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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Obama going Socialist, America going Galt?

Mr. Reiland is the B. Kenneth Simon Professor of Free Enterprise at Robert Morris University and a columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Atlas Shrugs: Doctors ‘Going Galt’
by Ralph R. Reiland


The headline in Investor’s Business Daily, Sept. 16, 2009: “45% of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul.”

The headline in the Boston Globe, Sept. 28, 2009: “States risk it, raise tax on rich.”

The problem with four of nine U.S. doctors saying they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” is that “the number of doctors is already lagging population growth,” reports IBD.

Add millions of new patients to a shrinking supply of doctors and the obvious result is an English-style queue, longer waits in pain, and a centrally directed rationing of service.

That Boston Globe article on soaking the rich explains that New York’s increased confiscation of income from the “deep-pocketed rich” through higher taxes is producing a “millionaires’ exit.”

Said New York’s lieutenant governor, Richard Ravitch, regarding the flight of the state’s millionaires and the decline in government revenues that has already occurred as a result of the higher tax rates: “People aren’t wedded to a geographic place as they once were.”

In Atlas Shrugged, a novel by Ayn Rand, the most productive and creative citizens in the United States -- the innovators, risk-takers, artists, entrepreneurs, capitalists, intellectuals, industrialists -- overturn the conventional concept of victimhood and go on strike, refusing any longer to be exploited by society, refusing to be demonized as too successful, too rich, too individualistic, too free.

Led by John Galt, the novel’s hero, the industrious organize a strike against the ever-expanding yoke of government coercion. They strike to halt the murder of man’s spirit, to halt the confiscation of man’s work, to defend individualism, reason, liberty, human achievement and the market economy.

They strike by mysteriously disappearing, by withdrawing their productivity from society, by withdrawing their minds and ingenuity, in a walkout that Galt describes as “stopping the motor of the world.”

Near the climax of the novel, Galt takes over a radio broadcast to reveal the strike and its rationale, explain why society has collapsed into an ever-growing crisis of scarcity and misery, and deliver a manifesto for liberty to a corrupt society:

I am the man who has deprived you of victims and thus has destroyed your world...

All the men who have vanished, the men you hated, yet dreaded to lose, it is I who have taken them away from you. We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one’s happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt …

You have sacrificed justice to mercy. You have sacrificed independence to unity. You have sacrificed reason to faith. You have sacrificed wealth to need. You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial. You have sacrificed happiness to duty ...

Your ideal had an implacable enemy, which your code of morality was designed to destroy. I have withdrawn that enemy. I have taken it out of your way and out of your reach. I have removed the source of all those evils you were sacrificing one by one. I have ended your battle. I have stopped your motor. I have deprived your world of man’s mind ...

While you were dragging to your sacrificial altars the men of justice, of independence, of reason, of wealth, of self-esteem, I beat you to it -- I reached them first. I told them the nature of the game you were playing and the nature of that moral code of yours, which they had been too innocently generous to grasp ...

There is a difference between our strike and all those you’ve practiced for centuries: our strike consists, not of making demands, but of granting them. We are evil, according to your morality. We have chosen not to harm you any longer. We are useless, according to your economics. We have chosen not to exploit you any longer. We are dangerous and to be shackled, according to your politics. We have chosen not to endanger you, nor to wear the shackles any longer.

The inauguration of Barack Obama took place on Jan. 20, 2009. The Economist magazine reported that week that Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, had moved up to 33rd place among Amazon’s top-selling books.


Jill Stanek puts it this way-

"MI Right to Life's Brian Cusack made the point at a banquet I recently attended that there is a schism between believing what 53% of Americans responded to a December 2005 Zogby poll, that "abortion destroys a human life and is manslaughter," and putting it into practice.

Cusack called it "the great disconnect" that people would willingly stand by and even condone what they consider "manslaughter."

A clear example of the great disconnect came Oct. 9 when the Nobel Peace Prize committee chose Barack Obama as its 2009 recipient.

