Shrug-a-lug! Shrug-a-lug!

Reason Contributing Editor David Weigel charts the rise of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged along with the fall of the economy. In particular, he chronicles the mini-maybe-quasi trend people are threatening to "go Galt," following the model of the novel's hero, John Galt, who opts out of a society that treats its capitalists badly. The money quote:

"Just this weekend,” said Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) on Wednesday in an interview with [The Washington Independent], “I had a guy come up to me in my district and tell me that he was losing his interest in the business he’d run for years because the president wanted to punish him for his success. I think people are reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’ again because they’re trying to understand what happens to people of accomplishment, and people of talent and energy, when a government turns against them. That’s what appears to be happening right now.”

Another Reason contributor, Will Wilkinson, is quoted in Weigel's article with this pleasingly cynical take: 

Although [Wilkinson] is “sympathetic” to the “going Galt” concept and the Rand comeback. “If we’re being honest,” he said, “it’s a right-wing version of ‘I’m moving to Canada if Bush wins.’”

I blogged about increasing Atlas sales here.

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  • ||

    Floodgates of Ayn haters to open in 3... 2... 1...

    "If we're being honest," he said, "it's a right-wing version of 'I'm moving to Canada if Bush wins.'"

    And?...

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Yes, it really is awful that the government is threatening to ratchet up taxes to the level of the CLINTON YEARS! Remember how terrible they were?

    Liberals have been given an opportunity they never dreamed of, thanks to Wall Street's epochal belly-flop. Instead of weeping in their 20-year-old single malt scotch, real capitalists should be thinking about how to thrive in a changed world.

  • ||

    And?...

    I think he's trying to say it's just a hollow threat.

    But, you're right. The Rand trolls are rushing here like always.

  • T||

    "If we're being honest," he said, "it's a right-wing version of 'I'm moving to Canada if Bush wins.'"

    Not so much. It's a rational response to taxation. If I don't get to keep the fruits of my labors, why work hard? I'm sure Will admits that (gasp!) incentives matter, so why is this a big shock?

  • ||

    Who is this Atlas? And why is he ambivalently shrugging?


    But seriously, as the resident marxcist, should I give this a read? I do appreciate Good Literature.

  • ||

    I do appreciate Good Literature.

    Run. Run as far away as you can.

  • ||

    The thing is, no one who threatens to move to Canada or France ever does. Virtually everyone will work and produce marginally less when their reward is confiscated marginally more. And more than a few will explicitly Go Galt (great term) to the extent feasible. I suspect there will be far more virtual immigrants to Galt's Gulch in the coming months and years than there were Streisands and Brolins and Baldwins who alighted to the Great White North.

  • Warty||

    Weigal is back! Lonewackooooooooooooo onward, ho!

  • ||

    Is it ok for me not to give a rat's ass about Rand's books?

  • Elemenope||

    Yes, it really is awful that the government is threatening to ratchet up taxes to the level of the CLINTON YEARS! Remember how terrible they were?

    It has driven me crazy these past few weeks how Libertarians can gasp as breathlessly about a 3% marginal tax increase as they did about extrajudicial detention and torture. Sometimes *more* breathlessly. Something seems out of proportion here. Is it just me?

    Instead of weeping in their 20-year-old single malt scotch, real capitalists should be thinking about how to thrive in a changed world.

    Adapt or die, motherfuckers.

    Well, I don't actually believe that (rent-seeking *is* harmful to both the economy and to the political apparatus, and tax structures usually encourage it), but man it feels good to use rhetorical weapons on their enthusiastic former wielders.

  • ||

    I like being taxed heavily and watching more friction being placed on the recovery during a recession. The incentive for me to work hard is so much greater then.

  • T||

    should I give this a read? I do appreciate Good Literature.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, god, stop, you're killing me.

    Oh, wait, you're serious? To steal a line from someone else: sermon with a cast.

    Here's how you read Ayn Rand's fiction. Skip through the book until about 3/4 of the way in you find the really long speech from the main character. Read the speech, since it's everything Rand wanted you to take away from the book. She's the only author I've ever seen who Cliff Note's herself.

  • Gimme Back My Dog||

    From the article:
    But the themes of Ayn Rand's 1957 novel, and the themes of the climactic 40-page speech by self-imposed social outcast "John Galt", had stuck with her.

