Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

March 6, 2009

Will Atlas Shrug? A Compilation of Blogosphere Commentary about “Going Galt”

by Stephen Gordon

dcprotestThere’s a new craze hitting the conservative tubes on the Internets these days: “Going Galt!” While it’s difficult to identify an exact date of reference or to provide any unique person with credit for the general meme, Michelle Malkin and Helen Smith certainly deserve honorable mention for recently popularizing the phrase.

This movement seems to have manifested itself in two distinct, but related, forms: those who say, more-or-less, that “I ain’t gonna produce more that 249,999 dollars and 99 cents of taxable income” as well as those more accustomed to singing “Amazing Grace”  than Twisted Sister taking to the streets across America chanting “we’re not gonna take it anymore.”

Here are some relevant (and hopefully balanced) quotes I’ve found on all sides of the aisle regarding this recent phenomenon.  Enjoy!

The Setting:

Stephen Moore laid it out fairly well at the Wall Street Journal: “The current economic strategy is right out of ‘Atlas Shrugged': The more incompetent you are in business, the more handouts the politicians will bestow on you. That’s the justification for the $2 trillion of subsidies doled out already to keep afloat distressed insurance companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses, and auto companies — while standing next in line for their share of the booty are real-estate developers, the steel industry, chemical companies, airlines, ethanol producers, construction firms and even catfish farmers. With each successive bailout to “calm the markets,” another trillion of national wealth is subsequently lost. Yet, as ‘Atlas’ grimly foretold, we now treat the incompetent who wreck their companies as victims, while those resourceful business owners who manage to make a profit are portrayed as recipients of illegitimate ‘windfalls.’

Every Knee Shall Bow provides a reasonable explanation of the phenomenon: “I’ve mentioned more than once that Atlas is shrugging. What this essentially means is that the producers in society are scaling back on their production purposely. People are scaling back their income in order to avoid paying higher taxes. They are at the same time avoiding spending to offset the difference. This is how producers nearly always respond to looters that come in and make productivity less worthwhile, either due to increased regulation or lower economic incentive. It’s a very predictable phenomena. Usually it’s not an organized response, just a natural response to circumstances.”

Who Is John Galt answers his own question: “Like many of Ayn Rand’s heroes, John Galt is a creative genius.  He is a man of uncommon reason, but he is also completely free of guilt.  John Galt is a free man who serves others only as it suits his own needs — he holds no misgivings about his ‘debt to society.’  Brilliant and uncompromising, he knows that it is society which in fact depends on him, and he proves it by stopping the creative flow that powers man’s very world.”

Jason Pye: “Atlas Shrugged is prophecy, no doubt about it. With the rise of economic populism and collectivism, the Individual will be castigated and harassed. As our incoming president tells us, ‘Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy.’ Private investment and pro-growth policies will be discouraged and any who who promotes capitalism will be demonized.”

Reason: “Forget a run on the banks, we might in danger of a run on Rand.”

Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights: “Sales of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ have almost tripled over the first seven weeks of this year compared with sales for the same period in 2008. This continues a strong trend after bookstore sales reached an all-time annual high in 2008 of about 200,000 copies sold.”

The Players:

Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.): “People are starting to feel like we’re living through the scenario that happened in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’” said Campbell. “The achievers, the people who create all the things that benefit the rest of us, are going on strike. I’m seeing, at a small level, a kind of protest from the people who create jobs, the people who create wealth, who are pulling back from their ambitions because they see how they’ll be punished for them.”

Michelle Malkin at Real Clear Politics: “Enough. In a word, that is the message of disgusted taxpayers fed up with the confiscatory policies of both parties in Washington. George Bush pre-socialized the economy with billion-dollar bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Barack Obama is pouring billions more down those sinkholes. It isn’t just the camel’s back that’s broken. His neck and four legs have all snapped, too.”

Malkin on her own turf: “Tax hikes have consequences. Incentives matter. Only self-deluded wealth redistributors living in la-la-land believe otherwise.”

Reverse Vampyr: “I’ve never been one for protests. But I can’t just stand by and allow my country to be ‘rebuilt’ into a replica of Cuba or the Soviet Union.”

One half of Robert Stacy McCain’s brain: “Wolverines!”

Additional McCain on “Wolverines!”: “Friends don’t let friends peddle defeatist bullshit. You cannot organize opposition unless you first believe that opposition can be effective and meaningful. Telling conservatives that there is no point deploying an ambush on the road to serfdom? That’s defeatist bullshit. If Ho Chi Minh had thought that way, the French would still rule Indochina. Conservatives are now a guerrilla resistance. Harassing the enemy — staging raids and ambushes that prevent him from enjoying his conquest at leisure — is basic to guerrilla resistance. If we are doomed to destruction, as least let it be said that we died fighting. But those who never fight, never win.”

Cassy@Wizbang: “Last week, thousands of first-time protestors gathered in a grassroots effort to make a statement. And it’s time to go Galt. Are we working to make money for ourselves and our families, or are we working to fund the socialist dreams of an out-of-control, radical government?”

Some Have Hats: “But it’s making me nuts to watch the demonization of the people who have spent their lives working hard and following the rules, and since I only have first-hand knowledge of my own life, I am forced to use my own examples if I want to talk about it. But I can tell you that from what I know of the stories of other people in my former tax bracket, I am not different or special. Charities have existed since the country became a country, and they have always been funded by (apparently this needs to be said loudly) THE EVIL RICH PEOPLE.”

Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds: “Can you say ‘going John Galt?’ Upper-Income Taxpayers Look for Ways to Sidestep Obama Tax-Hike Plan. ‘A 63-year-old attorney based in Lafayette, La., who asked not to be named, told ABCNews.com that she plans to cut back on her business to get her annual income under the quarter million mark should the Obama tax plan be passed by Congress and become law. So far, Obama’s tax plan is being looked at skeptically by both Democrats and Republicans and therefore may not pass at all.'”

Reboot Congress: “…my theological reasons for going John Galt are a little different. First, I feel that socialism violates the ten commandments. And, second, I believe socialism damages charity.”

Helen AKA “Dr. Helen” Smith: “Are you ‘going John Galt’ and reducing your productivity by choice, or removing yourself from the economy all together, because of the Obama Administration’s economic and tax plans? If so, PJTV may want to interview you. Watch this video for details. If you are interested in being interviewed, send an Email to johngalt@pjtv.com.”

Donald Luskin via Dave Weigel:  “Luskin, who named his daughter Roark after the hero of Rand’s novel ‘The Fountainhead,’ sees basic economic concepts explained through the novelist’s work. ‘One of the reasons that the Laffer Curve works is because of the John Galt effect of creative people finding ways to cut back on their output if they know they’re going to be taxed, and demonized, for their success,’ he said. ‘We have these sort of villains, like John Thain at Merrill Lynch, who tried to pay himself a large bonus. But then in response to that we have [Sen.] Chris Dodd slipping into the stimulus a new rule that in punishing Thain punishes everybody, even the good guys.'”

Pursuing Holiness via Glenn Reynolds: “By going John Galt – reducing my income to the point that I no longer subsidize anyone else via government imposed wealth transfers – I hope to hasten the inevitable collapse.”

From ABC News: “A 63-year-old attorney based in Lafayette, La., who asked not to be named, told ABCNews.com that she plans to cut back on her business to get her annual income under the quarter million mark should the Obama tax plan be passed by Congress and become law. ‘We are going to try to figure out how to make our income $249,999.00,’ she said.”

The Skeptics:

Will Wilkinson may be too selfish to be selfish: “I can’t help but feel that threatening to withdraw from economic production, ala Atlas Shrugged’s John Galt, is a certain kind of libertarian-conservative’s version of progressives threatening to move to Canada. For my part, I can’t imagine what would make me want to stop working, and each new president makes me want to move to Canada.”

Doug Mataconis provides some healthy libertarian cynicism: “By the way, Atlas buffs, the point of Atlas Shrugged is not that you are John Galt. The point is that you are not John Galt. The point is that you are, at your best, Eddie Willers. You’re smart, hardworking, productive, and true. But you’re no creative genius and you take innovation — John Galt — for granted. You don’t even know who he is! And this eventually leaves you weeping on abandoned train tracks.”

The other half of Robert Stacy McCain’s brain: “Rand’s philosophical radicalism ultimately goes beyond a point I am willing to follow, but in her basic idea — the irreplaceable creative value of the entrepreneur, and the unworthiness of capitalism’s enemies — she hammers it home.”

My personal libertarian cynicism: “I fear that if the Republicans were to suddenly regain political power, all of the cries of ‘socialism’ would be buried under the rug as Republican defenders of big government race to outdo the Democrats with additional deficit spending.”

Megan AKA “Jane Galt” McArdle scribes: “I don’t think that we will see a mass exodus of productive people to secret hideouts.  I look to Atlas Shrugged more for conveniently totable beach reading than an economic blueprint.  What’s interesting to me, though, is how many details Rand did get right–like the markets in ‘unfreezing’ Ukrainian bank deposits, so similar to the frozen railroad bonds of Atlas Shrugged.  Or the cascading and unanticipated failures, with government officials racing to slap another fix on to fix the last failing solution.  If only the people in her novels had acted remotely like actual people, rather than comic book characters, I, too, would be rereading the thing now.”

Not PC: “Now pay attention: these people who are appropriated the symbol of John Galt are not, for the most part, Objectivists.  They simply understand the power of the John Galt character as symbol of their resistance.  As Robert Tracinscki explains excitedly, we’re seeing cultural change before our eyes in the visceral reaction to the tipping point of Barack’s Big Government, and the reaching for symbols in that struggle.”

Additional personal skepticism: “Why should voters believe Republicans are currently standing up for fiscal principles after taking an eight year vacation from them?”

QAndO: “I’d be more impressed if they fired a shot across the bow and coordinated a national day for cranking up their withholding allowances, just as high as they can.  They’re planning their next party on Tax Day, right?  One might think they’d be interested in ceasing to lend their earnings interest-free to the government.  They might take some satisfaction in doing something that actually shows up on the government’s ledger. I’d be convinced of their sincerity if they subsequently considered actually not paying their taxes next year if the government didn’t change its policies.  That would be civil disobedience, as opposed to loud-but-obedient.  But still, hold the tea. The ‘going Galt’ thing has been a bit better — at least it involves refusing to produce — but ‘John Galt’ is a rather radical standard, ladies and gentlemen.  Reducing your income so that you don’t pay the higher marginal taxes in the next bracket; partially shutting down businesses and taking more leisure time; retiring early.  These are nice, but it’s like ‘going Martin Luther King, Jr.’ without risking jail or invoking the Alamo without risking death.”

Michael Powell@UnitedLiberty: “There are far better advocates in literary history for government transparency and efficiency, sound money and freedom than Ayn Rand. Like other absolutist ideologies, Rand’s Objectivism preaches contempt for non-believers and an arrogance that comes with a lack of humility and a surplus of righteousness.”

Jerome Tucille via Dave Weigel: “This view of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ has its detractors. ‘Ayn Rand romanticized capitalists,’ said Jerome Tuccille, author of the libertarian history ‘It Usually Starts With Ayn Rand,’ in a Thursday interview. ‘She saw them as great heroes. She doesn’t deal with these corporatists like Thain who were pushing paper around and using regulations to feather their nests. Some of these bastards like Thain should be in jail. I mean, I want them carted out of their houses, doing the perp walk at 3 a.m.'”

The Observers:

Keith Burgess-Jackson: “Who knew that Ayn Rand was a revolutionary? But seriously, one great thing about being a college professor is that I am paid (largely) in leisure rather than money, and leisure isn’t taxed. I can’t imagine working hard to build a business, only to have a huge chunk of my earnings taken from me by the government and given to the lazy, the stupid, the improvident, and the irresponsible.”

Joseph Lawler at The American Spectator: “Then again, it doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict that eventually government will go awry. In fact the ultimate riff on government came out roughly 1,957 years (give or take about 33 years) before Atlas Shrugged, when someone, probably a clever proto-Objectivist, quipped, ‘Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s,’ as if to warn us that eventually the government is going to do what it wants to do, and the rest of us are better off worrying about more important things. No, if you are looking for the most complete forecast of today’s economic and political turmoil in 20th century literature you will have to look beyond Rand’s one-dimensional economic vignettes to a work of scope and sophistication: Douglas Adams’s all-encompassing masterpiece, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

Doug Bandow@Cato@Liberty: “The president wants to increase taxes only on those earning above $250,000. Since most of us aren’t there — I keep waiting, but for some reason no one yet has offered me what I think I’m worth to express my opinions on current policy and events — who cares, right?”

TheRightRant: “How bad does it have to get before we throw up our hands and say, enough? We’ll see in 2010 if enough is enough. Oh, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go read Atlas Shrugged. Or you can just look around, because you’re living it.”

Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator: “The recent spontaneous eruption of impromptu ‘tea parties’ — demonstrations modeled after the Boston Tea Party of 1773 to protest against the Obama plan to socialize America — is the first sign that Gandhi-style rebellion against the government is in the American air.”

The Humorous:

Whiskey Fire: “The nationalization of Atlas Shrugged may strike Americans as foreign, even Swedish or something. However, the nation is already subsidizing the book’s dissemination. A banking company, BB&T Corp. of North Carolina, has given $30 million in grants in the last decade for various universities to teach the book. Most recently, in March, 2008, BB&T gave UT-Austin $2 million for a Chair in the Study of Objectivism. Then in October, BB&T took (wait for it) $3.1 billion in bailout money. It only seems fair for the nation to recoup some of its investment in future generations’ Rand-inspired economic havoc by nationalizing Atlas Shrugged now.”

Michelle Malkin: “Some tinfoil-hatted kooks are still pimping their conspiracy theories about the movement. The latest: Aha! Malkin once gave a speech to Americans for Prosperity and AFP organized the Denver anti-pork protest two weeks ago before Santelli went on his Tea Party rant last week, ergo it’s all a vast plot!!!!!!”

Wonkette: “Today at High Noon, the disciples of CNBC teevee ranter Rick Santelli held teabagging parties around the country. Apparently they did not pick up on the nonchalance in Santelli’s voice when he said, ‘we’re going to hold a… like a tea party or something because of this Obama, ha ha, weird.’ Well, the biggest of these parties was in Washington, by the White House, and like 20 people took cabs from CPAC to stand around in poop hats and complain about fiat currency for a few minutes while Michelle Malkin filmed them in various pornographic poses. Major thank yous to poop operatives ‘Jamie’ and ‘Ethan’ for sending most of the photos below, as well as to intrepid D.C. blog reporter Dave Weigel, some of whose photos we have stolen.”

The Opposition:

Steve Benen plays the race card: “Right, the character John Galt, the hero of the novel, is the wealthy, white, blond-haired guy who convinces corporate leaders to give up their jobs in order to spite society. As the story goes, these captains of industry were repressed by heavy-handed government, so they walked away and, when society crumbled, taught everyone a valuable lesson about making sure wealthy, white, blond-haired guys don’t feel unduly put upon.”

Paul Campos at Lawyers, Guns and Money : “I’m sort of tempted to ask Professor Reynolds if this seems plausible to him. Does it seem plausible to him — a law professor who is probably paid around 200K a year by the great state of Tennessee to do whatever it is he does while performing what is technically his actual job — that he is ‘working’ five times “harder” (using Wingnuttia’s definition of ‘hard work’) than a guy roofing houses in San Antonio in July who makes 40K a year?  If you think about it for five seconds it’s actually totally implausible that the correlation between ‘hard work’ in this sense and increasing income is even mildly positive. To believe it is, you have to believe that highly paid high status professionals hate their work far more than working class people who are doing dangerous, physically taxing, and/or extremely boring work for low pay.”

Nancy Nall: This is why I chuckle at the current craze among our friends on the right, which they call ‘going John Galt,’ a shout-out to one of the worst-written novels in the English language. The idea is to protest the current legislative proposals by voluntarily reducing their work output. Withdrawing from the workforce. Some call it ‘depriving the world of my talents,’ which is particularly amusing, as it’s usually the most untalented who are calling it that. I encourage them to do so, even in this dicey labor market, nay, especially in this dicey labor market. A lot of talented people are on the park bench, and would be happy to take your place. Your bluff is called. Go John Galt.”

The title is the story in this Brad Delong posting: “Memo to Conservative Wingnuts: John Galt Is Not a Christian”

Eschaton: “Righteous Bubba informs us that there are ‘SEVENTEEN videos dramatizing the Galt speech’ from Atlas Shrugs on You Tube. ‘It’s a long speech, so who the fuck knows how many videos are yet to be realized.’ Indeed.  The punchline: ‘Views for part one? 72140 as of this writing. 361 for part 17.’ Perhaps there is a lesson here.”

TBogg: “Approximately 2% of the American households make more than $250,000 a year and (you may find this hard to believe) a very high percentage of these high-earning go-getting producers spend their days commenting over at Michelle Malkin’s place… when they’re not busy flying their Lear jets up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun.”

Additional TBogg: “Atlas will be dragging ass…”

James Pearce: “Why work for the government? Because they’re hiring…”

Photo credit: Dave Weigel

UPDATE: Via memorandum.com, here are some new lefty quotes:

Hunter@DailyKos: “Go live your Randian fantasies, go create that wonderful utopia in which only the most wealthy are permitted entry, and you are not burdened with the outrageous insult of having to contribute back a proportionate share of your income in order to help maintain the very fabric of the nation around you. I can see now that the thought that you might have to pay the same share of your income in taxes that your housekeeper does has drained your already blanched faces, and the thought of having to pay as much in taxes as your wretched mothers and fathers did, a few decades before you, is nothing less than an armed assault on your beachheads.”

Matthew Yglesias
(who is cool to drink with and has an open mind): “Just think what kind of nightmare scenario we might be inflicted with if the titans of finance who’ve made up such a large proportion of high earners in recent years were to pull back on their efforts! I shudder. Meanwhile, I haven’t actually read the book but my understanding is that in Atlas Shrugged they’re actually building a high-speed rail link from Las Vegas to Disneyland.”

UPDATE II: For those of you coming in from the right, I’ve got five very earnest questions for you. Also, you might wish to check out the Instacomment from Instapundit.

UPDATE III (by Brad Warbiany): This post suggests quite a bit about what we all think of “Going Galt”. But I’ve got a potential solution. Taking the suggestion from Bryan @ QandO, I say it’s time to cut your withholding as much as you can. Do it by April 15th. Show the bastards that you’re not going to let them have that money until the last possible moment.

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  • http://freestateproject.org ArmedPorkypine

    I think Gordon’s selection of quotes raises two questions.

    Will the protests and people “dropping out” amount to anything?

    It seems overkill from a bunch of people who not so long ago supported Bush’s deficit spending.

  • Pingback: Michelle Malkin » The “Going Galt” phenom spreads

  • Akston

    I’m unlikely to “Go Galt”, but I especially like the idea from QandO.

    Pick a date – say April 15th for example – and virally organize a mass change of payroll exemptions to maximum. Wouldn’t a rash of changes on that single day be noticed? It would certainly be newsworthy.

    One of the ways Ron Paul popped onto the radar (besides his willingness to say unpopular things at the debates) was when he received record single-day donations. Coordinated effort on that scale turns heads.

  • Tayla

    I’m laughing at the detractors. Seems they are getting pissy because there will be that much less money for the government to take. There are plenty of small businesses that would be heavily taxed.