Obama had only been in office 12 days when nominations closed and had furthermore done "jack and squat" in the nine months following, as a Saturday Night Live skit recently put it.

But the committee awarded Obama because he gave the world "hope for a better future," according its statement.

The disconnect, of course, is Obama is the most pro-abortion president in US history, to the point of advocating postborn baby killing if it would interfere with preborn baby killing.

Actually, from a pro-abortion perspective, Obama has done "jack and pot" since becoming president...." Click the link to read the entire article.

The Nobel Prize ain't what it used to be, what with famous terrorist and homosexual predator Yasser Arafat and lying windbag Al Gore listed among the recipients. Not that I have an opinion or anything...

Obama Brainwashing

Obama promises to give ACORN and similar groups a part of shaping his agenda

McCain tied Barack to ACORN back when they were just in the voter fraud and bank-scamming business and before they branched out (as far as we know) into child prostitution and fraud.

Barack refuses to agree he will sign the ACORN cut-off legislation. Want to guess why?

Investigative journalist Michelle Malkin was all over this three months ago.

ACORN - Soros - SEIU - Obama - Chicago Machine. All connected. Wake up!!! Barack Obama told the world that he was a socialist years ago but he put on the cloak of secrecy as he took the Democratic nomination and then the election.

"One of the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court-focused I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change."

Barack Obama discussing the Supreme Court and Constitutional issues on PBS radio interview in 2001.

Barack Obama's mentors have been communists and terrorists. His "church" was a racist and communist pretense. Barack Obama has always wanted to bring about a socialist society and now he is the chief executive of the USA. This is why Tea Parties are springing up all over the country. This is why the 2010 election is critical. We must elect legislators who actually believe in America and the Constitution and do not want to change the nation into something else. We do not want to be Sweden or Canada or Commmunist China or the USSR! This is a land of equal opportunity and free enterprise and Barack Obama and his cronies want to change that. They are stupid. Communism/socialism never works. Millionaires run away to another country, workers lose their reason to work hard, good become scarce and over-priced and eventually the entire nation becomes impoverished. How is it that the lessons of the countries behind the Iron Curtain have not been learned?

Remember when the Berlin Wall fell? Remember the joy of the people freed from communist rule? The explosion of the economies of Eastern Europe once freed from the communists? Again I say, Wake UP!!!!!!! Because if you sit there doing nothing, your rights as an American will be stolen from you. Write a letter or an email to your legislators. Send them a fax. Go to a Tea Party. Tell them all that those who vote for socialist agendas will lose your vote, so they will get tossed out of Washington if they go along with the Obamites.

Or, do nothing. One day you will be waiting in a long line to get your weekly toilet paper ration and you will remember the days when America was a land of free enterprise and opportunity.

The Perspective of a Russian Immigrant, by Svetlana Kunin

In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I was taught to believe individual pursuits are selfish and sacrificing for the collective good is noble.

In kindergarten we sang songs about Lenin, the leader of the Socialist Revolution. In school we learned about the beautiful socialist system, where everybody is equal and everything is fair; about ugly capitalism, where people are exploited and treat each other like wolves in the wilderness.

Life in the USSR modeled the socialist ideal. God-based religion was suppressed and replaced with cultlike adoration for political figures.

The government-assigned salary of the proletariat (blue-collar worker) was 30%-50% higher then any professional. Without incentive to improve their life, professionals drank themselves to oblivion. They — engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers — earned a government-determined salary that barely covered the necessities, mainly food.

Raising children was a hardship. It took four to six adults (parents and grandparents) to support a child. The usual size of the postwar family was one or two children. Every woman had the right to have an abortion and most of them did, often without anesthesia.

There is a comparative historical reality that plays out the consequences of two competing ideologies: life in the USSR and in America. When the march to the worker's paradise — the Socialist Revolution — began in 1917, many people emigrated from Russia to the U.S.

In the USSR, economic equality was achieved by redistributing wealth, ensuring that everyone remained poor, with the exception of those doing the redistributing. Only the ruling class of communist leaders had access to special stores, medicine and accommodations that could compare to those in the West.

