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Roger L. Simon

Who Needs Ayn Rand? America Has Already Gone John Galt

January 10th, 2014 - 11:08 am

Tell all your “Objectivist” friends and the libertarian gang at Reason magazine to break out the champagne. Americans may have skipped the movie of Atlas Shrugged, nor have many read any of Ayn Rand’s works, but they have taken the author’s advice anyway and gone John Galt, quitting the work force in record numbers.  According to Zero Hedge, the latest figures show the labor participation rate at 35 year low.

Realistically, it’s even more than 35 because that figure reflects an employment bump when larger numbers of women joined the work force in the seventies and eighties.  (They’re gone now, with or without Gloria Steinem.)

Currently a record 91.8 million Americans are no longer looking for work. That’s almost one and a half times the entire population of France.

Although I admit to libertarian tendencies, I don’t think any of us can celebrate because of this.  It’s an economic disaster that should be blowing even Chris Christie off the front pages.

In fact, it’s much worse than that. It’s a human emotional disaster.  Freud may have been wrong about a number of things, but he was right about this. Two mainstays that get us through life, other than religion, which Freud didn’t cotton to,  are “love and work.”  I don’t know about love,  but the work part of our lives has been brutally kicked out from under us in the Obama years.

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Top Rated Comments   
The gubmint has been cooking the numbers since Obama was elected. And the press not only has been lapping it up, but crowing about how good they are as well.

Essentially, we are in depression conditions, and between insane regulation, cronyism, corrupt bureaucracy, Insane spending and debt levels, and the fed money printing, this administration has flown us into a box canyon of pain.

There's literally no way out with the current numbskulls at the helm.

And there are three timebombs that will blow the wings off - Obamacare, The middle east, and China.

Learn to live simply. Get out of debt. Get healthy, and buy guns and ammo while you still can.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
With all due respect, the stock market is to a jobless recovery what Obamacare is to fly fishing.

It is apples and gorillas.

Here is an idea, tell the EPA that it is not Congress and cannot pass anti-free market laws because that is illegal.

Tell the Department of Energy and the EPA to not wipe out the coal industry and oil and gas...in favor of eagle killing windmills to tilt at.

Tell the IRS to not illegally assault small government and free market assemblages in violation of the First, Fourth and Fourteenth amendments.

Tell the Workers Party, the SEIU, ACORN, and the ACLU that communist tactics against businesses large and small hurt ALL citizens...not just the hated "capitalists".

Tell the border crasher apologists that putting 13 million illegals into an intentionally broken economy will hurt the AFRICAN AMERICAN community worst of all.

Tell the small c communists that confiscatory taxes destroy jobs and prevent growth.

Tell Obamacare wizards that seizing one sixth of the economy with a Rube Goldberg contraption that runs with lab mice on exercise wheels, and is ...by ruling of the Supreme Court...a TAX...prevents hires of full time employees...and destroys jobs, it doesn't create them.

Companies forced to adapt to free market crushing policies...will take remedial measures to stay profitable...because that is the fiduciary duty they owe...and people who want to work...pay the price for those radical leftist policies.

35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hi, BobAbrams.

You probably don't have a job, so I'll let you in on a tiny secret. See, I actually work for (*gasp*) a corporation. Our profits are not at a record high. They are, in fact, about where they've been for the last 4 years - stagnant. Compared to our variable costs, our profits are totally stagnant, as we've passed every single cost increase on to our customers. Our fixed costs have gone up, though, and we've avoided raising our prices to attempt to be competitive.

What's worse, since we're not growing, we can't hire people. Any new hires must be offset by increased business. No increase in business, no new hires.

Now, all of this is on the heals of a the economic crash. The owners all mortgaged their homes to keep us afloat during that time. Most of the company took a pay cut at the same time.

We're still getting "good insurance", because the company helps pay for it. From all appearances, my family and I will be on a cash-only basis with our doctors come 2015, when Obamacare kicks in for people like me. If you think I'm stupid enough to subject my family and finances to the government, you're insane. We'll pay whatever penalty/tax is required, and pray to God we don't have something catastrophic happen.

