- March 23, 1775 is the day
Patrick Henry gave his famous
"Give me liberty or give me death"
speech. Listen to the speech and
how it pertains to the health care
bill that was ironically signed on
the same day 230 years later.
- Patrick Henry Audio
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- June 17, 2010 - Atlas Shrugging?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. This was Rand's fourth, longest and last novel, and she considered it her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. As indicated by its working title The Strike, the book explores a dystopian United States where leading innovators, ranging from industrialists to artists, refuse to be exploited by society. The protagonist, Dagny Taggart, sees society collapse around her as the government increasingly asserts control over all industry, while society's most productive citizens, led by the mysterious John Galt, progressively disappear. Galt describes the strike as "stopping the motor of the world" by withdrawing the "minds" that drive society's growth and productivity; with their strike these creative minds hope to demonstrate that the economy and society would collapse without the profit motive and the efforts of the rational and productive.
I read an article in Forbes entitled The Six Billion Challenge which summarizes:
"Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett are asking the nation's billionaires to pledge to give at least half their net worth to charity, in their lifetimes or at death. If their campaign succeeds, it could change the face of philanthropy."
On the surface this seems like an absolutely good thing. That kind of money flowing into a variety of charities would provide tremendous relief to
many groups of people. There's no doubt that as a society we should be striving to be more charitable and seeing it come from the world's richest
people can only serve as a great example.
There is one big side effect of something like this actually being implemented. The multi billionaires of the world do not actually have billions of
dollars sitting around in large piles of cash or even sitting in bank accounts somewhere. Their money is spread around the stock market, the bond
markets, real estate and various businesses. In order for them to give away half of their net worth over the course of their life or at their death
they would have to liquidate those assets.
Think about that for a moment. Can the system deal with 600 billion in assets being pulled out and redistributed to non profit organizations?
Those charities may do great work and benefit many needy people but they don't create jobs and don't contribute to economic growth. The money
these people will be donating would otherwise be invested in the free market system. In Atlas Shrugged the ultra rich effectively went on strike
to demonstrate to society what would happen without their productivity. Is this now the ultra rich demonstrating to society what would happen if
they stopped reinvesting their profits and instead just gave it away.
If you understand anything about power you would know it comes from having large numbers of people be dependent upon you for survival.
More and more government has been accumulating power by increasing the number of people dependent on government assistance for their most
basic needs. At the same time they have made the ultra rich capitalists out to be the source of every problem we have in society and
government intervention the solution to every problem.
Could this be the start of the war between the rich and the government over who controls charity in America? Without the economic output
generated by the hundreds of billions these people have invested in the system the government would be starved of tax dollars and forced
to reduce entitlements as our deficits reach unsustainable levels. These people would become the largest and most powerful social force
in the country simply by directing where and when their charitable contributions go. If these people united behind a single political
message the number of people they would control with their incredible volume of charity would make them the most powerful political force
on the planet.
What is not clear is whether or not this group is aligned with or against the politics of the current administration. If they are supporters
then together they would all but assure themselves of total and permanent political control over the entire United States of America and a
good portion of the world. If they are neutral or hostile to the current political agenda then we can only hope that once they sufficiently weaken
the power of the current leftist administration they will scale back this movement and allow the free market system to once again begin to work.
It is said that truth is stranger than fiction but it seems that these days what was once considered fiction has become a blueprint for reality.
From The Gods of the Copybook Headings by Rudyard Kipling
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.