The rest of the citizenry had to deal with permanent shortages of food and other necessities, and had access to free but inferior, unsanitary and low-tech medical care. The egalitarian utopia of equality, achieved by the sacrifice of individual self-interest for the collective good, led to corruption, black markets, anger and envy.

Government-controlled health care destroyed human dignity.

Chairman Nikita Khrushchev released facts about Stalin and his purges. People learned of the horrific purge of more than 20 million citizens, murdered as enemies of the state.

Those who left Russia found a different set of values in America: freedom of religion, speech, individual pursuits, the right to private property and free enterprise. The majority of those immigrants achieved a better life for themselves and their children in this capitalist land.

These opportunities let the average immigrant live a better life than many elites in the Soviet Communist Party. The freedom to pursue personal self-interest led to prosperity. Prosperity generated charity, benefiting the collective good.

The descendants of those immigrants are now supporting policies that move America away from the values that gave so many immigrants the chance of a better life. Policies such as nationalized medicine, high tax rates and government intrusion into free enterprise are being sold to us under the socialistic motto of collective salvation.

Socialism has bankrupted and failed every society, while capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system.

There is no perfect society. There are no perfect people. Critics say that greed is the driving force of capitalism. My answer is that envy is the driving force of socialism. Change to socialism is not an improvement on the imperfections of the current system.

The slogans of "fairness and equality" sound better than the slogans of capitalism. But unlike at the beginning of the 20th century, when these slogans and ideas were yet to be tested, we have accumulated history and reality.

Today we can define the better system not by slogans, but by looking at the accumulated facts. We can compare which ideology leads to the most oppression and which brings the most opportunity.

When I came to America in 1980 and experienced life in this country, I thought it was fortunate that those living in the USSR did not know how unfortunate they were.

Now in 2009, I realize how unfortunate it is that many Americans do not understand how fortunate they are. They vote to give government more and more power without understanding the consequences.

Svetlana Kunin, Stamford, Conn.

Editor's note: Mrs. Kunin, an IBD subscriber, is a retired software developer. In the Soviet Union, she was a civil engineer.

Belatedly, Egypt Spots Flaws in Wiping Out Pigs

This just in - Obama Adminstration boasts that they CONTROL THE MEDIA!!!


radar said...

You think I am just an alarmist? Read this and tell me Obama and crew do not wish to set up a totalitarian government right here in the USA!

Chaos Engineer said...

Wow, I never had you pegged for an Ayn Rand fan! (I was a huge fan of "Atlas Shrugged" in college, but later on, after I'd gotten out into the real world and got some perspective, I decided that she was wrong.)

I'm actually wondering if you've read the book, or if you've just seen selected quotes on the blogs.

It's true that she was opposed to government-run charity, but she was also opposed to private-sector charity and church-sponsored charity. She believed that the rich were rich because they deserved to be rich, that the poor were poor because they deserved to be poor, and that anyone who said otherwise was a crook or a con-artist. You can probably guess what she thought about Christianity. (She was against it.)

She claimed to love America, but she didn't see it as a union of people voluntarily working together towards a common goal. For all her high-sounding rhetoric, she basically believed that Americans were a bunch of rats trapped in the same cage, eternally fighting over a limited supply of cheese. John Galt might seem like a hero to sociopaths, but as far as I'm concerned, he's just the biggest rat.

It's no surprise that the name John Galt keeps coming up in the health care debate. The basic facts are that more than 47 million Americans lack health insurance, and that this is causing all sorts of problems. Now, some people would say, "This is horrible! America is the greatest country in the world; we can certainly afford to help our countrymen in times of trouble." But people like John Galt would say, "Who cares what happens to those people? They're not me, and anyway they deserve whatever happens to them."

I've got to say that I don't picture you as the John Galt type. You've talked in the past about the charity work you've done, and the work you've done in the inner city. I just don't understand the disconnect here.

