Please Go Galt!
“While they take to the streets politically, untold numbers of America’s wealth producers are going on strike financially. Dr. Helen Smith, a Tennessee forensic psychologist and political blogger, dubbed the phenomenon “Going Galt” last fall. It’s a reference to the famed Ayn Rand novel “Atlas Shrugged,” in which protagonist John Galt leads the entrepreneurial class to cease productive activities in order to starve the government of revenue. (…)
The perpetual Borrow-Spend-Panic-Repeat machine in Washington depends on the capitulation of the wealth producers. There’s only one monkey wrench that can stop the redistributionist thieves’ engine. It’s engraved with the word: Enough.”
As Matt Yglesias says:
“Just think what kind of nightmare scenario we might be inflicted with if the titans of finance who’ve made up such a large proportion of high earners in recent years were to pull back on their efforts! I shudder.”
Unfortunately, we don’t know how many of America’s wealth producers are going to go on strike, since their number is “untold”. But every one of them will free up work for someone else. And thanks to eight years of Bush’s economic policies, we are not short of unemployed people to take up the slack.
I am puzzled by one thing, however: the fact that none of the people who advocate “going Galt” seem to have actually done it. I’m not clear whether the point of “going Galt” is to stop doing creative or productive work, as Rand’s novel would suggest, or trying to lower one’s income, as many of the people quoted in stories about “going Galt” claim. But as best I can tell, the people advocating this are doing neither. Consider:
Rep. John Campbell has neither resigned from Congress nor given back any part of his salary.
Michelle Malkin is still blogging, and still seems to be on the PJMedia payroll.
Dr. Helen, who is “still mulling over ways that she can “go Galt,”” has not taken any of the obvious steps: stopping blogging, giving up her career, severing her connection to PJTV, or even not taking BlogAds. Neither has her husband.
Cassy at Wizbang, who says it’s “time to go Galt”, doesn’t seem to have stopped blogging either, and Wizbang is still running ads.
It’s almost enough to make me think they’re just posturing. I hope they prove me wrong. Both our public discourse and our unemployment numbers would be the better for it.