Friday, March 20, 2009

Go, Galt, go

The big thing on the right at the moment is the idea of "going Galt". The wealthy are urged to do a "work slowdown", so that the rest of us suffer. Apparently, we don't create any wealth, so we're fucked without the rich.

Erm, yeah. Here's my suggestion. Go Galt, and go Galt quickly. The wealthy, far from being wealth creators, are wealth sponges. See this for a brief explanation of how the American economy has been working. It's a simplification but has it never occurred to you that it's odd that in an era of enormous corporate profits and spectacular productivity gains, you're no richer?

We create what wealth there is. Yes, you need capital investment to provide the basis for wealth creation. No one denies that. (We might deny that that capital needs to be privately held.) At the very least, you cannot build a car without an input of metal, plastic and, hang on, let's not forget, last and least, labour. And even if we did away with money, metal and plastic are scarce resources (as is skilled labour, of course) that need to be apportioned somehow.

Ayn Rand was profoundly stupid. Anyone who doesn't think so is someone not worth listening to, period. Rand wrote manifestos for the greedy, not philosophy, and only those who want to rape the world guilt-free would even bother with her unreadable shit.

I'd particularly like to see the Galts in the finance industry fuck off to their gulch. It's not like you couldn't find dozens of people to fill each spot. Yeah, you have to be smart to be an analyst, but you know what? There are lots of people smart enough. Most of us simply didn't choose to do it, mostly because a world of arseholes obsessed with money and consumption lacked appeal. You know why all these firms are busto? Because the people working for them had one end: make big bonuses. And they made those bonuses by doing business. Not necessarily making profits, but putting business on the books of their firms.

Yah, they got the business all right. More business than they can now handle. And we are paying for it. All those helicopters, all that shampoo, all the coke--you, me, our kids, their kids are going to pay for it. And we're going to do it by our labour, creating wealth that they have already spent.

You know what I would do, if I had the means? I would say, fuck you all. We set it all to zero and we share it all out. If you really are an "innovator", if what you do really is hard work, you won't suffer with a level playing field. Let's see who are the Galts when you don't begin with a headstart. And you know, in my world, you won't get to play casino with the proceeds of our labour, because we will be getting those ourselves. I'll give up welfare, but you give up sponging off me. This is what equity looks like. No wonder the Galts, who claim to be all for it, do not want a bar of it.


At 6:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly agree about the readability of Rand's writing. I've no conclusions about her being profoundly stupid, since she somehow managed to get her stuff published.

And I agree that "going Galt" is a good thing. Not necessarily for the reasons you point to, though.

I think times have changed somewhat since her day. In the late 19th century there were Edisons and Teslas around, and (here is the important bit) things were not yet so "advanced" that millions of dollars in equipment was needed to successfully invent something.

People have been convinced that they must be employees. And in part that is true. The basics have fairly well been mapped out, and innovation or invention need more equipment now than they did in the 19th century.

Remember she wrote in the mid-20th century which means she was growing up early in the 20th century. Things then were somewhat less structured than now. Ford was introducing mass produced automobiles then.

The point I'm wittering toward is that today's Galts are not as independent as were those of the early 20th century. They're working as employees buried within the bowels of GE or Microsoft or wherever.

They are the ones creating the wealth, and I agree that they should "go Galt". Their masters will find themselves holding only the whip then and unable to create any wealth at all by misdirecting those in their employ.

As to Rand's belief that the person who creates the wealth should not have it taken away by others who are deserving in no way except by lusting for it, I'd actually tend to agree with that, although now it's the employees, the relatively poor, who are creating and the rich who are doing the taking.


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