I'm wondering if you've sold your soul to the Republican Party over the abortion issue. Abortion's a complicated question and I'm not going to try to change your mind about it, but I'm worried that you've gotten trapped in an "us-vs.-them" mentality. Couldn't you oppose abortion but support insurance reform? That position would even give you leverage to make sure that the Hyde Amendment stays in place. (That's the law that prevents the government from paying for abortions in most circumstances.)

radar said...


IF you are ever going to be in the Chicago area I would love to buy you lunch or dinner. I would absolutely love to talk with you in a relaxed give and take atmosphere!

I had read Anthem and Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead while still in grade school/junior high. On my own. I loved great literature and loved considering ethics and philosophy and morality although I was no Christian back then.

I agree with the words of Galt. I agree with Rand's urge for man to be free and that capitalism be allowed to hold sway. That does not mean I agree with everything Rand said or thought.

Capitalism with Christian character is what this country was when founded. Harvard was a college primarily training pastors. The first schools were run by churches and/or the towns banded together and paid for a teacher to come and teach all the kids of all ages. Good men and women helped the downtrodden. Bad ones stepped over them to get to their shiny carriages. There will always be poor, and some are not able to help themselves.

Do I give to charities? Do I give to church? Do I give to missionaries? Yes.

Do I want government taking over my business and my health care and my independence? No.

Do I believe abortion is murder? Yes. My wife and I support a home for women to get away from abusive situations and/or to have children and this home also connects with couples looking for babies, to adopt. So many couples cannot have children and would love to take in a baby that some doctor is hacking to shreds and, after selling off the best parts, tossing in a dumpster.

radar said...

158 babies are aborted every hour.

Think about that number.

I am for freedom and against socialism.

I am for life and against murder.

I am for liberty and for Jesus Christ.

I am for independence for all and I believe the ethical man/woman will consider the poor.

I do not believe the government is better at spending my money than I am. I do not believe the government is better at anything other than keeping the peace and waging war. I have been a part of the Washington scene and I know very well how bureaucracy sucks up money and gives gobs of it to the undeserving at the expense of the common man.

DC is full of John Murtha-types, fat cats wasting our money and pompously going about believing themselves to be entitled. How you align yourself with that lot is beyond me.

I am not a Republican, I am a conservative. I vote for conservative candidates. I think my positions are logical and clear-headed and I can defend them point by point.

highboy said...

Covering all those millions isn't going to give them better healthcare chaos. Public options haven't worked anywhere they've been tried, and unless you can convince people to study for years in med school only to make poverty level wages than you won't be able to scrounge up any more doctors to cover them to begin with. The government isn't going to pay doctors what doctors wages should be, and couldn't afford to even if they wanted to. As for abortion, there is no defense, and that is why it sickens me how many people can be conned into voting for someone simply because they promise them a free welfare check like Obama. 1.3 million babies killed per year and all anyone thinks about is their next government handout.

Chaos Engineer said...

Thanks for the dinner invite! I don't know when I'll be in the Chicago area, but I'll be happy to invite you to dinner if you're ever in NYC.

Just last year, I finally got around to reading Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle". It's almost the mirror-image of "Atlas Shrugged" John Galt, the hero is a man of tremendous drive and resourcefulness, but his oppressors are businessmen, not politicians. At the end of the book, he finds hope for the future in a newly-formed Socialist Party. (The book was written in 1907, when the word "Socialism" didn't have some of the baggage it carries today.)

America has changed a lot in the past century. You can read the book and say, "Oh, that scene couldn't happen today because of OSHA regulations, and even if it did happen he'd be entitled to disability payments. And this scene could have happened thirty years ago, but today the courts would see it as a blatant case of sexual harassment. And this scene is still happening today, but it's happening less often because of 'Truth in Lending' laws."

I don't think any of us want to live in a society like the one Sinclair describes. He goes overboard sometimes, but I do think that the book does a good job of showing that capitalism unchecked is just as brutal as government unchecked.

It might be fun if you read the book and then gave us your opinion. (If you want to work out a trade, I'll read a book that you recommend.)

