Galt might rear his head will be with older doctors, who retire early, at least in part, especially if the Trial Lawyers get to sue them as they have, and if Obama nationalizes health care.


Oct 15, 2008 – 3:17 pm 178. Sadly, No! » Shorter Dr. Missus Ole Perfesser:


[…] Ask Dr. Helen: Is It Time to ‘Go John Galt’? As Ayn Rand foresaw, productive Americans are fed u… […]


Oct 15, 2008 – 3:38 pm 179. Chris in Toronto:


re: #75 Prom

Thanks. I hadn’t heard the “intransigently vs military” quote before. I really like it!

And I agree, Sarah Palin is the real deal. A Christian Dagny Taggart, not perfect but aspires to be, as a Christian. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:05 pm 180. Barbara:


L. Raj…..Perhaps a child is non-productive, but retired people are very much producing. Obviously you are very young yourself, and have no knowledge of what retired people do for the community at large. Check out the volunteers at hospitals, hospices, libraries, museums, etc. Please note volunteers receive no remuneration. Also, many retired people go onto other jobs, or continue per diem in their chosen profession. Please do not denigrate retirees, or even people into their 80’s or 90’s who are every bit as active community-wise as perhaps you will be some day.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:22 pm 181. Hank Rearden:


How oh how would the world survive(!) if all of the pajama staff and commenters went all “John Galt”?

The country would most likely adjust (and disport) to this vast void, but it would never be the same, what with missing all of these heroic productive members of society!


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:24 pm 182. Mr. Wonderful:


Oh, yes, please. All of you, who loved Atlas Shrugged, who voted Republican for the past two elections and still speak the phrase “personal responsibility” without blushing, who affect a prose style equal parts Thomas Paine and Posse Comitatus, whose philosophical musings are identical to those of a frustrated adolescent writing in his or her journal, who think anything Ayn Rand wrote is “literature,” please: go on strike. Force the rest of us to do without your contributions, your self-parodying blogs, your teenage theorizing, your stalwart defense of criminals and liars. Do it. For our own good.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:29 pm 183. Mr. Wonderful:


Oh, and–almost forgot–those of you who think Sarah Palin is anything but what anyone with sense can see she is, i.e., a provincial Fundie know-nothing who would lie as soon as breathe, and whom the worst theocratic fundamentalist swine would (and probably do) embrace as one of their own. You, too. Go John Gault a.s.a.p. Here’s your hat. Wait, let me get the door…


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:32 pm 184. herndongeezer:


Dr. Helen,
You have clearly struck a chord with the question. It seems to me the most intriguing aspect of going “Galt” was the establishment of a barter-based economy. I may be mixing my Rand novels, but it seemed that one of the means that some/many withdrew from the economy was by failing to exchange money for goods and services. Without the exchange of currency, the ability of the government to receive its tribute via sales and income taxes is legally minimized.

Always enjoy the columns.


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:40 pm 185. Ivar the Boneless:


But going through hard times does not give one person the right to hold a gun to another’s head through government and force others to pay for them by use of another’s labor. That is called slavery….

No, it’s not. By that definition, every governmental configuration in the history of the world has been a form of slavery; indeed, you’ve been a slave your entire life. Words do have meaning…and John Galt is fictional.

Man, what a bunch of drama queens. I never imagined that the American entrepenuer was such a cry-baby. A four percent increase in marginal rates–rates we’ve lived through before;hell, thrived under–and you sissies collapse on the fainting couch. Well, that’s less competition for those of us who remain on the job, and I, for one, welcome the new, less sensitive enterprenuers who step in to fill the void. I mean, do y’all really believe that you’re the only ones who can run your business.

Oh, and for those fantisizing rebellion: why do you hate America?


Oct 15, 2008 – 4:46 pm 186. TalkinKamel:


Oh, Mr. “Wonderful”—if the productive segment of society were to go on strike, who’d take care of you?



Oct 15, 2008 – 4:51 pm 187. Hank Rearden:


I’d suggest going underground in one of the reddest states. You might try Alabama or Idaho or Kansas, all bastions of solid Sarah-Palin-like family values and lots of guns and anti-homosexual laws.

BTW, one might imagine that a group of Pajama-ites “going John Galt” might resemble more the “Lord of the Flies” than “Atlas Shrugged.”


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:16 pm 188. Hank Rearden:



Good point. No doubt, Mr. “Wonderful” would surely be doomed–another reason for you to go. It’ll serve him right!


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:21 pm 189. John Donohue:


Interesting that the poster who puked up that Chambers garbage also threw up the gratuitous “flawed” comment as if stating it makes it so. But the deeper naked revelation of this person’s foul brain is the knee-jerk upchuck of the “I read it when I was young and dumb, but now I’ve grown up” bromide (love to use that word once in a while, thanks Ms. Rand.)

People who say that about Rand have admitted two things. They were reached by the value deep in the heart and felt her joy of life; they rejected believing in such a world and closed down their souls.

John Donohue
Pasadena, CA


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:41 pm 190. herndongeezer:


Spoken like someone who has never had the stones to run a business…and never will.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:42 pm 191. Mr. Wonderful:


I appreciate your concern, Talin. (And yours, too, Hank.) But I’ll be fine. Don’t let concern about me keep you from pursuing your dream.


Oct 15, 2008 – 5:50 pm 192. djr:


I don’t see it as merely the government against the productive as much as a rotten culture that can’t seem to be ridded of “sacrifice” anymore than the primitives throwing girls into the volcano. Both of these so-called men running for Prez embrace the same fundamentals – that we are called to a “higher purpose” and that duty to – fill in the blank – trumps any personal aspirations you (silly pissy little you) may have. My point is that there isn’t really a partisan battle; both sides are avidly opposed to my right to live for my own sake.

If anyone wants to settle an island (or otherwise isolated land) that has the credo: work or starve, let us know.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:04 pm 193. Time to go John Galt? – Conservative Republican Discussion Forums:


[…] Going John Galt Do you ever wonder after dealing with all that is going on with the economy and the upcoming election if it’s getting to be time to “go John Galt.” For those of you who have never read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, the basic theme is that John Galt and his allies take actions that include withdrawing their talents, ’stopping the motor of the world’, and leading the ’strikers’ (those who refuse to be exploited) against the ‘looters’ (the exploiters, backed by the government). Perhaps the partisian politics we are dealing with now is really just a struggle between those of us who believe in productivity, personal responsibility, and keeping government interference to a minimum, and those who believe in the socialistic policies of taking from others, using the government as a watchdog, and rewarding those who overspend, underwork, or are just plain unproductive. Follow-on article: Pajamas Media


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:10 pm 194. Who Is Ayn Rand? « In Other Words:


[…] Dr. Helen Smith (aka, Mrs. Instapundit) has us wondering about the prescience of Ayn Rand. Perhaps the partisan politics we are dealing with now is really just a struggle between those of us who believe in productivity, personal responsibility, and keeping government interference to a minimum, and those who believe in the socialistic policies of taking from others, using the government as a watchdog, and rewarding those who overspend, underwork, or are just plain unproductive. […]


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:18 pm 195. Joseph Marshall:


Of course I am one of the poor and of course I am mad as a hatter. I don’t conceal this from anyone, I advocate with it or about it, repudiating The Stigma at every turn I can, particularly to those who have about as much contact with either the poor or the mentally ill as I do with traces of water on Mars.

It doesn’t prevent them from having strong opinions about us in the least. Usually ill informed opinions, from lack of contact with the human facts the opinions are about.

And I see no reason to do this advocacy with ingratiating manners because they are part of the problem.

The poor are invisible. Those maid’s carts at the motel are pushed by no one. The groceries bag themselves. The cars detail themselves. The blue vests, blaze orange vests, or red tops that are ingratiatingly and continually asking, “Can I help you find something?” are all holograms. And the man who ingratiatingly invades your personal space with a request for “spare change” is a mere, irresponsible, drunk or drugged out wraith.

So I don’t “make nice”. What we, the poor, need to have heard about us will never get heard by “making nice”. And having a manic phase and a love of language is very handy when the situation calls for not “making nice”.

Do I have a vested interest because I am on Social Security Disability payments?

Of course.

Just like most of you have a vested interest in the FAA air traffic controllers, or in Federal limited access highway funding, or Federal investigation and tracing of a Salmonella outbreak before it hits your grocery shelves.

Somehow the most firmly held Libertarian principles melt away as fast as Spring Snow when a Government service which Libertarians actually depend on is brought up.

Not that anyone wants to pay taxes for it even then. Oh my, no!

One thing not making nice does for you is that you cease to be invisible.

Another thing is that it occasionally gets you an honest answer of startlingly transparent self-awareness:

I do not care, sir.

I cannot afford it: this government has priced me right out of that market.

Do you understand? I don’t care, and there is nothing that you can do about that.

Yes there is, Billy Beck. I can congratulate you. And I do. For elegance of style, precision of meaning, and freedom from half-unconscious, self-deceiving cant.

I can also recommend your comment highly to the other posters here as something far more important to read than mine, and as something to truly measure against the comments that they have made.


Oct 15, 2008 – 6:50 pm 196. Seerak:


The telling thing about the “Ivar the Boneless” and “Mr. Wonderful” types, is that if the departure of the productive minds would make no difference, and if those who are willing to stick around can easily …. why is participation in the welfare state mandatory?

If it’s so wonderful, people would be signing up willingly, left and right. You wouldn’t need to make anything mandatory at all.

but they do.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:02 pm 197. Seerak:


Somehow the most firmly held Libertarian principles melt away as fast as Spring Snow when a Government service which Libertarians actually depend on is brought up.

Not that anyone wants to pay taxes for it even then. Oh my, no!

Of course not. As we all know, if the government didn’t provide us with something, we would have nothing.

That must be why societies where the government provides everything, were so incredibly wonderful to live in.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:06 pm 198. The Final Put Option | ChooseTheHero.com:


[…] All of that stipulated up front, its enough to make paranoid people, well, more paranoid and more and more ready to Chuck the whole thing and light out for The Territories. As Dr. Helen asked in a recent post on Pajamas Media, “Is it Time to ‘Go John Galt?’” […]


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:29 pm 199. Seerak:


So I don’t “make nice”. What we, the poor, need to have heard about us will never get heard by “making nice”. And having a manic phase and a love of language is very handy when the situation calls for not “making nice”.

Well, sir, the fact remains that I retain the right to give you nothing, and to care about what *I* choose to care about. That’s what freedom is about — it necessarily includes the possibility that others will make choices that you don’t like.

You are similarly free to “advocate” for your position, and there is value in highlighting the plight of certain people who are unable to better their own lot, so that those of us with that ability can help out. There is nothing wrong with voluntary charity, twisted caricatures of moral selfishness notwithstanding.

But when it comes to “making nice”, you better be careful there. You see, hiding behind your carefully vague construction of “making nice”, is all kinds of possible meanings, including those that some would properly perceive as “threats”.

I don’t know that you meant to communicate that, so I won’t assume it. But I consider it significant that you did not bother to clear away that implication from your use of the terms “making nice”, despite going on about it for many lines in a post that you put a lot of thought into.

Words DO have meaning, as has been said elsewhere.


Oct 15, 2008 – 7:33 pm 200. Roger Godby:


To Ragnar Danneskjold,

Yes, you could go to China, but what would you eat? Can’t drink the milk or eat the green beans, spinach, dumplings, rice, dog food…



Oct 15, 2008 – 8:32 pm 201. ChrisPer:


Personally, I think this concept is a crock.

Atlas Shrugged is a terrific book, a parable. It is not reallity. The whining liberals who didn’t keep their promises to move to Canada are just as silly as whining normal people who pretend the American system will fall apart if we indulge ourselves with silly romantic ideas in the government. Three months ago people were saying there is no difference because McCain is a f***ing liberal anyway.

We owe it to our own integrity to decide ourselves how best to live, whoever is in government. If the people elect a posturing empty suit then discover their mistake, they can toss the bastards out later. Meanwhile, knuckle down and quit whining.


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:34 pm 202. C Amos:


I don’t have to worry about it. This little credit crisis has nearly bankrupted my clients (developers – those evil greedy bastards). Any day now I’ll be laying off the rest of my employees (3 offices in 3 cities, $4 Million in gross receipts last year.) The only question I may have to answer is do I join the armed resistance?


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:49 pm 203. Phineas Worthington:


Who is John Galt?


Oct 15, 2008 – 8:56 pm 204. Laurent:


Rather than follow the unrealistic ideas of Ayn Rand, Americans are likely to emulate the French if the liberals succeed in establishing a European-style welfare state: those who are less enterprising will remain here but work less, since the incentive to work will be reduced. Those who are more ambitious and enterprising will leave, just as a half million young French people have emigrated to less confiscatory locales (e.g., London).


Oct 15, 2008 – 9:04 pm 205. AnnieB:


Step 1 – When possible pay ‘under the table’. Starve the beast.


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:11 pm 206. Chuck Pelto:


TO: Laurent, et al.
RE: The Workless

Americans are likely to emulate the French if the liberals succeed in establishing a European-style welfare state: those who are less enterprising will remain here but work less, since the incentive to work will be reduced. — Laurent

I’m reminded of the difference between the two classes of people in Jerry Pournelles Falklenberg series; ‘citizens’ and ‘taxpayers’.

RE: Taking Leave of Their Senses

Those who are more ambitious and enterprising will leave, just as a half million young French people have emigrated to less confiscatory locales (e.g., London). — Laurent

Not that there’s anyplace else to go that wouldn’t treat them any different, or worse.




Oct 15, 2008 – 10:18 pm 207. TippyRN:


Since derivatives traders do not produce anything of value and have lots of money to throw around, they really ought to be taxed much more and this revenue should then be redistributed to the Sucker Classes for keeping this boat afloat. To each according to his ability, indeed!


