After recently finishing Atlas Shrugged for the first time I could finally answer this question for myself. Perhaps stemming from the state of the economy, Atlas Shrugged has become wildly popular; after selling 200 thousand copies in 2008 it sold half a million in 2009. Although I beg to differ from much of Rand’s objectivist philosophy of life, where economics and politics are concerned I found she had some terrific insights which are applicable today.
John Galt is the man who felt no debt to society and took care of himself, not asking for handouts from anyone nor giving any. When the government demanded he give his mind and money for others who did not work for it, he went on strike and took the other movers of his world with him. With them gone, the nation went to pieces as the government watched each regulation they made cause more damage than the one before.
In our day as well, where there is a crisis more government control seems to appear. The increased regulations and restrictions on production cause more problems which the government again steps in to fix. What could help the people is the exact opposite, freedom to spend their own money and produce at their maximum capacity without restrictions.
An intriguing, though very time consuming read, the length gives you the time to digest how each directive affects jobs and production and how the businesses relate to one another. Competition is welcomed and there is no place for the government’s force – only for the justice of receiving what one has earned. Though this does let some have more than others, it harkens back to the old quote “free people are not equal and equal people are not free.”