Lessons from Atlas Shrugged

Turned on the news recently? It seems the looters (i.e. collectivists) are everywhere and more active than ever. The big story over recent weeks of course has been the special interest government employee union looters in Wisconsin who call themselves “ the working people” who say they have a “human right” to collective bargaining. Meanwhile in Georgia, college and high school students are protesting reforms to the HOPE scholarship that would require higher GPAs to qualify. As in most states, Georgia is in a financial bind and is looking for budget cuts. Due to the high number of students qualifying for these scholarships, some Georgia lawmakers say that there isn’t enough money* to continue to fund it because of rising education costs. Never mind that though, according to some of these protesters, the State of Georgia has “no right” to “take away” these scholarships for those who can’t quite meet the stricter GPA requirements. In both of the above cases, lawmakers bestowed benefits via wealth redistribution to certain people; these people then started referring to these benefits as “entitlements,” “rights,” and even “human rights.”

Then there is Michael Moore, the real life Ellsworth Toohey of our time, with his usual Socialistic tripe explaining that money is a “national resource” and jobs are “collectively owned” by the workers. Click here if you care to hear it.

As if none of this was enough, NFL officials have decided to rename the proposed “Industry Stadium” in Los Angeles to “Grand Crossing” because the word “industry” has a “negative connotation” to it. Apparently the word “industry” can be added to the word “profit” as dirty words in the lexicon of our increasingly collectivist culture.

After all of this, I needed to find something to remind me that there still are sane people in this country who haven’t bought into the collectivist mentality. The video below is the winning entry from a “Atlas Shrugged” video contest.

I’m seriously thinking about looking for a “Galt/Roark 2012” bumper sticker for my vehicle. It’s time for those who value the concept of the individual to be heard.

*The HOPE scholarship’s only source of funds is the Georgia Lottery and my original point that HOPE was an example of wealth redistribution was in error. I continue to stand by my overall point I was making about the entitlement mentality on the part of some of the protesters, however.

  • Georgia Student

    Not that it is a justification, but the rallies concerning the HOPE scholarship are because the students picked their schools and majors based on the original stipulations (i.e. many students would have though twice about engineering/math/science if they recognized HOPE would change, other students would not have turned down schools like MIT and Harvard). Many only want a grandfather clause effective for at least a year to reevaluate scholarships and apply for loans (which it is too late to do for the summer/fall semesters). The state has already agreed that the funds would last as they do through 2013.

    The scholarships also never occured because of “wealth distribution”- they are funded by the purchase of lotto tickets. Participation in funding this program is completely voluntary on the part of the Georgia taxpayer. Budget cuts on the part of the state have no effect on the scholarship, and cuts to the scholarship have no effect on the state budget. The concern is that the lotto funds will dry up because this scholarship is ridiculously easy to qualify for, and not insanely difficult to maintain, even in engineering.

    The already metriculating students would like time to reevaluate finances though, while high school students would like time to bring up grades and reevaluate majors.

  • Pingback: Atlas Shrugged and the world today | TomKnighton.com()

  • http://fpffressminds.blogspot.com/ Stephen Littau

    @ Georgia Student

    Thanks for the comment. I took a look at the article I linked again, realized I made a few errors about the facts, and made some corrections.

    I think you also make very good arguments from the students’ perspective. These were not the arguments that stand out in the news coverage though.

    As a matter of fairness, the state should grandfather in students with the lower GPA who wouldn’t have enough time to raise their grades to meet the new standard. What students should recognize is that the amount of money to support these scholarships is finite. If the standards aren’t raised and other adjustments aren’t made (the proponents of raising the standards argue), there won’t be enough money to continue the program at all.

  • Pingback: Atlas Shrugged and the world today | Laws-n-Sausages()