Highboy - I'm a lot more optimistic about health care than you are. People said the same thing about Medicare, and that's done a pretty good job of providing health care to everyone over 65. It's not perfect, of course, but it's certainly better than just leaving senior citizens to fend for themselves. If you were watching all the town hall meetings on the news this summer, you probably noticed that there were a huge number of people who were adamant that their Medicare benefits not be touched.

Anyway, if we can afford Medicare for 38 million people (and Medicaid for 58 million more), we ought to be able to find health insurance for the 47 million uninsured. (And if America is in such dire straits that we can't afford coverage for everybody, it seems better to stop government-subsidized coverage for the people who have lived a long time already. Don't you agree?)

radar said...

I have long ago read "The Jungle" and the old back of the yards neighborhood was one I used to visit every week/every other week. Interesting mix of old-time Eastern European immigrants and newer Hispanic population mixed in back in the early 80's.

I loved "The City Boy" by Herman Wouk and "Marjorie Morningstar" for a look at Jewish immigrants in inner-city and upscale environments.

Ayn Rand and Upton Sinclair would have made a good intellectual cage match. Capitalism works well when it has borders. It is terribly cruel if completely unchecked. Socialism never works at all and for all the enmity Hitler received (well-deserved) we tend to forget the Nazis were the National Socialist Party. The two biggest mass-murderers of the 20th century were Communist leaders Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong. Hitler was probably third.

radar said...

While people are paying no attention, the crooked SEIU and their cronies are promoting another pro-socialist tear-down-capitalism event.

"Our democracy is broken. Wall Street has hijacked our democracy, spending millions and millions each year on lobbying to advance their private interests at the cost of the public’s interest. We need our elected officials from both parties to say “No” to money being handed out by Wall Street. Our elected officials face a “Which Side Are You On Moment.” Are they going to continue to take their orders from the folks on Wall Street, or are they going to stand with the American people and fight for financial reform now. Our message to our elected officials is “Stand With Us.”

It is time to come together. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue. Financial Reform that protects people and our economy is an American issue. We must come together to ensure our financial system is remade to benefit the common good."

Actually the Democrats broke the system with the help of Fannie, Freddie and ACORN. Now they want to REMAKE THE SYSTEM TO BENEFIT THE COMMON GOOD? Communism and/or socialism alert!

Most of the politicians that get the most money from Wall Street and Mortgage Bankers are Democrats and Obama, Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden were all in the top ten! These guys are setting records for hypocrisy. They think the average American is dumb.

So the Dems break the economy, claim only they can fix it and their fix is to try to reinvent the Soviet Union. You actually think adding a few layers of government is going to IMPROVE health care? Ay-yi-yi!

radar said...

Since I am defending my own views I hardly qualify as a mouthpiece for anyone. I am as likely to pay attention to DailyKos as you are to listen to Rush Limbaugh as I consider him to be a deliberately dishonest individual with contemptible tastes although he might play a nice hand of pinochle, who knows?

Chaos Engineer said...

I just don't get it...

I could understand it if you were the sort of person who got all his news from talk radio. But I'm baffled as to how you're able to read and understand information from all sorts of conflicting sources, and still fit everything into this apocalyptic "us vs. them" framework.

If you're worried about America falling into totalitarianism, you're not alone. But if it happens, it'll be an extension of the policies that have developed from the War on Drugs, and the War on Terrorism, and possibly a future War on Undocumented Immigrants that a lot of people seem to want to fight.

The reason we should be worried is that this trend isn't something that belongs to one political it's not something that could be reversed in a single election. The Democrats and Republicans have both been furthering it for whatever reason.

Here's an essay (by a liberal writer) condemning Obama's role in the debacle: Greenwald Writes Early Obama History.

But, with that said, I don't think we'll be able to stop the march towards totalitarianism by blocking health insurance reform. The latest proposals I've heard involve giving people the option of paying premiums to get Medicaid coverage.