    These people seem to be missing the point that Going Galt is. People are not going to kill themselves to earn more only to have the government take it. And when the government no longer has those earners wages to tax, they will have to lower the tax threshold below $250,000. That’s going to grab an awful lot of other people. Let’s see how those additional people feel about chunks of their wages being taken. It can cascade. As more people get fed up, the lower the threshold goes.

    This is not about some idle threat to move to Canada-I can’t believe some wingnut even made that comparison. It’s about people being fed up and have had enough. The detractors seem to be banking on people’s greed being stronger than their disgust at being ripped off and having to support moochers. People have been pushed to far by greedy politicians and socialists and are willing to pare down.

    For those that gripe/mock about this budding phenomenon, just wait until the tax threshold is low enough to include YOU as someone that must pay more to support government and those that won’t work. Lets see how you feel about it then

    The messege is simple: If you the government want money, you’ll have to get it from somewhere else

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Tayla,

    As one of the detractors (call me a healthy skeptic), my argument is that this recent movement seems to be (mostly) led by a bunch of people who applauded multi-trillion dollar deficit spending when it was Bush and a Republican Congress in charge.

    Most of the people I placed in the “Skeptic Department” are folks well known within their respective branches of the libertarian community — folks who are opposed to bad government whether it comes from the right or the left.

    As for the lefties, if their agenda wasn’t clear before Obama was elected, it is certainly clear now.

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Akson,

    I’m thinking a national strike day — where no one goes to work, small businesses shut down for a day, etc. might be more effective. Give people a one day taste of really Going Galt.

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Armed PorkyPine,

    I sort of agree on point two, but in Alabama these sorts of people staged a Tax Protest which ultimately killed a major tax increase proposal.

    One proposed by a Republican Governor, I’ll add.

  • thomasblair

    Great collection. I’d noticed this meme (?) growing over the past few days and wondered if there was anything to it. Thanks for putting this together.

  • Libertarian Stephanie

    ArmedPorkyPine:
    My mother used to say when you point your finger at someone, four are pointing back at you.

    What good does pointing at the “other” party do? Nothing.

    What does that fix?

    Nothing.

    Is this foolish?

    Yes.

    So get off your high horse and ask why you didn’t take a stance against obscene government spending all along.

    The Libertarians are the only party to lay claim to that philosophy.

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Stephanie,

    I used the same three/four finger argument against McCain before the election.

    Many of us have been as busy battling big government Republicans as big government Democrats for quite some time.

    Color us a big jaded if you wish, but after being bashed time and time again for opposition to GOP programs like Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind, we’ve some some well-earned political PTSD to deal with.

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  • http://freestateproject.org ArmedPorkypine

    I’m one of those Libertarians to which Libertarian Stephanie refers. I voted for Bob Barr mostly because I didn’t like the choice of John McCain sticking his dick in my ass while he stuck his hand on my wallet. The other choice was Obama, who is sticking his hand on my wallet while he sticks his dick up my ass.

    Both parties suck, but at least the Republican Party is starting to make little noises about freedom again.

    As for me, I’ll probably continue to vote Libertarian unless Ron Paul runs again.

  • http://freestateproject.org ArmedPorkypine

    Unfortunately, the last quote is the most poignant one: “Why work for the government? Because they’re hiring…”

  • http://www.aynrand.org Hugh Akston

    @WhiskyFire

    BB&T did not wish to receive bailout money, but the government *strongly encouraged* them to do so. This is quite similar to events in Atlas Shrugged. Here is CEO John Allison discussing the causes of – and the solutions to – the current financial crisis (complete with charts):

    http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reg_ls_financial_crisis

    @Jerome Tucille

    Clearly this individual has no interest in representing Ayn Rand accurately. There are plenty of corrupt businessmen in Atlas Shrugged – corrupt in exactly the same way he claims she ignored.

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Hugh,

    I’m researching the pressure applied to various banks about taking TARP funds. Do you have any other data? I hadn’t seen the BB&T video before but know of a few other cases.

  • Gone Gulchin’

    What, AMC’s “Mad Men” gets no love?

    http://tinyurl.com/ck7579
    http://tinyurl.com/cbqyph

    Rand has been mentioned sever times in the series, and I keep hoping we’ll get to see Bertram finally introduce Don to his friend Ayn.

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Gulchin — the links seem broken from this end

  • http://www.aynrand.org Hugh Akston

    The only mention I know of is in Allison’s talk. I am not a BB&T insider (or even ARI for that matter). If you follow the link above, click “View accompanying slides” and check out slides #30-31.

  • http://www.24thstate.com JIm Durbin

    The beauty of symbols is they can be appropriated for your ends. That’s the power of John Galt.

    Few people are really going to cut back on their work to get below $250K. Some professionals, like doctors and others may do so, crimping supply of critical talents. Some business owners may take longer vacations.

    But the real damage is done with those who run small and microbusinesses shut down their businesses and layoff their employees to take a more relaxed lifestyle. Being in business is dangerous (bankruptcy is always around the corner), but it is also rewarding. That’s a work ethic few people have the stomach for. Once you’ve built a successful company, you have enough money to live comfortably. Staying in business is a choice – one society needs to reward.

    I’m just one guy, but I can name you seven business owners who sold their business and now live off consulting fees and their capital. They “net” the same amount as when running the business, with a lot less work.

    When those folks sit out in large numbers, it has a big impact on new companies. Those business owners are the John Galts, and they’re riding out the economy, waiting for sense and the right time.

    As for the rest of us – what lessons are being learned? Playing by the rules is for suckers. Which means if I can refinance my house on Obama’s mortgage plan, why not take the free ride? If I can dump off my $1000 a month insurance on to S-Chip, even though I can afford it, why not? I have debt on my books. Why work late every night to pay it off when I can shut down my business and bankrupt it with no personal liability? I can always start a new one in the future. Two to three years of good cash flow and the banks will lend to the new company, or I can buy someone else’s company and get credit on that firm.

    Going John Galt isn’t some fat cat working less. It’s the complete breakdown of trust in the small business sector, which powers employment and creativity. Once you make it clear that working for yourself and paying your taxes is for suckers – once you load up government salaries and anti-capitalist working groups with stimulus funds, you’ve shown that the best bet is to lay low until the storm passes.

    The detractors don’t understand because they don’t have the courage to run small business. Going John Galt isn’t some Objectivist fantasy. The Tea Parties aren’t some Republican Revolution.

    The real drivers of this country are taking a stand and making sure their voices are heard. The country better hope the politicians hear us. Protesting shows we’re still engaged. When we’re no longer engaged, there is no economy left to suckle on.

    Have you folks been paying attention to Venezuela?

  • Anthony

    Hey, doctors can shrug, too: check out the Lucidicus Project at lucidicus.org

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Anthony,

    My wife’s a doc; I’ll pass the link along to her. Thanks.

  • Pingback: The Liberty Papers « Blog Entry « Dr. Melissa Clouthier

  • Logician

    I can see it now: Wingnuts Go ‘Galt’. What a great headline. Come on, nutcases. Make our day, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Ha ha ha ha!!

  • Mister Realist

    For every creative intrepid small business, there are 10 grasping, chiseling, narrow-minded, stupid Republican failures. What are you people going to do? Deprive us of the 98th roadside espresso stand or the 50th thieving car dealer?

    Go ahead. Please, just do it. See how much we’ll miss your sorry, lazy, selfish asses. You think you’re the backbone of America? Bullshit. You think far too highly of yourselves.

  • Fred Up

    I prepare my own taxes with TurboTax. I don’t like how my tax money is spent, but I love my Country and think that the strong sense of rule of law that we have in the US is the biggest asset we have. In year’s past I have run my charitable contributions through the “It’s Deductible” program and, uniformly, rejected the dollar values it produced for my gifts because they were way too high. The tax law allows you to deduct reasonable resale value and “It’s Deductible” spits out figures that are ludicrously high. This year, I will use their suggestions and round up. I’ll be damned if I’m going to send my tax check to a dept. headed by Geithner without doing my best to game the shit out of the system. I was on the fence about this, because I do love my Country, until Geithner testified to a Congressional committee chaired by Rangel about cracking down on tax cheats. Fuck that, fuck them and fuck taxes. My guiding principle with taxes from now on will be to stretch every rule to the breaking point, with the only goal being avoiding jail. This saddens me a great deal, as I used to use truth and fairness as my touchstones in filing taxes. But, in retrospect, that has made me a rube. I’ll continue to be truthful and fair in life, but only on a reciprocated basis.

  • Mister Realist

    Fred Up, you must be another grasping, chiseling, narrow-minded, stupid, sorry, lazy, selfish Republican small businessman. Go ahead and cheat on your taxes. You’ve been doing it for years.

  • Stiffler

    Mister Realist – as 70% of our economy is produced by us lazy & selfish small business “Republican” folk, I thought I’d pass on a recent conversation I had with friend who owns 8 office supply stores here in San Francisco. His business is getting squeezed by our slick socialist best friend fucking mayor and soon to come The Black Messiah’s socialist tax policies. Just guess who’s he going to fire in mass? You lazy teat sucking Dem. We know who you are – he’s already compiled a list from accessible political DB’s on the internet.

    Have fun living your parents, sucker.

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Mr. Realist,

    As neither a Republican nor a Democrat, I’ve got to admit that there are more Democratic than Republican tax cheats in the news of late.

  • http://www.geoffrobinson.net Geoff

    I know of no conservative, not a single one, who approved of the deficit spending during the Bush administration. That only exists in the imagination of people who think people on the right worshiped Bush like those on the left worship (in a more literal sense) Obama.

    Conservatives compromised and overlooked a lot of things regarding Bush for a variety of complex reasons. First among them being you can’t get a 100% perfection in this world.

  • David

    Keith Burgess-Jackson: “Who knew that Ayn Rand was a revolutionary? But seriously, one great thing about being a college professor is that I am paid (largely) in leisure rather than money, and leisure isn’t taxed. I can’t imagine working hard to build a business, only to have a huge chunk of my earnings taken from me by the government and given to the lazy, the stupid, the improvident, and the irresponsible.”

    Is it me, or does Keith not know the meaning of irony here

  • Sasha

    Actually, I’m one of those academicians (a la Keith B-G), and I can sympathize. From an Economics Department no less.

    I’m also quitting academia to manage a factory.

    Odd thing about the Ayn Rand syndrome: It very often plays out in real life in ways it’s opponents (and supporters) don’t entirely expect.

    It’s about productivity people. Find your niche and claim your prize; else find out you’re a parasite and stop wasting my (and everyone else’s) time. Do what you want, I don’t care.

    Seriously, what else needs to be said other that “Get out of my way”?

  • http://liftwithcaution.blogspot.com/ James Pearce

    Wow, my obscurity appears to be no barrier to being part of the round-up. Thanks for the link.

    If I may elaborate a bit…

    One aspect that makes Ayn Rand and her objectivist theories so appealing to so many is the concept of “rational self-interest.”

    If I told most people that they would make five times the average salary, but only if they paid an extra 5% in taxes on anything they make over that, the perfectly rational person would take it without reservation.

    Why? Simple mathematics. The 500% increase in income is much MUCH greater than the 5% increase in tax liability.

    To be rational and self-interested, one must have the ability to weigh the pros and cons of a given situation, not just for philosophical purity, but for personal advantage. (ie, 500% more money versus 5% more taxes) It doesn’t appear that the folks “going Galt” have this ability.

    In other words, I don’t think they’ve thought this through beyond the buzzwords of “socialism” and “wealth redistribution.”

  • Bill45

    I like the idea of maxing out payroll exemptions.

    The surest and fastest way to turn evey wage earner in this country into a rabid conservative would be to do away with the narcotic that is payroll income tax withholding. Let everyone be treated like they were self-employed. Make them write a check quarterly to the Tax Man, including the full FICA rather than just half.

    Sure, the IRS would then need whole new brigades of tax officers to collect and a whole lot more prisons to put the new tax evaders in but even that would be worth it.

  • http://www.americannihilistblog.blogspot.com repsac3

    My friend Doctor Biobrain has been using his superior reasoning skills to discuss this, as well…

    And Doctor Biobrain’s Response Is…: Upper-Class Idiots: “So these people are talking about cutting $6000 in income to avoid less than $300 in extra taxes than what they’re paying right now, and we’re supposed to imagine they’re clever businesspeople who actually know what they’re talking about. Dumb.”

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  • Greg Toombs

    James Pearce, you’re missing a component that goes into the equation: how much effort will it take for me to increase my income by 500%. Or even 50%?

    Why take the business and/or and investment risk only to see a diminishing marginal return? The return is by no means guaranteed. The effort and uncertainty definitely is.

    Permanent taxes enriching the corrupt and increasing governmental control over our lives are far more certain than any temporary success.

  • http://liftwithcaution.blogspot.com/ James Pearce

    Greg, “how much effort will it take for me to increase my income by 500%. Or even 50%?”

    Who knows?? There isn’t a direct correlation between “effort” and “income.” Paris Hilton can make five figures showing up for one night at a danceclub, while if you’re in lawn care, you’re going to have to mow a lot of lawns to make the same amount.

    If there was an effort-to-income ratio, then janitors would be rich and heiresses would be poor. Doesn’t work that way though…

    As for this: “Why take the business and/or and investment risk only to see a diminishing marginal return?”

    A lot of people who have been entrusting their money to Wall Street capitalists have been asking themselves the same question.

  • Bill Johnson

    James Pearce

    And additionally, your thesis fials on the premise. we aren’t talking about _increasing_ income and increasing taxes, we’re talking samo-samo today’s income and increasing taxes. Otherwise, I’d be forced to agree with your logic.

    Increasing taxes on income at the existing level can engender a desire to reduce income to reduce taxes.

    All:
    The point was made above that what is being contemplated as effectual is not the removal of individual participation – as observed, that is the least effective component of Galt.

    It is the withdrawal of entepreneurs, and the concomitant loss of jobs of non-entepreneurs.
    Those non-e’s aren’t, for the most part, going to go out and start a business in competition with their employer, they’ll just look for a job.

    Two remediations:
    1)They can go work somewhere else that isn’t Galting. Certainly a possibility, but not a certainty for all, so, less employment. Less tax revenue, and possible entitlements drain.

    2)They can wait for some entepreneur to start another company to address the unmet market needs from the guy Galting. Possible, but could take some time. Meanwhile, unmet needs mean unrealized revenue, which means unrealized tax revenue. And the aforementioned entitlements drain, while we subsidize the non-e’s training for a new job, or subsidize his life directly (welfare), or subsidize something else.

    I do not expect Galting to be statistically significant as a voluntary option – it’s when we are involuntarily Galted that the economy will be toasted.

    All hail the big 0

  • Smith

    A person would have to be an idiot to think that we are only talking about a 5% change in the marginal rate. We are talking about the end of the Bush tax cuts, an increase in the capital gains tax, an increase in the death tax, the purposeful bankrupting of the domestic energy industry, increased regulation, deficit spending several times what anyone has ever seen and it goes on and on and on. Eventually even someone as intellectually anemic as Obama will realize that he can’t fund his plans on the backs of just those who earn $250,000 or more. There is no way in which Obama’s actions would be any different were he TRYING to destroy the country. He has hated America his entire life and wishes to remake it in his own image… all style and emotion with no logic or substance.

    No one in their right minds would invest anything in this economy where the government rewards failure and picks the winners and losers. No one would invest in a country where the politicians create the sub-prime mortgage fiasco by underwriting loans to people who can’t afford them and then turn around and plan to underwrite health insurance for those who can’t afford it so they can do for healthcare what they did for the financial markets.

    There is nowhere to run so what everyone is doing is just holding on to what they have while they wait for the inevitable results of all of these attacks on our economy. I truly think there will be blood in the streets before this idiot we have at the helm understands just what he has done. There will certainly be unrest and there are only so many votes you can buy through Acorn and the stimulus money.

    The ironic part is that the Obama supporters will be the hardest hit because they are the least skilled and least rational so they will be the first fired.

  • Peter

    Check out this conference for college students on Atlas Shrugged and the Moral Foundations of Capitalism.

    http://business.clemson.edu/BBTCENTER/cci/2009con/2009con.html

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  • James Pearce

    Bill, “Increasing taxes on income at the existing level can engender a desire to reduce income to reduce taxes.”

    Yeah, only for someone who’s not very good at math. You expect me to believe that a rational self-interested person is going to forgo making hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions!) because they may have to pay an extra five cents on the dollar in taxes?

    That’s not rational and it’s not self-interested.

    Consider: why are people willing to pay more than that in interest to buy a car or a house or a boat, or to finance their education?

    You know why: it’s in their interest to drive, to have a home, to recreate, to be educated. But it’s not in their interest to become rich??????

    Also…”the desire to reduce income to reduce taxes” is a luxury most people can’t afford. And if those who can afford choose to do that…then who will be the loser? Us? Or them? (This one’s easy…the answer’s right there in the tax rate! You’d give up 60 cents to deprive the government of 40? Again…not self-interested and definitely not rational.)

    At least Smith has the wherewithal to argue that a 5% tax increase is just the start, the domino theory, which is a better case to make in opposition to Obama’s plans anyway. (And may actually happen!)

    Of course, that whole, “he hates this country” stuff is a little much. Really? He hates the country so much he became its president? That doesn’t even make any sense.

    Why can’t these things be discussed without diving off the deep end completely? I mean, be snarky…but don’t be crazy.

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  • Gone Gulchin’

    Gulchin — the links seem broken from this end
    Comment by Stephen Gordon — March 6, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

    I’ll ditch the tinyurl and repost the links:

    http://www.amctv.com/originals/madmen/cast/bcooper
    http://twitter.com/bertramcooper/status/935700152

  • http://www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com Eric Dondero

    For all the Libertarian Partisan cynics out there who say that the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats, how’s ’bout a couple of questions:

    1. Can you point to the Democrat in Congress who is as libertarian as Tom McClintock or Jeff Flake?

    2. Can you point to a Democrat Governor that’s equal in libertarian bravery to Mark Sanford?

    3. How many ex-Libertarian Party members has Obama appointed to his Administration so far? (Note – Bush appointed fmr. Libertarian Party of Colorado Chair Gayle Norton to Interior Sec., and former Libertarian National Committeeman Bill Evers to a prominent Education Dept. post.)

    4. How many Libertarians have been invited so far to participate in any Obama strategy or policy review sessions? Note, Obama will be sponsoring a summit on Health Care in a couple weeks, and out of 169 invitees not a single one of them is from the libertarian/free market community.

    5. What Democrat Congressmen on Capitol Hill are open to visits and lobbying from Libertarians? How do visited Libertarians get treated by Pelosi, Murtha, Hoyer and the crew? Do we have their ear? Or is it more likely that we would get a warm welcome from the Congressional offices of Republicans Dana Rohrabacher, John Shadegg, John Campbell, Jeb Henserling, Flake and McClintock?

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    “I know of no conservative, not a single one, who approved of the deficit spending during the Bush administration. That only exists in the imagination of people who think people on the right worshiped Bush like those on the left worship (in a more literal sense) Obama.”

    I can think of scores of “conservatives” who approved of the deficit spending — such as each and every one of them who VOTED for deficit spending.

    How about the people who stripped Republican Congressman Jeff Flake of a committee seat for being outspoken about pork?

    How about Senator Shelby, who is the #2 pork king in the Senate?

    How about Governor Riley, who tried to enact the largest tax increase in state history?

    I could go on, and on, and on…

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    “The surest and fastest way to turn evey wage earner in this country into a rabid conservative would be to do away with the narcotic that is payroll income tax withholding. Let everyone be treated like they were self-employed. Make them write a check quarterly to the Tax Man, including the full FICA rather than just half.”

    Amen, brother.