    That speech is only 40 pages? When I read it, it seemed like 400.

    T:
    Not so much. It's a rational response to taxation. If I don't get to keep the fruits of my labors, why work hard? I'm sure Will admits that (gasp!) incentives matter, so why is this a big shock?

    People will no doubt be "Going Galt" in a small way, working less, starting up fewer businesses, etc. But the threat to move to some other country is as empty when right-wingers do it as it was when left-wingers did it during the Bush years.

    brotherben:
    But seriously, as the resident marxcist, should I give this a read? I do appreciate Good Literature.

    Read Rand for the politics. Don't read it expecting it to be Good Literature. Especially AS it is preachy and repetitive and has the one-dimensional-est characters ever written.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    I'm with you, more or less. I liked them fine when I was younger, but Rand was a bit of a fruitcake and wasn't exactly a classical liberal in many respects, either. I've never viewed my thinking as Objectivist.

    Her books have some value as literature, but they also have some odd features--like Rand's apparent rape fantasies, long speeches, and strange turns of phrase.

  • ||

    Epi,

    Is it ok for me not to give a rat's ass about Rand's books?

    No, because as an anarcho-capitalist you must obviously love Ayn Rand and believe everything she ever said and you are blind cultist to her and you worship her like a goddess and you have memorized all her books and anything she ever said automatically applies to you as well. There's no possible other way it could be.

    And the same goes for you filthy libertarians. But you're also to blame for (and agree with 100%) every idiot who ever glommed on the Libertarian Party as well.

  • Warty||

    Was it Tony who was telling us about how the train crash scene was a metaphor for Nazi gas chambers? He has potential to be a pretty good troll.

  • ||

    'Especially AS it is preachy and repetitive and has the one-dimensional-est characters ever written."

    OLS is in a Rand book?

  • from the bottom of the bell cu||

    No body that succeeds in life without government assistance deserves to keep more that enough income to meet basic needs.

  • Peter||

    How do you turn a phrase?

  • ||

    Rand's apparent rape fantasies

    See, now I'd be interested, but I've seen pictures of her.

  • Elemenope||

    How do you turn a phrase?

    Take a phrase
    Apply some torque
    ????
    PROFIT!

  • Xeones||

    That speech is only 40 pages?

    Yeah, if you get the version in 6-point type.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    from the bottom of the bell curve | March 6, 2009, 2:37pm | #
    No body that succeeds in life without government assistance deserves to keep more that enough income to meet basic needs.


    Given your English-writing abilities, I wonder to which bottom you belong.

    (NTTAW belonging to a bottom. Ask Barney Frank!)

  • SIV||

    SugarFree,

    Is Atlas Shrugged a better or worse read than Spinrad's Agent of Chaos

    "it's a right-wing version of 'I'm moving to Canada if Bush wins.'"

    That would be correct if almost no one actually cuts back on their economic activity in protest of increased taxes and regulation. Avoiding PITA compliance costs will be indistinguishable from "going Galt" in relation to the GDP.

  • T||

    Take a phrase
    Apply some torque
    ????
    PROFIT!


    Just make sure your phrase is stout enough to begin with, otherwise you'll just snap the head off when you torque it like that.

  • ||

    Was it Tony who was telling us about how the train crash scene was a metaphor for Nazi gas chambers? He has potential to be a pretty good troll.

    Tony's not bad. But that was trollumination. Its rant about Rand was fucking awesome:

    "Am I the only one who remembers the PLOT of the book? Sure it says the government is bad, unions are bad, democracy is bad, the Men of Ability must rule. But does anyone know the PLOT? The PLOT is this - give the rich folks what they want, stop resisting with your silly democracy and labor organizations (which are hopelessly corrupt anyway), or else we, the Men of Ability, will shut you down, fuckers! Leave even the most hardworking, careful of you stranded in the desert trying to start a stalled engine, while we sit in a pleasant vale sipping the finest liquor and writing y'all a brand new Constitution! Fuck with us, and we will starve you out! That is the PLOT!

    It's a book about how the upper class, not satisfied with owning 80% or 90%, goes on strike for 100% control of the Earth's resources. And gets them.

    You don't think this is somehow evil?

    ...

    Am I the only one who reads the train scene in Atlas Shrugged and sees it as a barely-veiled - gas chamber? It IS a gas chamber! Monoxide IS Zyklon B! Here's a woman who once voted Democrat and sends her kids to publically funded preschool. Give her the gas! There's a guy who works in a government-supported science lab. Give him the gas! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!"

