The term “makers and takers” comes from Ayn Rand‘s book Atlas Shrugged. In that book, John Galt is a Renaissance man who leads a strike by society’s makers to deny their services to all those he labels as takers, society’s drones who can’t create anything on their own. After the current, corrupt society in Washington, DC, and the rest of the country fails, the makers will end their strike and retake their rightful place as the leaders of America. No mention here of democracy. What happens to one man, one vote in Ayn Rand’s version of America? Is the vote limited to only society’s makers?
The argument over who can vote is as old as democracy itself, going back to ancient Greece. Some want to limit the franchise to men, not women, of property, while others support universal suffrage, as I do. The question always boils down to who is permitted to vote, once you start limiting the vote. Personally, I believe that taking the vote away from anyone, felons included, as is the case in some states is a mistake.
Mitt Romney treated 47% of the populace with disdain, but many of them voted for him. Mitt’s vote total would have been much less if those who don’t pay Federal income tax could not vote. Look at a map of the US divided into red and blue states. It is ironic that most red states voting GOP receive more in Federal “gifts” than they pay in taxes, while most blue states pay more in Federal taxes than they receive in Federal “gifts.” If you judge who is a maker by how much they pay in taxes and who is a taker by how much they receive, then you must label blue, Democratic-leaning states as makers and red, GOP-leaning states as takers. That is just the reverse of what the 1% are telling us.
Mitt Romney practices what Ayn Rand preached in Atlas Shrugged. Income taxes are theft by the government. Therefore Mitt tries to minimize his taxes to the maximum extent legal. In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt refunded income taxes to the producers in total and in gold. Ayn Rand was also opposed to the Federal Reserve and paper currency. She advocated a return to the gold standard. No one has yet asked Mitt what his position is on the gold standard. We already know that Ron Paul is opposed to the Federal Reserve. IMHO it would be worthwhile to question Mitt on this point.
Who is John Galt? That is the question that recurs often in Ayn rand’s Atlas Shrugged. John Galt was the inventor of perpetual motion in the form of a motor that ran on the static electricity found in the atmosphere. John Galt abandoned his invention because he would have been required to share the rewards with others, rather than be compensated solely for his invention. Ayn rand preached that builders and inventors were the people who held society together. She urged that the risk takers should go on strike, leaving the looters and moochers to fend for themselves. She argued that society would collapse without them, the job creators of today’s GOP.
Who is Mitt Romney? We don’t know who Mitt Romney really is. He won’t release his tax returns for more than two years. He changes his position hourly. In his book, No Apology, he tries to take opposing positions on most questions of the day. In Ayn Rand’s book, we finally do learn who John Galt is. He is a paragon of virtues, without human frailties. When if ever will we learn who Mitt Romney is?
Instead of a Christian nation, the US has turned into a society that worships the $. We are a nation of materialists who value each other by our lifetime earnings; the more you earn, the more you are valued. We treat the poor poorly and the rich richly. Mitt Romney has no idea what it is like in the US to earn less than he does and he DOES NOT care to know. His life experience does not touch the life experience of those of us who are or were middle class or are struggling to survive. Mitt as president would be the perfect symbol of a materialistic US, paying as little taxes as he can get away with while dismantling the safety net for the needy.
Elect Mitt and turn the US, a first world nation, into the world’s leading third world country.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand ( real name Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum), published in 1957 and at 1168 pages, about 1,000 pages too long. Posing as a novel, it is really an exposition by Rand in favor of unregulated and untaxed capitalism, a philosophy she dubbed objectivism. Rand was born in 1905 in Russia and emigrated to the US at age 21 in 1926 from the newly formed USSR. I believe that she was traumatized in her formative years by the Russian Revolution which occurred in 1917.
Who is John Galt? He is the hero of the book and embodies Rand’s philosophy. He does not appear in the book for the first 700 pages. Toward the end of the book, he explains Rand’s philosophy to the world in a radio address beginning at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time that I imagine lasted all night (she says 3 hours). Only Fidel Castro among world leaders currently alive could have rivaled Galt for wordiness. If he had been cast as an US Senator rather than an electrical engineer, Galt could have sustained filibusters by himself.
Rand’s characters are not believable, being less than two-dimensional. They scream rather than speak or shout and they are always smoking cigarettes. The novel? takes place mostly in the US, while the rest of the world is ruled by people’s states. The picture she paints of the US is a nation in decline and resembles the Soviet Union that she left. It is a shame that many of the current GOP leaders subscribe to her vision and philosophy. Paul Ryan and Alan Greenspan among others are her disciples.She favored Social Darwinism, survival of the fittest, starvation and extinction for the rest.
Rather than read this book, I recommend reading or re-reading Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984. In my opinion, more is to be gained from Orwell than Ayn Rand, and Orwell is more pertinent to our present situation. Orwell’s two books are available in one volume from Amazon.com at $15.00. Their combined length is only 400 pages, 1/3 the length of the Rand book which has the weight and size of a brick, and the readability too IMHO.