  • http://www.charlescrawford.biz Charles Crawford

    There are Ayn Rand fans in the UK too.

    I joined Lady Thatcher for dinner the other evening, prompting me to write about Honest Money – and That Speech:

    http://charlescrawford.biz/blog.php?single=831

    Numerous other Rand references on my site, plus just for the historical record I slipped a reference to evil collectivist Ellsworth Toohey into my final FCO telegram from Warsaw about the ruinous legacy of communism in European thought.

  • Richard

    http://www.youtube.com/v/sxMeLEoPa_o&hl=en&fs=1

    From the novel, the essentials w/music and video

  • Roger_Z

    I don’t think the tax increases (at least at a level that appears to be politically plausible) are going to have a significant impact on productivity. What _is_ likely to cause productive people to pull back is the increased regulation that is obviously in the works from this administration (banking, insurance, health care, energy …). The simple fact is that good people (at all levels) don’t like to be told how to do their job, particularly when they observe that their “directors'” main qualifications are that they have a legal monopoly on violence.

    Also, the coming rampant inflation will inevitably reduce savings rates, and the ensuing lack of capital will further impede productivity. Unless of course we decide to solve this problem by future tax increases or defaulting on our national debt, for which I’m sure our children would thank us.

    In other words, we will be unlikely to identify actual Galts (though they no doubt will exist), but all of us will become him on the margin. I don’t know if Rand was trying to say anything substantially different from that in her book – at least in its economic lessons (her moral lessons were obviously much bolder and more fundamental).

    BTW, this is why I voted for Obama – in hopes that it will be more clear that our mixed economy is the cause of our troubles, whereas this would have been hidden by the perception of McCain as an alleged proponent of Laissez-Faire (as was the erroneous perception of Bush).

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  • Mister Realist

    You lazy teat sucking Dem. We know who you are – he’s already compiled a list from accessible political DB’s on the internet.

    Have fun living your parents, sucker.

    Ha ha ha! I love it when you wingnuts write crapola like that. Here you are, barely a month into PRESIDENT Obama’s term and you’re already wanting to quit your country. Fine, quit. Get the fuck out of my country. It’ll be a better place without your tax-cheating, thieving, wingnut asses. Go to … well, now, where the fuck are you going to go, wingnuts?

    And how do you like that PRESIDENT Obama? 72% approval rating. Wingnuts, the majority in my country despise you. And it’s only going to get worse as your Republican depression gets worse. NO ONE other than your wingnut selves blames PRESIDENT Obama for your Republican depression.

    So, like I say, get the fuck out of my country. Now. We don’t want you.

  • Mister Realist

    p.s.: But leave Rush Limbaugh. We will need someone to point to as the reason why the Republican Party can’t ever again be trusted with the slightest bit of power over anything. Hey, he’s yours. You crawled down in the dirt with him, and now you’re oh so mad that someone decided to point at what’s been goin’ on down there. Ha ha ha! Welcome to your unfair future!

  • Twizzler

    Mister Realist,

    Your vitriol is surprising, as well as unbecoming. From your early comments full of disdain for small business owners, successful or no, I had you pegged for a government employee of some type; probably state government – a mid-level bureaucrat.

    Your March 7 comments have changed my mind. I now say acadamia. Private college, liberal arts assitant professor. Probably not English, and hopefully not History (personal reasons). Poli Sci perhaps? Either that, or you are a journalist. But you have most assuredly underachieved in life, and you are angry about it. (now rail at my amateurish psychoanalysis – and use plenty of curse words for effect!)

    I don’t find this present unfair. I find it unfortunate, but we will all get the chance to do it again in four years. I hope for a different outcome, but I will support this country and it’s president to the utmost of my ability, regardless. Could the same have been said of you for the last eight years?

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  • Mister Realist

    Twizzler, you make me laugh. When wingnuts don’t like someone, first they’ll say they’re living in their parents’ basement, and then they’ll come up with some occupation they hate, such as university employee or journalist. Do you realize how laughably predictable you are?

    As for your “support” for my country, the fact is that you hate my country. You and your fellow freaks are wishing for my country’s failure, and talking about going on strike, following your 50 year old wingnut literary fantasy.

    I repeat: Get the fuck out of my country. You and your “talent” will not be missed. You know what your biggest problem will be? Finding somewhere that will regard you as anything other than the pathetic, whining parasite you are. Tell me: Where the fuck will you go? Who on earth would have you?

  • Mister Realist

    You know what the best part of all this is? The dreaded Rahm Emanuel didn’t complain about Rush Limbaugh. He merely pointed out that Limbaugh is the pre-eminent voice of your party. It’s obviously true, and if there is one thing any Republican hates even worse than his own country it is the truth.

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Mr. Realist,

    How’s this for a deal?

    You don’t charge me for irresponsible individuals and failing corporations and I won’t charge you for failing corporations and irresponsible individuals.

    This way, we can both live in the same country.

  • Little Miss Shortstop

    “Going Galt”? I’m Going Geithner. What they can’t trace, they can’t tax.

  • Mister Realist

    No deal, Stephen. You hate my country and want it to fail. Get the fuck out of my country, traitor, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. You won’t be miss. By the way, none of you crazy bastards has come up with anyone else on earth who’ll accept your sorry asses. Who’d want a bunch of criminals like you, anyway?

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Mr. Realist,

    Of what crime am I accused?

    Aside from criticizing Bush policy, what have I ever done which would meet the definition of traitor?

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    LOL@LittleMiss

  • Mister Realist

    You want my country to fail. You hate my country. Get the fuck out. You won’t be missed. You still haven’t come up with another one that will welcome you and your fellow small business tax cheaters. What’s the matter, traitor? Cat got your tongue?

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    I’ve never suggested that I want the country to fail. Rush Limbaugh is the one who said that, and I’ve been critical of Limbaugh for years.

  • Mister Realist

    Rush Limbaugh IS party, traitor. Your whole party is on its knees polishing his knob, traitor.

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Dude, I’m not a Republican.

  • Mister Realist

    Oh, I see you’re a Libertarian, which is just a nutless Republican. I have even less respect for you than I do for them, which means not a hell of a lot.

  • Twizzler

    Now I see you are just having fun with the natives. Enjoy.

  • Twizzler

    Was I right about the occupation, Realist? Just curious.

  • Mister Realist

    Twizzler, you’ve never been right about anything in your life, and I’m pleased to tell you that your record remains unblemished.

  • Mister Realist

    Here you go, shitheads. Says it as well as anyone can. The author is one of your own crazy assholes who woke up. It won’t keep him out of hell, but it’s a good read.

  • Dude

    I see a lot of comments at the liberal sites that most of us planning to go Galt don’t make that much money. It doesn’t matter how much money you make. If you are tired of the moochers and the deadbeats getting your hard earned dollars go on strike! If you make 100,000 find a way to take a little more vacation and make 5000 less. There is a few thousand dollars in savings in most people’s budgets. The government can’t tax your free time, and by clipping coupons and working a little less you will be helping to bring down leviathian. Find ways, no matter how small, to decrease your tax footprint. Barter, take more time off, find more deductions, etc. Because it is not the size of your income that matters. It is the principle. We can kill Obamanomics right now if the fort percent of us who make the most money do everything possible to reduce our tax bill and have more leisure time. Maybe we can set up John Galt clubs!

  • Dude

    When you are working your ass off like me, the marginal increase in taxes does make a difference. I made 260,000 last year. I’ll be damned if I will make more than 180,000 this year. I am not going to make more money if it is going to be taken away. I would rather have free time. Now the only problem is that I am a physician. My decision means that I turn more patients away and waiting times are longer. War is hell and it is very ugly, but this is war and there will be casualties. All of you small business owners find ways to throw sand in the gears. If all of us put our mind to it we can reduce Federal tax receits by thirty percent easily. Take that Obama and the rest of you leaches!

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Dude,

    My wife is a physician, as well. One suggestion is to maximize your business expenses. No reason to take those CME credits in town or online if there is a reasonable course in Hawaii. I’d rather pay my dollars to an airline or hotel than to Obama and his congressional minions.

  • Twizzler

    I can go on like this forever, Realist. You are outstandingly amusing. I dig the righteous indignation. More, please!

  • Mister Realist

    I made 260,000 last year. I’ll be damned if I will make more than 180,000 this year. I am not going to make more money if it is going to be taken away. I would rather have free time. Now the only problem is that I am a physician.

    God save us from doctors, especially ones as stupid as you. So, they raise your margin rate by 4% on income above $250K. In other words, an extra $400. And for that, you’ll throw away 65% of $80K, or $52,000.

    Please, keep that razor sharp brain of yours away from any actual life or death decisions, would you? Idiot.

  • Mister Realist

    p.s.: Which Haitian medical school granted you your diploma, anyway?

  • stiffler

    Ms. Realist,

    Put the keyboard down and turn off Daddy’s computer, dinner is ready. Please keep wearing your hopey/changey buttons; makes it easier to cut the parasites.

    -Small Business Owner

  • Mister Realist

    stiffler, if I weren’t so late I’d ask you go fetch me an espresso and to make it snappy or I just might go to Mickey D’s instead. Meantime, take your cheap, chiseling, tax-evading criminal ass and plant it in a country that wants parasites like you.

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  • Akston

    LOL

    parasites like you

    Can a person actually combust from irony? A defender higher taxes calling opponents parasites. Great stuff, man.

    Get the fuck out of my country, traitor

    Your country, eh? So you do understand the concept of ownership? While your expression of it seems to lack a bit of nuance. Perhaps it’s that same perception that has you seeing the fruits of everyone else’s labor as yours too?

    From the Traitor to the Thief:
    Nice trolling, man. Fire off another one when you get a moment.

  • Mister Realist

    Akston, neither you nor any of your wingnut tax cheat Galt Buddies has named a country that would welcome your whining, sorry asses. Come on, tell me who’d want you. Then get the fuck out of my country and go there. You want America to fail? Fuck you.

  • Nemo

    Realist – nice language. One of my favorite quotes is “Profanity is the tool of a small mind attempting to express itself forcibly.” I’ll answer your question if you answer Twizzler’s. The country that would accept those with the opinion’s expressed by Rand and held by many here suffered a stroke when FDR enacted his “New Deal”. It suffered hemorraging under Carter and appears to be swift to the funeral home under President Obama. The country that would have accepted us fought tyranny and burdensome taxation and became a blue print for democratic replublics and freedom everywhere. It also became the target for hatred and vitriol by underacheivers everywhere. We believe in the ultimate minority – the single individual. Our countrymen are the Jefferson’s, Washinton’s and Franklin’s. Our leaders are not only the Carnegie’s, Morgan’s, Gates’ and Jobs’, but also the small business man that gets up at 5am and hustles all day to make a comfortable living. We are not countrymen with the parasitic minimum wagist whining that they cannot afford a flat screen TV, iPhone, or other bauble. We are citizens of the United States of America and you sir should be thanking each and every productive “thief” you see.

    Now, what is it that you “do” for a living?

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Realist,

    As the guy who is nominally “in charge” here at The Liberty Papers, please clean it up a bit.

    As you can see from a long search of our past threads, we do not shy away from debate with our opponents. We welcome those who disagree. The Liberty Papers is a place where respectful debate and disagreement is quite at home. “Respectful” is the key word.

    If you don’t start comporting yourself with some respect for those of us on the other side, you will be quite explicitly not welcome here. It’s very difficult to get yourself banned here, but I’m not unwilling to do it if necessary.

  • Mister Realist

    Brad, you and your website are sick, pathetic little jokes. There is nothing “respectful” here. Go check your thread, pinhead. I wasn’t the first to use profanity or insults here. You only got your panties in a twist when a non-wingnut did it.

    You’re a liar on top of the rest of it, but that’s only to be expected from twits like you. Go ahead and ban me. It’s what the wingnuts do. You wouldn’t know a real debate if it slithered up and bit you where the sun don’t shine.

    Idiot!

    tarran here.

    Out of morbid curiosity, I reread the thread to see if Mister Realist’s accusations were right. And, guess who started the name calling?

    For every creative intrepid small business, there are 10 grasping, chiseling, narrow-minded, stupid Republican failures. What are you people going to do? Deprive us of the 98th roadside espresso stand or the 50th thieving car dealer?
    Go ahead. Please, just do it. See how much we’ll miss your sorry, lazy, selfish asses. You think you’re the backbone of America? Bullshit. You think far too highly of yourselves.

    The thing about name calling is that if allowed to continue, it can pretty much kill any useful debate.

    It also brings into question a person’s intelligence. I like creative and original invective as much as the next guy. However, when it’s all a person does, it stops being interesting and starts being annoying. My daughter, for example, taught herself how to play jingle bells on the piano. The first time she did it, I was proud of her. By the 20th time she played the same song, I was ready to break the piano into firewood. Of course, she was only four years old at the time.

    Mr Realist is probably not four years old, physically. His mental age, unfortunately, does seem to be around that age. Four year olds, for those of you who have not had the joy of parenting, usually develop quite the potty mouth as they explore profanity. Any profane word, even ones that are only profane to them, is lovingly applied to all sorts of situations as they try to shock their way into getting noticed.

    As an attention getting device, it can be pretty successful, as the rise Mr Realist has gotten out of lots of people can demonstrate. However, while it works in places full of emotionally immature people, like pre-schools or government offices, it is not appropriate in discussions where people are seeking truth or engaging in discourse for the purpose of enlightenment.

  • Mister Realist

    Now, are you going to ban the originator of this thread, who was the first to introduce the words shit and fuck to your tender eyes on this thread? Go ahead. Use your search function, ya lying little twit. Are shit and fuck wingnut love words, or what?

    tarran here,

    Those of you who may be confused by the conflict here should understand that Mr Realist has completely misunderstood what Brad is asking of him.

    On this site, we expect people to be civil to each other. Being civil is not merely avoiding swear words. For example, Stephen did quote lots of passages of people using swear words as part of his discourse, but one reading his posts will notice that he was quite courteous to those who chose to argue with him.

    And, of course, the accusations of treason, a capital crime, are not to be made lightly. I certainly don’t make them lightly myself sine it is generally a call to start a process which ends with a person dancing the Danny Deever on the end of a rope. While George Bush might deserve such a fate (IMHO), a guy who decides to stop working because he decides it is not worth his while most assuredly does not deserve such a fate. Accusing him of a capital crime is definitely not in keeping with any standard of civil discourse.

  • Jerry

    My wife and I have just completed all the research, paperwork and negotiations needed to open a small business that would employ myself and 6 others. We are now hitting the pause button until the idiot in charge is either out of the way or nullified by a rational congress that might be elected in the future.

    It would be irresponsible to attempt to open a small business at this time. Obama and the Democrats are poised to enact numerous anti-business policies and increase taxes on the segment of the population that is most responsible for driving the recovery…small business.

    Those that drank the kool-aid are just useful idiots in the grand scheme of things. “What can the government do for me?” “The rich need to be punished.” There IS a difference between selfish fools and individualists. Individualists work hard to improve their lot and in the process employ others, provide needed services and improve life for everyone. The selfish fools that elected our current government want everything given to them and anyone doing better than them punished.

    This country was founded on libertarian principles. It is no longer anything close. We are another European socialist nightmare where everyone productive is enslaved to pay for the “unfortunate.” I guess the definition of ‘unfortunate’ has been changed to “Dropped out of high school, refused to gain any useful skills, bad work ethic, etc…” Funny, that doesn’t sound unfortunate, it sounds lazy and selfish.

    People like me are all putting our plans on hold. We are holding out for an improved economic situation, or at least some light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel seems to be getting longer under this administration and until we begin opening business and employing people, it is just going to keep getting worse. Obama needs to stop attacking us and lean how to work with the achievers. Until they see a positive outcome, they will just sit on their hands. If the economy crashes or the government fails, all the better. The RESET button is just what we need if we can’t reverse the current direction toward government sponsored slavery to the tax man and the ‘unfortunate.’

  • http://boortz.com macthknife

    As someone who has “skin in the game,” we saw our business drop way off in the 4th quarter. As our orderbook worsened we began the 1st of 3 layoffs which ended up reducing our workforce from 40 employees to 18 – a level sustainable at our present workload. Before, we were covering payroll and ekeing out a small profit most years. So far, we are accomplishing the same thing with half the workforce albeit on a smaller scale. I have more free time and less headaches. As(or maybe if) our workload increases, I will have the option of returing all my temporarily laid off employees, staying where I am or stopping somewhere in-between. With the case being as I laid out, the only reason I would go back to full employment would be because of a responsibility I might feel towards those 22 laid off employees and their families, that even if I personally don’t benefit financially from doing so, I can run a business that provides a living for 40 people instead of 18. Once I wouldn’t have even thought about it. We would have hired as many people as possible but the attitudes of the current administration have greatly lessened any thoughts of my social responsibility to my employees. This how you will see small businesses emulate John Gualt’s behavior – by doing more with the same or by doing the same with less. I’m sure some would retort that this just creates opportunities for other people to start a business. I would ask who’s itching to start a business in the present climate? Why go out there and start a business when your risks have increased and your potential rewards are under attack and appear poised to decrease. People can argue against producers doing like things all they want, but personally I think that’s just more wishful thinking from the wealth envy social engineers in charge right now.

    P.S. People who voted for Republicans weren’t by and large in favor of the spending by the candidates they elected, but they knew 2 things:
    1. As bad as Republican spending was, it would be dwarfed by Democrat spending.
    2. The most important thing then as now was which party would face the people outside our country who wish us evil and would do us harm in a realistic straightforward manner.
    It was never an endorsement of their spending, and as evidenced by putting the present administration in the white house, the Republicans behavior so blurred the distinctions between parties that people were bamboozled into believing what candidate Obama was saying would be what President Obama would do..

  • Mister Realist

    It’s not “Fascist spending” or “Democrat spending” (by the way, if you are going to use Limbaugh’s “Democrat Party” then it’s fair game to call the Republicans by their true name), it’s “American spending.” But not to you people, because you hate my country.


    tarran here.

    The paragraph above reminds me of something I once read in Mein Kampf while doing research for my response to David Duke. Hitler blamed the disastrous position of the German state on the tendency of Germans not to support their leaders unquestioningly in times of crisis. He wanted people to behave more like a herd, to obey their leaders and work hard for the higher cause the state was calling them to. he felt that was the duty of 90% of the population. Of course, he too conflated the state with the people and the land. A person can love his people while disagreeing with its leaders and refusing to go along with them. To cite an extreme example, I doubt any member of the White Rose hated Germany. They wanted the German people to stop suffering from their obedience to Hitler’s demonic vision.

    mactheknife, for once in your pathetic, grasping life, cut the crapola. You don’t hire people out of responsibility. You hire people if they can bring in more income. If you depart from that principle, you eventually go out of business. If there are profits to be made, then someone will chase them.

    So, please, since you hate my country, get out so someone who doesn’t hate my country can take your lazy, criminal place. You don’t “produce” a single thing. You take, and you expect the government to be your partner in crime.

    I have noticed a singular inability to comprehend entrepreneurship on the part of the more devout Obama supporters I have run into in recent months. Many of them view entrepreneur’s as exploiting workers. Many appear not to understand the important role they play in an economy and the risks they bear.

    Obama has been in office for fewer than two months, and you are ready to bug out because he’s going to restore the tax structure to what it was in the 1990s, when the economy was booming. If you and your worthless partner in crime, i.e., your wife, are too stupid and lazy to make a buck, there are others in my country who’ll be happy to step in.
    There is more to an economy than merely the tax structure. The rate of money creation is actually much more critical, as any Zimbabwean can tell you right now. The inflation of the money supply under the Clinton years was small compared to that engaged in by the Federal Reserve under Bush. Under Obama, its slated to increase even more. The debasement of the currency + the increase in taxes is far worse that that which existed during the Clinton/Greenspan years.

