(Randi Thompson) – “Who is John Galt?”
That is the opening line from Ayn Rand’s classic novel “Atlas Shrugged.” The characters in the book struggle to learn who John Galt is and why he is stopping the engines of commerce. While at first they vilify him for leaving his profession and sabotaging the economy, they soon understand why he left, and join him in his strike — one that takes away not the “laborers” but the “creators” of the economy.
In 1983, when I first read this book, I thought that this scenario could never happen. I thought that no government could be so corrupt, powerful and anti-free-market that it would force the men who build cars, run railroads or design and build skyscrapers to quit. Her treatise seemed outrageous when it was published in 1957, let alone in the 1980s.
In 2012, I know better. I don’t ask, “Who is John Galt?” I ask, “Where is John Galt?”
Where is the man who is going to stand up to our government and say, “Enough”?
Enough of saying I’m evil because I make a profit. Enough of giving tax dollars to foreign companies that go bankrupt. Enough of over-regulations and government interference. Enough of telling me that I would not be a success if it weren’t for the government.
Enough of using my taxes to create a permanent class of welfare recipients who will continue to vote for you because you continue to give them a handout. Enough of telling me I don’t pay my fair share when half the country pays nothing.
Enough of telling people that they are poor because I am rich.
Well, one man has said, “Enough!”
Joel Silverman wrote recently to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he is on strike. He sold and closed his companies in Las Vegas and will “not hire again until we have an administration that respects me and my efforts. I will not invest until my government understands it is more important to create an investment climate that encourages risk-taking rather than regulating and taxing it.”
Mr. Silverman is tired of being punished for working hard, creating jobs and making money. And he’s not alone.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 20 percent of income earners (over $74,000) make 50 percent of the nation’s income but pay nearly 70 percent of all federal taxes. The “One Percenters” pay an average federal tax rate of 29 percent, while those earning between $50,100 and $73,999 pay about 15 percent. For the past 30 years, the share of taxes paid by the top 20 percent has gone up, while the share of taxes paid by everyone else has gone down. It makes for great election-year banter to say that the rich aren’t paying their fair share, but the numbers don’t lie as the politicians do.
The producers of the world are fed up. As you see more and more businesses closing, think about how it might not be the economy that got to them. They may be on strike.
And when enough of them quit, so will the engines of the economy.
Randi Thompson is a Republican political and media consultant. You can reach her at www.RandiThompson.com.