Oct 15, 2008 – 10:28 pm 208. Marc Malone:


How to “go Galt”:

If you own a business, close the doors for a week just before the election. Do it on a Monday, not a Friday, so the whole week is the unemployed week for unemployment purposes. Let your employees know that this is what will happen if Obama gets elected. An object lesson.

Relocate your businesses: Many businesses relocated to right-to-work States. Most of the new jobs during the Bush years were created in just a few States: AZ, TX, FL. I know the last two are no-income-tax States. I’m guessing AZ is, too. Really, just penalize any State whose EV’s go to Obama. The Blue States are already the worst off. They’ll simply collapse.

I’m describing a revolt of the Plutocrats. You make your own inferences as to political contributions and Parties.


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:08 pm 209. Chuck Pelto:


TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Obama’s ‘Robin Hood’ Syndrome

In an item found via Drudge Report, Obama is saying he’s going to rob from the ‘rich’ and give to the ‘poor’.

I’m reminded of de Tocquville’s observation….

The American Republic will endure until their Congress discovers it can bribe the people with their own money. 


[Nobody’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.]


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:09 pm 210. Dr_D:


Many great posts. Ayn Rand wrote about some powerful, rational, truthful ideas. Although, for me, her ideas broke down when she tried to apply them to love/human relationships. I agree with many posters here that “Going John Gault” fully would be impractical or impossible but calm, rational moves in that direction seem like a good idea. Some the contrarian posts on here remind me of the character James Taggart, lashing out when their mooching natures are brought into sharp relief. I don’t think those people understand that most mature, rational people posting on this site would be compassionate/giving toward others. They just can’t understand how we object to the coercive, oppresive “shadow slavery” inherent in progressive taxation and socialist thinking. Anyway, thanks to many of the posters here for some enjoyable reading, from a kindred spirit.


Oct 15, 2008 – 11:48 pm 211. Marc Malone:


JOseph Marshall – I’m the anti-you. I, too, am disabled and living on SSDI, but if they were to have a vote to abolish Social Security & Medicare, I would vote to abolish it. I wouldn’t worry. I would make out somehow. Maybe not as well, but I would function. As long as it’s here, I will use it, as I paid into the system.

Welfare reform was introduced by the Pubs in the Clinton years. Surprise, surprise! It actually helped people get off the government teat, and they were better thereby. I personally believe that most would be better off without this system, as with most government safety nets. Admittedly, some would die without it, but like the other guy said… I don’t care. Even if that someone is me!

So, don’t ask me to sympathize with you about all the suffering people. I was brought up poor. I’ve lived among poor people all my life. It is blatantly obvious to me why these people are poor. I know what a mess their own decisions have made of their lives. I have no pity for them, nor any for myself. I know what my mistakes were. I take full responsibility.

The terrible thing about social safety nets is that they make it okay to fail. They take away a man’s hunger and his dignity. They actually encourage failure. That’s why we had generations on welfare, until the Republican revolution put a time-limit on it. It’s scarier without it, you’d think, but that’s because productive people are unaware of how bad it is to be in the system.

If I didn’t have one foot in the grave, I would change my situation. But, I’m not gonna throw a pity party for myself to make myself believe that it’s okay to be in the system, or that the system itself is okay.


Oct 16, 2008 – 12:22 am 212. Kilofox:


The best way to ‘Gault’ them (politicians) is to vote against everyone that is incumbent. A clean sweep of the House and one third of the Senate every two years. That will raise the issue about who they actually work for.

Start the movement to clean out the government; not clean it up.



Oct 16, 2008 – 1:48 am 213. Typewriter King:


Chris in Toronto, if you’re still out there:

I anticipate the most trusted institutions issuing local currency to be municipal governments that have already demonstrated a trustworthiness in honoring the bonds they’ve issued over time. In some ways, it would be like the free banking era, without the wildcat aspect. Some currencies may be scrip, and others commodity currencies. Copper would probably be the most common physical commodity currency for small purchases. We already have plenty of pennies about.

Poker chips are a currency privately issued that people tend to trust while they’re pegged to the dollar. They could easily replace the dollar for transaction if an honest broker could be found to issue them at a slow enough rate to ward off hyperinflation. Some brands of money (I just said brands of money) would in time be trusted more than others. There would be a giant and wild market in currency speculation for quite some time before some clear stable winners materialized. Based on five thousand years of history, noble metals are considered reliable.


Oct 16, 2008 – 3:22 am 214. Just In: Fox News Racist Headline Evincing GOP Collective Mental Meltdown « Dork Nation:


[…] of McCain’s campaign strategy (or complete lack thereof). Instapundit’s partner is talking about some nutty form of protest pulled from the pages of an Ayn Rand […]


Oct 16, 2008 – 4:05 am 215. Martin Lindeskog:


I am partially on strike here in the socialist welfare state paradise of Sweden. I am waiting for an “invitation” from the Galt’s Gulch (as described in Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged). The good news is that Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, is promoted by an organization called The Ayn Rand Institute in California. They have recently set up a public policy and media center in Washington, DC, called The Ayn Rand Center.

Best Premises,

Martin Lindeskog – American in Spirit.
Gothenburg, Sweden.


Oct 16, 2008 – 5:12 am 216. I Am Subsidizing John Gault:


If the libertopians, randinistas and career conservatives want to go “john gault” on the rest of us, be my guest. I am sure we will get along just fine without your daily output of foaming-at-the-mouth political propaganda. In fact we’ll be far too busy earning a living to care.
Incidentally, the most productive Americans can be found in the blue states.


Oct 16, 2008 – 5:13 am 217. RE:


In fact we’ll be far too busy earning a living to care.

I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

Economic hard times will dramatically reduce the demand for overpriced lattes.


Oct 16, 2008 – 6:23 am 218. Brian:


I’d like to see a d’Anconia or Wyatt destroy their own property as the government attempts to nationalize it. Imagine the executives of a bank, being told that they must accept government money AND a huge reduction in income, getting fed up, and agreeing privately to pay out to all their customers, and drive the bank (and its stock) into the ground.


Oct 16, 2008 – 6:55 am 219. TalkinKamel:


Good point, Hank Reardon!

Seriously, reading Mr. “wonderful’” and Seerak’s whines, and Joseph Marshall’s veiled threats—gosharooties, sure makes me want to support them, and give them lots ‘n lotsa my hard-earned tax dollars! What a privilege, to support such fine, deserving fellows!

(Sarc.—of course.)

Again, seriously—-guys like the posters mentioned hereinabove despise working fools like us. They don’t care about us, they threaten us, they make their hatred for us quite plain—-but, still, we’re supposed to get out there and support them, because they’re POOR, dadgastit, and they deserve sympathy, yes they do, and they don’t have to “make nice” to get it!

I hope they keep posting, and letting us know what they really think about us; helps us know the kind’ve people we’re really dealing with.


Oct 16, 2008 – 8:14 am 220. TalkinKamel:


Marc Malone, excellent post. I’ve been poor too (and I’m not rich now), and I’m tired of the attitude that working, and being self-sufficient, means you’re just a dirty, heartless capitalist, who cares nothing about “the poor”.


Oct 16, 2008 – 8:31 am 221. Randomizer:


Go ahead and opt out, but by all means also stop using the publically funded roadways and if your house catches fire, put it out yourself.


Oct 16, 2008 – 8:33 am 222. TalkinKamel:


Six of one, half-dozen of the other, as they say, Randomizer.

Around here, we’ve got a hard time getting government to support the roads, or support the police, fire Department, etc. properly because the money is always getting snaffled away into the latest social experiment, slush fund, welfare program, illegal alien goody-bag, what have you. We’ve got pot holes the size of the moon around here.

I actually don’t mind paying taxes for well-defined, and limited, goals, such as roads, but it never seems to work out that way. We pay money, it never gets applied, to say, potholes, or fixing the water supply, etc., and the government continually wants more.


Oct 16, 2008 – 8:52 am 223. JR:


Let us emulate John Galt in another way.

Let us strive to grasp and understand this great philosophy of Ayn Rand, Objectivism, which mostly seems to be consistent with reality. Then, communicate it to every inidvidual that matters in the world as clearly as possible, before we have no recourse but to go on strike.


Oct 16, 2008 – 8:52 am 224. CFT:


I agree that govt=slavery is an overstatement, and John Galt is fictional, but Atlas Shrugged made a lasting impression on me.

I do think it is important to realize taxes are collected at gun point if necessary, as they must be. They are only disguised as some form of love or compassion by libs. I don’t much care if hedge fund managers make a little less and carpenters make a little more. I am afraid we may have reached a tipping point where total parasites are voting themselves the treasury. The ACORN people only exist to use the power of govt against other people, such as banks and landlords.

If you want to see the future of how to make money, look at Obama’s friends. He used his IL govt post to write letters, apply pressure, and change laws to benefit his developer friends who provided large amounts of cash in campaign contributions. Low income housing was built, lots of it. I believe all of it has been condemned by now. The poor people got screwed. They always do in Socialism.

Look at who gets bailed out and who does not. It helps if you went to school with Mr. Paulson, and made campaign contributions I bet. If the govt conrols the capital I hope you did not donate too much money to McCain. I hope you employ enough blacks and transgendered, etc. Atlas Shrugged was right in focusing on which businesses get ahead and how, with govt assistance.

I don’t think people here are whining. Who runs their businesses is not the big issue. The big issue is who creates new businesses. Watching the Fannie Mae congressional hearing tapes on YouTube showed me parasites and govt enablers very clearly.


Oct 16, 2008 – 8:53 am 225. TalkinKamel:


Not to mention the gazillions in foreign aid we send overseas to the international Seeraks, and Mr. “Wonderful’s”, such as the PLO, and who, like the former, become equally belligerant and whiny when somebody threatens to cut off the money flow. We’re poor, dadgastit! We’re oppressed! We don’t care about you, but we’re not gonna “make nice” with you!

And so it goes.


Oct 16, 2008 – 8:55 am 226. RE:


There’s nothing new about some people thinking they have a claim to another’s labors. The Bible speaks directly to the issue of the parasite class and its accusations of ’selfishness’:

Now we command you, brothers, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-12

But this also helps explain why leftists emphatically reject Christianity or use it very, very selectively and disingenuously. it contradicts their sense of entitlement.

But with the ‘keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us’ it seems that people considered ‘going John Galt’ long before Ayn Rand.


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:05 am 227. David Gillies:


When the oleaginous Blair came to power in the UK, I realised it was time to pack my bags. Now that the catastrophically incompetent Brown has ensured with his spendthrift ways that Britain will probably suffer the worst recession of all the major economies, that decision is looking all the more prescient. I refuse to subsidise the workshy and lackwitted welfare leeches with my hard-earned money. Benefits should be set at the level that ensures no-one is dying in the streets of malnutrition, and not one penny higher. The UK ruled a third of the globe with the State consuming 8-10% of GDP. That seems like a reasonable target for public spending, especially now that we are so much richer per-capita.


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:21 am 228. pyotr:


Several Things to keep in mind: Galt’s Gulch isn’t viable in a world of commercial satellite imagery.(Anyplace which is habitable, already is inhabited.)

Secondly, the end of Atlas Shrugged is not a Utopia, but a dystopia. The “srikers” have all bailed out for their retreat,and the rest of the world is failing. The power is out, and people are being forced back to a pre-war technology – Pre US Civil War that is – and few have the skills to do that. And without tht 19th century “safety net” it is a long but sure drop to the stone age.
It is only going to be worse in the 21st Century. In the 1930s, you could leave the city, go back to the farm, borrow a team of horse and put a crop in. But now, there is no family farm to return to, the horses were replaced by tractors, and the skills of farming have become lost.

That said, going John Galt isn’t so much going on “strike” and not working at all, but using the old expression from the Soviet Union: they pretend to pay us, we pretend to work. You do what you have to, and o more. I forget the name of the character, but he was formerly a foreman, but had quit. Like John Galt, if all they want is my strong back, that is all they get. Work to rule; work hard not smart. Etc.

The Henry Bowman option is a nice idea, but once that genie is out of the bottle. Hells out for breakfast.

Once acclaimed Tsar (I’m angling to succeed to the throne of Emperor Norton) We shall make this a free country once again. By Imperial Edict, if need be.



Oct 16, 2008 – 9:21 am 229. Don:


Frankly, I don’t have the resources or skills to go completely “John Galt”, but my wife and I decided that after January we’ll do the next best thing. Only one of us will work.

So instead of paying taxes on a second income (and having the second income boost our first income into a higher tax bracket); paying for childcare; paying for other folks to do the stuff around the house that we are too busy to do when we are both working; and paying the related expenses for a second job (commuting, work clothes, lunch); we’ll live on one salary. One of us will have the fun (and annoyances) of staying home with a kid all day, and doing all the cooking, shopping, and cleaning.

The other will still do the rat race, but will at least come home to a clean house and a waiting dinner. No more of us both coming in the door at 6:30pm and do a desperate scramble to clean, cook, clean again, put the kids to bed, get ready for work, etc.

Our quality of life will most likely go up, and the amount of money we give to the government will go down by about 2/3. And since we’ll be putting out less cash for goods and services, there will even be a multiplier effect for both tax receipts and the overall economy.

And the funny thing is, the numbers already work for us under the current tax code. Just imagine how much more they will work out under an Obama/Pelosi/Reid tax code!

I suppose this is where buying a smaller house, buying a used car (and keeping it until it dies), and saving plenty of cash pays off with increased flexibility.


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:43 am 230. sonya:


Nurse Who Exposed Infanticide-Based Abortions: Obama Lied During Debate

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 15, 2008

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Chicago, IL (LifeNews.com) — The Chicago-area nurse who exposed the practice of life-birth abortions that led to he bill Barack Obama repeatedly opposed in the Illinois legislature says Obama lied about his record during the final presidential debate. Jill Stanek says Obama again misrepresented his position and record before the American people.

As LifeNews.com reported, John McCain took Obama to task during the debate when the topic turned to abortion.