    Same to you, Jerry. Stay out. Let someone with courage, brains, and patriotism take your lazy, grasping, criminal, Fascist Party place in my country. But please do tell me what other country would welcome the likes of you. I keep asking that here, and I have yet to get an answer.
    Of course, Obama is a fascist too. Fascism is merely a political system where the means of production are nominally in private hands, but the way in which they are used (the prices and quantity of product made, the supplies consumed etc) are dictated by the nation state in order to achieve national goals. The fact that Bush has a national goal of Exporting Democracy and Building an Ownership Society, while Obama seems to be interested in Exporting Democracy while Resetting the Economy while Greening America should not blind people to the similarity of the means with which they engineer the societies they want

  • Hank

    It seems to me that the foul-mouthed vitriol of the statist apologizers betrays irrationality and fear in equal measure. The apparent ignorance of American history doesn’t help their argument. Of course, the repetitive nature of the responses might indicate nothing more than trolling.

    To those who say that decreasing income is cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face: it’s the balance of diminishing returns on marginal income combined with increased risk, effort and regulation. There comes a point where it’s no longer worth it. Further, there’s the matter of principle, e.g., confiscation to pay for programs that fall far outside the original intent when the federal government was created. That’s how it affects me – your mileage might vary.

    Back to the matter at hand – how to implement a practical (if I might use that word) “gulching” scheme. Certainly, reducing earnings is a good one. But (assuming inevitability is not checked), as the revenue streams decline and inflation grows, so will the grabbing increase. Holding hard assets is not necessarily safe (witness modern day property taxes and the FDR gold confiscation). Has anyone here any ideas?

  • Merf

    To: Mister Realist — LOL! Were you this patriotic before Obama, I wonder?

    Jerry, we have much in common. We have different paths to our goals, and you are higher up on the scale than we are, with respect to ambition, but not by much.

    I am not rich, and I do not live like I am rich. In fact, my family lives on much less than we make, because we are saving for the future, trusting ourselves to know what is best for us and to pay for it. This includes medical care (mostly cash, very little insurance,) retirement (ROTH IRA,) college savings, and saving for everything we want (including cars).

    We can only do this, BTW, because we have no debt other than our house, and that is rapidly getting paid off. All of this is happening on an income that is less than 43K, and has never been greater than 55K.

    But really, why on earth should I be responsible with my money, save for retirement and those inevitable rainy days, when I can see a future where I am castigated for my prudence and my money is confiscated by the gov’t to pay for the lifestyles of people who refused to handle their money? Those very same people that I see that live beyond their means now (and live better than I do, too!), are the ones that the gov’t will bail out later, and use my money to do it, too!

    The big guys are not the only ones who are Going Galt. Once the mortgage is paid off (very soon, PTL!), why should my husband and I keep earning as much as we do? We will be able to save the same $$$ with a much smaller income and the same lifestyle, so why shouldn’t we?

    Why should we, the little guy who will never be the big guy, still produce, when we can see the day where it won’t matter that we because wealthy by being responsible. We can see the day where, because we HAVE money, regardless of how we got it, that money should be taken away from us, because only greedy people actually want to keep the things that they have worked for their entire lives.

    Why should I work? Why should I save? Because my country needs me to? Well, if my country needs me to work to support the gov’t, then why doesn’t it need everyone on Welfare to work, too? Why does it pay them to not work, and ask me to work to support them? And why does it punish those who do work by taking away the fruits of their labor?

  • Merf

    Mister Realist, you are such a cute, fuzzy little troll! Isn’t he adorable, everyone?

  • http://boortz.com macthknife

    Realist, while I’m not to fond of you I love this country.

    The responsibility I referred to was to my present employees who are on temporary laid off. Had you ever actually been anything other than an employee you might understand that most employers realize that decisions affect peoples lives and look at every decision they make with an eye towards that. This is about people who have been working for me whom I have a relationship with. The decision to hire new employees is different than the decision to return laid off employees. Had you bothered to read what I said carefully instead of swinging into the invective and diatribe you might have realized that.

    As far as pathetic and grasping, it wouldn’t matter which side of the issue you were on, from your writing, it seems apparent to even the casual reader that you are a sad little person who has accomplished little in life and uses the anonymous courage given by the internet to do what would otherwise be impossible for you. On the other hand out in the real world I have run a manufacturing company for 25 years come this month. Manufacturing means that contrary to what you “know” I actually do produce something, but then I guess you think the employees could have come togeather as a collectivist and done the same thing – you’re welcome to form one and come in as my competion – it’ll be laughs. While providing a living for my family I have provided full employment for hundreds of people during this time. I don’t ask the government to abet me, just to enforce fairplay and not erect unreasonable obstacles to my being able to do so.

    All I have done is point out that emulating Gualt does not require leaving the country although you seem fixated on that being the only solution available to opponents of the direction the administration seems to be taking this country. Personally, I prefer to stay here and continue to thrive in spite of what looters like you do because I know how badly it sticks in your craw.

  • Merf

    Macthknife, do I work for you, LOL? Well, no, I know I don’t, because the company I work for is smaller, but they have laid off people recently, too, and it was NOT a case of last hired, first fired.

    In every case, all six of the people that were let go had trouble showing up on time, took more sick days than they were allotted by contract (when they weren’t actually sick), and were not, in various other ways, the most productive.

    But I’ve been late once in three years, stayed late when needed, I take sick days only when I’m actually sick, and “that’s not my job” only applies to cleaning the smoking area outside (I don’t smoke.) In theory, I should have been let go, too, because I am one of the most recently hired, but I have made myself valuable, so for now, my job is safe.

    Does my boss know that my family can live without my paycheck? Yes, she does. Does she know that my plans might include quitting in another four years? Yes, she does. But I have a good work ethic, so I have value in the workplace, so I have a job.

    But I have a job, an income, and a good work ethic, so I am villainous in the eyes of the gov’t?

    BTW, Mister Realist, if my family does decide to reduce our income, how do you think that the gov’t should punish us? And why? After all, if it is my responsibility to get a job and support the gov’t, then why is it not the responsibility of everyone else to do the same? As long as we are not asking anyone else to pay our way, why does it matter if we only produce exactly enough to support my family?

  • John

    @Merf : Kudos to you, I am in much the same position. As a small business owner, my profits really do not increase that much whether I employ 5 people or just myself, but the stress and headaches increase exponentially. I have downsized to just myself. I make the same money but with more free time and few worries.

    @Hank : I think the general idea should be to reduce one’s footprint as much as possible, become as self sufficient as you possibly can and when you can’t, barter or trade or pay cash. I’m working on a design for a wind turbine that will meet the requirements of local code enforcement. Every penny of electricity I produce myself is one less that can be seized and given to whoever is the most incompetent this week. Grow your own veggies, brew your own beer, increase your withholding exemptions if you have them, stop sending them your hard earned effort wherever you can.

    @Realist : My uncle left the US several decades ago, he now lives in New Zealand where they have decided to reduce income tax and corporate taxes in response to the current economic crisis as opposed to increasing spending and taxation on the productive class. Just so you know, it is people like me who are the backbone of America, not only do I spend money every day, but I also provide a valuable service to my customers; many of whom wish there were more guys like me out there. BTW: Most people of your mindset that I have run into don’t actually read, since you won’t answer any questions directed to you perhaps you can correct the earlier quote that incorrectly identifies the color of John Galt’s hair?

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Mister Realist,

    Where in my appeal to your sense of respect — if you have such a thing — did I excoriate you for language? While I don’t use profanity often in print, I am certainly not a puritan of tongue. I don’t even mind the use of profanity in excess — people who use it constantly can still be respectful of others.

  • Pheebor

    Answering the skeptics and opposition:

    Will Wilkinson : But no one was threatening to stop production altogether, but simply to cut back enough to avoid punitive measures; which seems more realistic, no?

    Doug Mataconis: Even if we are not John Galt ourselves, so what? If the most creative entrepreneurs amongst us decide to cut back or not risk, we all lose.

    “I fear that if the Republicans were to suddenly regain political power, all of the cries of ’socialism’ would be buried under the rug as Republican defenders of big government race to outdo the Democrats with additional deficit spending.” You talk about this in the Five Earnest Questions as well. I share your disgust at the so-called “conservatives” who act like Democrat Lites. But I believe that producers will respond to real incentives and disincentives, not to what party is in power.

    Megan AKA “Jane Galt” McArdle : Its not really about the quality of the writing, is it? Nor are the John Galters really talking about a mass exodus. But that doesn’t meant that they might not funnel more money into tax shelters and less into production.

    “Why should voters believe Republicans are currently standing up for fiscal principles after taking an eight year vacation from them?” We must “primary” those who are not. Its up to us to get rid of the fakers. The GOP should also change their own state voting bylaws to prevent Dems from stopping this necessary culling process. Dems brought us McCain, for example. Dems could prevent us replacing the Collinses, Specters and Snowes amongst the GOP ranks, and thus getting some real small-government types in.

    QAndO: Producers who “go Galt” are not doing it to fire a warning shot or “make a statement” — they simply do not want to take on additional risks and work when they see little benefit and they see most of the money stolen from them. Its disincentive plus insult.

    Michael Powell@UnitedLiberty: This is not about Ayn Rand. “Going Galt” is the best term for this because there really is no other recognizable literary term for it. But who cares if you like Ayn Rand?

    Jerome Tucille via Dave Weigel: Whether you like capitalists has nothing to do with the incentive structure, Jerome.. nor with how real entrepreneurs will respond to those incentives.

    Steve Benen: How do you know that John Galt was supposed to be white? I read the book and didn’t pick that up. And what does that have to do with anything? I recall that his fellow traveler Francisco was swarthy of complexion, and he was a character who was actually *seen*.

    Paul Campos at Lawyers, Guns and Money : By this logic, its hard to understand why the roofer doesn’t just apply for a job at the University. It’s not just how ‘hard’ you work – its the risks you take, your education, and your priorities and choices in life that affect how well you will eventually be paid. Do you sacrifice now for benefit later? Entrepreneurs do; they call it “re-investing in their business”. If the roofer owns his own business and still only makes 40k, you’d have to wonder what is wrong with him? Most contractor businesses easily clear 5-10x that.

    Nancy Nall: Your opinion of the literary merits of Atlas Shrugged is irrelevant, and your opinion of the talents of those who would begin to withhold their production in order to fall under the quarter million mark is, if it is actually possible, even MORE irrelevant.

    “Memo to Conservative Wingnuts: John Galt Is Not a Christian” — And?

    Eschaton: John Galt’s speech is long, a bit boring, and a bit repetitive. Will that change the behavior of producers? Please.

    TBogg: But most small businesses that have 5 more more employees do make more than a quarter million a year, and they’re the producers who will be cutting down. Twit. And if you have a point to make about Michelle Malkin, try making it in English; I don’t speak Leftese.

  • Pheebor

    Completely separate issue:

    When I tell people that monetary policy, not fiscal policy or legal codes, was the fundamental basis of the current economic crisis (though looking ahead, our fiscal policies can and will certainly make it worse) they think I’m oversimplifying.

    People cannot understand the incredibly dire consequences of a loose monetary policy.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    Brad,

    One thing that Rand got right in Atlas Shrugged was the angry reactions of parasitites when the hosts threaten to stop feeding them.

    This is true whether the parasite in question is a cop faced with laws mandating videotaping of interrogations or a statist confronted by someone who wants to quit rather than paying a tax.

    One of the more entertaining variants of this was the commentary on those deluded tax resisters barricaded on their farm in New Hampshire a few years back. These guys were not consuming any utilities (they supplied their own electricity, water, and sewage treatment). They literally wanted to be left alone, demanding nothing in government services. Yet they were denounced as parasites. It was quite comical.

    Obama’s policies have been tried in the past. They invariably fail. The most completely documented variant of his economic programme that was ever put into practice was the post-WW II labor policies in England. Aside from the permanent shortages of food and coal and really bad cars, they didn’t really have anything to show for it other than some good punk and heavy metal bands.

    I think many of his supporters realize that this risk exists. Some of them think that this time they’ll avoid it. Others are in such a hysterical state of fear over climate change that they think the alternative to Obama’s policies is the extinction of the human race, and choose economic stagnation over death.

    His supporters have a lot to be scared of.

  • werepossum

    All right, which of you guys fed Mister Realist after midnight? ‘Cause it’s now your responsibility to convince him his girlfriend’s welfare check isn’t threatened by all this Galt talk so that he can go back to smoking crack and watching cartoons.

    Pheebor – the money supply has, what, quadrupled over the last six months?

  • Mister Realist

    Is your objection now going to be that I am (or was) too profane, or are you going to run your stupid wingnut fingers about my lack of respect? What’s the matter, idiot? You can sit back while your brain-damaged wingnut buddies fling insults here, but you can’t take ‘em in return?


    tarran here again,

    One of the dangers of zealotry is that one can become completely blinded to arguments against one’s position, to the point where one can end up arguing with the opponents in one’s head rather than the opponents that are arguing with them.

    for example, here we have Mister Realist calling Brad, who is practically an anrchist, a dittohead. Anyone who has read Brad’s posts would be quite aware of his hostility to the Republican Party. Ditto Stephen Gordon, who has devoted much of his life to opposing social conservatives.

    Come on, for once in pathetic, sorry, wingnut loser life, admit it: You have two standards. One is for your friends, and another is for your adversaries. You have no real “principles,” which is one of the many reasons why I have NO respect for you, or for this website.


    The comical thing here is that Mister Realist is unaware of the political proclivities of the two people who have oearned a ban. The second was that crazy guy who would had a weird debate with himself on the subject of Georgist economics, posting under multiple handles. The other, though was Eric Dondero. I encourage everyone who wants to see the sort of ‘double standard’ to review *that* fun thread. Some highlights:

    Like I said Doug, I think you’re secretly working for the Fascists or the Democrats (pretty much the same thing.)

    There’s nothing positive here, unlike my website which is almost 100% positive.

    All you do here is bitch and whine, about how so and so is “not really a libertarian,” or how so and so, is a “fascist” on such and such an issue.

    Buck up Dude. The glass really is half full sometimes.

    Example: Just yesterday the COLORADO STATE LEGISLATURE REJECTED A HORRIBLY AUTHORITARIAN SEAT BELT LAW BILL. BTW, the Republicans defeated the Democrat Bill.

    This should be screaming headlines on your site. (It is on mine at http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com).

    Instead, you’ve not one BUT TWO!!! pieces bashing Rudy Giuliani.

    What else could anyone take away from that?

    One can only conclude that you are working for our enemies, the Fascists or the Democrats. Your aim is clearly to be a downer, and depress other Libertarian activists. Optimism is not part of your vocabularly.

    Life sucks. There’s no hope for liberty. All our efforts to advance liberty are failures.

    My gosh, I’d hate to be your wife. If you even have one.


    Come on, nutcase, ban me. It’s what you people do. Your “freedom of speech” is a charade. You know, everyone else here knows it, and I know it.

    Even Eric got it; freedom of speech means that someone who owns a bit of property can use it to promulgate whatever ideas he or she wants to. It does not mean that one must allow anyone to plop a soapbox on your property and start haranguing you and your guests. We extend commenting as a courtesy to our readers. You are, of course, free to speak your mind on a website you pay for yourself. We won’t try to stop you.

  • Merf

    Ah you’re back, Mister Realist!

    I’ll ask again:

    Posted @ 12:10 pm: Why should I work? Why should I save? Because my country needs me to? Well, if my country needs me to work to support the gov’t, then why doesn’t it need everyone on Welfare to work, too? Why does it pay them to not work, and ask me to work to support them? And why does it punish those who do work by taking away the fruits of their labor?

    Posted @ 12:39 pm: BTW, Mister Realist, if my family does decide to reduce our income, how do you think that the gov’t should punish us? And why? After all, if it is my responsibility to get a job and support the gov’t, then why is it not the responsibility of everyone else to do the same? As long as we are not asking anyone else to pay our way, why does it matter if we only produce exactly enough to support my family?

    For further perspective, read the entire post that preceded each set of questions.

  • O Kaye

    We have “gone Galt” for many years now. But it was not “Atlas Shrugged” that changed it for us. It was a book called “Your Money or Your Life”. We found more important things in life than paying high taxes, employing and supporting others, and earning top dollar in our own business while working ourselves to death. Thirty years ago the ‘libs’ would have applauded us and called us “flower children” or some such other silly thing. Now, all of a sudden, they act like we are spoiled children taking our toys and wanting to go home and not “play” with the others. Seems morals and outcomes have flip-flopped again!

    Geez, I thought it was just a lifestyle choice….now we are being harranged for more sinister motives, like not caring for our fellow man. How in the world would you presume to know what good works my family does or does not do? And no, I suspect that no one will notice and miss us in the great scheme of things, but then again, why would you think any of us care? Why does it bother you so much (by being so judgemental) when we make a decision on how to live our lives?

    Try reading Barbara Kingsolver’s (a liberal) book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”. Do you condemn her and family for a lifestyle change they find more rewarding? We’ve made a point of not earning more than would equal about 10% tax rate. It works well…and why should the government by tithed more than God?

    I thought some ‘blogs’ on “going Galt” would give some good advice….but apparently I should stick with “farm & home”, Tightwad Gizette, and other handy tip sites. Many of the opposition comments here are just too cruel and vindictive. It may very well be the “looters” upset at the prospect of losing their livelihood….why else would anyone be so mean???

    Homestead Farmer

  • Mister Realist

    “Civility.” What a laugh. This thread, and this site, is chock full of insults. Only when someone throws it back in your pathetic, traitorous, Fascist, lazy, lying faces do you object. Wingnut insults are okay in your book, but you are babies who cannot take what you dish out.


    tarran here,

    I love it, I’ve got both Republicans and Democrats accusing me of treason! It’s in a way wonderful to have fanatic from the two political parties that have done more to harm to the American people than any other calling for my death.

    Merf, why should you work? Only a parasitical Republican who expects Uncle Sucker to subsidize his business would ask such a morally bankrupt question. If you want to reduce your income, be my guest, idiot. I’ve been rich, and I’ve been considerably less than rich. The day I hit the top bracket under Clinton, I celebrated. I didn’t sit there and say, “How can I cut my income so I don’t have to pay 39.6% on the increase.”

    Here we have an important point. Corporatism is bad. Of course, it doesn’t become good magically when a Democrat engages in it.

    No one likes to pay taxes, but they are the price of civilization.

    It’s kind of funny that so many people believe in this bizarre notion. Pennsylvania in the era before the French Indian war had no taxation or functional government, and yet it went from wilderness to beign one of the most prosperous and well populated colonies in the Americas in a few decades

    I notice that none of your Fascist crowd complained about your Fuhrer’s war.

    Which is why Eric Dondero was all over us for our failure to support Bush. In fact, he blamed our lack of support for Bush’s failure to win in Iraq!

    You were happy to have him put that one on the Chinese credit card for our kids to fight and our grandkids to pay off.

    Except for the fact that we weren’t.

    Don’t talk to me about high taxes and government spending. It’s a sick joke, just like you.

    It is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be suspected of idiocy than to open it and confirm those suspicions

  • Pingback: Texas Tea Parties » Blog Archive » A Carnival of John Galts!

