At the Washington Independent, Dave Weigel talks to some conservatives who believe that Obama’s plan to slightly raise taxes on folks making over $250,000 a year amounts to socialism, and who plan (or at least talk about) “going John Galt” to evade them. The reference is to an Ayn Rand book in which some of rich folks, characterized as the true producers of wealth whose efforts carry all people of more modest means, retire to a gulch so that the poor may rot from their own incapability. The notion was slightly revived by rightbloggers during the election campaign, when Dr. Helen considered going Galt by undertipping waiters. Now that Obama is dictator, conservatives of all sorts are claiming that, in the words of GOP Representative John Campbell, “People are starting to feel like we’re living through the scenario that happened in ‘Atlas Shrugged’… The achievers, the people who create all the things that benefit the rest of us, are going on strike.”
So far this mania has mostly been voiced rather than executed, as at the decidedly un-Randian tea party protests performed across the U.S. last week. Some blog commenters claim to have Galtian action plans (“I’m considering moving to a small family farm in a foreign country”) but, as the economy is already collapsing, it would be difficult to gauge their effectiveness even if they were effected. Liberals have responded mostly with mockery; a “Go Galt Go!” Facebook group suggests, “Only a universal wingnut blogging strike can bring the moochers to their senses.”
We’ll see who’s laughing when the rich really do go on strike, leaving us poor slobs to run the think tanks, marketing consultancies, and arbitrage firms all by ourselves. Photo (cc) jerrodtrainque.