Tag Archives: Atlas Shrugs

MUST-READ: Michele Bachmann open to running for President in 2012!

Representative Michele Bachmann
Representative Michele Bachmann

I normally never link to WND, because they are out on the fringe, but this story seems ok.(H/T Commenter MC)

Let’s learn a bit about Michele!

Excerpt:

She began her political career simply, as a Christian mom concerned about the content of school papers her children brought home in their backpacks, but today she has become one of the leading defenders of liberty and conservative principles on Capitol Hill.

[…]Bachmann, a federal tax litigation attorney before serving in elected office, told WND that she is “first and foremost a mother.” In the late 90s, the mother of five and foster mom to another 23 children through the years, grew concerned about what her foster kids were bringing home from the public school.

“Through the Goals 2000 program, the federal government was pushing knowledge, facts and information out of classroom study, substituting them with a study of attitudes, values and beliefs,” she said, “but not necessarily the values that moms and dads would like.”

[…]”I started my career in politics believing the federal government should not have a role in the classroom,” Bachmann told WND. “Going forward, we have to pare back dramatically the size, scope and reach of the federal government. It’s extending its hand over almost every area and aspect of people’s lives, and that needs to come back if we are to remain free and prosperous. We can’t be free and prosperous if we go in the direction we’re heading.”

[…]”I believe in equality of opportunity, not equality of result, and that’s the big dividing line between liberals and conservatives,” she said. “Conservatives believe that each individual is important and deserves protection of their inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“These rights come from our creator,” she continued, “Government neither gives them nor does government have the power to take them away. … I believe my job as a member of Congress is to secure those inalienable rights.

“The heart and soul of who we are as a nation is in the Declaration of Independence; the Constitution is the framework for how we uphold those rights; and the Bill of Rights goes on to secure those rights to the individual, protecting individual rights from big government,” she said.

[…]”Over the weekend, I read a 1986 book – ‘Destroying Democracy’ by James T. Bennett and Thomas J. Dilorenzo – that talked about ACORN’s agenda, and it was as fresh as everything President Obama has been advancing since he took office,” she said. “Complete nationalization of health care, energy tax, government taking over the economy – now that we have ‘bailout nation,’ the U.S. government owns or controls 30 percent of the American economy. If Obama gets his way and effectively nationalizes 18 percent of the nation’s wealth in healthcare, that will put 48 percent of our economy controlled or owned by the federal [government]. That’s outlandish.

“Americans gave got to melt the phone lines of the Democrats on the health care bill,” she continued. “If the president gets his way with nationalized health care, it will be almost impossible to ever turn it back and restore to us our freedom.”

[…]Bachmann explained much of the ridicule she endures is because powerful women with conservative views don’t fit liberals’ desired image.

“I’m not afraid to be a social or fiscal conservative, and that doesn’t fit their template,” she told WND. “Democrats see women as yet one more dependency group, but I defy that. I don’t need government programs to succeed. I worked my way through college, my husband and I started our own business, and we didn’t need the government to be the answer.

“I also think they’re upset that I’m willing to go on radio and TV shows and call them out on their policies,” she continued. “They’ve thrown just about everything they can throw at me and they haven’t prevailed yet, and I think that infuriates them.”

And would she run for President?

“If I felt that’s what the Lord was calling me to do, I would do it,” she answered. “When I have sensed that the Lord is calling me to do something, I’ve said yes to it. But I will not seek a higher office if God is not calling me to do it. That’s really my standard.

“If I am called to serve in that realm I would serve,” she concluded, “but if I am not called, I wouldn’t do it.”

She is probably the politician who best reflects my views across the board. She understands what policies men want. And she loves Christian apologetics.

Now consider a little more about her revealed by the extremely left-wing Minneapolis Star-Tribune – (probably the worst newspaper on the planet behind the New York Times and Los Angeles Times).

Excerpt:

Michele Marie Amble was born in 1956 into a family of Norwegian Lutheran Democrats. When she was young, they moved from Iowa to Minnesota, where she was an A student and a cheerleader and had hair to her waist. She was named Miss Congeniality in the Miss Anoka competition.

In 1970, her parents divorced, and her father moved to California.

Her mother, Jean, got a job at the First National Bank in Anoka, earning $4,800 a year — not enough to keep up the payments on their home in Brooklyn Park. She sold the house and moved the family to a small apartment in Anoka.

So when sixth-grader Michele wanted contact lenses, she knew she had to tackle the expense herself.