“Sen. Obama, as a member of the Illinois State Senate, voted in the Judiciary Committee against a law that would provide immediate medical attention to a child born of a failed abortion. He voted against that,” McCain said.

Obama responded to the charge by repeating his claim that he voted against the bill because it would have undermined Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that allowed virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy.

However, as Stanek explains, Obama voted for an amendment to the bill to mitigate those concerns and subsequently voted against the legislation anyway.

Stanek said the bill, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, “simply stated all born alive babies became legally protected persons immediately upon birth, no matter what gestational age and no matter if unwanted abortion survivors.”

“Obama voted against this straightforward human rights legislation four times stating as the sole state senator speaking against it on the Senate floor in 2001 it would be ‘unconstitutional’ to declare very premature abortion survivors persons,” Stanek explained.

Obama also defended his votes against the anti-infanticide bill by claiming “there was already a law on the books in Illinois that required providing lifesaving treatment.”

Stanek also called that a “lie” saying “Illinois abortion law to this day only protects abortion survivors their abortionist deems fit to live.

“The potential for subjective assessments in these cases is clear to all but Obama. In fact, Obama opposed closing this loophole by voting against legislation to mandate a second doctor be present at deliveries of all live abortion survivors to independently assess their viability,” she said.

Obama not only voted against the bill to protect newborns who survive failed abortions but the Chicago-area nurse says he took a leadership role to defeat it.

Stanek points to Obama’s own campaign web site which indicates he approached the Illinois Planned Parenthood affiliate to develop a strategy to defeat that measure and the ban on partial-birth abortions.

Despite Obama’s claims, Stanek says Obama ultimately voted in 2003 against a version of the bill identical to a Congressional anti-infanticide bill the Senate approved on a 98-0 margin and on which the pro-abortion group NARAL took no position.

“He then purported several times, as recently as August 16, 2008, that the bills were not identical and he would have supported the Illinois version had it been the same as the federal version,” she said.

Obama’s campaign finally had to recant from that position after documents from the Illinois legislature proved him wrong.

“I’m beyond disgusted that Obama continues to repeat the same lies without the mainstream media investigating and denouncing him. We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Stanek concluded.


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:47 am 231. Pat:


Billy Beck wrote, “The principal ethical/political confrontation of our times is nothing more or less than collectivism versus individualism.” (comment #94 above)

This is true politically, but not ethically. Because politics derives from ethics, it’s important to get this issue correct.

The fundamental choice is between two mutually exclusive codes of morality: altruism or egoism – living for others (”your brother’s keeper”) or living for oneself (without sacrificing others to oneself).

The abject failure of conservatives to grasp this has for decades rendered them impotent at halting the trend to collectivism!

If you are truly an egoist, then strive passionately to gain your values until your last breath. That includes gaining the value to be a truly free, sovreign individual. Start by reading Rand’s non-fiction like “The Virtue of Selfishness.”

As Ayn Rand wrote,
“Individualism is not dying, but it will die if those who defend it do not stop talking about “dying eras.” That’s pure Elsworth Toohey party line, True, at the moment, the world is headed toward the chaos, horror and depravity of collectivism – but the world does not have to go that way. There are no “waves of the future” and no “historical materialism.” Any trend can be stopped. Any step can be retraced – if men understand where they’re going. Collectivism cannot win. It can only destroy.”

-”Letters of Ayn Rand,” p. 225 – responding in 1945 to a Fountainhead fan letter. Elsworth Toohey is the arch-villain in The Fontainhead.


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:48 am 232. Keith_Indy:


Incidentally, the most productive Americans can be found in the blue states.

So, then why is the unemployment rate higher in those same blue states?

Why do these same blue states have budget deficits?


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:49 am 233. Roark:


My own Galt’s Gulch is in Provo, Utah.


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:57 am 234. Chuck Pelto:


TO: Keith_Indy
RE: The Answer Is Self-Evident

Incidentally, the most productive Americans can be found in the blue states. — Keith_Indy

So, then why is the unemployment rate higher in those same blue states?

Those same states NEED all those ‘most productive Americans’ in order to support the vast numbers on their welfare rolls.


[By rendering the labor of one, the property of the other, they cherish pride, luxury, and vanity on one side; on the other, vice and servility, or hatred and revolt. — James Madison]

P.S. He’s talking about ’slavery’ here, the toil and labor of one class to support another class.

So, are the productive to be the new class of slaves? With the IRS, FBI and a socialist government the task-masters?


Oct 16, 2008 – 10:20 am 235. Gman:


The Poetry of Capitalism.

A good snippet from Atlas Shrugged.


Oct 16, 2008 – 10:31 am 236. Mr. Wonderful:


Talkinkamel bizarrely writes:

“Not to mention the gazillions in foreign aid we send overseas to the international Seeraks, and Mr. “Wonderful’s”, such as the PLO, and who, like the former, become equally belligerant and whiny when somebody threatens to cut off the money flow. We’re poor, dadgastit! We’re oppressed! We don’t care about you, but we’re not gonna “make nice” with you!”

So this individual, who doesn’t know me, equates me with the PLO, and interprets my mockery of certain tastes in literature, philosophy, and prose styles, as indicating that I’m saying I’m “poor” and am “belligerant” and “whiny when somebody threatens to cut off the money flow.”

Anyone sane want to defend this? Oh never mind. Serves me right for wandering into this asylum without an experienced guide.

Of course nothing I wrote mentioned cutting off the money flow. On the contrary, I invited those who want to subject us to their absence to be my guest and knock themselves out–which, to an honest reader, would mean I encourage Talkinkamel to take his money, “cut off” its “flow,” and leave.

It’s another bit of proof–as if any were needed–that the right-wing lives in a world of make-believe, with their science-fiction alternate “societies,” their loony conspiracy theories, their ability to pretend that most of the past eight years weren’t the result of a politics with which they were in whole- (or at least part-) hearted agreement, and their ability to posture indignantly about “personal responsibility” when their spokespeople, theorists, apologists, and political representatives show anything but.

“And so it goes.”

Finally, a sentiment I can agree with. Does it ever.


Oct 16, 2008 – 10:37 am 237. deguello:


Time to go John Galt? Are you insane? What would happen to the democratic party? Keep working John (you sucker!)millions on welfare,and their politician enablers are counting on you!


Oct 16, 2008 – 10:42 am 238. skrivov@verizon.net:


The question is who is productive and who is not? Take 2004 elections and compare total income of blue states to income of red states. It may actually occure that Democrats tend to be more productive in general. Though I am not sure. For who Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and foundersof Google will vote?


Oct 16, 2008 – 11:34 am 239. DADvocate:


The fundamental choice is between two mutually exclusive codes of morality: altruism or egoism – living for others (”your brother’s keeper”) or living for oneself (without sacrificing others to oneself).

The abject failure of conservatives to grasp this has for decades rendered them impotent at halting the trend to collectivism!

Pat, you show your abject failure to see the facts or understand the truth.

Conservatives have shown for decades their commitment to helping others through charitable giving, volunteering, etc. Example. Liberals consistently come up with ego-maniacs like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Barack Obama who argue that altruism is taking other people’s money and using it as they please. Liberals believe people should be forced to support the “causes” the government tells them too. Conservatives believe they should have choices in many more areas than just child birth.


Oct 16, 2008 – 11:50 am 240. TalkinKamel:


Please, keep up the whining, anger and trying to silence debate by shouting insults, Mr. “wonderful”, you’re doing just fine. We don’t need to make any arguments at all; you’re making them for us, just fine. I was never a follower of Ayn Rand, but going John Galt, at least to some extent, is starting to look better and better all the time.

Keep it up, and you’ll have us all convinced.

(While you’re at it, please throw in a few ad-hominem, and off-topic, insults about Sarah Palin. Please, tell us bad right-wingers exactly what you think!)


Oct 16, 2008 – 11:56 am 241. Toyboat:


Wow, so raising taxes on people whose take-home pay 4% or so is enough for you to quit your country. Just wow.


Oct 16, 2008 – 12:16 pm 242. Toyboat:


What I meant to say—-> Wow, so raising taxes on people whose take-home pay is over 250,000 by 4% or so is enough for you to quit your country. Just wow.


Oct 16, 2008 – 12:17 pm 243. TalkinKamel:


Problem is, Toyboat, taxes tend to get raised for everybody, not just those whose take-home pay is a certain amount.

And, of course, that brings up the point that others have raised here; forcing you to work for someone else, against your will, is slavery, no matter how nice a face you try to put on it, or what nice names, such as “helping the poor” you give to it.


Oct 16, 2008 – 12:32 pm 244. Heather:


The American Revolution started over a tax burden of just over 3%.

We’re long overdue for the second!


Oct 16, 2008 – 12:43 pm 245. Billy Beck:


“Wow, so raising taxes on people whose take-home pay 4% or so is enough for you to quit your country government.”

There, “toyboat”. That’s fixed now.


Oct 16, 2008 – 12:43 pm 246. Saltherring:


Who said anything about “quitting”, Toyboat? Most of the folks who posted will still work, but in a manner that allows them to retain a greater percentage of the fruits of their labors, rather than flush them down the toilet of government waste. Many productive Americans, anticipating an Obama regime hell-bent on replacing what’s left of capitalism with socialism, will choose to downscale their lives and live with less, rather than participate in gun-point collectivism. Do what you wish, Toyboat, but after 40 years of involuntary contribution to the failed welfare state, I will choose to live with less.


Oct 16, 2008 – 12:45 pm 247. Chuck Pelto:


TO: All
RE: Science Fiction Anticipates Reality

….after 40 years of involuntary contribution to the failed welfare state, I will choose to live with less. — Saltherring

Now I’m being reminded of the goings on in Halderman’s The Forever War, where the state ran most of the jobs and only those well connected with state officials could actually hope to get one. And the people who wanted to work, moved out of the cities to enclaves where they took up farming and ranching, trading amongst themselves.

It got rather complicated. And dangerous, as raiders from the cities would attack such groups to steal food from them. The government doing nothing to protect them.


[Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not. — Isaac Asimov]


Oct 16, 2008 – 1:23 pm 248. TalkinKamel:


Chuck, I think that’s it, exactly.

We’ll work to support others (it’s our unselfish duty, after all) and the IRS, CIA, FBI, etc., will keep an eye on us, to make sure we do exactly that.


Oct 16, 2008 – 1:26 pm 249. Chuck Pelto:


P.S. That book was written in the early 1970s.


Oct 16, 2008 – 1:28 pm 250. viewinmcluhan:


While I agree to a great extent, there is a fallacy that presented in these such discussions/arguments. That those in power are there because of their hardwork and success. I believe that those who work hard deserve the rewards of that work. The problem is that there are too many people in power who achieved their position from other means. In this country, it has become a nation of getting as much as one can by any means as long as you don’t get caught. If we are to achieve the “John Galt” world we want, the wealthy and influential will have to start developing some integrity. Greed is fine but only so long as it’s paired with integrity. It’s the lack of the latter that has lead us to an increasingly socialist state because integrity has had to be legislated and that never works. So it is the rich and powerful who have brought it upon themselves. They have nobody else to blame. Work hard, grow rich, and grow up.


Oct 16, 2008 – 1:28 pm 251. Dana H.:


Again, why the assumption that we’ll get more socialism under Obama than under McCain? Over the past month, socialism has had a great leap forward under a Republican administration, along with a vote of assent from McCain (for the bailout). A few years back, Bush pushed and McCain voted for the greatest expansion of socialized medicine since the 1960s (the Medicare drug benefit). Anyone looking at empirical data and not mere statements of intent would conclude that Republicans are the pro-socialist party, or at least that socialism advances more under a Republican president than under a Democratic one.


Oct 16, 2008 – 1:28 pm 252. Chuck Pelto:


P.P.S. Lest I forget an important aspect of the future envisioned by Haldeman…..socialized medicine.

If the government felt you weren’t worth the effort to keep you alive….

….you’re on your own bubbie; black market snake-oils and don’t even THINK of going to the ER.


Oct 16, 2008 – 1:36 pm 253. wisconsin-hermit:


It’s interesting the unexpected connections one makes. I used to think I was relatively alone in thinking about “Going John Galt” – then I accidentally came across these blogs. This after picking up my copy of “Atlas Shrugged” a few days ago to read again for the umpteenth time.

Coincidentlly, I live in Wisconsin a hot bed of socialism, high taxes and big government hungry for more. We’re a handfull of votes away from big government types taking over all three branches of the state government. They are hot to institute universal healthcare, even more taxes and regulations. Dagny and Reardon visit Wisconsin – a post society wasteland after the great socialist experiment fails there. They track down the old factory where they find the remnants of John Galt’s motor.

My wife and I frequently discuss our plans to “escape” this tax hell, simplify and limit our tax contributions to the beast. Currently we’re above the magic Obama “rich” threshold and when we add up all the federal, state, FICA, property, sales taxes, fees, … we pay it is discouraging – over 40% and they still want more. Current events make us want to accellerate our plans.


Oct 16, 2008 – 1:36 pm 254. Randomizer:


Actually the question is not:

“Wow, so raising taxes on people whose take-home pay 4% or so is enough for you to quit your country government.”

It’s the amount over $250K that would be subject to the increase. So if you make $300K the increase would be 4% on the last $50K or less than 1% on the total. If you make $500K it would be 2% on the total, and so on.

That’s a pretty flimsy last straw.


Oct 16, 2008 – 1:46 pm 255. notutopia:


To be forced into a John Galt scenario would be an act of succession at best of our Liberty to pursue the American Dream. We don’t need Obama’s right to success quaranteed to all who are dependant underachievers! Lower the bar some more? I think not! The choices here are apparent polar opposites in ideology of government management. (Sadly, Notice I am compelled not to imply Black or White because that could be misconstrued as Racist by our MSM) We are up against a Socialist wall this time. Choices are: Sink or Swim through it.
And I mean this from the perspective of our COUNTRY. Or, Are we going to fight now while we still have the opportunity for forward motion, or, wallow and float through 4 more years of gridlock and congressional chess? This country cannot dog paddle through the tidal wave of crisis issues currently sinking it. That is what will occur if Obama is elected. His promise of change will become 4 more years of hellish congressional warfare. He will later be known as the most ineffective president that this country has ever had! If we still have a Country on 4 years?!?


