There is a new term floating around the conservative blogesphere - It’s “going Gault” It refers to the protagonist John Galt in Ayn Rand's novel, “Atlas Shrugged." In the book Galt convinces all the captains of industries to go on strike to protest the fact that the rest of the world feeds off of what they (the executives) produce. Many conservatives are suggesting that executives in this country do this very thing to protest against Presidents Obama’s proposed tax hikes targeting the rich. (It’s not really a tax hike but actually just going back to the rates we had under Clinton and Reagan) They say they are going to stop showing up at board meetings and show us workers who the real producers in this country are. I say go right ahead. I would love to see them try. I guarantee if one hundred of the top executives in this country disappeared tomorrow the world wouldn’t even skip a beat. How full of themselves can these people be? The only billionaire that I can think of who actually accomplished something and really deserves to be where they are is maybe Bill Gates. You could have made an argument that if he disappeared, he would truly be missed. But you can’t even make that argument, because guess what? He retired! And the sun rose the next morning. No one even noticed.

Let’s face it. Everyone is expendable. That goes for me along with the CEO of Merrill Lynch.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote, ''Nobody's so damn well educated that you can't learn ninety per cent of what he knows in six weeks. The other ten per cent is decoration.” Vonnegut was being kind. I say the other ten percent is bullshit.

Can you imagine a bunch of top executives going off to an island someplace to live by themselves like they did in that book? These guys probably wouldn’t even be able to dress themselves. In a week they’d be shivering naked and hungry by the shore trying to initiate a hostile takeover of each other’s coconuts.

If the conservatives say go Gault, I say please do.


Adam said…
Nick - I thought this might interest you.

Adam said…
Or maybe this won't get cut off ...

Thanks for the article. I love any, and all comments. You might have been bringing this article to my attention to show me what happens when rich people move. I would not deny that the tax base shrinks. That’s self evident. But let’s remember that the people moving did not single handedly generate all that wealth. They had help from their workers, which is the point of my article. The rich are not gods. Gosh, I sound so angry. I most have been spanked by the rich when I was a child.
Adam said…
I think that my problem comes in when a bunch of words are used as interchangeable when they are not. Rich does not equal Executive does not equal Producer. In "Atlas Shrugged" the men of the mind go on strike. They are not the Executives, they are producers. And well, producers are producers, whether that be James Dyson and Richard Branson or the guy down the street who owns & runs his own deli.

And no, the rich are not gods, but they are not evil. Wealth is neutral. It's the character of the people who make them what they are, regardless of how much money they have.

Now all these people who are "Going Galt", well I tend to think that they probably don't get it. They cherry pick Rand's ideas to whatever fits their needs at the time. Although a lot of their ideas overlap, Republicans & Objectivists are pretty ideologically different. Although, as an Objectivist, I am happy to see Rand's ideas becoming more popular, as tends to happen during Democrat Presidencies.
I think you zeroed right in on the problem. The pundits on TV who were pushing this idea were in my eyes mostly useless (the non-producers that they themselves were complaining about). I am actually a fan of Rand myself. As a matter of fact I am in the process of writing an article for a magazine in which I might cite Rand. The article is tentatively titled “the Ten Greatest Humanist Films” and The Fountainhead might make the list.

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