She began babysitting at 50 cents an hour, stuffing dollar bills and quarters into a small bank in her room for two years until, in the summer before ninth grade, she’d earned enough.

Then, one afternoon as she bicycled along West River Road, a contact lens flew out of her eye.

She and her mother got down on their hands and knees, peering at every glint in the gravel, hoping that they wouldn’t have to start pawing through the brush that hemmed the highway. Finally, they rose, empty-handed, to a loss that felt enormous. Somehow, Jean found the money to buy a replacement, recalling that she could hardly let her daughter’s determination go unrewarded.

Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs interviewed her, and so did World Magazine.

She is accepting contributions for her Senate race here.

You can view some videos of her passionate, articulate speeches here if you need convincing.

How redistribution of wealth kills the entrepreneurial spirit

There is a perception, especially on the left, but also on the “big government” right, that the federal government should be responsible for redressing every inequality that occurs in society. This is true whether the person brings misfortune on themselves or whether it is accidental. The problem with this wealth redistribution is revealed when you think about the incentives this introduces to the producers and the victims.

  1. Government does not transfer wisdom, skill or responsibility from producers to victims
  2. Government transfers money from producers to victims
  3. Being productive involves risk and hard work on the part of producers
  4. Receiving money involves ingratitude and rationalization on the part of victims
  5. If the government confiscates a large enough portion of the earnings of the producers, they stop producing
  6. Every dollar taken from producers is a dollar less they have for engaging in their productive plans, (e.g. –  running a business or raising a family in a responsible way)
  7. The more money is that transferred to victims, the more the frequency of bad behavior increases – because being a victim is easier
  8. If you subsidize being a victim, you get more of it
  9. If you tax production, you get less of it

“Going Galt” is named after the character John Galt in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugs. Galt is an industrialist who withdraws from the economy when faced by punitive tax rates and burdensome regulations. Going Galt refers to slowing down or ceasing production, because the risks and effort involved in producing are not worth the portion of the earnings that producers keep after taxes are redistributed to the victims.

The idea was first brought up afresh by Dr. Helen Reynolds in October 2008 on her blog Ask Dr. Helen. A more recent discussion of the phenomenon is here at the Washington Independent web site.

Excerpt:

“Just this weekend,” said Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) on Wednesday in an interview with TWI, “I had a guy come up to me in my district and tell me that he was losing his interest in the business he’d run for years because the president wanted to punish him for his success. I think people are reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’ again because they’re trying to understand what happens to people of accomplishment, and people of talent and energy, when a government turns against them. That’s what appears to be happening right now.”

The plot of Rand’s novel is simple, despite its length — 1,088 pages in the current paperback edition. The United States is governed by bureaucrats, “looters” and “moochers,” who penalize and demonize creative people. The country is in decline because creative people are disappearing — they have followed the innovative John Galt to a mountain enclave, “Galt’s Gulch,” where they watch society crumble. Creativity has gone on strike (the working title of the novel was “The Strike”), and the engine of capitalism cannot run without it.

For Campbell, this is a powerful and relevant story. The congressman calls “Atlas Shrugged” an “instruction manual,” and inscribes the copies that he gives to interns. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, also gives copies of the novel as gifts and refers to it to make the case against President Obama’s policies. “It’s an audacious scheme,” said Ryan in his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference last week. “Set off a series of regulatory blunders and congressional meddling, blame the free market for the financial crisis that follows — then use this excuse to impose a more intrusive state. Sounds like something right out of an Ayn Rand novel.”

Michelle Malkin is posting a lot of messages on her blog from people who are suggesting other ways to Go Galt.

Excerpt from one of the producer’s letters:

It is now fashionable and politically expedient to extend blame for the current financial crisis on greedy businesses and predatory lenders. The reality is that individuals and poorly managed businesses were responsible for the bulk of the problems. Government also played a role – and it was both parties – that encouraged and supported unsound business practices. Now the Government “must” step in to “save” these poor people from losing their homes, and “save” these “too big to fail” financial institutions. What about those of us, and those businesses, that chose to act responsibly? Who chose to live within their means? Who chose sound financial decisions over high risk behavior?

Enough is Enough. Let them all fail. It is not too late. I don’t care about the homeowner that borrowed more than they could afford and now find themselves potentially without a home and bankrupt. I don’t care about the businesses that overlooked sound financial decisions in the name of short term profits. We all make choices in life and it is time to let those that made the bad choices live with their decisions and finally reward those that chose to act responsibly. It has come down to this – either we let those that made the bad decisions fail, or we end up sacrificing our nation, our national identity and our very way of life.

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