Oct 16, 2008 – 1:50 pm 256. DADvocate:


The problem is that there are too many people in power who achieved their position from other means. In this country, it has become a nation of getting as much as one can by any means as long as you don’t get caught.

viewinmcluhan – the reason we have an increasingly socialist state is not because of a lack of integrity but because it is a way for “people in power” to achieve their position by means other than hardwork and success. For instance, promising to take money away from the more successful and give to the less successful. The place where integrity is lacking most is in politicians.


Oct 16, 2008 – 1:56 pm 257. Chuck Pelto:


TO: DADvocate
RE: That….

the reason we have an increasingly socialist state is not because of a lack of integrity but because it is a way for “people in power” to achieve their position by means other than hardwork and success. For instance, promising to take money away from the more successful and give to the less successful. The place where integrity is lacking most is in politicians. — DADvocate

….and other reasons.

For instance, at the state level, the destruction of the balance of power between metropolitan and rural areas via SCOTUS Reynolds v. Simms (1964) which turned the state senates into nothing more than over-paid, city-dominated state houses of representatives.

How? By the declaration that state senators must be elected based on the same considerations as state representatives, i.e., population only. Not geographic areas.

This makes the metropolitan areas the key factor in all legislative actions. The rural areas be damned. That impacts on taxation, appointment of judges, allocation of resources, etc., etc., etc…..

It’s a key factor in why things are going to hell. So it’s not just at the federal level.

So, back on YOUR comment, about how they take money from the more successful and GIVE it to the city ‘workless’, just to keep them alive and gain their vote….

…I’m reminded of another truism….

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.

But, those of us know how that will work out. The Romans tried it. It required that they go out and loot other countries in order to keep their own populous ‘happy’. It was all bread and circuses.

And the ‘Left’ whines about US being an empire NOW? They ‘project’, because with their approach to economics, we MUST become a looting empire, like the Romans in order to keep their workless class ‘happy’. That and drugs, as in Pournelle’s and Haldeman’s visions of the future.


[The American Republic will endure until their politicians realize they can bribe the population with their own money.]


Oct 16, 2008 – 2:14 pm 258. Saltherring:


The major difference between assistance from a private charity and taxpayer-funded welfare is a simple choice. I openly choose to give to charities that respect my gifts by providing assistance only to those truly in need. The government, however, impresses money from me and openly gives it to anyone who claims to have a need. Many truly are in need, particularly the elderly. But hundreds of billions of American taxpayer dollars continue to be bestowed upon those whose only affliction is abject laziness. If Obama is elected and institutes programs that steal even more taxpayers’ money for the indolent, John Galt will indeed have his say.


Oct 16, 2008 – 2:46 pm 259. Chuck Pelto:


TO: Saltherring
RE: The BIG Difference

The major difference between assistance from a private charity and taxpayer-funded welfare is a simple choice. — Saltherring

I think it goes much further than mere ‘choice’.

How so?

Because I’ve seen ‘choice’ as implemented by the government. It’s not that much of a choice, as the bean-counters and politicians therein can play the Full Monty—a la some street card-shark—with what is put onto the ’selection’ line.

On the other hand, we, as individuals, can check on outfits like United Way or Habitats for Humanity or 700 Club and determine for ourselves whom we trust to spend our money in support of their mission statements as opposed to getting some limo service for the CEO.

I’m reminded of a call I got from some outfit asking for a donation to their cause. I asked them about their percentage of flow-through. The guy on the phone said 80%. I said, call me back in a couple of days.

So, I investigated them and discovered that their actual flow-through to support the people in their stated cause was 20%, the exact opposite of the bozo-on-the-phone’s statement.

They never called back. Fortunately for them. I’d have ripped their ears off and shoved them down their lying throat….through the phone lines. [Note: Something about having been a sergeant at one time……We can do that sort of thing.]


[Charity begins at home. And the way the government works, it should STAY THERE!]


Oct 16, 2008 – 3:05 pm 260. Chuck Pelto:


P.S. I almost forgot…..

….the flow-through of ‘charity’ via the government goes MOSTLY to the government.


Oct 16, 2008 – 3:06 pm 261. Daniel J. O’Connell:


So many comments, so little time.

Kudos to those who struck back against the most vile (and pointing out a complete misunderstanding of Atlas, the most probable reason having never read it, or anything beyond “negative” reviews of her works…)…

But, I side with the “hang on” opinions: Atlas was a work of Romantic fiction.

There is no, and can never be, a “John Galt” in the real world (although I DO agree that he does lives inside all moral and rational men and women)…and no Galt’s Gulch…it was a brillaint novel about ideas, not a roadmap to practical action…

The irony being: there are far TOO many productive industrialists, proper intellectuals…true acedemics…to think they could be spirited away and, as beautiful a fictional theme it is “To Stop the Motor of the World”.

It was a fictional device to demonstrate those who are the motor of the world…and make them recognize it…and take pride in it…

We don’t need people to go to Galt’s Gulch to stop the motor…IF he’s elected, Obama will do that forthwith…and, as after Carter, the blame will be properly placed…leading to a cleaning of Congress in two years, (and, barring probably deserved impeachment, but will never happen)…getting rid of Obama in 2012…and another incremental chance for a move forward towards a free country…

I say incremental, because, be honest, this fight is as much against Conservatives as it is Liberals…with very few exceptions, they’re at the pork trough as often as Democrats…which is why Palin is so admirable: she went after her OWN party…

Meaning, and I know one or more have said it in responses:

Stop the Money. The New Money.

I sincerely believe that the biggest, and really, only, practical thing we can do first: Stop the New Money going into the government, and, more, new spending coming out of DC.

Past obligations? Social Security? The deficit?

Absolutely a moral responsibility…all of which can and must be honored, as corrupt the promises they were…but almost by definition, if we stop and lower, by tax reform, the money coming in, and restrict, by law, what it can be spent on…we gradually, or, hopefully more quickly, make whole these obligations, and eliminate the financial incentive for the corrupt to go into politics for the money…and make the same mistakes..

Personally (now we ARE talking fantasy): I’d love to see a Michael Moore or Oliver Stone do a movie (including some forensic accounting) on the financial lifestyles of congressman and senators, based on what their nominal salaries are. BOTH parties…

But, back to the key: Stop the Money:

Whether it’s a Flat Tax, or “stand-up bills”…where a bill has to be so specific that it can be read by the proposer standing up: no 1000 pages of buried, unconnected issues, and a few hundred more of earmarks…then, up or down, yes, or no…next bill…


Dan O


Oct 16, 2008 – 3:17 pm 262. view from afar:


I am going to have to get and read this book and a few others by Ayn rand…although I haven;t found them here in print (france-imagine that). Nest as JSC 154 said Europeans have higher unemployment, and think about this why do you think so many European businesses can “afford” “to close for a month every year? I think that that idea was also presented somewhere above…so will that really help move away from socialism…not so sure, one point that is being repeated over and over again is making do with less, and lowering debt, that however I really do think will help keep socialism at bay as people give up all I want it right now mentality…probably will re-adjust (painfully) our economy, but we might as well do it ourselves as much as possible…because the long term benefits would be that we could afford things now for real
Finally, I am giving up reading this as I need to sleep, at the 160 level, but doesn’t Ayn rand’s book go back to the apostle Paul’s statement that “if you don’t work you don’t eat” which I believe is in Corinthians or Galatians…but am too tired to look it up good reading lots to think about, and yes I am voting…


Oct 16, 2008 – 4:04 pm 263. Anonymous:


Warren Buffett today blasted a system that had him, with an income of $49 million a year, PAYING LESS IN TAXES than his secretary, who makes $60,000 a year.

How, precisely, is rectifying such an injust tax system punishing your productivity? Try pulling your own weight before you bitch about unfairly carrying someone else’s load.

After years of record deficit spending by Bush Jr. and Co, the fact that some cling to the myth that it is the Democrats who tax and spend this country into ruin stands as a testament to the conservative ability to deny reality.


Oct 16, 2008 – 4:14 pm 264. Ellen:


Warren Buffett today blasted a system that had him, with an income of $49 million a year, PAYING LESS IN TAXES than his secretary, who makes $60,000 a year.

How, precisely, is rectifying such an injust tax system punishing your productivity? Try pulling your own weight before you bitch about unfairly carrying someone else’s load.

After years of record deficit spending by Bush Jr. and Co, the fact that some cling to the myth that it is the Democrats who tax and spend this country into ruin stands as a testament to the conservative ability to deny reality.


Oct 16, 2008 – 4:15 pm 265. Monty:


“Caring for others makes us human.”

Fascinating thought.

I’m English. And we have no shortage of welfare kings and queens here. They get free housing, benefits for their kids, and money to live on. They get free NHS care as well of course.

And they treat the taxpayer with undisguised contempt. They would cheerfully bankrupt the entire country, just so long as they keep getting the money. They don’t give a fig about anybody else, just don’t cut down their money.

So are they human?


Oct 16, 2008 – 4:25 pm 266. iconoclast:



Warren was talking about the percentage of his income he paid, not the total amount. He paid ~17% of his income in taxes, while his secretary paid 30%. Of course, I suspect he included Social Security (7.5%), which is not really a tax. So that brings him up to ~25%, versus his secretaries 30%. Finally, of course, Warren paid $8 million in taxes as part of the 1% who pay 40% of taxes.

No one is stopping Warren from donating more of his money to the IRS. If he feels that strongly about it, he should.


Oct 16, 2008 – 4:43 pm 267. tanstaafl:


Many of the Muslims on welfare in Great Britain also treat the average Briton with “undisguised contempt”.

They would cheerfully bankrupt the entire country in the name of “soft” jihad.


Oct 16, 2008 – 4:50 pm 268. TalkinKamel:


Monty, read the comments of Mr. “Wonderful”, Seerak and Joseph Marshall in this thread; they hate us, they despise us, and the more they get from us, the more contempt they have for us. They want our money, they want our support, and if we’re at all reluctant about giving it—well, hey, they’re not gonna place nice with us! They got a right to it—got that, buddy? They don’t give a fig for anybody else, as they make quite clear.

Are they human? I’m no metaphysical/theological expert; I do know that “human” isn’t necessarily a synonym for “good”, or “lovable.” It’s also something to think about, as pressure mounts to turn America socialist.


Oct 16, 2008 – 5:00 pm 269. SPC BLISS SOLDIER:


What about those of us who must toil to keep this country from sinking in the mud?

I am a soldier stationed at Fort Bliss. We get up very early, work long nights and miss birthdays, anniversaries, without so much as a thank you from Obama & co. They spit on us. After all the talk about PTSD, brain injury and helping soldiers returning from the war, they don’t do squat. They want us to live like victims and live off or rather sponge off the system.

But we can’t just quit. You need us out there. You need us to get on the plane. Go down range and do what is right. Just like the doctors, police, fire and other workers who make this country run from day to day.

What about us? I now know how Batman felt at the end of “The Dark Knight”. As Gotham turned on him, the Joker (RIP Heath Ledger) remarked:

“See, their morals, their code: it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these, uh…civilized people, they’ll eat each other.”

As the world burns (Iran, Afganistan, Pakistan, Africa) We can’t just stand there just because some dumbasses on Wall St. goofed the flute.


Oct 16, 2008 – 5:27 pm 270. Robert:


A Greater Depression would be the perfect time to “go John Galt”. You raise as much cash as you can, knowing prices of everything will plummet, and cash you hold can easily therefore increase in value 10-fold to 20-fold. Even those who have accumulated a few tens of thousands of dollars in wealth and have it safe (meaning out of the banking system!) could probably live comfortably of accumulated wealth if tax rates on income get raised unbearably high. Those who aren’t working and making money don’t owe taxes, no matter how high the rate is. If government jacks up tax rates to 90% like in the last Great Depression, that would be a great incentive for those who are prepared with a nest egg to live off of to just retire.


Oct 16, 2008 – 5:51 pm 271. John Donohue:


A few counters:

1) Atlas Shrugged does not end as a dystopia. The ending is not about the depths to which the “outer world” had fallen on the last page; Rand does not indicate how much time had elapsed or disintegration had occurred since the lights went out in NYC. She would probably say ‘as much as was necessary.’ But the last paragraph is triumphant. “The way is clear. We are going back to the world.”

2) We do not need a new American Revolution; we already had the only one we need, based on the proper principles. However, we do need to destroy the counter-revolution. http://jrdonohue.com/commentary/jglory.html

John Donohue
Pasadena, CA


Oct 16, 2008 – 8:49 pm 272. TalkinKamel:


SPC, many thanks for your service.

Some of us appreciate it.


Oct 16, 2008 – 8:59 pm 273. Freya:



Nothing like perpetuating the culture wars. Apparently it is a sin to be an intellectual in this country, and all Democrats are “unproductive”? Whatever side wins this next election, how do you expect to truly honor the intent of the FF’s by helping to perpetuate such stereotypes and divisions?

Take the high road. Refuse to roll in the gutter with those on the other side.


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:18 pm 274. bobc:


Atlas Shrugged It was FICTION!

you, the koolaid drinkers, are so funny when you drool.


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:30 pm 275. iconoclast:


SPC Bliss

Long time army brat here.

I appreciate everything you go through and all you do. We ask of you everything you have to give and I always pray that we are making the right decision when we ask. Little else matters in this country without the contributions of you and your mates. God give all of us the wisdom to choose correctly whenever we ask the ultimate of you.


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:42 pm 276. iconoclast:


“Atlas Shrugged It was FICTION!”

Like Obama’s background?


