Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New At Say Anything: U.K. Energy CEO Sees Atlas Shrugging at Reduced Availability

I have a confession to make. I think Atlas Shrugged ultimately fails as a piece of literature. It's far too long and makes its central point -- that government meddling in the private sphere mucks things up to no end -- over and over, ad nauseum, like a metronome. By the third gratuitous (and long) illustration the metronome analogy fails and is replaced by one of a hammer pounding on your skull. The characters are largely caricatures, one dimensional heroes or baddies. And "the speech". You know the one I mean.

Looked at as a how-to guide for large, central-planning governments to wreck and economy and lower the standard of living for its citizens, however, the book is gold. Ayn Rand might bombard her readers with endless examples that tell the same story, but that doesn't make the point any less valid. Who knows, maybe that was the point. It's true that by the end of the book it was disheartening to see people with good ideas and a strong work ethic beaten down by inane laws and capricious regulations. The book is a testament to myopic politicians who rig the game for their own short term gain at the expense of the long term welfare of the people.

By that I mean that too many politicians succumb to the immediate; the opportunity to make money, to take up a cause, to champion a law, to elevate their standing with (who they determine to be) the right people. They pursue these goals with a tunnel vision that ensures that any stimuli that might trigger revisitation of those goals will be deflected harmlessly away. That same tunnel is padded with the adulation and support of those same "right people" who walk through tunnels of their own.

(Continue reading this article at Say Anything.)

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