  • jtuf||

    If we're being honest," he said, "it's a right-wing version of 'I'm moving to Canada if Bush wins.'

    Not quite. It's difficult to sort of move to Canada, but there are many ways to partially shrug. I chose to study ecology and evolution instead of medicine, because I didn't feel like being demonized as an "evil" pharmaceutical researcher. On a smaller scale, workers might decide that meeting a deadline isn't worth missing their kids baseball game or make thousands of similar trade offs. A relatively small percent of the workforce will actually change careers or drop out because of the anti-capitalism stance of politicians. However, I think if you add up the hour here and the hour there that people skip because of a reduced work ethic, you will see a significant decline in hours worked nationally.

  • T||

    Is Atlas Shrugged a better or worse read than Spinrad's Agent of Chaos

    Agent of Chaos is at least a quicker read, all things being equal.

  • ||

    Here I am,
    On the Shrugged again.
    There I am,
    Up on the page.
    Here I go,
    Readin' speeches again.
    There I go,
    Turn a phrase.

    Episiarch,

    Best rant ever.

  • BDB||

    How many people would really turn down a raise because they'd be taxed at a higher marginal rate?

    *
    *
    *
    *

    Yeah, me neither.

  • ||

    The irony is that the closest we have to a real life John Galt would be Buffett, Gates, or Jobs and they all support Obama.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    shrike wins for Sheer Ignorance.

    So, the closest we have to a John Galt is someone who is nothing like John Galt. Nice one, buddy.

  • Atlas Shrugged 2: One Hour Lat||

    http://angryflower.com/atlass.gif

  • ||

    No, Episarch, the plot is that it's not wrong to achieve and make money. It's wrong for money to be forcibly taken away from you to give to those who don't want to work. I know plenty of those leaches.

  • ||

    SIV,

    Is Atlas Shrugged a better or worse read than Spinrad's Agent of Chaos

    Worse, and I'd put AOC ahead of L. Neal Smith's output as well (he bangs the drum too hard for reading pleasure.) But Moon is a Harsh Mistress outstrips them all.

    It's not just that AS and Fountainhead are bad writing--which they are--it's that they are so repeatative. It's draining.

  • ||

    So, the closest we have to a John Galt is someone who is nothing like John Galt. Nice one, buddy.

    No, I poked a gaping hole in your insipid little fantasy life.

  • max hats||

    considering her philosophy could fit on the back of a cocktail napkin, the page counts of her books are inexcusable. And all her Mary Sue's get raped. The transparent rape fetish wankfest is the most remarkable part of her works, really. It's the reason guys who profess a love of Rand who don't get out much give me the willies.

  • ||

    You know, I read shrike, and I can almost hear the Force lightning shooting out of his fingers.

  • Kolohe||

    Just make sure your phrase is stout enough to begin with, otherwise you'll just snap the head off when you torque it like that.

    Bah, torque is cheap.

  • ||

    "Just make sure your phrase is stout enough to begin with, otherwise you'll just snap the head off when you torque it like that."

    To avoid bad head situations, one must employ the right torque wench.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    No, I poked a gaping hole in your insipid little fantasy life.

    Really? How?

    What you did was take a successful person and assume that he shares the values of John Galt, which is like assuming that I (who currently have no income) shares the same values as welfare recipients.

    you're too stupid to know you're stupid.

  • T||

    It's not just that AS and Fountainhead are bad writing--which they are--it's that they are so repeatative. It's draining.

    That's why I always preferred Anthem out of all of Rand's works. It has all the essential elements without being 700 pages of bloviation.

  • ||

    LMNOP @ 2:29 -

    Yes, a lot more, um, passion here since Jan 20.


    Daniel Gross at Slate wrote about "Going Galt" yesterday -


    Here

  • T||

    To avoid bad head situations, one must employ the right torque wench.

    And don't listen to some dumb sonofabitch who swears up and down the torque spec for a brass bolt is the same as for a steel bolt.

  • Colin||

    I wonder what percentage of sales comes from the Ayn Rand Institute purchasing copies en masse prior to donating them to schools.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    ARI shouldn't need to purchase any copies of the books, Colin, because Peikoff owns the rights.