Oct 16, 2008 – 9:43 pm 277. view from afar:


ok, I’m awake now and oops the passages this brought to mind are 2Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 6-15, which says as follows “In the name of the Lord JC, we urge you, brothers, to keep away from any of the brothers who refuse to work or live according to the tradition we passed on to you….We gave you a rule when we were with you: not to let anyone have any food if he refused to do anywork. Now we hear that there are some of you who are living in idleness, doing no work themselves but interfering with eberyone else’s….” And the other passage that this book reminds me of is from Galatians chapters 5 and 6, which I think is/was the basis for many of the Enlightenment and what could be said of our forefathers about liberty in verse 13 Paul states that “…My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty WILL PROVIDE AN OPENNING TO SELF INDULGENCE….”

I know that I maybe shouldn’t be expounding from the bible( I hope I used that word correctly, i mostly speak English with my kids) on neutral territory, or maybe I’ve been living in France too long, anyway I just thought that this stuff seems to go hand in hand with the conversation, and is more food for thought…plus might explain to non-Christians why the Christians hold sway so much with the right…


Oct 17, 2008 – 1:36 am 278. Chuck Pelto:


TO: SPC Bliss Soldier
RE: Of Batman [the flying mouse] and Men

But we can’t just quit. You need us out there. — SPC Bliss Soldier

Yes we do. And we, most of US here, appreciate that. As well as a good number of US appreciate what you go through; having been there ourselves.

You’ve got great equipment now. Much better than when I was in your boots.

You’ve got better leadership now. Certainly better than the NCO corps I knew.

But you’re right. You just can’t leave. For a number of reasons, especially those you enumerated as well as some you didn’t.

And you’re right. A good number of the people, especially of the Bluish persuasion don’t appreciate what you and those who’ve gone before you do. But the rest of US do.

The big question, from your perspective, is what do you do when the Re-Up NCO comes around?

Keep up the good work….

….we’re all excited.


P.S. Don’t forget to VOTE!!!! And remind all your comrades-in-arms to vote too.


Oct 17, 2008 – 2:18 am 279. Chuck Pelto:


TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Would “Going John Galt”…..

….be akin to the guy in the mask in V for Vendetta?


[He that rebels against reason is a real rebel, but he that in defence of reason rebels against tyranny has a better title to Defender of the Faith, than George the Third. — Thomas Paine]


Oct 17, 2008 – 3:45 am 280. Wonderblog » Oscar the Orange Grower, or Why Wealth Redistribution Doesn’t Work:


[…] Oscar the Orange Grower, or Why Wealth Redistribution Doesn’t Work Filed under: Uncategorized — Murphy @ 4:52 am This story was inspired by the last presidential debate, starring ‘Joe the Plumber’, and by the many comments from small business owners who responded to this pajamasmedia piece. […]


Oct 17, 2008 – 4:52 am 281. I Am Subsidizing John Gault:


You guys still here?
I though you were “Going John Gault”?


Oct 17, 2008 – 5:07 am 282. Camelot:


No where in this blog have I seen mention of “The Fair Tax”. So many of the issues we are discussing would go away with this tax. But, there has been a massive campaign by the Democrats to keep tihs a secret. It is a bill in Congress now with only one Democratic supporter, all the rest being the few Rebulicans that are left. Huckabee ran on this platform and talks about it all the time on his new program. There is a great grass roots effort now and there are actually people out there running on this platform. Only Republicans so far.
It not only gives us voluntary taxation but even satisfies the desire of those who want to punish the evil rich and take their money.
In essence, it is determined that all federal taxes including but not limited to income tax, capital gains tax, gift tax, death tax, and more, is about 23 cents on the dollar embedded into the cost of an item. The Fair Tax is a straight sales tax that would replace these federal taxes. Government would still have their booty, maybe more than ever, the rich would pay more than the poor because every new item they buy, yacht, mansion, luxury auto etc would collect a higher sales tax than the ordinary person. The rich would pay more but it would be voluntary. It is more difficult to cheat on this tax. The IRS would only be collecting sales tax. Business could come back, people could keep their true earnings, the 11 Trillion dollars sent to Panama, Cayman Isles etc to avoid taxation could come home, other countries may see value in bringing their business to America, and together with a good new energy plan, we could take every 23 cents on the dollar of fuel sold to Americans and begin a true subsidation of solar and wind. It even provides for an income to people earning under the poverty level as well as subsidies for food and medical on top of what we already have.

Is this too sensible?
What I am most afraid of given the gestapo tactics we have been seeing of late is that an Obama presidency would not allow us to vote for such a sweeping reform. It would be the biggest transfer of power back to the people since the beginning of our nation.


Oct 17, 2008 – 6:07 am 283. Linda:


Before you throw the first stone…. those who are ” Productive” should have their 21 year old, still idealist kid take a cold hard look at how their “work” is done, how it is funded, whether it derives income in unethical ways, and, in fact, whether it has any value at all to anyone. Lots of jobs don’t pass this smell test.

I get your highly leveraged children volunteering to intern at my completely volunteer charity, and when I ask them why they are coming, they say they don’t wish to “work” in anything they have seen so far..and they have seen alot.
And, by the way, the trillions sent to the Caymans..etc, won’t be coming back…. people who do that move on to the next “advantage” they can find, they don’t return to this society… and wholesale tax avoidance’s biggest players are business and the wealthy. Salaried wage slaves have no such shelter and often don’t think that way either. Since you do, I welcome you to stop whatever you are doing, earn less, and find out that you are not missed. Working and paying taxes and living here instead of Haiti, kind of goes together. Not working, not paying taxes, not even knowing the world you live in kind of goes with….. you get the picture. And so do your children when they look at you.


Oct 17, 2008 – 6:35 am 284. PhoebeH:


Interesting discussion. Just yesterday I was re-reading pages 603-618 of Atlas Shrugged (Dagny’s conversation with the “tramp” on the train re: the demise of the Hammond Car Company. ~Fifteen pages that should be the Economics 101 textbook in every high school and college!)

And thank you, “View From Afar”. for pointing out that the Bible is thoroughly capitalistic (God blessed, prospered and used wealthy men–Noah, Abraham Jacob, Joseph of Arimathea, Paul, thoroughly meritocratic (the Parable of the Talents), firmly for private property (”…each under his own vine and fig tree…”), strictly no-workee-no-eatee, insistent for Fair Employement Practices–”…a workman is worthy of his hire”.

(The NT’s scum of the earth, BTW, are the tax-collectors :o)

And want to see what the Bible thinks of “liberals”, hee hee? ( Isaiah 32:5-8, KJV)

“[A day is coming when….]

5 The vile person shall be no more called “liberal”, nor the scoundrel said to be bountiful.

6 For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.

7 The instruments of the scoundrel are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words….

8 But the [true] liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. ”

I’ve always hoped that in her later lonely years Ayn Rand came to realize how completely the corrupt state church of her formative years had misled her re: God.


Oct 17, 2008 – 6:37 am 285. Camelot:



I am not sure what you are saying with respect to my post about the Fair Tax. Sounds like you don’t think it is fair. Also, it really doesn’t matter if the money doesn’t come back, but new money could stay here without threat.
This tax applies to retail goods and services that already have embedded within their cost the federal tax burden. One will not notice a difference in the cost except that it is predicted that cost of goods and services may drop slightly over time because there will be more competition and therefore more sales. Quantity being the operative word.
It sounds like you have decided that only what you do or what work you judge good enough may be called valid “productive” work. That is a big burden for a lowly human. To know what is good and what is not for everyone. My daughter is idealistic but hopefuly, as she enjoys her job and the people she works with, she will think it is ok to earn money, please herself, provide for a family and be compassionate towards others.


Oct 17, 2008 – 7:36 am 286. Sue:


To #4 here, “children” are not unproductive, at least in our culture and thank God for that!

However, I have an idea I haven’t seen anywhere: If the Democrats succeed in controlling both houses and the Presidency, it is simple: let no Republican work or speak in a committee; no Republican opposition to anything proposed on both floors and NO VOTES from any Republican on any issue, period! No participation. Allow them to make the rules and for the first time, let the people see what their rules actually consist of.

Would that work? Since it has never been tried, we don’t know. And, there is also that side of the universe that is deaf, dumb and blind, so who knows? Nothing ventured, nothing gained!


Oct 17, 2008 – 7:50 am 287. John Donohue:


1) No tax is voluntary, including a sales tax. There is noting “Fair” or good about confiscating more from ‘rich’ people than from less rich. And “Fair” cannot be ascribed to a forced behavior because morality ends at the point of a gun.

2) The bible is not capitalistic. Christ was communistic. While a letter by an Apostle was quoted, it likely does not equal the “lillies of the field” and “give up your possessions and do for others” and “you are your brother’s keeper” collectivist ethos of Christ himself, right? And the capitalized warning against SELF INDULGENCE conflicts with The Pursuit of Happiness. Bible/God was not the inspiration for the foundation of the U.S.

3) “He who does not work does not eat” is a communist slogan. They had to make it a slogan, and then an enforced edict, because they had done away with freedom under which this was simply a rule of nature and no one had to “declare it” let alone enforce it with police.

John Donohue
Pasadena, CA


Oct 17, 2008 – 8:20 am 288. John Donohue:


Outline of a fair approach to financing government,

1) Reduce the activities of government on all levels to appropriate functions. This would be in the neighborhood of 30% of what we collect/spend now. The consequential explosion of enterprise and prosperity would be stupendous, making financing the government trivial and gladly accomplished.
2) call the remaining bits “The Commons”
3) come up with a budget for The Commons
4) divide the amount by the number of “Citizens of Age”
5) every adult citizen is expected to pay the amount. The same amount.
6) payment would be made voluntary.

John Donohue
Pasaadena, CA


Oct 17, 2008 – 8:30 am 289. phaedrus21:



Instead of working with the Democrats to make the country better, you’re going to take your ball and go home.

Or worse, you’re going to be actively obstructionist. If your side doesn’t win, you’re going to punish the country for its choice.

So much for “Country First”.


Oct 17, 2008 – 10:47 am 290. Chris Future:


Agreed. I’ve been talking about Shrugging on my show for a while now.


Oct 17, 2008 – 11:39 am 291. Average American Mom:


Why I am voting Democrat!

I’m voting Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending MY MONEY than I would. I think when you spread the wealth around it is good for everybody! It’s Patriotic!

I’m voting Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. All profits are evil and should be confiscated for Government Redistribution.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe that MORE Government regulations and higher taxes on Business will stop Business from exporting their jobs to Countries with LESS Government regulations and lower taxes.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe terrorists should be allowed to have trials in American courts. And be able to subpoena top secret documents, soldiers, government officials, etc. to cross examine for their defense. They should have ACLU lawyers who can help intimidate Americans who serve on the juries!

I’m voting Democrat because I believe in a FREE government health care system. I believe doctors, nurses, hospitals, drug companies, etc. will gladly donate their time, products, services, facilities, etc. for FREE and that will be a better system.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe in and support trial lawyers, frivolous lawsuits and outrageous jury verdicts.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe 9/11 was an inside job to con the American people to go to war for oil.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe social security is solvent and that there is a social security lock box and I don’t believe social security is a Ponzi scheme.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe Gay Marriage should be the law of the land and will probably produce better children.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe English should not be the official language of the United States. I don’t mind pushing one for English when I use the phone.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe partial birth abortion is okay but water boarding a terrorist is disgusting.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe having a domestic terrorist like Bill Ayers as a close friend is a good thing. It allows for great relations with foreign terrorists.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe MOST AMERICANS are bitter and cling to their guns and religion. Let’s rid our country of guns and religion!

I’m voting Democrat because I believe illegal aliens deserve all the rights of ordinary Americans plus some additional rights Americans do not have.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe groups like ACORN who register felons, drug addicts, wino’s, homeless drifters, illegal aliens, dead people, children, fictional Disney characters, etc. makes my vote count more.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe celebrating the winter solstice shows compassion for the small minority of people that do not celebrate Christmas.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe hard core criminal murders and rapists deserve life and that the innocent unborn deserve death. It’s a choice I can live with.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe Bush caused Hurricane Katrina and he blew-up the levies in the ninth ward of New Orleans.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe our soldiers are AIR RAIDING villages and killing innocent people.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe sex in the Oval Office with an intern is a private matter and that everybody lies under oath about sex.

I’m votin Demokrat becuse I wus edumkated at a publick sckrool. I lik da NEA!

I’m voting Democrat because I believe that any one who is not partaking in one of the many wonderful government programs obviously has too much money and should pay higher taxes.

I’m voting Democrat because when we pull out of Iraq the terrorists will be happy and now think of us as good people.

I’m voting Democrat because freedom of speech is fine as long as it does not offend people. Can’t we all just get along?

I’m voting Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits are wrong. I believe higher taxes on oil companies will produce lower prices at the pump.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe we need to rid ourselves of dependency on foreign oil, BUT I AM AGAINST offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, drilling in Anwar, building nuclear power plants and clean coal technology.

And finally, I’m voting Democrat because I believe Reverend Wright when he said “GODDAMN AMERICA” and “OUR CHICKENS ARE COMING HOME TO ROOST”. Hey let’s make a comfortable nest for those chickens!

Why are you voting Democrat?


Oct 17, 2008 – 11:54 am 292. JSC:



Instead of working with the Democrats to make the country better, you’re going to take your ball and go home.

Or worse, you’re going to be actively obstructionist. If your side doesn’t win, you’re going to punish the country for its choice.

I wouldn’t voluntarily assist a cannibal in cooking me for diner, why would I voluntarily allow someone else to consume the excess of my labors for nothing in return?

Besides, under producing is legal and non-violent.


Oct 17, 2008 – 1:10 pm 293. ConservativeWoman:



It isn’t working with Democrats to make the country better that’s the problem, it is working for Democrats that is the issue. It’s my money, but Obama and his party think it is theirs to spread around for the greater good. That’s why they tax the same money as many times as they can hence the reason they want to raise capital gains and keep the death tax. I’m neither an obstructionist nor a sucker.