  • Mister Realist

    O’Kaye, if you opt for leisure over more work hours because you don’t want to be a racing greyhound who runs until his heart bursts, I can’t argue with it. People have to stop and smell the roses, or at least I think they do. But if you do it for political reasons, I consider you an idiot, a liar, or both.

  • O Kaye

    Looks like I’m the one that got “censored” here. I posted just a little while ago, saw it there, then it disappears. And I didn’t even call anyone a ‘nutcase’ or ‘wingnut’….go figure.

    I won’t repeat it all here again…but ‘going Galt’ is as much a lifestyle change for some as ‘going green’ and it isn’t always tied up with being selfish as some here seem to think. Unless you begrudge people their own time….and I prefer to make my time more useful to me and my family. We still pay taxes, and don’t resent it…but we do keep it to a minimum. Why would the government deserve a thithing greater the God? I came here looking for information, not insults. A book that has meant much to us is called “Your Money or Your Life” and is a very illuminating read, along with Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”, and I believe Kingsolver is a liberal….but who cares what she may be…it is a wonderful book!

    Before you sarcastically judge others, why don’t you look inward and see just what it is you contribute to society, your community, your church, or your own family!

    Homesteading Farmer

  • Merf

    But, Mister Realist, what about the greater questions? How will the economy work when those that produce get tired of being called any of the things that you have called me, and get tired of paying more and more in taxes only to be told more and more often how awful they are because they want to earn money, and thus decide to quit?

    What happens when those of us who are supporting the Welfare state decide to quit and stop supporting it, or even better, decide that since we can’t beat it, we might as well join it?

    What happens when those when are in their early twenties today, who have decades in front of them working hard to make it high enough to earn the big $$$ decide that if they are going to be taxed that much and blamed for all the world’s ill so often that they just decide that it isn’t worth it, and chart a lower course?

    What happens when the inventor realizes that if he patents his invention, he will be called evil, and exploiter, that he will be blamed for someone loosing their job, and on top of that, the gov’t will take most of the money he would have gotten, and still blame him for global warming?

    What happens when those that could start a business, who have the guts and knowledge and will-power to create jobs, decide not to because people like you will excoriate them for starting one? You, personally, hate everyone who owns a business, and your hate grows every time they start one, or the business gets larger, or gets smaller, or has to move, or any other decision that is made, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the situation.

    Though I have to ask, if there were no businesses, who would provide all the goods and services that we need every day?

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    “Looks like I’m the one that got “censored” here. I posted just a little while ago, saw it there, then it disappears.”

    I never deleted your post. I just checked the spam folder and didn’t find it there, either. I am showing a comment made by you at 4:30.

  • O Kaye

    Opps, looks like I’m the ‘wingnut’….my first comment showed up again!

    Mister Realist – yes, you are right…I no longer wanted to be that ‘racing greyhound’ with so little to show for it. There are of course more important things than money or politics….but politics can also put us in the Gulag. Why do you sound so bitter?

  • Mister Realist

    Fine, Merf, you lazy, grasping jerk, deprive yourself. See if I care.

    O’Kaye, you are describing a rational choice of an extra hour of work v. an extra hour of leisure. That’s something that free people do, and something I’d never disdain. But if you’re going to try to tell me that the Clinton-era tax structure is oppressive and will cause you to choose leisure while the Bush-era tax structure is liberating and will cause you to choose work, I’m going to laugh and call you names.

  • Mister Realist

    politics can also put us in the Gulag.

    Please point to your postings to this effect when Fuhrer Bush lied his way into two wars at a multi-trillion dollar cost.

    The sad thing is that poor Mister Realist is so full of rage that he can’t even click on a link to see what we actually have to say. However, here is a sampling:

    How Badly this Administration Wants War.
    President Bush Is A Liar And A Coward
    Bush Was a Dictator – And the U.S. Government Is a Dictatorship

    Why do you sound so bitter?

    Because I’m flinging it right back in your faces. Look in the mirror. You are seeing yourselves reflected. I find it telling that the sniveling idiot who runs this site would object to my lack of “respect” for the moral sickness that runs rampant on this wingnut site.
    Of course, the fact that you are completely wrong about the political views held on this site, your ignorance of the debates regarding the Iraq War and foreign policy in general, makes your lack of respect a telling display of what a prejudiced person you are. It’s kind of comical how wrong you are. You are almost at Wolfowitz levels of wrongness, which is pretty impressive. You would have fit right in at the Bush administration ;)

  • Merf

    But Mister Realist, this isn’t about me, this is about the economy as a whole. This is about your hatred, and the hatred of those like you, of those who are succeeding in life because of their efforts. This is about who really earns money, and where goods and services really come from, and who is hurt when you vilify the achievers and coddle the Welfare state.

    If you were to say that the businesses that were recently bailed out, shouldn’t have been, I’d agree with you there.

    If you were to say, though, that the Stimulus Package was a good thing, then I would have to point out that it is the producers of this country, the businessmen and workers, who are hurt the most by this, because we are the ones who have to pay for it, while the DNC campaign contributors are, arguably, the ones that benefit the most from this.

    I will ask again, if there were no businesses, who would provide all the goods and services that we need every day?

  • Merf

    Then why are you still here, Mister Realist?

    I am here because I am hoping to have a real debate with someone who disagrees with me. In stead, I find you, who does not agree or disagree with me, but merely hates me.

    Mister Realist, I was a patriot when Clinton was in office, and I was a patriot when Bush was in office, and I am a patriot now that Obama is in office. The same cannot be said of you.

  • Hank

    Money is merely a token – a representation of past effort and a promise of future effort. The more the tokens are confiscated by governments, the less is the incentive by private entities to accumulate them. In extreme cases, the currency becomes worthless. It has happened repeatedly in the past. It is happening now elsewhere in the world.

    The looters seldom seem to understand that the producers no more stand still under such a fiscal assault than they would were they being beaten with sticks. The error is betrayed by their calculations “showing” how much more revenue they’ll collect with new taxes.

    In my opinion, the biggest problem “Gulchers” have is practical implementation. It is one thing to theorize, but quite another to act. I am looking for concrete advice (although I suspect many remain quiet for fear of tipping their hands).

    For example, I am not sure what to do with my monetary wealth. New taxes and recent governments’ profligate spending will almost certainly result in currency devaluation. The markets are responding poorly (no surprise). And if a global “New Deal” is initiated, I fear it’ll suppress a market recovery for years (just as did FDR’s New Deal).

    The obvious answer might be to buy gold. But I am leery, for its price is currently above the exponential mean. There is also the FDR executive order of 1933 to consider. That set a precedent.

  • O Kaye

    Wow, you really are an interesting person Mister Realist. Personally, I like who I see in the mirror….but does that make me narcistic? I’m sure there will always be something wrong. Am I correct?

    The Fuhrer thing I don’t get….Clinton had Somalia and Bosnia…what is the difference? I supported neither one of those people and am not upset with the tax codes (at this point) when it comes to being an employee. But being an employer or small business owner was a totally different thing. We went from 60% tax rates which for us included “incurred business expenses” such as licensing, insurances, legal fees, enviromental taxes, etc. down to 10% for being someone else’s employee in a huge nameless and faceless conglomerate. Less risk, and more benefits with more money in our pockets now….as well as more time. And, only one of us has to work at any given time when before we both had to.

    So, is that “going Galt” or is it living a more sensible and sustainable lifestyle? (Couldn’t it be either one?) We even freed up a job for one of those people who really wants to get out there and work their fingers to the bone….shouldn’t we be congratulated for that? We pay less taxes, but we have made the “ultimate” sacrifice by giving someone else the ability to get and hold a job that we no longer fill. I think that is a wonderful example of “redistribution of wealth” when someone else now has that opportunity to go out there and earn it for themselves.

    By the way, I’ve never blogged before and this is fun…I usually have much to do even though I am only a “homesteader”…but I found out I have pneumonia! So I’m down for the count, and bored. I did not know so many people have so much time to do this….does no one work anymore? Or is this done while multi-tasking at a worksite? I can’t believe I’ve spent a whole day ‘surfing & blogging’.

    Homestead Farmer

    PS – The only thing that would resemble a Gulag on American soil, I am presuming, were the Japanese Camps during WWII – and that was under a Democratic president. I grew up with a neighbor who had spent several years in those camps, a very nice man, and not bitter at all. How odd, don’t you think?

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    O Kaye,

    In all fairness, Clinton didn’t initiate the invasion of Somalia. In fact most of the Clinton hate over Somalia was prompted by his refusal to expand the war there by sending in AC-130 gunships.

    Bosnia, on the other hand, was eerily similar to the Bush invasion of Iraq, in that it was unnecessary, unsanctioned by the U.N. and based on faulty intelligence. Not to mention the support Clinton gave to the Iraq invasion.

    As far as the blogging goes, it’s a very seductive time waster. I strongly encourage you to check out Reason’s Hit and Run. You’ll get some nice debates there.

  • O Kaye

    Hank….I see you are looking for some real information just as I am. May I suggest some reading? I already listed 2 books above that might help, but I recently found another that is a real hoot…and may someday be very useful. It’s by a man named Cody Lundin, and it’s called, “When All Hell Breaks Loose”. It can probably be found in many libraries, and is on Amazon. I had a brief acquaintance with Cody when I met him in Arizona….and he is the real McCoy. It is a light-hearted book about emergency situations of ALL kinds…and living in earthquake country and fairly far out of civilization, I find his knowledge very helpful. Last time there was a quake here, it took 3 weeks to get services back on-line! – – – You are right about 1933, FDR confiscated the gold. AND, he threw you in the GULAG if you didn’t fork it over! So why have gold??? Have you read, “New Deal or Raw Deal: How FDR’s Economic Legacy has DAmaged America” by Burton Folsom? A very interesting read….at least now I know where our new president got his ‘play book’ for change – it is all in there. Deja’ Vu all over again!

    Homestead Farmer

  • Hank

    O Kaye,

    Thank you for the references.

    I have read various dry financial and philosophical books, but none have concrete information on this subject. Indeed, the most relevant I have found thus far is a web page by a Claire Wolfe (http://web.archive.org/web/20070825065759/www.libertymls.com/gulch/index.html). It is incomplete. Also, I am not sure exactly how feasible it is in this day & age. Quite a bit of it does not seem practical (there I am using that word again).

    Thank you again.

  • O Kaye

    Tarran

    Thank you for the information on the other site….and I stand corrected on Somolia. But…if Somalia happened when Clinton was in office – doesn’t that mean we can blame him for everything that ever happened during his eight years in office too??? (No answer needed, I’m being ‘funny’…maybe…)

    Pneumonia or no…I gotta go milk the goats!

    Homestead Farmer

  • http://www.starlancs.com Ward Dorrity

    “Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard–the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money–the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law–men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims–then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them.”

    excerpt from Atlas Shrugged, © Copyright, 1957, by Ayn Rand.

    It’s time for Atlas to shrug – and to pick up a gun. We’re already in Galt’s Gulch. It’s been overrun by cannibals and looters. And there’s no place else to go. What will your response be to those who would make slaves of us?

  • Mister Realist

    It’s time for Atlas to shrug – and to pick up a gun.

    Like I say: Traitors.

  • Merf

    O Kaye, he wasn’t bitter for several reasons, not least of which was that he wasn’t the kind of man to be bitter, was he? For the rest, that’s a history course, all by itself, and far enough off topic that I’ll leave it alone.

    Hank, as for what to do with your monetary wealth, that’s easy. First, pay off all you debt, cc, car, house, everything. The less you owe, the less you will have to work just to pay the bills.

    Next, invest in learning. There is a ton more on that subject, but it has all been said — many times! — on http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/, so I’ll just direct you there, instead.

    As for gold, what good is it, really? If the economy collapses, knowing how to make shoes, repair clothes, and bake bread is worth a lot more that any gold coins you might have. I’m not saying gold isn’t fun to have, because it is, but it’s just not very useful. Think about it, if I have bread, and you have gold, will we trade? Now, yes, but if there is a total financial meltdown, really, you can’t eat gold, and it won’t keep you warm in the winter, so gold would be worth less than a good winter coat or a pile of firewood — or an axe to chop a tree into a pile of firewood.

    O Kaye, I like the books you recommended, and the site I recommended just gives you a little more of the how, too.

  • Mister Realist

    Then why are you still here, Mister Realist?

    I am here to tell you what lazy fools, liars, hypocrites, losers, and traitors you are, and to let you know how thoroughly you are loathed and disrespected from sea to shining sea.

  • Merf

    Tarran, I have to both agree and disagree with you about both Bosnia and Iraq. In both cases, the UN had a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, otherwise known as resolutions, but no-one actually expected anyone to act on those resolutions. When Bush actually got a group of countries together and acted on the resolutions, the UN was shocked — Shocked! — that he actually took them seriously.

    Mister Realist, I will say again — I was a patriot when Clinton was in office, and I was a patriot when Bush was in office, and I am still a patriot now that Obama is in office. The same cannot be said of you.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Mister Realist:

    “But if you’re going to try to tell me that the Clinton-era tax structure is oppressive and will cause you to choose leisure while the Bush-era tax structure is liberating and will cause you to choose work, I’m going to laugh and call you names.”

    I’m not sure you even have a desire to learn who we are and what we’re about here. But you might as well go and read what I wrote a few days before Stephen’s post.

    I’ll give you a hint. I said that nobody in their right mind would try to shut down or minimize their income because of a change from 35% tax to 39.6% tax. Hell, if that’s your entire point, you agree with me!

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Hank:

    “There is also the FDR executive order of 1933 to consider. That set a precedent.”

    If you do buy gold, don’t have someone hold it in a vault for you. Hold it yourself. I don’t trust the government, but when it comes to gold, I don’t trust private companies to protect my investment either. You never know when someone is going to Madoff make off with it. But if you want to keep the feds off your doorstep, it’s best to make sure they don’t know you have it. They day they make you register bullion or coinage purchases, then you need to worry.

    But I don’t think gold would be confiscated, as there’s no actual dollar-gold link to try to falsify. I think the feds are going to prop up dollar hegemony as long as they can, and when it finally collapses they won’t have enough legitimacy left over to try to seize gold.

  • Merf

    Tarran, I object! Mister Realist would not have fit into the Bush administration at all! Say what you will of their policies and choices, but you must at least admit that they could discourse with respect!

    I, personally, refuse to call myself a Republican because they wish for too much control over our personal lives, and I am not a Democrat, either, because they would like too much control over our financial lives, and I am not a member of the Libertarian Party, either, because they take a stance on open boarders with which I cannot agree.

    And I, like you, have not been happy with Bush, but for very different reasons.

  • Mister Realist

    Say what you will of their policies and choices, but you must at least admit that they could discourse with respect!

    Listen to the wingnuts defend their Fuhrer. Respect, these slithering, pathetic, slimy, scum sucking worms tell us. Fuhrer Bush at least had respect, they say. What utter crapola. Fuhrer Bush launched character assassination attacks on all critics, up to exposing the identity of a career CIA agent and endangering whole networks in the process.

    Respect. You pathetic liars wouldn’t even begin to understand the word. You have no “values.” You hate your country, and openly call for treason against it. You are sick, puss-oozing, diseased, infectious scum. Leave my country. Get out, if you can find some fool of a dictator who’d accept you.

  • Mister Realist

    I, personally, refuse to call myself a Republican because they wish for too much control over our personal lives

    You refuse to call yourself a Republican because you know that your Fascism has ruined millions of people, and you’re too much of a vomit-licking coward to own up to your support for your bottom-dwelling criminal friends.

  • Akston

    “Ignorant free speech often works against the speaker. That is one of several reasons why it must be given rein instead of suppressed.”

    – Anna Quindlen, June 13, 1993

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    O Kaye and Hank,

    You both asked for advice. I’ve got a suggestion:

    How To Shrug — A Legal Tax Protest That Might Make A Difference

    One of the easiest — and legal — ways to get their attention is to cut your withholding as much as possible. Don’t let them get your money until next April. When the tax receipts don’t quite roll in for the IRS as quickly as they’re hoping, it will get their attention far more effectively than any other way I can think of.

  • Merf

    Brad Warbiany, you said that no-one in their right mind would try to shut down or minimize their income because of a change from 35% tax to 39.6% tax.

    I submit to you, sir, that we are at the point that it really isn’t about the money anymore, so much as it is about the verbal abuse that high earners have to take, from people like Mister Realist, for instance.

    Why knock yourself out, trying to run a business, employ others, and keep the economy going when, if you do, you get to listen to Mister Realist and other talking heads every night from the newscast, but if you put out less effort, you have less stress and are no longer classified as “evil” by just about every noisemaker on TV right now.

    Why bother? Is all the effort really worth all the abuse? And it is not as though you can hide the fact that you own a business from your neighbors, not like I can hide the fact that we own most of our house and both our cars.

    Jealousy is in vogue right now. If you have, then it must be because you stole it from someone else. That is why I am Going Galt.

    Oh, yeah, and Mister Realist is a wonderful case in point. If you earn, he hates you because your income makes you a “have” in his eyes. If you choose not to earn, he hates you because you are no longer supporting him and his ilk.

    Nevermind that he is biting the hand that feeds him.

    Nevermind that he cannot explain why someone who deliberately chooses to earn less is, in his eyes, a traitor, and yet someone who chooses not to earn at all is not.

    Nevermind that his flaming patriotism is a recent thing, a damp lump under Clinton and completely non-existent under Bush.

    No, Mister Realist is the cause at its most distilled, angry and pointless, hate-filled and spewing invectives at anyone for any reason, or no reason at all.

    Financially successful people, or even financially prudent people, are his enemy, and his attitude is ensuring that more and more people withdraw from the kind of success that produces more jobs. His attitude is, in its most essential form, a wonderful icing on the cake of disillusionment that many people are beginning to feel, and those talking heads that get up every night and lambaste us from TV for creating jobs and earning money while they, themselves, earn the same or more only re-enforce to us that it is time to stop being greedy, stop being evil, and stop working and producing, and thus stop the economy.

    He, himself, does not cause it, but he is a symptom of why people are Going Galt.

  • http://pith-n-vinegar.blogspot.com/ Quincy

    Mister Realist

    I’ll put it to you simply. The urge to “go Galt” is driven not by numbers, but by the sheer chutzpah of the assault on the productive. Between income tax hikes, social security tax hikes, massive indebtedness and printing of currency, and bailouts of every idiot who’s tanked a business from Wall Street to Detroit, the message from Washington is loud and clear–those who succeed without our help are the enemy.

    As someone who actually makes money by doing things others value, I feel like I had a target painted on my back since September, and for damn good reason. There’s a massive of debt being issued by the Obama administration, continuing and worsening the trend of the Bush administration. Between the two of them, Bush and Obama have managed to destabilize the economy in a way never before seen, and it’s my generation that’s going to have to pick up the pieces.

    So, yeah, I’m damn angry about what’s being done in Washington in my name. And I’ve heard the siren’s song of “going Galt”, but I’m personally too proud of the work I do to actually do it.

    I’m sure you’ll brand me a vomit-licking wingnut coward for daring to question your wisdom and obvious superiority to anyone not willing to bend over for the new order. Look in the mirror, Mister. You are the thing you claim to hate.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    Merf,

    I disagree with you about the Bush administration discoursing with respect.

    The Bush administration had a very totalitarian mindset. Remember the shoe-throwing incident? Bush’s explanation was to merely comment that there were people who wanted attention and that their antics were a hazard of his job. There was no acknowledgement that principled people could be opposed to his policies our outraged by the way he exercised his office.

    This was no isolated incident. It was part and parcel of their attempts to imperially remake reality.