  • ||

    Poking around looking for Spinrad stuff, I realized it had been years since I have read The Void Captain's Tale. I'm struck by the similarities of its plot and the Hybrids of Battlestar Galactica. Both feature women who "Jump" spaceships for FTL travel and in doing so experience intense orgasm. Something always tickled the back of my mind when I watched those scenes in BSG.

    Thank you, SIV.

  • Reinmoose||

    Yes, a lot more, um, passion here since Jan 20.

    I imagine the Anti-Obama sentiments around here will calm down going into years 6, 7, and 8 too

  • ||

    Oh, please. The book is and has been absurdly popular, whatever its merits and however nuts many Objectivists may be.

  • ||

    Let's see, from humble origins an engineer arrives, is self-taught, takes his invention and empowers new worlds (hey, the Mac and the PC aren't bad), relies on no one else's ideals, circumvents government and makes BILLIONS despite federal entanglements and structure with LIKE-MINDED dedicated employees who all adhere to the same merit principle.

    Fantasy Galt has nothing on them.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    It's the reason guys who profess a love of Rand who don't get out much give me the willies.

    Oh, the resident Papist wants to deride philosophies as incoherent, shallow or both?

    That's rich, dude. Hardcore Catholics of all stripes give me the willies. Y'alls hang-ups about sex are enough to make me leave the room when you open your mouths.

  • SIV||

    I do love the fiendishness of social control in Agent of Chaos .Total surveillance for anti-social acts backed up by nerve gas releases as punishment.Of course total surveillance is difficult and expensive so the cameras aren't really monitored so authorities just randomly pop the nerve gas and everyone, assuming they are being watched, tows the lion.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Let's see, from humble origins an engineer arrives, is self-taught, takes his invention and empowers new worlds (hey, the Mac and the PC aren't bad)

    Who would this be? you know the mythology surrounding Bill Gates is aaaalllll bullshit, right?

    Regardless, the parallels between fictional Galt and anyone in the real world, as it pertains to the way they became successful, are totally irrelevant, and that's what you're not getting.

    You're like the "cargo cultists".

  • BDB||

    TAO--

    You've confused max hats with Mad Max. Mad Max is the fundie Catholics, max hats is a lefty.

  • the innominate one||

    jtuf - greetings from another evolutionary ecologist

  • The Angry Optimist||

    whoops! I should have known better. My apologies for being intentionally, but inadvertently, brutal to Mad Max.

  • Warty||

    It's really something to watch the next generation of liberal trolls sprout up, like saplings after an old tree blows down. Which will survive to steal the sunlight from the others? Nature is beautiful.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Something seems out of proportion here. Is it just me?


    On the fundamentals, its because the tax money goes towards funding even more illegitimate programs LIKE the Iraq War and torture. From my perspective, torture is horrible, horrible, horrible, but the tax money is what enables it in the first place.

  • ||

    max hats,

    Oh christ.."Mary Sue"..that's perfect. I always wanted to see Ayn get knocked up by Galt, then he'd stick her with the screaming brat while he prattles on endlessly about looters or whatever the fuck.

  • SIV||

    SugarFree,

    The Void Captain's Tale is pretty much Spinrad's last enjoyable work.I keep meaning to re-read The Men in the Jungle.I think my copy it is archivally bagged in a box of paperbacks somewheres."In the stacks" in library speak.

  • JB||

    Elemenope, you are either grossly ignorant or a liar. Which is it?

    "It has driven me crazy these past few weeks how Libertarians can gasp as breathlessly about a 3% marginal tax increase..."

    I've seen libertarians pissed off because of the huge government spending. Obama's 3% increase will not even pay for a small portion of it. He knows that and is lying about it.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    And don't listen to some dumb sonofabitch who swears up and down the torque spec for a brass bolt is the same as for a steel bolt.


    Tighten it until it breaks then back a quarter-turn.

    .. "You're welcome" Hobbit

  • ||

    It's really something to watch the next generation of liberal trolls sprout up, like saplings after an old tree blows down. Which will survive to steal the sunlight from the others? Nature is beautiful.

    (wipes tear from eye)

    That was poetry, Warty. How did such a foul creature as you come up with it?