Oct 17, 2008 – 2:05 pm 294. Billy Beck:


phaedrus21: “Instead of working with the Democrats to make the country better,…”

Listen, you: the Democrats have nothing for me to work for with them. Don’t try to come on to me as if there is any sort of congruity of values between us because there isn’t. “Working with” someone necessarily implies some sort of agreement of interests, and my interest is freedom. That leaves me very much not interested in “working with the Democrats”, at all.

“So much for ‘Country First’.”

Get your premises straight: my love of my country is not the same as your love of your government.


Oct 17, 2008 – 2:26 pm 295. DMH:



I count myself among the many in this world who have had their lives indelibly changed as a result of reading Atlas Shrugged.

You posed the question: “what are some ways to “go John Galt” (legally, of course) — that is, should productive people cut back on what they need, make less money, and take it easy so that the government is starved for funds, or is there some other way of making a statement?

About a month ago, I went online and found a few sites that sell “Who is John Galt?” T-shirts and other assorted items.

I took the opportunity to buy t-shirts for all of my friends and family members who have read “Atlas Shrugged” over the years. Each recipient got these t-shirts with a note instructing them that they must wear them AND in turn, send a t-shirt so someone that will understand. I have already received numerous reports of inquisitive people coming up and asking the question “alright, who IS John Galt?” That person is then told that they must read “Atlas Shrugged” to find out.



Oct 17, 2008 – 2:29 pm 296. Heatherfeather:


Definitely withdraw all talents from society. Doing this will increase the tax burden on the blind supporters of the exploitative government until they will be unable to bear the burden and the government will collapse under it’s own inefficiency.

When that happens, don’t be living anywhere close to a big city. My husband and I left LA three years ago, live in the country (near a small town) and try to be as self-sufficient as possible (live within our means). I know when the s#%^ goes down, nobody up here will starve.

While I am not a Christian, I am a spiritualist, and I empathize with Christians in this country who are derided by the government and its media mouthpiece, as well as the heavily financed homosexual community in Hollywood. I would encourage all of you to support each other financially. In this way, you give your money to your friends/social group rather than the government, which would redistribute it among groups/agencies promoting the destruction of your beliefs. Remember, the liberal is your enemy, and you can love them into the arenas filled with lions if this is your wish. Too many have been tolerant to long. Stand up to the foolishness: it will collapse under the weight of it’s lazy entitlement recipients, and the lack of support from those who value freedom and independence.


Oct 17, 2008 – 3:11 pm 297. Keith_Indy:


Instead of working with the Democrats to make the country better, you’re going to take your ball and go home.

Or worse, you’re going to be actively obstructionist. If your side doesn’t win, you’re going to punish the country for its choice.

And where have you been the past 8 years???

The body of liberal/leftist/progressive/democrat politicians and activists have been actively obstructionist that entire time. They’ve spent the last 2 years, IN CHARGE OF CONGRESS, actively frittering away their time in pointless investigations and political grandstanding.

If the Democrats gain the White House, and keep the Senate and House, that will be punishment enough for the country. The Democrats will only have themselves to blame for what happens then.


Oct 17, 2008 – 3:21 pm 298. Seerak:


If the libertopians, randinistas and career conservatives want to go “john gault” on the rest of us, be my guest. I am sure we will get along just fine without your daily output of foaming-at-the-mouth political propaganda. In fact we’ll be far too busy earning a living to care.

This stupid response has already been dynamited more than once, but it’s an important point, so I’ll do it again:

If you really can do fine without us, why not let us opt out? Why is participation in your schemes mandatory?

You see, “going John Galt” does not necessarily mean going anywhere, “gulch” or otherwise. It means withdrawing our moral sanction — i.e. we will no longer lend the system apparently legitimacy by our ongoing participation.

The nasty truth that the “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” crowd will not admit (and should rightly be scared to death of) is that if we do stop contributing, the burden will fall upon those who have not yet gone in strike. They will find that less living is permitted to them before.

How long do you suppose they’ll tolerate that? How motivated will the young be, to take that thankless burden on?

And when people do stop, what are you going to do then? What are you going to do when your final ace card — the appeal to altruism, which Joseph Marshall plays to Billy Beck as if the latter’s statement, “I just don’t care”, were the end of the discussion?

If this were a fully free society, that WOULD be the end of the discussion; Joseph’s altruist ace card truly trumped by Billy’s freedom to care about what Billy thinks is important, rather than what Marshall thinks is important.

But it isn’t. Oh hell no, it isn’t. Because when the game is lost, when the demand to make a slave of yourself finally loses its power, the Joseph Marshalls and their enablers in the world have one final recourse:

“Do as I say — or else”.

THAT is why participation in the system is mandatory, and why we are not permitted to “go Galt” by merely opting out — and why nobody addressed that question. Doing so would necessarily involve a confession on their part: that they consider forcing people around as a legitimate — and **moral** — means to their political ends.

And when the jackboots march, that’s when the debate is really over — isn’t it?


Oct 17, 2008 – 3:55 pm 299. JSC:


It just occurred to me that by under producing I’m going to become a patriot!

Since I’m going to be in effect protesting taxes by earning less, and since protesting is patriotic to those on the left, it follows that I’m going to be patriotic. I just love using leftist logic.


Oct 17, 2008 – 4:11 pm 300. scott:


Why throw the baby out w/the bathwater? Why not support wise investing, like like in education, veterans benefits, medicare, the environment and simultaneously strive to cut waste and improve efficiency so that the money is well spent?


Oct 17, 2008 – 4:16 pm 301. RE:


299. JSC

Don’t forget all the world saving you’ll be doing with your dramatically smaller carbon footprint.


Oct 17, 2008 – 4:33 pm 302. Mike Grant:


It doesn’t matter if we as individuals follow in John Galt’s footsteps. Obama’s targets, the big corporations, banks and investors, will simply send their money, their jobs and their factories overseas.

American socialism’s Achilles heel is that they are unable, so far, to use naked force to prevent citizens and corporations from escaping their redistributionist schemes. (New York City is pushing for an ‘exit visa’ (government permission) for companies who want to flee their confiscatory tax rate, so perhaps this idea as a national policy may not be far off.)

I’ve seen in the past corporations who have moved or closed up shop because of arrogant unions who thought they had them by the acorns.

If this happens again I’ll cheer these corporations on. I’d kill to see the looks on the faces of these ’second-handers’ as they see their victims and their money vanishing.

Unfortunately that’s usually when their real side comes out and the force is applied.


Oct 17, 2008 – 5:02 pm 303. Alpha:


That’s right JSC. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism as I have been told by many a leftist who has trashed everything associated with the regime of the last 8 years.
I guess, as it is with most leftists, the only correct way to dissent is in a manner they define as correct. They should be more tolerant of the diversity of others.

As a side note, I have since backed off of arguing (not debating) with most leftists. Rarely can I find one that can use logic and reason (since logic and reason are not consistent with most leftist thinking), rather they employ the tired devices of exaggerated emotionality, ad hominem attacks and shaming language. They display the passionate irrationality and oppositional defiance of spoiled teenage girls. Such is why I cannot take them seriously, but when they control the government, I must see them as the incredibly dangerous threat they are.
Not that today’s brand of big-government Republican isn’t just as bad. After passing that Prescription Drug Bill, Bush showed himself to be just as awful as the Democrats.


Oct 17, 2008 – 5:16 pm 304. Chuck Pelto:


TO: Seerak
RE: The Debate Ends…

And when the jackboots march, that’s when the debate is really over — isn’t it? — Seerak

…and the war begins…..in earnest.


[Got (war)game?]


Oct 17, 2008 – 5:50 pm 305. Paul_Unalaska:


I find it interesting Irving, comment 108 of communal living.

I’ve traveled extensively for work. Fortunate to have seen all 7 continents. Most recently I was in Brussels, Belgium. My friends, native Belgians confided that Belgium is in an “Identity crisis”. It’s easy to poke fun of this city being the home of the U.N. but I digress.

This “Identity crisis” is because of the P C attitude towards the Dutch, Welsh, Muslim community innundating their country. Signs, menus, placards around the city are in 3, sometimes 4 languages. No sense of being, really. I felt it as well.

Much of Europe already experiences “Communal living”. Why? For the pay is so medicore in areas like Belgium no one is able afford a place of their own. My same friend who “owns” his 3 story flat had 4 roommates to afford the mortgage. You’ve gotta love the socialism paradigm (insert sarc).


Oct 17, 2008 – 6:00 pm 306. Robert Friedrich:


While it may seem romantic to disappear into Galt’s Gulch, the reality of this world is that when we allow the looters and moochers to take over, the entire country will be taken over by our foreign enemies, and those men and woman of the mind who have chosen to go on strike will find they have nothing left to go back to. Russia, China, Mexico and myriad other vultures will have lined up to be the final looters of America.

In the process, the one and only country where we could possibly live free will have been erased from the face of the earth and the looters will have won. A new dark age may be ushered in leading possibly to centuries of tyranny.
No, my friends, retreat is not an option. And make no mistake, as good as it sounds to withdraw our skill and energy from a society that hates us, the only answer is to fight. We must fight all enemies, both foreign and domestic, and we can’t do that by hiding.

There may be cause to pull back on our production, but not for the cause of going on strike. Liberty requires vigilance, and we can’t be vigilant when we are working fourteen hour days to pay for the life we want to live. Ask yourself if that is what you are doing, and if so, change it.

We who love liberty and the fruits of our own labor must take over the process of government, from school boards on up to the white house. In doing so we must along the way inculcate reason in minds of those we come into contact with. We are way behind the curve on this, but our only other choice is the final destruction of freedom.

I call on you all to vote on November 4 to make sure the extreme left does not take the white house in this coming election. The alternative may not be what we want, but breathing room is what we need.

Patrick Henry once said, “The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone, it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave… it is too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!”


Oct 17, 2008 – 6:07 pm 307. Militant-Infidel:


I will soon be leaving a full time job (~60 hours per week) for a part-time job (~30 hours per week). My Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) will likely fall about 25% (yes, it pays significantly better). Surprisingly though, my after tax income will only fall about 10%. How could this be? It is simple, really. My biggest expense after income taxes is my mortgage (with deductable interest) and property taxes (income tax deductable). With the deductions and 25% reduction in AGI, my income tax bill will fall by 40%!!! Not a bad start at “starving the beast”.

This does not include the opportunity that the extra hours at home would provide in regard to untaxed wealth in improving productivity of our goat herd, poultry flock and vegetable garden. The grocery savings alone would make up a significant percentage of the AGI reduction.

Who is John Galt?



Oct 17, 2008 – 7:56 pm 308. Porksnorkle:


Who is John Galt?


Oct 17, 2008 – 9:40 pm 309. RE:


I’ve always looked a ‘going John Galt’ as a matter of degree. The full Atlas Shrugged version of it is just the endpoint on the ‘I’m not going to participate in this travesty’ side of the spectrum.

We’ve all been doing mini John Galt’s for years in reaction onerous government be it in the form of relocating out companies, not hiring additional employees, and seeking ways to reduce our tax liabilities, not taking that raise that move us into the next tax bracket, etc.

But those are all miniscule compared to what we now face. An Obama/Reid/Pelosi government represents a death blow to entrepreneurship.

What point is there in becoming a victim of your own hard earned success?


Oct 18, 2008 – 4:22 am 310. Militant-Infidel:


It has taken me nearly two evenings to digest the comments on this article. I know it is nearly at the end of the line in terms of blog cycle but I will make one more attempt. There are a couple of salient points which need addressing.

First, to “Mr. Wonderful” and his ilk: Thank you for your concern, but I (nor anybody else) will require you to “hold the door open”. We are still permitted to pursue our own happiness, regardless of what you think about it. If we find that our “currently” preferred method of productivity is being punished, we will find something else. This may include doing our transactions in an underground economy or simply using our time for personal pleasure like reading a new book. If you plan on trying to use the force of government to alter these decisions, well…..then bring it on! I’ve got mine, do you have yours? He, he, he.

Second, I think there seems to be a major attempt to equate the coming Greater Depression with the Great Depression. This is a major mistake for several reasons. Those who think holding money instead of equities will lead to survival misunderstand the current nature of money. Let me be clear (sorry for sounding like Obama), there will be NO deflation, ala the Great Depression. At the start of the Great Depression, dollars were still backed by gold and silver and thus were limited to supply and demand. With our current fiat currency, there is no such protection. It already looks like Ben Bernanke is spooling up the turbines on his helicopter (Google: Helicopter Ben if you miss the point). As opposed to a free market economy, the government’s tool box is extremely limited in handling a crisis. Despite the rhetoric, their ONLY option is to INFLATE our way out of the problem. Got bad debt (with China or a devalued home, etc.)? Then devalue the currency (by printing more) and make the problem smaller. A few years of 10-20% inflation will make everybody comfortable that their home is now “worth” more than they owe on it; right?

In addition to the references to Rand’s books and Ross’s “Unintended Consequences”, may I suggest “The Alpha Strategy” by John Pugsley. It is long out of print (being written in the Carter years, funny that.) but used copies are still available and a pdf of the book is available at http://www.biorationalinstitute.com/zcontent/alpha_strategy.pdf on-line. You will be glad you did.



Oct 18, 2008 – 4:58 am 311. sharon:


It is time. We can no longer be used by pimps like Obama, Biden and company.


Oct 18, 2008 – 7:43 am 312. Warren Bonesteel:


I went ‘John Galt’ about eight years ago. Ever since, I’ve been working to restore the ideals of the Founders of American freedom. If that requires me to tear the present socio-political system up by the roots in order to do so, so be it. As a not-so-simple matter of memetic engineering, my efforts have born fruit. It is astonishing what one man can accomplish …if he doesn’t care who gets the credit. (That’s our present socio-political system’s weakest point. Everyone – and I do mean everyone – wants to take the credit for something they didn’t do, thus stealing from and controlling others…but no one wants to take the responsibility or be held accountable.)