Respectfully, you don't know a damn thing about which you're blathering.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (91)
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This graph doesn't reveal the worst implication.
Young people are unemployed at much higher rates that older workers, so many of they will never find a bottom rung on the ladder to prosperity, and if they do, it will take years, which will depress their income for life.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Silly author, knows so little of Ayn Rand that he thinks going on welfare is "going Galt". He puts "Objectivism" in quotes as if it's attempting to claim its members are objective. Probably learned everything he knows of it from those with an interest of misrepresenting it.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Barack Obama, mired in a dead ideology, doesn’t seem prepared to do anything"

I don't understand this dancing around the fact that he is doing everything he can to create this situation, because of his dead ideology. You can't honestly think he's in office with sincere pro-American intentions, can you?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The terrible reality is that conditions seem to be deliberately exacerbated by both parties. Republicans, while now ( and probably for the foreseeable future ) the minority party, seek to preserve their share of the pie by running candidates that differ little from the Democrats in their big government policies. If their candidates win, fine. If not, those already in power lose very little. The GOP establishment will destroy any candidate who represents any real departure from the status quo and they do it with a venom that should be aimed at the Democrats. It is going to take a mighty and organized surge from among the conservatives to bring about any real change and it will take funding.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
You need Ayn Rand--particularly her ethics--to find your way back from Galt's Gulch and to establish its (implied) political principles nation wide.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roger - I'm a big fan of yours and know the job stats and work-force participation rate is at a 36 year low. But using US Census data from 2012, there are approximately 213 million Americans between the ages of 14 and 65. If according to Zero Hedge there are 155 million Americans working (approximately), the absolute difference between those that could be working and those that are not is 58 million - a horrendous number nonetheless but substantially and significantly below the 92 million figure Zero Hedge notes. I'm sure some of difference must be from the 43 million American who are 65+ but some folks in that group don't have to and don't want to work. Perhaps there's another way of looking at this and I'm sure you and your readers can provide a better explanation for the discrepancy.

Thanks to you and other PJ Contributors for some great commentary. Wishing you and others a great 2014 - especially come November!
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
It should be pointed out that when Alisa "Ayn Rand" Rosenbaum wrote her Science Fiction novel, Atlas Shrugged, she was really describing something that had already happened. It was called "the strike of Capital", and it happened under FDR.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
That labor participation graph is indeed very informative. It shows what I always thought. Obama inherited a pretty serious recession (although one not that much worse than the one Reagan inherited). But unlike Reagan, once the recession stabilized in the graphs peak in early 2010, there was absolutely no recovery. The economy basically just stayed completely flat at peak recession levels. I don't blame Obama for the recession, but I definitely blame him for the complete lack of a recovery.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Recently I read in a post at PJM that someone's child had a US gov't history book that started the unit on the Constitution by referencing the document's framers as age 55 or so white guys. Today's liberals regularly and ignorantly diss our "so called" founders.

In case you miss the point of all this brainwashing, it is that Ruthie ("the US Constitution sucks") Ginsburg, the Wise Latina, et al and etc. are so much wiser and more worldly than those old white guys.

One of our "so called" founders Thomas Jefferson presages Ayn Rand in a letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6th, 1816:

"To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association -- the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wrote that post. It was the opening line of the chapter on the 1787 Constitutional Convention. It began, " 55 white, male, mostly lawyers gathered in Philadelphia........". I had left the business world after 25 years to begin a second career teaching US History and Government. That was in 1990, 24 years ago which means an entire generation has grown up having been inculcated with this drivel that passes for history in our high schools today.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is the producers who withdraw in Going Galt, not the labor force, although the labor force necessarily follows.

Either way, I think Freud and Rand and all the rest of us can agree that not feeling productive is a definite human negative and that supposed free lunches are very costly to individual lives.

"Why is it immoral to produce something of value and keep it for yourself, when is it moral for others who haven't earned it to accept it ? If it's virtuous to give, isn't it then selfish to take ?...This country wasn't built by men who sought handouts...Don't exhaust yourself to help build the kind of world that you see around you now."

35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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