Medicaid's been around for 40 years. It's not perfect, but if it were going to lead to jackbooted Medicaid Troopers arresting people and sending them off to gulags, I'm pretty sure it would have started happening by now.

radar said...


I cut my teeth on Aldous Huxley and Ayn Rand and Upton Sinclair and John Steinbeck and Hemingway and Dickens and Wouk and Halberstam and so on and so on. I am not a product of talk radio, in fact I almost never listen to it.

Obama has said he is working towards "redistributive change" which is his way of saying socialist state without scaring people. His advisors have obvious socialist ties, his mentors are terrorists, socialists, communists or "Black Liberation" types (just relabeled communism). How can you not see this? Who paid for his college classes, who helped him hit the spotlight? How did a rookie Senator from Illinois with almost no experience doing anything but ACORN-style organizing become President? Because the people behind him have power and want more power and have a plan to attain it.

Thomas Sowell, a black man as it happens, wrote about this in his book The Vision of the Annointed. (he uses the term 'anointed' to refer to liberals, 'benighted' or 'tragic' for conservatives, and the term 'vision' represents their philosophy. So the 'vision of the anointed' is the way liberals view the world.

Sowell said, "When the anointed say that there is a crisis this means that something must be done--and it must be done simply because the anointed want it done. This word becomes one of many substitutes for evidence or logic."

"The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from 'society,' rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by 'society'."

radar said...

I continue. Will and Ariel Durant said that - "Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the traditional responses which they propose to replace. No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for those are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history."

Adam Smith "...regarded the intentions of businessmen as selfish and anti-social, he saw the systematic consequences of their competition as being far more beneficial to society than well-intentioned government regulation."

Sowell writes, "To say that 'wealth in America is so unfairly distributed in America,' as Ronald Dworkin does, is grossly misleading when most wealth in the United States is not distributed at all. People create it, earn it, save it, and spend it."

Finally these - "The charge is often made against the intelligentsia and other members of the anointed that their theories and the policies based on them lack common sense. But the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else?"

"If the truth is boring, civilization is irksome. The constraints inherent in civilized living are frustrating in innumerable ways. Yet those with the vision of the anointed often see these constraints as only arbitrary impositions, things from which they--and we all--can be 'liberated.' The social disintegration which has followed in the wake of such liberation has seldom provoked any serious reconsideration of the whole set of assumptions--the vision--which led to such disasters. That vision is too well insulated from feedback."

"In the anointed we find a whole class of supposedly 'thinking people' who do remarkably little thinking about substance and a great deal of verbal expression. In order that this relatively small group of people can believe themselves wiser and nobler than the common herd, we have adopted policies which impose heavy costs on millions of other human beings, not only in taxes, but also in lost jobs, social disintegration, and a loss of personal safety. Seldom have so few cost so much to so many."

radar said...

"I could understand it if you were the sort of person who got all his news from talk radio. But I'm baffled as to how you're able to read and understand information from all sorts of conflicting sources, and still fit everything into this apocalyptic "us vs. them" framework."

What did the common man in Germany, in Russia, in China, in Venezuela, in Cuba, etc. think when the socialists came to the fore? Did they recognize the problem? No. In some cases socialists have caused the people to revolt and used guns to storm the palace. Later they worked through existing political systems to infiltrate and take over the government.

If Aldous Huxley and Ayn Rand were here in America right now, they would be sounding the same alarm that I sound. If John Steinbeck and Upton Sinclair saw what happened during and after the Great Depression they would be astounded that such apparently good intentions had produced such poor results.

The totalitarian socialist elitists intend to take over with applause and praise. The public is unaware. They shrug now and they will whimper and cry later but if we do not use the freedom of speech we still have and the voting we can still do NOW then what shall we do when these things are taken away? I will post on this tonight and I implore you to check out the video...

Anonymous said...

"What did the common man in Germany, in Russia, in China, in Venezuela, in Cuba, etc. think when the socialists came to the fore?"

"The totalitarian socialist elitists"

Learn some basic history and political science. You're completely incoherent.