Although I hadn’t read “Atlas Shrugged” until this year, in retrospect, Ayn Rand perfectly explained why I went “John Galt.”

“Anthem” by Ayn Rand, is also well worth your time.


Oct 18, 2008 – 8:47 am 313. bigbadjohn:


If Joe the plummer is being investigated for stating his opinion, then does that mean that in the near future anyone will be scrutinized for expressing our opinion? Is Joe the Plummer’s experience what we have to look foreward to as our society moves toward socialism? Children singing the Obama Praises: The Hitler Youth, The Obama Truth Squad: The SS, The struggling economy: The economy in Germany prior to Hitler, scary to contemplate isn’t it? If taxes are raised for all who make over $250k does that mean that businesses will pass this on to the consumer as the “cost of doing business” thus in fact creating a tax increase for everyone including the 95% Mr. Obama wishes to present a “tax” decrease. Really? Bigbadjohn


Oct 18, 2008 – 10:51 am 314. Robin Dicken:


It’s too bad the Native Americans didn’t adopt Rand’s philosophy. There’d be nothing but some old burial mounds where the Pilgrims starved that first winter. Now THAT’S a real nice thought! Us Chickasaws think you white eyes are full of it, with your self importance. Forget the French Indian wars, I look forward to the Russian Indian wars. Atlas Shrug that.


Oct 18, 2008 – 11:11 am 315. RE:



“If Joe the plumber is being investigated for stating his opinion, then does that mean that in the near future anyone will be scrutinized for expressing our opinion?”

Yes, the leftists want the United States become just like Western Europe in that regard (and others).


Oct 18, 2008 – 1:15 pm 316. John Donohue:


I wonder…

Would there be traction for an actual, overt, out-in-the-open, legal but confrontive “We Are Shrugging” movement?

I just now registered the domains below and will put up a splash home page at the first one as soon as all progogation takes place.


John Donohue
Pasadena, CA


Oct 18, 2008 – 1:31 pm 317. John Donohue:


… that’s propogation of course!

P.S. Yes, there will be T-Shirts


Oct 18, 2008 – 1:49 pm 318. Alpha:


The John Galt meme has been around for quite some time. There is a well-known MRA (a men’s rights activist who has sometimes used the pseudonym of John Galt) who has railed against the evils of modern feminism and its partnership with big government (and big government’s love of Big Feminism as it has aided in its growth in the name of helping women) and big government’s redistribution of wealth scheme from men in the name of “from each according to his ability, to each according to her need”. The “marriage strike” is a major part of that movement as many men are opting out of feeding the beast of anti-family courts, divorce lawyers, feminist-activist judges, women’s studies graduates as child protective services employees, angry ex-wives bent upon revenge using the system to get a pound of flesh from their husbands, and the vast number of government serpents and parasites that have been sucking the life blood out of stable Western civilization known as the Family who have set their sights upon the target of men (the main producers of society) in order to redistribute their wealth to underserving parties.
Many of us men have already gone John Galt in the name of self-preservation and self respect so as to avoid the government destroying our lives via the vehicle of marriage which is nothing more than a contract among husbands, wives and the all-powerful State that cannot wait to get its hands on the wealth of its citizens under means of theft poorly disguised as some form of altruism.
Withdrawal in the name of not paying into this system by lowering my tax burden won’t be much more of a step.


Oct 18, 2008 – 11:44 pm 319. John Foust:


Other blogs are linking to this post! Here’s an example.


Oct 19, 2008 – 12:05 pm 320. goy:


Somebody has probably already pointed out that about 50% of those filing tax returns have already done some form of a “Galt”, possibly without even realizing it.

I think this points to a different approach, discussed here if anyone’s interested.


Oct 19, 2008 – 1:20 pm 321. M. Jackson:


Who here believes we still have “freedom of speech” when Obama has hired legions of lawyers to threaten and squelch all free speech that is negative to him in an effective way? Just ask “Joe the Plumber” what his free speech is going to cost him. He is being hounded relentlessly and threatened by Obama’s minions. Just ask any conservative in Missouri who was threatened with a lawsuit when Obama hijacked that state’s legal system to threaten and intimidate anyone with a negative campaign ad. We’ve already lost our free speech in the general public arena, wonder how long blogs like this will remain free?


Oct 19, 2008 – 1:34 pm 322. John Galt’s Canada « Rortybomb:


[…] I know it is early, knock on wood and all that – but (h/t john and belle) what will conservatives do if Obama wins? They certainly can’t move to Canada, or England. That’s more of the problem. The new question among the right-wing part of the rightwing: Is It Time To Go John Galt? […]


Oct 19, 2008 – 2:20 pm 323. No Fear:


We should not necessarily limit our actions to what the law does not yet criminalize.

When the laws themselves are criminal, when they violate our basic rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we have a duty to disobey them.

Whether Obama wins in November or not, the likelihood is that the Dems will gain ground in Congress. If I have the time and means I plan to launch a blog to track Obama in the White House (if he wins) as well as Congress. If I get shut down, then I will set up something else. They can try to shut me down but I will continue to speak.

If they threaten me with legal action, I will continue to speak (Gandhi did this. MLK did this. We must not be afraid to do this ourselves)

I also plan to purchase “protection” not just to protect me but my property as well.

As for my property, I will not go into details, but I plan to keep much of it VERY close to me.

Running away while attractive is an easy option (I’m not saying that is what Galt and the others did in Atlas Shrugged. They did not. To me what the producers did in the story more closely resembled civil and peaceful disobedience. I would suggest the same to everyone).

I will also take whatever measures I need to take to limit the amount of taxes that an Obama Administration would collect from me. I will pay for things that I believe government should pay for, but not hand outs.

Wouldn’t mind finding a Galt’s Gulch either.


Oct 19, 2008 – 2:49 pm 324. TalkinKamel:


Alpha, I don’t understand;

The government is now forcing people to get married?


Oct 19, 2008 – 4:23 pm 325. carl:


John Galt…almost forgot all about him!

For twenty years I have watched as “conservatives” draped themselves in Ayn Rand and then went off and rewarded themselves due to some logic called “supply side economics” then of course they trampled all over freedom of speech and dissent under the cloak of patriotism and terrorism.

Now they go on and on about Obama and point at him and claim that he will do everything…everything that they have already done.

Our freedoms are already compromised and our country has already been socialized….and it wasn’t the “masses” or “the workers” that caused it.

The Republican party has become the party of greed and self interest….the anti Galt Party….

The auther of the times should actually be George Orwell….


Oct 19, 2008 – 5:05 pm 326. nobozons:


Aren’t we guaranteed equal protection under the law. Has the government the right to charge us different tax rates. We should all be paying the same rate.


Oct 19, 2008 – 7:57 pm 327. John Donohue:


The Constitution expressly, proactively and in not uncertain terms forbade government to tax citizens directly. Collectivists attempted to narrow the meaning of direct taxation to property tax or capitation. Then, a court ruling clarified that tax on income was a direct tax. That was a disaster for collectivists. Hence: the 16th ammendment voiding individual rights for soverign citizens with regard to income.

There is no way to reconcile the unalienable right to property with compulsory taxation of any kind. To the utter shame of the world, in order to resolve the contradiction, instead of compulsory taxation being nullified, property rights were summarily trashed.

“Man is the only living species that has the power to act as his own destroyer—and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.” — Ayn Rand

John Donohue
Pasadena, CA


Oct 20, 2008 – 8:08 am 328. Bugs:


“Caring for others makes us human.”

Forcing people to care for others makes us Democrats.


Oct 20, 2008 – 10:27 am 329. Ryan:


There is still hope that America can be turned around if we start working towards making an Objectivist society (Atlantis). The ARI is certainly working making that possible. It will be slow progress and the results would not come for a long time. I don’t think that an effective strike could be organized, yet, besides.
Obviously, the political institutions in power will not bring us to Atlantis. Objectivism is the only thing that can. But to change the political landscape, we must first change the intellectual landscape as well.
In The Fountainhead, Toohey talks about “preparing the soil”, society, in such a way that Roarks are not possible; I’m taking about doing the opposite, making society such that Tooheys are not possible.


Oct 20, 2008 – 3:38 pm 330. Buckley:


It’s a pleasant thought to know that in times you find stressful, you look to literature for relief.
The Democrats will surely be running the government after November, but why must we look upon this as some kind of Doomsday scenario?
I have lived through the Presidencies of Kennedy/Johnson, the Carter years, and as I remember things, we were quite busy during the Clinton years, or maybe Ken Starr just made it seem that way.
I believe there is opportunity awaiting those who choose to look past their selfish needs and choose to re-group, dust ourselves off, and be the opposition party that the Dems have never been able to be, during their lackluster performance the past eight years.

Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and others found their voice during the Clinton administration. Imagine a younger, hipper (even black) conservative voice fueling the new conservative opposition to a welfare state that seems to be the basis for most of the recent hang-wringing on the right.

We will need fresher approaches, sharper commentary, and dare I say it, a leaner team.

Time to trim Buchanan, Dole, Romney, as well as embarrassing pundits like Steve Doucey, Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson and Anne Coulter from front-line attacks.
Sorry, but these are not our best and brightest, and we need our best and brightest pushing a new agenda.

Just one more thing. Since when did attending Harvard or Yale become shameful?
I am quite proud of my Ivy League education, and a narrative that proffers attending the most prestigious schools in our nation creates leaders who are out of touch, can really wreak havoc with basic history.
So, lets re-group and start a real discussion about strategies to bring the Democrats to the table and expose their ideas in plain language for what they are.
We have a winning idealogy, let’s present it in a winning, forceful way.


Oct 21, 2008 – 10:50 am 331. Gary:


This past summer when it became apparent that Obama most likely would take the White House along with a Congressional majority, my wife decided to “retire” from productivity. Her earnings put us over the $250K threshold. She simply felt that she would be working for essentially a 60-40 split with the government (with the government getting the 60) and that this was not a fair deal. So she walked away. So in our family, we’ve already gone 50% John Galt and the government will no longer collect taxes from her.


Oct 21, 2008 – 11:58 am 332. Aldorossi:


As a Latte sipping Left Coast Elitist, I find myself agreeing. Perhaps it is time to cutoff the money. In 2005, for example, a Godfearing self reliant salt-of-the-earth dwelling state like Kentucky received $1.51 in Federal spending vs. $1 in Federal Taxes paid.

Other Joe Sixpack states:

Idaho: $1.21 received vs $1 paid

Oklahoma: $1.39 received vs $1 paid

Oh, and, well:

Alaska: $1.85 received vs. $1 paid

And where did that money come from?

It was us Godless, baby-eating Vovlo driving demons:

California: $.78 received vs. $1 paid

You know, maybe I am fed up with supporting the unproductive…


Oct 21, 2008 – 12:44 pm 333. JSC:



It is my opinion that Republicans lost their way when they tried to govern like Democrats with ever greater spending to seem more compassionate. However, it’s hard to outspend a Democrat without looking like a Democrat, and when it comes to a vote most people will go with the “real thing”.

I am unconvinced of the societal merits of an Ivy League education over any other institution of higher learning. Just call me a simple plebian when bearing the witness of a sophisticated patrician.

I own a business that delivers an advanced technology service to my customers ever hour of every day. I came up with the idea for the business, I researched the market place, I wrote all of the software that drives the business, and I spent almost everything that I in building the business. My family and I lived on next to nothing for three years while I worked sixty to eighty hours a week (that is not an exaggeration). Finally, after half a decade of struggling, just as I am going to reap the rewards of my Herculean efforts, one of our presidential candidates is talking about spreading the wealth around; my wealth.

Well nuts to him and all of those who wish to rob me of my hard earned success.

I recently read of where another man named Buckley expressed his support for Senator Obama. Change for the sake of change is foolish. I am more impressed with a person of action than one who talks a good game, because at the end of the day results matter while worthless words are forgotten.

The feckless comments of our political class would amuse me more if only they did less damage.


Oct 21, 2008 – 3:00 pm 334. Eric:


Aldorossi #332,

Well, don’t cherry pick the data. Remember to include Washington DC which leads the list with $6.64 received per dollar paid.
And you seem to be defeating your own point. Those states which pay the most in Fed taxes per taxes received tend to be the states with the greatest gap between the richest and poorest. California, New York, Connecticut have higher GINI ratios, indicating inequality of incomes while the “red” states tend to have lower GINI ratios. It appears that allowing the wealthy to be wealthy raises the boat for everyone. Reagan (former Governor of “Godless, baby-eating Vovlo driving demons”) must have been right.

Oct 21, 2008 – 6:15 pm 335. Chris:


Great Samuel Adams Quote

“Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, ‘What should be the reward of such sacrifices?’
Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth?
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

Is it time to “go John Galt” or Go Founding Fathers?

We still have the Constitution we just need to follow it more carefully.


Oct 22, 2008 – 8:41 am 336. JSC:



We still have the Constitution we just need to follow it more carefully.

I look forward to your thoughts on how following the constitution can be accomplished when we have:

1. The mechanizations of a dishonest press
2. A murder(as in crows) of self-indulgent legislators
3. Aided by a judiciary who hasn’t followed the constitution faithfully since before Grover Cleveland
4. Combined with a population who can’t distinguish between a genuine right and an entitlement
5. All conditioned on obtaining the maximum benefit from the public treasury

It seems to me that all three branches of government have been degraded to the point they represent the most decadent aspects of the late Byzantine Empire.

As quotes go: I know not course others may take, but as for me … Patrick Henry’s “Common Sense” is sorely missed.

Starving the beast seems to be a slow, painful, but ultimately effective way of propagating change.

Have you changed your identity on this thread?


Oct 22, 2008 – 11:22 am 337. Billy Beck:


“We still have the Constitution we just need to follow it more carefully.”

The Interstate Commerce Clause alone makes that morally completely impossible.

It is far, far past time for some of you people to wake up to the fact that the constitution was a counter-revolutionary act.