    The reason why I call it a totalitarian mindset is that it contained within it the premise that certain ideas were so wrong that they should never be acknowledged as existing. It constrained the range of acceptable thoughts to a small subset of ones that they were willing to debate or agree with. This sort of thing is quite common in totalitarian societies as a form of mass control, and is the idea behind Newspeak in Orwell’s 1984.

    People twigged on this aspect of the Bush administration early. Over on Reason’s Hit and Run, the joke “Why does ____ hate America?” appeared in nearly every discussion of foreign policy.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Merf,

    I understand where you’re coming from. I think it’s absolutely terrible. But as much as I hate the idea of taxes, I know that feeding my family and improving my own income (and like Quincy, actually having pride in my work) is much more important to me than the taxes — at least at current or near-current levels.

    While today I’m in the corporate world, my dream is to own my own business (a brewery). If I do it, it will be for the love of doing so and the desire to build a business that is mine that will draw me far more effectively than the worry about taxes.

    I think that what you see in America is the world of The Fountainhead rather than Atlas Shrugged. We’re all like members of Howard Roark’s jury — the silent folks who just want to work and be left alone. We know the difference between right and wrong, and we’re disgusted by the looters and others we see around us, but we are– at our core– productive people. There may come a time where enough people really “Go Galt” to bring the whole system down, but I think we’re a few decades away from that point.

  • Mister Realist

    it really isn’t about the money anymore, so much as it is about the verbal abuse that high earners have to take, from people like Mister Realist, for instance

    Ha ha ha ha!! You poor thang!

    Financially successful people, or even financially prudent people, are his enemy

    Wingnut, if you only knew how wrong you were on that one. On second thought, if you knew how wrong you were on that one, you’d start by denying the facts. When that didn’t work, you’d piss ‘n moan about how I earned my money.

    I feel like I had a target painted on my back since September, and for damn good reason. There’s a massive of debt being issued by the Obama administration</i?

    Hey idiot, look at a calendar. Obama entered the presidency on January 20th. Your Fuhrer did this. Obama is just one more black man given the task of cleaning up white men’s messes.

    we’re disgusted by the looters and others we see around us

    Were you “disgusted” by all the looting by your Fuhrer and his people? Where were your brave voices when pallets of $100 bills literally disappeared in Iraq? Not a word from you and the rest of your scumbag criminal crowd. But now you are oh-so-disgusted because the top rate will go from 35% back to 39.6%. Your crowd is calling for strike and revolution over it.

    What a bunch of ungrateful traitors. You hate my country, but you’re too cowardly to get out. In fact, you’re even too cowardly to suggest any place that would ever accept a pack of sniveling, squeaking rats like you. Come on, cowardly traitors, where are you going to go now that you’ve made clear how much you hate my country?

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Mister Realist,

    Again, you’re clearly not listening, and not paying attention. You accuse us of denying facts, but you don’t even know the nature of the web site you’re on.

    Look around at what we’ve said about Bush over the last few years — we haven’t been kind to him.

  • Mister Realist

    You and your Fuhrer are joined at the hip, wingnut.

    Whereas Mr Realist supports Obama completely. He is ready to serve Obama in any way Obama asks. Through the efforts of Mister Realist and the millions of people who recognize Obama as our savior from decades or Republican misrule, they will build a new society, a new state, where people aren’t allowed to be selfish but must work toward the greater good. His unquestioning loyalty to Obama should not be confused with the blind support Bush supporters gave to Bush.

    Then again, it’s comical to see a couple of the most vocal opponents of Bush on the site be painted as Bush supporters. Then again, Bush used to call us Al Queda enablers, so it’s nothing new. Different teams, same totalitarian mind-set.

  • Mister Realist

    Your complaints about your Fuhrer are that he wasn’t enough of a wingnut. Face it, you’re not only cowardly libertarians, you’re traitors who hate my country, and fools who wouldn’t know a fact if it bit you on the ass.

    You wonder why I show you no respect. It’s because you don’t deserve any, you pathetic, dirt-swallowing little worm.

    tarran here,

    Poor Mister Realist.

    He discovers that the guys who own and operate this site didn’t like Bush. This offends him because he doesn’t want anyone pointing out that everything unique Bush did as far as macroeconomic policy (deficit spending, printing money, creative accounting, sohoveling money to special interest groups) Obama is doing twice.

    In fact, watching team Obama in action I am reminded of a that great line in the Old Testament that Rehoboam uttered after old Solomon kicked the bucket: “My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” But I digress.

    So poor Mister Realist is confronted with a conundrum. Here he is faced with the unthinkeable prospect that there are people who dislike Republican and Democrat politicians. What to do? What to do?

    He shouts louder, hoping that by calling Bush our fuhrer, somehow he can evade the unpleasant questions his position raises about his political philosophy. After all, if someone decides to stop working because they don’t want to fund the state, what sort of political philosophy equates such an act with treason? The Germans, the Italians, the North Koreans, the Russians and the Chinese have at various times passed laws making “shirking” a felony. I can’t think of any free countries that resorted to such laws (the U.S. military, of course, has laws against dereliction of duty, but then again it is an organization built along socialist principles).

    So out comes the name calling – with a soupcon of projection thrown in.

    I pity poor Mister Realist: like Eric Dondero, who also accused us of treason because we didn’t support Bush (and even credited us with the failure of Bush to establish a stable client government in Iraq), he just can’t stop digging a hole; the more he opens his mouth, the dumber he appears. If he stops, though, he’s afraid he won’t get in the last word, and it will appear he was defeated.

  • madasheck

    “Why work for the government? Because they’re hiring…” Ugh. I tried and I can’t stomach it. First my resume was misplaced and then I had a phone interview with someone reading (very poorly) from a script. This is where we want healthcare to go? Heaven help us as this administration gleefully drives us into socialism by declaring class warfare.

  • Mister Realist

    So out comes the name calling

    Don’t make me laugh, you slimy jerk. Name calling is a wingnut specialty. You complain only when it’s thrown back in your face. You can dish it out, but you can’t take it. Poor baby.


    This is, of course, a classic example of projection. It’s a shame really. For a person who claims to be earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, he sure wastes a great deal of time accusing people of being fascists due to their insufficient loyalty to the government.

  • Merf

    Thank you, Tarran and Brad, for having a rational discussion with me.

    Tarran, even if you don’t like him, and didn’t like the things he has done, you must at least admit that he was better than Mister Realist!

    Now, back to the reality that the rest of us share. I’m sure we won’t be able to find Mister Realist here, but the rest of us will just have to muddle through.

    With the shoe throwing incident, in his mind, and in the minds of many people of many cultures, what the man did was a grave symbolic insult. However, in America, it isn’t and insult, it was just, well, weird. The man who threw the shoe did not know or understand — or maybe did not care — that his insult simply did not translate. Thus, Bush was not insulted. Maybe — probably — he was insult on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level — where insults hit — he was not. Thus his nonchalant comment.

    That incident is a bad example, however, because man who threw the shoe, serious though his intentions were, had a history of mental illness and several other incidents of protesting like this, though this was by far the most effective, symbolically speaking. Thus, the man’s mental illness made it rather hard to take the entire episode seriously.

    Brad, you compare the Bush Administration’s refusal to have certain discussions with New Speak. I find that I cannot agree with you there, because New Speak was designed to limit the number of ideas by limiting the number of words, literally cutting them out of the language. However, none of the ideas that you wish to discuss are limited by Bush’s refusal to discuss those same topics.

    I would ask you to provide an example, though, of one topic that you believe that the Bush Admin thought was so wrong that they should never be acknowledged as existing, please.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    tarran,

    he sure wastes a great deal of time accusing people of being fascists due to their insufficient loyalty to the government.

    And yet he probably doesn’t understand the irony of your statement!

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    Merf,

    It was I, not Brad who made the allusion to Newspeak.

    I hate to delve too far into linguistic theory, since my understanding of it is fairly shallow, but I’ll try to explain myself;

    What the Bush administration was trying to do was to ‘frame the debate’. In framing the debate, one tries to establish the assumptions that will be stipulated by all parties.

    In Newspeak, the idea was that all the assumptions would be encoded in the language. In other words, it would be literally impossible to utter a disloyal idea in the language; the vocabulary and grammar wouldn’t permit it. Of course, this is not possible. The language would have to have a hortatory construct (eg) “You should work hard to increase chocolate production” and that would permit ideas like “Oceania should be at war with EastAsia”.

    In Bush’s case, there was a general unwillingness to accept that alternate viewpoints existed that were valid. I, for example, think all taxation is theft. You probably disagree. We can debate the pros and cons of our positions while acknowledging that the other has a reasonable rationale for arriving at a differing conclusion.

    Bush, on the other hand, attempted to paint his opponents as being not principled, but out for short-term political gain, or acting as Bush-Derangement-Syndrome suffering fools, or of being inimical to the U.S. population.

    Certainly we all frame issues. When done properly, they help to cull out ancilliary and distracting side-issues thus easing understanding. On the other hand, when done maliciously, they can cull out valid arguments, leaving only a strawman version of the opposing arguments behind.

  • Mister Realist

    Brad, so now you’ve reduced yourself to vandalizing my comments. Not that I’m surprised. Wingnuts can never take it. Ever. You’re cowards, freaks, and liars.


    Tarran here,

    This is yet one more example of Mister Realist’s poor reading comprehension. After all, most of these little commentaries are signed by me. None have ever been signed by Brad. All of them contain my unique writing style.

    This is, of course, par for the course. He has accused us of being fanatical supporters of Bush, when many of us were impacable opponents of his bad policies. He has accused us of supporting Bush, when many of us actively opposed him. He has opposed us of being fascists, when all of us are opposed to fascism in all its forms.

    Perhaps he is not bothering to read because he is a busy man. Claiming an income of hundreds of thousands a year, he must be working very hard, since I doubt he would claim to be a wealthy man of property who can live a life of leisure while waiting for the rents to come in.

  • Mister Realist

    That incident is a bad example, however, because man who threw the shoe, serious though his intentions were, had a history of mental illness and several other incidents of protesting like this, though this was by far the most effective, symbolically speaking. Thus, the man’s mental illness made it rather hard to take the entire episode seriously.

    There was only one problem with the shoe thrower: His aim.

    Once again Mister Realist is wrong; the shoe thrower’s aim was just fine. The shoes passed through the volume occupied by Bush when they left his hand. His problem was he yelled before throwing the shoe (never yell, it costs one the element of surprise), and threw too slowly.

    His second shot was off. He was grabbed from behind right before he released. Again, too slow.

  • Mister Realist

    I would ask you to provide an example, though, of one topic that you believe that the Bush Admin thought was so wrong that they should never be acknowledged as existing, please.

    Hey wingnut, want to know why you get no respect except from other wingnuts? One reason is that you’re too stupid to compose a coherent sentence. What’s the matter? Was the momma who home-schooled you an idiot like you?

  • Merf

    Tarran, you’re right about who referenced New Speak. Sorry about that!

    Tarran, you said that the U.S. military, of course, has laws against dereliction of duty, but then again it is an organization built along socialist principles.

    I would submit to you, sir, that your statement is not precisely accurate, for one very important and obvious reason.

    Namely, you have to ask to join the military here in the US. There are very few draftees left, and the ones who were drafted have chosen, over and over again, to stay, knowing the totalitarian set-up.

    Everyone who is there today is there because they have asked for it, knowing ahead of time that their chain of command will tell them where to go, what to do, where and when to sleep and eat, where to live what to wear, how to stand and walk . . . . . You have to [i]ask[/i] to be treated like that, and if you want to leave, you might have to wait until the end of you obligation, but then you’re out.

    And please don’t quote that movie “Stop-Loss” at me. That was Hollywood nonsense. Also, don’t bother pointing out the low enlistment rate every November, December, January, and February. Enlistment is always very high in June, July, August, and September . . . . . It’s that whole circle-of-highschool-graduation thing.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    Merf,

    Socialism does not have to be coercive. Hutterite communes, for example, are communist enclaves, yet the population is free to leave at any time.

    Families are socialist structures (boy that’s going to piss of the objectivists :) ), yet people exercise choice in joining or leaving families.

    The problem with socialism on a large scale is that a socialist system cannot rationally allocate resources to meet the consumption needs of the population (see this book for a proper explanation). When faced with such a breakdown, the leaders are faced with some choices. The Hutterites, for example, strictly limit the size of their communes to about 150 members to evade the economic allocation problem. Usually, though, socialist systems use violence to try to keep the production structure functioning.

    It is that violence that I object to.

    The U.S. military is a socialist entity. True, the members do volunteer. No, they are not allowed to quit until the government is ready to let them go. Moreover, the U.S. military suffers from all the economic problems that any large-scale socialist entity suffers from, including shirking, misallocation of resources etc. In fact, reading Mises book, it is amazing how much of the phenomena he describes I personally experienced in my brief stint in the U.S. Navy.

  • O Kaye

    Merf & Brad,

    Thank you so much for the information you posted. That is the ‘productive’ stuff worth looking into. It is appreciated. – – As for the gold, you are right… what good is it if you can’t eat it when people are starving. I think in one of the financial books I read the author believed in gold only to save for the distant future for a ‘restart’ of your life after financial collapse comes and goes. During the crisis itself, it does no good. But to do any good, it should have been bought early on when it was in the 300-400 range quite a few years ago. Now the return after a crisis might not be that great if you were paying 900 and above at present costs….but it would still be a solid currency of course, regardless of when used.

    Learning skills is very important. I am finding now that they are very cost effective and time saving. For instance….I do the “neighborly thing” and kennel my neighbors dogs for a week or two while they are on a fishing trip. They in turn are “neighborly” by placing 30+ lbs. of fish in my freezer. And that did not even require a ‘skill’ on my part, just a caring to help my neighbor. However, I am skilled at smoking food, so I smoke fish for him, he turns around and uses his tractor to do my garden work, plow under, clear land occasionally, etc. He has the equipment and I have the knowledge. Works for all. Will the government figure out how to ‘tax’ being neighborly???

    I think the important thing is to be close with family, friends, and neighbors; people you know you can TRUST (not wingnuts!) to set up a network system of help and varied skills. In a way, that is setting up a “Galt’s Gulch” no matter where you may happen to be without having to run off to the mountains. There really is no place to go anymore, the world is too crowded to disappear unless you are ready to brave the wilds of the Northwest Territories or some such thing; and that takes a very hardy soul – but would be one hell of an adventure!!

    I’m enjoying all the banter with Mister Realist. We don’t have many like him where I live. I admit…as his arguements go on…I understand less and less as he goes on and on. Guess I’m just a putz? But he cracks me up…so keep him going! He reminds me of the “Black Night” on Monty Python and the Holy Grail – dancing around and saying “It’s just a flesh wound!” …while King Arther says, “…your a looney!” I suppose saying this will unleash a river of rath upon my head…but can’t help it. It is funny! Mr. Realist never does tell us how he makes a living or what kind of tax rate he pays….would be interesting. Maybe Mr. Realist is really Warren Buffet taking time off from his busy day to blog?

    Homestead Farmer

  • http://pith-n-vinegar.blogspot.com/ Quincy

    But now you are oh-so-disgusted because the top rate will go from 35% back to 39.6%. Your crowd is calling for strike and revolution over it.

    Mister Realist –

    If it were just a 4.6% hike in the marginal rate, you wouldn’t see this kind of outcry. It’s far more than that, and I’ve outlined it once already. I suppose you were too busy insulting people to actually read it. Seems to be a common problem on this thread.

    Seriously, when I get angry about the road this country is on, I know that Bush and Obama are both responsible for taking us there. There are going to be consequences for all this stupidity, but neither Bush nor Obama care because they’ll be rich and retired by the time we get hit with them.

    The last six months have consisted of nothing short of economic warfare against every American under 35, perpetrated by Washington. Not just Republicans or Democrats, but Washington as a whole.

    While the movement to “go Galt” today might not be worth much notice, just wait and see what happens in 20 or 30 years when the people who declared war on us are dependent on us because of the laws they put in place. It’s going to get ugly.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Mister Realist,

    Brad, so now you’ve reduced yourself to vandalizing my comments. Not that I’m surprised. Wingnuts can never take it. Ever. You’re cowards, freaks, and liars.

    tarran (as he points out, I haven’t done this, he has) has not “vandalized” your comments. He has not altered any of your words. All he has done is responded to your comments within the original outline of your comment, taking care each time to bold his own comments to distinguish them from yours. Everyone reading this post is more than capable of understanding what is being done.

  • Mister Realist

    tarran (as he points out, I haven’t done this, he has) has not “vandalized” your comments. He has not altered any of your words. All he has done is responded to your comments within the original outline of your comment, taking care each time to bold his own comments to distinguish them from yours.

    Are you an evangelical Christian, too? You must be, because you lie so effortlessly. Your wingnut buddies are signing their work with my name, liar. It’s vandlism and hijacking, which you permit only because I’m the opposition here.

    What a lying, dirt-crawling, vomit-loving little herd of cockroaches you and your friends are.

  • Hank

    Brad, Merf, O Kaye, etc.

    It is encouraging that your advice overlaps what we are doing. We have no debt (no car loans and we own our house). We are attempting to learn basic skills. I now bake bread (without a bread machine), churn butter, etc. In high school I did five years of carpentry. I learned recently how to weld (stick, TIG and MIG). My wife can cook using very basic ingredients and is learning to sew. Despite this, we are merely beginning.

    While I believe we are headed for difficult times, the future can range the gamut from complete recovery to total meltdown. Ergo, such basic skills range from interesting to essential. We own our own business (“mom ‘n pop”). So it is sometimes difficult to squeeze everything into the short day. However, I see no scenario where learning new skills is a negative.

    I wrote above that we own our house. But do we really? Each year, we must pay nearly $5000 in property tax. It continues to increase. Were we not able to pay, we would be forced eventually to leave the house. This mandates some degree of participation in the economy. If my fears are realized, taxes will rise dramatically. Meanwhile, the currency will devalue. Perhaps the solution is to find property where there is no such tax. But does that merely delay the inevitable?

  • Mister Realist

    If it were just a 4.6% hike in the marginal rate, you wouldn’t see this kind of outcry. It’s far more than that

    Your big gripe is that your scumbag Fuhrer is no longer in office. Whining, lazy traitors, every last one of you. Except the farmer. He, I can sympathize with. If he is what he says he is, which when it comes to the wingnuts is a very, very big “if.”


    tarran here

    This is yet another example of the childishness of Mr Realist. Please note how he shouts the same thing over and over again despite the growing body of evidence that it is false. He accuses people of being opposed to Obama’s policies merely because they are not being executed by George Bush, despite the fact that most of the people he is accusing have been rubbing his face in the fact that they opposed similar initiatives made by Bush.

    Of course, shouting the same thing over and over again does not make it true. It merely makes people tune one out. Which is a shame.

    After all, a person who makes as much money as Mr Realist claims to be making usually will have some interesting things to say, if they are earning the money honestly by creating value. Unfortunately, it seems that making insightful and enlightening comments is either beyond his grasp or perhaps he is merely too lazy to put in the effort.

  • Mister Realist

    I wrote above that we own our house. But do we really? Each year, we must pay nearly $5000 in property tax. It continues to increase. Were we not able to pay, we would be forced eventually to leave the house.

    Your house sits within a city that provides a wide variety of services that you use. Of course, as a parasitical, self-entitled wingnut, you think that someone else should foot the bill. How typical of the criminal class.


    tarran

    Please note that most people are quite willing to pay for their phone bill, or their cable bill, or to do without. Unfortunately, property taxes usually are used to fund all sorts of services the homeowner does not consume, for example the extravagant marbled steps recently installed in my town hall.

