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

I recently 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 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 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. 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, 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?


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