Oct 22, 2008 – 10:53 pm 338. squiddy:


If the voters of these United States decide that Marxism is the way forward, by electing a socialist House, Senate, and President, as a Libertarian, I think I’ll have only one choice – to join them.

That is, to do my level best to stop being a “donor”, and becoming a “consumer” and help sabotage the new “Worker’s Paradise.”

Doing a “John Galt” is nearly impossible, unless you choose to live under a bridge.

Instead, I’ll try to be practical – I’ll go to extravagant lengths, even cutting my working hours, to reduce my exposure to any increase in taxes. I’ll move my investments to overseas markets. I’ll divest myself of government securities. I’ll pay for tax dodges. even if it costs as much to implement as I save in taxes. I’ll stop donating to charities, and ditto volunteer work. I’ll sign up for every government give-away that exists, even if I don’t qualify. I’ll protest every tax assessment I get. I’ll pester my (D) Senators to vote for every massive spending bill, and ask for as much pork as they can possibly stuff into my district. I’ll encourage all those people I know who no longer work to apply for disability, Medicaid, and anything else I can think of.

By myself, I’ll achieve nothing. Joined by millions, who knows, maybe we can make things bad enough that the government can’t afford to implement their hideous plans.

Once Socialism is in-place, (we already have ’socialism’ now, we’ll just make it official), it’ll take years to undo the damage (if ever.) And voting these people out will be all-but-impossible; if ever they see a day coming when they may lose power, I guarantee the largest illegal alien amnesty we’ve ever seen will take place, just in time so the new citizens can vote, reliably, for their benefactors.

Further hastening our slide into a 3rd-world country…


Oct 23, 2008 – 9:02 am 339. Jeff:


I am one of those “rich” guys who makes over $250k as an independent consultant.

When Obama talks about re-instituting the SS tax above $250K I am looking at an additional 13% tax … sweet )

Should the O-Con-man win I plan on reducing my workload to bring my income (after expenses) down below $250k no matter what. I’ll be doing the landscaping and odd jobs jobs around my house and property and spending more quality time at home. Too bad for the local guys whom I would have gladly paid to assist me with these things. I will not send anymore money than I absolutely have too to Washington DC, especially with a marxist in the White House.


Oct 23, 2008 – 9:54 am 340. Hank Reardon:


Is there a better place to live than the USA (this is not a rhetorical question)?

Here is the John Galt Plan my wife and I live by:
All savings need to be in IRA/401ks only. Additional savings in silver and gold coins, period.

Barter for many services.

Register and Vote Libertarian.

Promote the Atlas Shrugged essay contest to high school and college students.

Our kids go to private school.

Frugal spending habits.

Cut back on revenues and cut back on # of employees. The hardest task for an A type personality currently living as a slave to the state.

We will not support businesses that donate to socialists like BO.

Do not leverage yourself, debt is evil.

Give $ only to libertarian or church causes (our taxes already fund the majority of non-profits).

I send “The Law” by Frederick Bastiat to all new politicians in our area (it is over 1000 less pages than Atlas Shrugged :)).

I write letters to the editor.

Once the kids leave the house… we will be sustained on our farm without generating more wealth.

Our strength and resolve comes from faith in Jesus.


Oct 24, 2008 – 12:36 pm 341. Expressions:


It is not fair for those who prosper and work hard to pay their hard earned money for those who aren’t as successful, or choose not work. The socialist illuminati are trying to promote laziness by taking our wealth and giving it away to programs like welfare.


Oct 25, 2008 – 11:23 am 342. MarkJ:


What will be the economic gift of a “President Obama” to America?

The “Sopranos Economy”: untraceable cash under the table, “Lemme do ya this favor” bartering, and tax evasion on a biblical scale.

If IRS workers think they’re hated now, they ain’t seen anything yet.


Oct 26, 2008 – 5:55 pm 343. Tim:


“Caring for others makes us human.

If we looked after only ourselves and had nothing but contempt for the weaker sections of society, how would we call ourselves any better than “animals” ?

Remember, you were also unproductive once – as a child and will become unproductive again when you retire”

Nine people voting to strip one other of half their pay is not “caring”. Telling me that I have an obligation to support others is not “caring” either. Who the hell do you think you are, that you feel entitled to pull the shame card when I take exception to YOUR proposed forced reallocation of MY hard work?


Oct 26, 2008 – 6:00 pm 344. Robin:


Uh, yes. Go John Galt. I, for one, intend to quit working as a nurse, get on welfare and live the good life. If I tell them I have a baby daddy out there somewhere, I can probably get more. Beats the hell out of Obama taxing me to death…..


Oct 26, 2008 – 6:17 pm 345. JGAlt:


I’m right here…..thanks for asking

And the productive are welcome to join me…


Oct 26, 2008 – 6:26 pm 346. Dagny:


Those who wish to live in Galt’s Gulch has some different options which will likely render a socialist tax structure totally ineffective.

The 1-5% at the top of the earnings distribution have the best tax attorneys and accountants, and also to more tax competitive jurisdictions like Bermuda, the Caymans, Ireland, etc. You cannot just soak a private equity investor living in Greenwich without consequence- he can simply move his fund to the British Virgin Islands or whatnot.

Then what? Having driven the most productive from the US, tax receipts and general productivity and competitiveness will only decline.


Oct 26, 2008 – 6:41 pm 347. robtr:


I own a small business and make between $200,000 and $300,000. I, freinds and business associates are going Galt if Obama is elected. He has created a class war and we will fight. We will defer income as long as possible, lay off employees that make $100,000 and up and replace them with two les experienced employees that will make $35,000 to $55,000. The replacement employees will not be paying much if any income tax under Obama’s plan. We will also let Obama pay for Health insurance for those employees. Obama will soon be running the highest deficits in history and will have to surrender or watch his congress be replaced in 2010.


Oct 26, 2008 – 7:00 pm 348. Mitch:


You may recall the Czar’s Prayer from Fiddler on the Roof: “May the Lord bless and keep the Czar…far away from us!” My wife and I are starting to consider the Galt-like option (as several of the posters have already mentioned) of withdrawing to the place likely to be most congenial to small government, personal liberty and capitalism – and far away from Obama, namely, Alaska. I would not be surprised to see a migration of producers wishing to thrive under Palin’s protection.


Oct 26, 2008 – 7:07 pm 349. DeVere:


Point of clarification: For single earners, Obama’s increased marginal rate kicks in at $160K or so, and for couples, around $200K (apparently offset by some type of credit), so the slippage in the $250K figure is already baked in the cake.

When/if Obama takes office, he will survey the situation, and then drop the $250K breakpoint to reflect “new realities”…

…don’t concede the “$250K” number as it’s election b.s.


Oct 26, 2008 – 7:29 pm 350. Suzy:


1) Whatever Obama and his liberal friends in the Congress do — a Republican president with a Republican Congress can undo.

2) In the mean time, go see a good accountant to help you navigate whatever changes there will be to the tax code.

3) Instead of putting our time and energy into being less productive and dropping out of the economy, let’s put our time and energy into picking off the vulnerable members of Congress. Let’s start organizing the battleground states now with volunteers so that the next Republican president can walk in with a huge advantage of volunteers.

4) Finally, don’t give up because McCain hasn’t lost yet.


Oct 26, 2008 – 7:39 pm 351. Sudden:


Yea, you guys do that. “Go John Galt”… have fun with it. We now have something at our disposal that Rand and her magic-rich-people island never saw coming. It’s called Google Earth. Go ahead and run folks. We’ll find you, don’t you worry.


Oct 26, 2008 – 7:53 pm 352. myna:


You think 250K is the magic number. You are wrong. Once Barack realized that 250K is not enough to support his socialist agenda, he will lower the bracket to 50K.


Oct 26, 2008 – 7:56 pm 353. Kendall:


It seems to me one of the better plans if the Democrats should sweep, might be to strive to make as much money as possible for the next few years – and then withdraw from earning anything and persist on what you had made. If enough people did this the expansionary spending would suddenly face a huge, un-forecasted decline in revenue which would certainly bring things up short by the next presidential election, and could not be easily portrayed as some lingering effect of Republican rule since it happened years later…

I too have got given up on McCain at all, and think he has a decent chance of winning when people really sit down at the ballot and ponder their fate. There is a large number of people kept silent for fear of speaking out either for a Republican or against Obama, and these people are not easily counted in todays climate.


Oct 26, 2008 – 8:30 pm 354. cgp:


Palin? Objectivist? Isn’t she the one redistributing Alaskan oil money, and only wants to do more of it? For being so well “reasoned”, you certainly have a lot of factual blind spots.


Oct 26, 2008 – 9:29 pm 355. cgp:


Also, wouldn’t you be better off being productive to contribute to your campaign’s funds? Or is that just another form of wealth redistribution?


Oct 26, 2008 – 9:32 pm 356. cgp:


Is everyone here aware that the US had a top marginal tax rate of rate of 70% from 1936-1981? Everything seemed to work just fine, all these paranoid people suggesting that some elite class of people will be missed — umn — I’m fine sending them away. They created this mess. Taxing excessive incomes (not today’s level of 250k) would simply be high stakes greed prevention, not so much an attempt to generate tax revenue.


Oct 26, 2008 – 9:43 pm 357. cgp:


Spending up! Don’t worry, all that oil money will pay for it. (or not, as oil prices have collapsed now)


Oct 26, 2008 – 9:50 pm 358. btenney:


Obama’s supporters will undergo Buyers Remorse in short order. His mandate will not last beyond 01/30 09. Short sighted, shallow minded first time voters will lose patience as soon as they realize that Universal healthcare will require payroll deductions on the same order as Social Security and that The Employers share of that will come out of their wages also.


Oct 27, 2008 – 7:11 am 359. Alan:


Wow – decided to “go John Galt” independently – I haven’t read Atlas Shrugged, and wasn’t familiar with it’s concept. So refreshing to read there are so many like me. Someone needs to write a book about methods to go John Galt (maybe I will). My plan:

Invest in myself tax-free and avoid taxable income – self-education, research and development, get in shape (crossfit style, w/o expensive equipment), eat, grow my own food to the degree possible.

Do as much as possible myself.

Sell unecessary possessions patiently for top dollar.

Reduce spending.

When I do spend, support only businesses that are apolitical or support my philosophy.

Investigate using the Liberty Dollar.

Stop eating out.

Relax and be happy, less stressed.

Invest to profit from the John Galt trend.

Reduce working hours to maximize Schedule A tax deductions.

Use the free time to make research ways to reduce taxes further (taking advantage of the complicated tax system).

Catch up on all maintenance I deferred while working so hard.

Educate others with a smile on my face.

Travel overseas now rather than waiting for retirement.

In general, treat this time as a sabbatical in preparation for a time when hard work is no longer punished.


Oct 27, 2008 – 8:51 am 360. Mark:


I have taken a large amount of money and converted to gold. I have taken another chunk out and left in cash. I’ve bought new safes for the house, some new weapons, and am stocking up on basic foodstuffs, water, etc. Generator is being installed soon. I’m not quite going Galt yet, but I am getting ready. I live rurally, and that’s an advantage in the potentially coming Galtian times.

Lest you think I’m some sort of survivalist crazy…I’m not. I’ve been a practicing lawyer and entrepreneur for over twenty years. But like John Galt and the other admirable characters in Atlas Shrugged, I’m getting damn tired of people taking that which they have not created, and that which does not by the “inalienable rights” belong to them.

Though I first read and was inspired by Ayn Rand in college, it’s been a long slow transition to a life where I might be prepared to withdraw. First, getting married and having kids…true responsibility. Then, the move to the country to get my family out of all the nasty influences of the city and its culture, then the realization after 9/11 that the whole system could come crashing down relatively easily.

I think I’ll just stick by the Boyscout motto…be prepared.



Oct 27, 2008 – 9:24 am 361. Blind Squirrel:


I have been going “John Galt” and preaching it to anyone who will listen for the couple of years. My signature line on my email is “Atlas Shrugged” and today I feel like Atlas. Just as in the book, the harder I work, the more that people want to ake from me; suck up my energy and “wealth”. 18 months ago I closed down a division in my company and laid off 15 people. I did not because the harder I worked to keep them employed, the more restrictions and taxes were placed on me. It no longer became worthy of my energy. I chose to work less, make a bit less and enjoy more. I increased my giving to charity (soup kitchens are my passions) and eliminated all personal debt; and began to take in energy rather than have it taken away. The current and future state of our federal government and its socialistic overtones, will only cause me to further pull back and retreat in the “mountains”. My father did the same thing 20 years ago; when he stopped growing an extremely profitable business. When I asked him why, he said, it is no longer work the effort. For that I gave him a copy of Atlas Shrugged. It solidified his resolve. My interests are in the betterment of mankind and our society; I just do not believe that the government is the best vehicle to make it happen. There will be more of us “Galting” in the near future. Hopefully we can make a difference.


Oct 27, 2008 – 12:11 pm 362. 7horses:


For those who say wait 2 years , wait 4 years for the next election:

If Obama is elected you will see the end of fair elections. There will be no investigation of Acorn and its ilk. Only more $$ funding their efforts to disenfranchise voters.


Oct 27, 2008 – 12:17 pm 363. James Solbakken:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I believe “economics” is the scientific study of how the world works notwithstanding one’s ideology.
“Capitalism” works, however imperfectly, because it allows for the reality that people are primarily motivated by what they perceive to be their self interest, i.e. one can expect to keep a reasonable share of the fruit of their productive activity.
“Socialism” fails because it attempts to break the connection between one’s productive activity and their share in the fruit of their productive activity.
In that sense, the repeated failures of “socialism” come about because of “Galtism,” i.e. the tendency of productive people to respond rationally to having the fruit of their productive activity confiscated by the socialistic thieves.
For some reason, many people are inclined to believe that productive people will work just as hard, get up just as early, invest just as much, and take the same risks, no matter what they recieve in return.
It’s hard for me to believe that people could be that stupid.


Oct 27, 2008 – 5:02 pm


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