    Of course, a person choosing to cut back on entertainment spending – like skating outings – during tough economic times is considered to be prudent – unless of course the skating is being doen in a municipal skating rink funded by property taxes, in which case the person is suddenly a parasite for wanting to limit his spending to services he can actually afford.

    Again, this is projection, accusing a person who wishes to limit their outlays of being a parasite simply because they want to limit the number of people they are supporting. It’s not the parasite that feeds the host, but vice versa.

  • http://pith-n-vinegar.blogspot.com/ Quincy

    Mister Realist –

    I told you EXACTLY what my gripe is. Are you really such a braindead troll you can’t operate a scrollwheel and read a few words? You’re just making an ass of yourself now.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    If I spray paint graffiti on someone else’s wall, it’s vandalism. If he modifies my graffiti, it’s not vandalism, since the wall is his property to do with as he will.

  • Mister Realist

    If I spray paint graffiti on someone else’s wall, it’s vandalism. If he modifies my graffiti, it’s not vandalism, since the wall is his property to do with as he will.

    You put my name on your words, you simpering wingnut liar. No wonder no one but other wingnuts has any respect for you or your ideas. Hey, by the way, neither you nor any of your criminal buddies has come up with a country that would accept your pathetic asses. Come on, traitor, where are you going to move? Paraguay?


    Ha ha ha!

    Don’t worry Mister Realist, I don’t think anybody will confuse my words for yours. For one thing, I can go two sentences without using the word wingnut or traitor.

    BTW, since I became an anarchist, my goal has been the peaceful overthrow of the United States government. I am not going to leave merely because you can’t stand the idea of people choosing how they live their lives without asking some leader’s permission.

    The Republicans are now discredited. The Democrats are following the same disastrous path. In eight years, people will be running you guys out of town on a rail too.

    So go ahead. Hate me all you want. Liberty is the future baby. You guys are merely the last gasp of the fascism that was in vogue in the 1930’s.

  • Mister Realist

    I told you EXACTLY what my gripe is.

    What you’ve told me and what is true are two very different things. Just look at all the wingnut lies in this thread. The only thing any of you people can do is lie through your rotten, yellowing teeth.

  • Merf

    Tarran, @ 11:20 am, you said that in Bush’s case, there was a general unwillingness to accept that alternate viewpoints existed that were valid.

    Yes, this is true, however, there are some stances that have no room for argument. Religion, for instance. Weather you believe in God or Gaia or something or nothing, that’s what you believe, and really, is there anything that I can say that will change your mind?

    Likewise with taxation. I can agree with you to a degree, that in fact, the level of taxation we have right now amounts to theft, but not that all taxation is theft, and I doubt that anything I could say would change your mind on this subject, either.

    If we cannot agree, why discuss it? On a forum like this, that’s fine, we all have the time, but on an international or even a national scale, it’s just a waste of time.

    Also, I submit to you that the most vocal of Bush critics sounded a lot like Mister Realist — shrill and pointless. They themselves made it hard to take their entire side seriously. (Don’t worry, though, the Obama critics will manage the very same thing in short order.)

    As for the gov’t not letting you go until they want to, in the vast overwhelming majority of cases, each individual must stay until the end of the term outlined in the contract he or she signed. In a very few cases Stop-Loss has been used, but not for line soldiers.

    Also, most of the cases you have heard about were from the National Guard, which is administered by each state. While it is over in Iraq, they are under Army command, but if the state says that the soldier’s time is up, then the Army lets them go, but it is the individual state that makes the call, not the Army.

    Tarran, you said that families are socialist structures. Mine isn’t. We are a benign dictatorship with dual leadership, and we do not hide this fact. The subjects of this dictatorship must submit to it for as long as they wish to live in this household and be maintained by it. If they disagree, they are free to leave.

    As an example of our dictatorship, there is a question that is sometimes asked of unruly children — “Are you the center of attention?” It sounds mean, I know, but quite often, they are the center of attention, and their words, whatever they happen to be speaking of at the time, carry a great deal of importance.

    However, sometimes there are things that need to be taken care of that they have no input on, (like planning for errands that need to be taken care of, or political discussions with other adults, or when an adult is on the phone.)

    Naturally, there are certain circumstances that take precedence over the adults’ activities, namely fire, flood, bleeding, broken bones or death, but by and large, these things don’t happen, so when a subject in this house is asked to identify the center of attention, said child usually pipes down and finds a book to read or some other activity.

    Where am I going with this? That’s easy to answer. Mister Realist, you are not the center of attention, child, so pipe down and let the adults talk!

    Quincy, I don’t think it will take 20 or 30 years. If Obama is successful in blaming all of the current recession on Bush, then he will be re-elected, and will continue to trash the economy. In the case of Obama’s re-election, I see Going Galt on a large scale in 10 to 15 years.

    To be fair, though, at least part of this is Bush’s fault, however, once Obama passed that “Stimulus” bill, he could no longer claim to be guiltless in the fall.

  • Hank

    Note the excellent technical quality of the troll’s writing. Despite its earlier protestations, I believe it is indeed a journalist, English professor or some-such. That it seems to have a great deal of time on its hands re-enforces the suspicion. A contra-indication to this theory is its strong use of repetition. Its writing seems to lack imagination.

    Mind you, it is very good at getting responses!

  • Mister Realist

    Well, I guess this website isn’t going to ban me, but instead will hijack my posts, alter them, and leave my name on them. It would seem that all of my insults are well deserved. These people must be evangelical Christians. Only those people lie so smoothly.


    tarran here,

    Oh yes, we’re evangelical Christians. That’s why we devoted an entire category to Huckabee hate. You realize that you are giving Wolfowitz a run for his money on the number of times a person can be completely and utterly wrong on a subject, right?

    Nah, don’t worry about answering. It was a rhetorical question.

  • Mister Realist

    It was nice insulting you, but if you’re going to alter the postings there’s no point in continuing. So much for free speech, eh, whackjobs? “Libertarian.” Ha! Just another way of saying “Fascist.”


    tarran here.

    I think we should give Mr Realist a hand for coming up with the most inane way of ascribing things to fascism. If libertarianism is fascism, then anything, including a picture of a summer day, is fascist.

  • Merf

    Hank, I am glad to be of help. The homesteading sit is wonderful, and has many ideas that will be helpful and many that will not. Most of my preps are based on ideas that I got from there or were thought of by me but were helped by that site. I could write several pages about what to do, but really, that would just be what I do, and a good deal of my information would not be entirely helpful to you, simply because we are not starting at the same point and, while we might be working towards the same general goal, we probably don’t have the same specific goals.

    But you are correct, such basic skills range from interesting to essential. In fact, many of the things that you have named as “basic” skills are rare amongst the baby boomers and almost non-existent amongst their children and grandchildren.

    Even more alarming is the self-evident fact that there is a skill that is essential in a high-tech society that is almost never used in ours, namely, that of budgeting. The use of credit is so prevalent that currently, most people have no idea how to calculate how much house they really can afford, as opposed to how much the bank says they can afford.

    Many, many people do not understand the concept of delayed gratification, and have no idea how much they are spending every month to carry a balance on their credit cards. They do not know how to plan for the future, and a large number do not try.

    My family started down our path to being debt free at the height of the booming economy, when everyone else, people, and all levels of gov’t, were acting as though it would last forever. We saw the downturn, and have prepared for it. Most did not seem to notice that anything would change, ever, and kept spending like there was no tomorrow.

  • Merf

    Hank, you might be correct, Mister Realist might be an English professor. After all, if you are an English major, and actually graduate, and only then figure out that no-one wants to read anything you have written, where else to go but back to school?

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    LOL, evangelical Christians… That’s rich.

    First he called me a wingnut, despite the fact that I am a libertarian nearly to tarran’s definition of anarchist (it depends which day you ask me, really), not a Republican.

    Then he accused me of being a follower of Bush (the “Fuhrer”, as he calls them), discounting the fact that I and others on this site have denounced much of what Bush did during his time in office.

    Then he accused me of modifying his comments, which proves that he can’t [or doesn't want to] tell the difference between myself and my co-contributors, and despite the fact that his comments weren’t changed, they were only responded to (clearly distinguished from his writing).

    Finally, he calls me an evangelical Christian, despite the fact that I’ve been an atheist since about the age of 12, and have in numerous places on this site declared such.

    Mister Realist, I would say that reading comprehension isn’t your strongest suit — but that would be inaccurate. You haven’t bothered to read anything we’ve written in the first place.

  • http://pith-n-vinegar.blogspot.com/ Quincy

    What you’ve told me and what is true are two very different things. Just look at all the wingnut lies in this thread. The only thing any of you people can do is lie through your rotten, yellowing teeth.

    Mister Realist –

    All you know about me is what I’ve said. Anything else is presumption on your part. Period. It’s very easy to speak the “truth” when you call your own preconceptions and prejudices “truth”. That’s exactly what you’re doing here.

    It’s not worth my time, or anyone else’s, trying to convince you with facts, logic, reason, or reality, because you already know exactly who we are, what we think, how we believe, and whether or not our souls are good and evil. I must say, I envy the clarity and intensity of vision you must have, being able to discern all these things about others through a computer screen.

    Or, is it just that your prejudices present a brighter, more pleasant picture to you than reality?

  • http://pith-n-vinegar.blogspot.com/ Quincy

    Merf –

    I’m thinking 20 or 30 years not for “going Galt”, but using the same institutions being crafted for the benefit of the baby boomers against them. There will come a day when my generation has the reins of government, and the baby boomers are totally dependent on the Bush-Obama welfare machine. I hope like hell that the people in Washington on that day are wise enough not to start using the welfare machine to take revenge on their elders for trashing the country, but I fear they won’t be.

    Think seniors denied medical care, social security payments cut off, etc. When I’m talking about ugly, I’m talking about *THAT* kind of ugly.

  • O Kaye

    Has anyone ever thought of the extreme end of “going Galt”? Looking at other sites on the web, there also appears to be a movement to crash the system from within. Apparently it is called Stage 3 of going Galt on one site. It means that you don’t just drop out of the system as much as possible…the idea is to become a parasite on the system with all the others. The more parasites, the faster the host dies. I would not exactly call that “going Galt” in the best sense….but it is out there.

    Anyone have an opinion on that one? A concern???

    Did Mr. Realist get mad and take is toys and go home?

    By the way…this should make you all laugh…this “Farmer” (referred to as ‘he’ by Mr. Realist) is a 50-something grandmother….and believe me, I don’t think Medicare (which is a rip-off for all and along with Medicaid has done more to change the face of our nation’s medical care than anything else) or Social Security will be there when my time comes. Those were both instituted long before even my generation. Thank FDR for one, and LBJ for the other – again, both Democrats – what a surprise. Like I said…I must be a putz, because both Democrats and Republicans are looking more and more alike….maybe I need new specs? Why bother though…this pneumonia is going to kill me anyway.

    Homestead Farmer

    PS – Another skill that is important-learn how to play a musical instrument. Preferably something portable….entertainment with others is very important for the ‘social fabric’ and will always earn you money if you keep a tin can with you too.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    Merf,

    You ask why should we debate? Well, even beliefs that are strongly held can be changed. For example, Walter Block, one of the most prolific and radical libertarian anarchists alive today was originally a left wing big government liberal. It was his famous debates with Nathanial Branden that made him a minarchist, and then his debates with Murray Rothbard that converted him into an anarchist. I used to be a Heinleinian conservative, until I listened to a lecture series by Robert Lefevre.

    Even if the debate does not change your mind, the argument is beneficial; it allows you to reexamine your beliefs and to check your conclusions. It can also be fun (lord knows none of us make money doing this – the checks from Karl Rove never arrived).

    As far as the debate on socialist structures go, you and I seem to have different criteria for defining socialism. I define socialism as a system where producers do not keep the fruits of their labor but share with all would-be consumers. Thus a family, where the parents feed and clothe the kids is a socialist structure, albeit a voluntary one (for the adults anyway). Similarly, the millitary is very much a socialist structure. A dirt-bag SK-1 and a ET-1 both receive the same pay. Odds are, though, the ET-1 is working far harder than the SK-1. Funds for ships are assigned based on perceived need, not based on how well they perform the mission, etc.

    You seem to feel that so long as the arrangement is voluntary, it isn’t a socialist one. But one can hardly argue that a Hutterite community, with its complete absence of private property is not a socialist one merely because the members are free to leave. I must thus disagree with you.

    As far as Obama’s future goes. When LBJ and FDR wrought their damage, there was no Internet, and they were able to cow the mass media into muting the opposition to their crackpot plans. That is over. The gate-keepers have been cast down. The Internet can also be a great educator. Take the Ludwig von Mises Institute. There are thousands of hours worth of reading in philosophy, history, and economics on their website free for the downloading. And, they are highly ranked in all the search engines I have ever played with, meaning that they will be easy to find for people who decide to search for answers to questions that aren’t answered by the propagandists. The end result, you will see the rise of a more skeptical and jaded electorate who can’t be told how to think so easily.

  • O Kaye

    Tarran –

    I had not heard the name Ludwig von Mises in over 15 years. Thanks for mentioning that! The Institute has a wonderful site.

    All of you have been so much fun and informative! I’ve been too busy these last many years…milking those darn goats, ha. Hope you all continue the ‘debate.’ You are right…the dialogue should continue…there is always much to think about.

  • Hank

    O Kaye,

    We live currently in high-tech suburbia. It’s our goal to end up in a much quieter place (albeit not completely isolated). It sounds as though you have done just that. We wonder in which state you have settled (and understand if you prefer not to say).

    We’ve been researching various locales. Some are obviously out of the question with their large populations, high taxes and onerous regulations. Others, while sparse, aren’t too friendly to those with a little accumulated wealth. We ended up with a very short list. Alaska is at the top.

    So we took a research trip late last spring to Anchorage and roamed as far as we could in the time available. The fiscal environment is favorable (although Anchorage had one glaring would-be looter – moretaxes.org – which seems to have folded). The people seem friendly, yet a little quirky. One can still sense a frontier spirit. Anchorage has a population of ~300K. Yet the state has a total population of just twice that – the best of both worlds. The landscape is spectacular. Our brief visit yielded a seemingly wonderful land.

    But we’ve not lost sight of reality. Alaska has bitter winters with long nights and is remote to a fault. We asked a lady who lives in a very small town (Chickaloon) what one does in the winter. Her answer: “Have a hobby, or become an alcoholic”. In rural areas, there’s a tangible wildlife issue with bear, wolves and moose.

    During our visit, Alaska put forward her best foot. We did not see her brutal side, such as the -78F low in Tok a few weeks ago. There were no close encounters with 800lb grizzlies. Having never had such experiences, we don’t know how we would we deal with them. Do we have the fortitude?

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    O Kaye, Hank, Merf,

    Stick around. You’re likely to come across a lot of new and interesting perspectives around this site, and it gets really interesting when those of us who write as contributors here start to disagree :-)

    Hank,

    I hear good things about New Hampshire from those folks in the Free State Project. I’ve also heard good things about Wyoming from the same sort of perspective (when the official Free State project was founded, they split into two camps on the decision of NH or WY).

    For me, I don’t think I’d feel at home being that far removed from “civilization”. My ideal, having traveled somewhere around 75% of the country, would be the Denver area. It’s not the most free state out there, but a heck of a lot better than where I live now (California).

  • O Kaye

    Well….you got me. Yes, I do live in Alaska…but not quite the ‘bush.’ Came here several years ago, but we did come from cold country to start with and a place that was in some ways more remote than we are now. Chickaloon is down the road from us…and we can both see Russian from our front porches!

    Alaska has got a real bad rap from the national “Pravda Press” lately and while it is definately quirky, it certainly has a lot of spirit and soul. It was culture shock for me…but the husband fit in like a local…he is a mountain climber and guide among other things….so he has always been right at home. Yes, he’s on the high side of age for doing that type of thing..but he’s done it all his life, and Alaska is the last great frontier after all. Denali is just around the bend….

    I had to laugh at the comment from the lady in Chickaloon, I might know her!! Most of us do have hobbies or productive things to do…but substance abuse is of course here as it is everywhere. Many people of shady character have migrated to Alaska thinking that if they come here their past won’t follow them. Yeah, right. (Fools always bring their problems with them wherever they go.)

    I suggest to people…do not come to Alaska unless you have a job waiting for you. It’s expensive to get here, and it will break you to get back. Better yet, find a job that will pay to relocate you. If you have skills, there are many who will.

    There is the ‘real’ Alaska…and then there is Anchorage. The twain do not meet. But, you can still live here and enjoy the best of both worlds. Anchorage had a mayor who raised taxes and costs of services through the roof, especially property taxes. Many people are leaving and moving out to the hinterlands. Trouble is, Anchorage is 90 miles long…from Eklutna to Girdwood, and it is hard to get away from it if your job is there. So Mark Begich (that mayor) is now in the US Senate doing the same thing for the entire country. I rarely go to Anchorage, but it’s a fun place to go occasionally, and there is an outstanding University – UAA.

    I really don’t mean to go on and on…but Alaska really is unbelievable! Seven months of winter is worth every minute to get to the summers that are like heaven on earth. And winters grow on you too…. there really is much to do here then, if you are at all an active person. And winters are actually more beautiful than summers if you can believe that!

    Also – NO STATE TAX, and either NO or very LOW sales taxes. And yes, there is the PFD (the oil money everyone gets once a year) but it’s not something to depend on….and may be a thing of the past before too long. Many people I know use it to further their education…which is wonderful….others choose to drink it away. Many can’t hang on long enough to even qualify for it, up to 2 or 3 years before you may even see it. The way we live though, the cost of living is no higher than where we were before… but what we do may be drastically different than the average family. Alaska has the highest rate of people who live a “subsistence” lifestyle, so I’m told… and many here choose to live “off the grid”, many because the grid has never reached them, ha ha.

    Also, I got a good friend in Wyoming! She is in love with the place… we’ve compared over the net and she often had worse winter weather than we did. But she says it’s another great place to go… but work is harder to find. My brother-in-law lives in Denver…. it was outrageously expensive, but it may be cheaper now if the property values took a dive? So many places – so little time!

    Homestead Farmer

    “Alaska – step out of the bus and into the food chain.” No doubt!

  • Frank

    I wish all of you CEO Butt-holes would go John Galt forever. Mabey you can start over in the countrys where you sent our jobs. I have no problem with you making money but you got so greedy squeezing every little penny out of your companys (mainly by shipping jobs overseas) that nobody here in the U.S. has jobs to buy your products or services.
    So I say go John Galt if you want to. This country was built on the backs of the working class,You would’nt even have a company if it wasnt for the working class.
    If you are a Company Head or CEO or Whatever, remember you would’nt be there if it was’nt for working class people.

  • Merf

    Thank you joining in, Frank, but I think you have the order backwards. I think that the jobs going over seas was just another sign of Going Galt, rather than the reason why we should.

    The jobs left because companies could make more money with significantly less paperwork if they employed people in Asia or Mexico. The companies cut back on production and offices in America because of the high cost of doing business. That’s Going Galt, on a corporate scale.

    Rather than punishing those who are moving to get away from your punishment, however, wouldn’t it be a better idea to make it less costly to do business here?

  • O Kaye

    Merf –

    Oh no….let’s hit ALL the businesses that are left in the U.S. with “Cap & Trade” so they leave too! All those mean and nasty business people should just leave the country so people like Frank can be happy on the government bread line. – – – Last I heard on the national news there are less and less illegals coming in from Mexico…they don’t need too, because the U.S. businesses are finding a friendlier base of operations in Mexico. Gee, what a surprise.

    There is only one problem with the U.S. education system now….they don’t teach logical thought and most important, the concept of “cause & effect” – it’s like no one understands that anymore, regardless of what it may be applied to (economics, love, politics, war, etc….). Wasn’t it once said, “That for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.” Or is that to confusing in this day and age?

  • Hank

    I heard on the radio just this morning that in Texas a blood sample is taken from every newborn and stored in perpetuity. The given reasoning was vacuous to the point of humor. I suspect strongly that it’s a back-door DNA database.

    I’m not sure who is winning – Rand or Orwell (or perhaps Monty Python). The independent individual is undoubtedly losing.

  • Frank

    Thanks for setting me stright. My point is that usualy the tax burden falls on the middle class and I dont mind that. Thats just the way it is because we are the majority and it works out that way. But we are loosing more and more middle class jobs because greedy companys are moving overseas.So they can earn higher profits by cutting wages and skirting laws here in the U.S aimed at worker saftey and the enviornment.
    It used to be when someone built a company he or she took pride in how big it grew how many people it employed and how secure it was. Now everything is profit profit profit how much can I squeeze out of this company before it dries up and I move to the next one.
    As far as bread lines go O Kaye I’ve never been in one and hope to never need one. I’ve been lucky enough to have good health and have never had a problem finding work, that said,some of us arent so lucky, they have lost everything jobs,homes,and worst of all hope.So why shouldnt they expect a government that they have been supporting with their tax dollars to lend a helping hand when they are down.

  • Pingback: The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Is the White House “Going Galt” on Us?

  • O Kaye

    Frank –

    What about the companies that have come here? Toyota, Isuzu, Honda, just to name a few of the BIG boys. The one thing they do not deal with is the grip of the Unions. (I am leary of unions having been a union member myself for 14 years to keep a job.) The foreign companies have had quite a bit of success, but without those unions to deal with, have managed to lessen their ‘overall’ restrictions on their businesses. I’m not saying it is good or bad…just an example. My husband researched this once…comparing my Ford truck to his Isuzu Trooper, and found that more of his Trooper had been fabricated and built in the US than my Ford truck which had a higher percentage of Canadian construction. Not scientific – just what he could assertain. We were surprised.

    If you want to read what can happen to business (overall) when a government does not support it’s business class, regardless of the size of the business, I would suggest the following book as I mention before on this post:

    “New Deal or Raw Deal? How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America” by Burton Folsom, Jr. Read the reviews on Amazon and you can see the divide between the ‘classes’ of liberal vs. conservative. Very interesting. I am finding it to be quite a read….and now know why my parents (Depression & WWII survivors) would growl and fume whenever the names Hoover OR FDR was mentioned. Till the day my parents died they would refuse to refer to ‘the dam’ as anything but “Boulder Dam.” As far as FDR went, only his apparent ability to lead the nation through the war itself held any regard in my father’s eyes as redeeming his miserable record in dealing with the economic disaster of the Depression. Check out the section in the book on how FDR’s ‘stimiulus’ plans actually fell the hardest on those that could support them the least, and how we are about to revive those same ideals.

    As for me….I try to buy only American….and as LOCAL as I can get. But that is an almost impractical goal in our ‘New World Order’. I may be buying bread from a local bakery, but the ingredients that go into it can easily come from China! (Protiens, additives, gluten, etc…which may have quality problems in themselves.) As for help from the government…no, I have no problem with that when it is a ‘helping hand’ (who would???), but not when it becomes a decades-long lifestyle choice of able-bodied and intelligent people. To me, that is evil….yes I said it, evil. Again, call me a putz…but to me that is the same as ‘stealing’ and last I knew that was still mentioned in the 10 Commandments whether is is allowed to be ‘posted’ in view or not.

    May none of us experience what our parents and grandparents had to!

    Homestead Farmer

  • Merf

    Please define “tax burden”, Frank.

    If you mean actual taxes, then no, the don’t fall on the middle class, as defined by the amount of wages you earn. The burden falls on the “rich.”

    However, it is the rich that create the most jobs, and when they have to pay more money, they have less to . . . . you know the series of events, the end point of which is that fewer people have jobs, so the tax burden — actual, literal taxes — hit the “rich” the hardest, and hit everyone else as a side-effect.

    O Kaye, have you ever noticed that every tax that the gov’t — and thus, everyone else — talks about is an effort tax? They never mention taxing pre-existing wealth, like that tied up in multi-generational trust funds.

    Sure, Clinton wanted to take a “one-time-only” withdrawal of 15% from all privately owned 401Ks and other tangible-asset retirement accounts, but that was decried by a great many and shot down but the Unions.

    I would argue with your statement, Frank, when you said, “It used to be when someone built a company he or she took pride in how big it grew how many people it employed and how secure it was. Now everything is profit profit profit how much can I squeeze out of this company before it dries up and I move to the next one.”

    I think Microsoft is a wonderful example. Do you remember when it had 95% of the market share and only 5% or the Congressmen? Funny joke — or not — there was a lot of truth to that statement. If you have pull with the gov’t — local, state, or national — then by and large you could get them to leave you alone and have a company that you could grow and feel proud of. If you didn’t have legislative pull . . . . You get sued because you are creating unfair competition, and the guy suing you pulls off a spectacularly successful and profitable merger even while the gov’t is trying to prove that you don’t play fair with the other children.

    If, however, you are referring to things like Multi-Level Marketing and Ponzi schemes, then I would submit to you that the gov’t is the leading producers of both those intellectual products.

    First, SS is the largest Ponzi scheme ever. Then, take MLMs — please! The only way you can make money in an MLM is to recruit other people to recruit other people to recruit other people . . . . Sure there’s a product in there . . . . somewhere.

    I would argue that many of the “grass roots” organizations are, in essence, MLMs, at their heart.

  • O Kaye

    Merf,

    Yes, there is inheritence taxes, etc. I’ve know ranchers in the West (where I grew up) that lost all they had through these types of taxes because their profit margin was so tight they would have to sell off land to survive when the old-timers died off. Also, through other laws and enviromental constraints, they lost grazing rights with the public lands as well. So….what happened to the lands? Big time development with McMansions taking up tons of space and people from California flowing in like termites to a rotten log to get away from their ‘punitive taxes and regulations.’ They changed the West forever. Now, many of those big homes are not worth what they were even built for…. and many places in the West (Southwest in particular) are suffering from over-mining of water in those areas so those people could bring their palm trees and grass with them. I like the old West better with the cowboys and the horse/steer manure much better. They did less damage to the environment….but that’s not how the story is told.

    I’m waiting for the ‘excise’ taxes to go up to cover all the spending being done by our government today…those are the type of taxes that hit everyone from rich to poor just the same, with the poor suffering from it more. Higher taxes on heating oil, all ultilities, gas to go to work, food (both at the store and through higher production costs by producers), entertainment and sports events, alcohol & smokes already going up, and on just about any other consumable good. This always backfires, because then people are forced to consume less….and the people that are employed to make or provide that service are layed off or the businesses fold, especially the smaller rather than the larger the business. That’s what I meant by “cause and effect.” What is it about this that people today don’t understand? In this way…Frank may end up being correct in the future, because if these taxes are eventually raised even more, then raising of revenue will “disporportionately” come from middle and lower income families.

    Can anybody out there say, “Victory Garden”? Do many people out there still know what it means? Remember, the real way this country finally got relief from the Depression was a World War where 10’s of millions died. Many from starvation just because they were caught in the middle. Is history repeating itself? Forget the Ponzi’s and MLM’s now…start buying seeds.

    Homestead Farmer

  • Merf

    I already am, O Kaye. My family is learning how to do these things BEFORE we need it, when mistakes mean delays and wasted money, instead of later, when they might mean going hungry.

    As for utilities, heating oil, and such, I see an increase in the future, too, because Obama did say that he wanted to tax the coal industry out of existence. If he succeeds, the electricity producers will have to get fuel somewhere, so oil will go up, as will natural gas.

    However, to combat these high prices that will be such a burden to “the poor,” they will receive rebates or tax credits or assistance of one name or another, or at least, the districts that belong to politicians with enough influences will receive the aid, some of which will go directly to those evil utility companies who are, of course, campaign contributors.

  • O Kaye

    You got that right, Merf. It certainly is a vicious circle (cycle) is it not. It gets darn cold where I live, and I’m wondering would the government tell us we can’t burn firewood in our homes because it ‘pollutes’? If we can’t afford the natural gas….can’t use the wood….sounds like there might be a lot of irrate people. Next we will be clubbing seals for their oil and doing the igloo thing. But I digress…..I’m sure our politicians will plan well and take care of us all. :) I could have bought an Icelandic pony from my neighbor a couple of years ago….I think I missed out on a good thing. Darn, she would have been useful, and small enough to keep in the basement when the weather was bad. The other thing I passed up on was a ‘yak’ herd – 4 adults and two youngsters for only a few thousand dollars. Such incredible animals…I could have pretended I was living in Tibet and being repressed by the Chinese communists while drinking yak-butter tea. Such is life….happy farming!

  • Merf

    “Can’t burn firewood.” Funny you should mention that . . . . Imperial Valley, California. You can have a fireplace, but you cannot burn wood because it pollutes. However, they grow sugarcane there, and to harvest sugarcane, first thing they do is burn all the leaves off the stocks to make processing easier.

    So, you can’t use a fireplace, but they can put tons of ash in the air every year for a crop that could not grow there if it weren’t for all of the water and fertilizer that has to be shipped in because, after all, we’re talking about a desert here.

    Of course, the sugarcane growers have lobbyists in Frisco, and the average homeowner does not . . . .

  • Hank

    Brad & Merf,

    Brad, you wrote that you live in California. Merf, I infer (perhaps incorrectly) that you live there.

    California has gorgeous countryside. The weather is benign. There is still great industry (albeit running on the inertia of a bygone era).

    Yet there comes a time when all those advantages are no longer enough.

    The government is growing at an unsustainable rate. The regulations are stifling. The taxes are crippling. The population is becoming increasingly dependent.

    What is keeping you there now? At what point do you “shrug” – and withdraw from the state?

  • Merf

    Hank, I’m actually in Oregon, near Portland — the breweries and wineries are wonderful around here. I have lived in Cali, though, as well as Las Vegas (not to be confused with living in Nevada), several states in the Midwest and a couple of different states on the East Coast, so I have some subjective experience with different parts of the country.

    “Pulling back” from the gov’t — we’re doing it. Last year, we put in a garden, we are all learning to spin and knit and how to fix everything we can. This year we are starting the Great Chicken Experiment — can we actually raise our own meat and still be able to kill and eat it? Some former city folk, which we are, can’t kill or eat the meat they have raised, so we’re finding out on a very small scale — three pullets and a cockerel. If we find that we can’t, then we will just have to take that into account and figure out what we have to learn to have something to barter for our meat.

    If you actually look at my family, you might think that we are poor. After all, we don’t have any brand names on our clothes, and we don’t take expensive vacations, and we don’t own new cars — but in reality, we owe nothing except for the mortgage, we own our cars, we have money in the bank, and if both my husband and I were to loose our jobs today, we have enough money in savings to last for a year at this rate of spending, and longer if we cut back.

    Sure, the Joneses look better than us, but most of them are one missed paycheck away from disaster. We actually look like what Hollywood and the gov’t thinks “one paycheck away from disaster” looks like, but the reality is something else entirely.

    We’re doing it slowly, so it looks almost as though we are on the downslope, slowly sliding into poverty, getting the protective camouflage to hide us from the gov’t, making it look as though we don’t have anything worth taking, and hiding ourselves — in plain sight — amongst the “underprivileged.”

    Our aims, mind you, are still high, and our minds are still alive, but as Mister Realist has shown us, it is getting to the point that unless you have a good publicist, you are a greedy bastard who deserves to have your ill-gotten gains taken away from you and given back to those from whom they were stolen in the first place.

    Could my husband or I start or run a business? On several levels, we are capable. We can make a plan and stick to it. We can (and do) budget. We both have excellent work ethics, and are capable of making — and understanding — a cost benefit analysis so as to avoid the most obvious mistakes. But that’s not everything there is to running a business, so could we actually do it? I don’t know, and the scary thing is, if the political climate were better, financially, we are in the place to find out. As it is, though, we are not willing to take the risk, because we see a point in the not-too-distant future where people will have to reconcile their dual beliefs — the stated political belief that all businesses are exploitative and all businessmen are evil — and their demonstrated belief that they really do need businesses, just as much as those businesses need them. Eventually, like a nun who is also a prostitute, those dual personalities of actions and beliefs will have to be reconciled, and right now, I cannot say that politics will come to the notion that it is the people who make the money, however they do it, and not the gov’t.

    What really scares me is that people like me — voluntarily lower middle class or working class or whatever you want to call us — might get scapegoated because we don’t spend enough money to have the kind of debt that has fueled the economy in the past few years, and fueled the gov’t in the past few decades. We’re not rich and we don’t live like it — but we could have lived like it, so by not contributing to our debt, we have hurt the economy, and I am afraid that this will be held against us.

  • Merf

    Hmmm, I wrote a long, erudite reply, but I might not have hit send, so I’ll answer again, but this time I’ll be brief (brief for me, anyways.)

    I actually live in Oregon, but I have lived in Cali, as wall as Las Vegas (not to be confused with Nevada,) several states in the Midwest and a couple of states on the East Coast, too, so I have a wide variety of subjective experience with different areas of the U.S.

    We already are withdrawing, but slowly, so that it looks more like a downwards spiral, rather than a deliberate withdrawal. We picked an area that is unlikely to be developed, with neighbors that care more about each others’ welfare than about appearances. We are learning how to spin and knit, and how to garden (not as easy as it looks, actually), and we are learning to care for animals so we can raise our own meat. That might not work out, because as city folk, we might not be able to kill and eat the animals that we ourselves have raised, but if we can’t, that’s the kind of thing that we need to find out now.

    If you look at us, you might think that we are just one missed paycheck from disaster. In reality, if both my husband and I lost our jobs, we could live just like we have been for a year, and much longer if we cut back (which we would.)

    Given that my husband and I are both veterans, we already know that we cannot drop completely off the map, but we are doing our best to look like the smallest blip possible.

    As for Alaska, quite frankly, it is too cold for me. If I though that Global Warming was going to be as bad as they say, then yeah, it might be a possibility, but as far as I can tell, the Sun heard the warnings and took them to heart, and is now producing less energy . . . . and things are cooling off. There are cycles for that, too, apparently, and it looks like the Sun had hit a high point and is now winding it down for a while. So, no Alaska for me!

  • Merf

    Okay, that was weird — it didn’t show me 9:08 am comment until I posted my comment at 3:30 pm. Weird.

    Ah well, take either or both. Or neither, if you wish.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    Merf, for some reason, you got caught in our spam bucket (whose ways are – on occasion – ineffable). I check it once every 12 hours or so, so it sat for a long time waiting for human intervention. Sorry.

  • Merf

    That’s okay, no harm done.

  • Hank

    Merf/O Kaye,

    Thank you for your responses regarding locales. Such input is exactly what we are seeking – substantive information.

    For now, my response is short, if a little quirky. My wife and I have just poured our first homemade batch of lye soap. We’ll see tomorrow if it sets well. Then we must wait for a few weeks before use. Here’s hoping we won’t grease or burn ourselves!

    Ingredients: Olive oil, coconut oil, lard, lye (starting simple – quantities derived from various web sites and soap calculators).

    If successful, it is yet another small step.

  • O Kaye

    Merf –

    Sounds like we are of the same mind, only in different places! I applaud the meat raising effort…I decided I could not do it. Once I get to ‘know’ an animal..I can’t eat it! My husband get’s disgusted with me for making pets out of spiders in the house. I know that it is not a good – or sane – attitude (maybe hypocritical too to a vegetarian?) for survival…but it is what I am. However, I do OK fishing for my own, especially here in Alaska, so maybe I will eventually break out of that. But I may end up living only on fish, ha ha.

    Another great thing I could suggest for the fun of it and some wonderful info – a PBS video called “1940 House” about a family who spent several months recreating what it was like to live in London during WWII. Dealing with shortages, war, the blitz, all shorts of things. It is usually available in most library video collections. They had to deal with the raising of rabbits for food, and ran into a road block with that! – – – ((There were several other shows in this vain, “Frontier House” “Ranch House” etc, but I found these very irratating as they put together several types of people who could not work together very well – Like I said, “Pick only those you know and can trust!” Those shows quickly developed into petty bickering and for the most part failure – in my opinion. Mostly a waste of time.)) “1940’s House”, however, was great in that it showed the dynamics of what a close-knit and loving family could go through in those hard times. It brought me to tears often, and I felt like I lived it with them, not only understanding what they dealt with, but I had a much better feel for the ordeals that generation lived through. I watched it several times, and it is full of things that show “how people got by in hardship” while still trying to maintain a halfway normal life.

    Hank

    Soap sounds great! We do use mostly homemade, good stuff without those additives. My friends make some great stuff – sharing of skills again. – – The more skills we all become familiar with, the more independent we will become. With us, it is becoming a ‘hobby’ like we are some kind of adult Boy & Girl Scouts. Didn’t the Boy Scouts stress “being prepared” long before Galt went to the Gulch?? That may be silly (especially to the ‘looters’), but we are sure having fun with it….and that is what life is all about.

  • O Kaye

    Continued thoughts:

    In some ways, I’m thinking Stephen Gordon & others who do this blog, think we surely have gotten off the “Atlas Shrugged” track. And we may have…but there is one thing in all this that I think Rand was trying to get across on a very simple scale. Regardless of politics, looters or producers, the people that really do survive hard times(and/or changing times) are those that are most “flexible”. Those willing to rise to the heights – when necessary, and those willing to fall to the depths – when necessary & start over again. I know there is the theme of the “virtue of selfishness” and living life on your own terms….but those terms still have to be flexible. The looters could not ‘flex’ to learn how to survive in their own right, and the producers of the book could. Is this not simple Darwinianism? Survival of the fittest?

    Am I taking this down to too simple of a concept?

  • Hank

    O Kaye,

    I believe we are discussing the practical details of shrugging in this modern world. Finding the right locale and learning to be as self-sufficient as possible is today’s version of implementing Galt’s Gulch.

    For example, your posts giving glimpses into your life in AK are most illuminating, given that we visited the state with the express purpose of fact-finding.

  • Merf

    O Kaye, about raising meat — that’s why we are starting small! If we find that we can’t kill what we have raised, we will end up with embarrassingly pampered pets that used to give us eggs. If we can, that’s great, but it is better to start small — with chickens, for instance — than to have a full-grown meat pig that is now a pet!

    As for rabbits — we have two, both fixed pets, so we already know that rabbits aren’t on the menu!

  • O Kaye

    Merf, that’s my problem….I can’t think of one animal to eat that I haven’t made a pet, except those wild fish! This includes rats, snakes, and many others you would not even want to eat! We even have a “house” moose who hangs around our place. We’ve watched him grow up over the years and he comes back here every year to wait out the winter. Thank goodness he isn’t here in the summer to eat the garden! Oh well…..

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  • Peter

    This comment thread is interesting. The comments by “Mister Realist” throw into stark contrast the usual civil, well-thought comments that permeate this site. It really emphasizes why I enjoy this website, as opposed to some other forums where negativity is a permanent obstacle.

    So, Thank You to the operators of this website and all the usual commenters, keep up the good work in the pursuit of Liberty.

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