  • ||

    Epi's man cruch is so cute

  • ||

    crush even

  • JB||

    Here is more on 'Going Galt' by making sure your income is under a certain level. This way you are a net consumer as opposed to a net producer.

    http://pursuingholiness.com/2009/03/going-john-galt/

  • Warty||

    brotherben, shut your man pleaser.

  • ||

    SIV,

    I do love the fiendishness of social control in Agent of Chaos.

    I don't know if you've ever seen Battle Royale but the source novel is a fantastic exploration of social control methods, and one of the most ingenious one I've ever read about. Simple, brutal, and effective. The novel is really great, and I'd had to give away the big reveal. (They didn't use it in the movie.)

  • ||

    Epi's man cruch is so cute

    You're just jealous.

  • ||

    Who would this be? you know the mythology surrounding Bill Gates is aaaalllll bullshit, right?

    I come from the industry. A young Gates deserves his legendary status for smoking Intel and IBM for $200 billion - no small feat. Its true that he bought the OS that became DOS from a fledgling little nobody. Still - he is a business giant.


    No - you became pissed that I pointed out the fact that our titans are not platitude-drunk conservatives.

    A better man would have replied "Yes, that is ironic that our real titans endorse Obama". But you were not capable of such.

  • ||

    warty and epi, for some reason, I suddenly feel like a sandwich?

  • ||

    I'd had to give away the big reveal

    I'd hate to give away the big reveal

    I would type better if my damn employees could read my mind rather than peppering me with questions.

  • BDB||

    I still have never, ever met anyone (including myself) who has voluntarily turned down a raise because the marginal tax rate will go up on the income from the raise. It's really stupid, because you'll still make more money than if you didn't have the raise!

  • Warty||

    warty and epi, for some reason, I suddenly feel like a sandwich?

    That's because you're fat.

  • ||

    While we're on subject, someone who's read a lot of Rand, help me out - what's the best of her books? I feel like I need to read at least one for context

  • mark||

    I remember college, 6 years ago, reading Atlas Shrugged tirelessly, then spending the next few weeks in a brainwashed stupor, making wild pronouncements to my friends about how their ideas of "altruism" and "fairness" were not only wrong but evil.

    After that wore off, I managed to read up a bit on Ayn Rand's life and realized that she was batshitinsane (as confirmed by this video). Seriously. Then I thought about the book and what it was actually about, and realized that it just plain sucked. What a waste of time, I could have read Brave New World and actually learned something!

  • Warty||

    greenish - We the Living is the best.

  • BDB||

    Anthem, it gets to the core of what she believed without boring you to death.

  • ||

    greenish -


    Here ya go

  • ||

    warty and epi, for some reason, I suddenly feel like a sandwich?

    Maybe if you didn't eat so much people would get crushes on you, Jared.

  • Gimme Back My Dog||

    I remember college, 6 years ago, reading Atlas Shrugged tirelessly, then spending the next few weeks in a brainwashed stupor, making wild pronouncements to my friends about how their ideas of "altruism" and "fairness" were not only wrong but evil.

    And this is why so many people think libertarians are assholes. When they hear the l-word, they picture some douche from their dorms that had just read Atlas Shrugged and told them altruism was evil.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    the "Galt" sentiment is sort of similar to what Larry Kudlow has been saying on CNBC about Obama waging a war on capitalism and capitalism going on strike.

    Obama's socialist policy announcements are causing the stock market to drop to new lows just about every day.

    He owns every single downtick in the market that's occured since he was elected.

  • Kolohe||

    what's the best of her books?

    The cover art.

    But I like that sky-captain art deco look.

    Frakin nazi's had to ruin it for everybody.

  • ||

    For the record, I was a libertarian long before I read any Rand, and I read a couple of her books when I was 16-17. I don't think she's the gateway author for all that many libertarians.

    Besides, she can't be all bad. Angelina Jolie likes her.

  • ||

    No, No. The book is about the reality of getting away from all the boneheads in the world. It requires a crash landing into a make believe world.

  • max hats||

    Good old Larry Kudlow. Now there's a guy worth listening to!

  • ||

    Besides, she can't be all bad. Angelina Jolie likes her.

    I vaguely recall that Jolie and Pitt were working on a cinema version of 'Atlas Shrugged'.

    Pitt as Galt? That ought to chap some hide.

    BTW - for the record I like Ayn Rand. Her ideology is timeless - but not timely. (if that makes sense).

  • BDB||

    A cinema version would be like six hours long!

  • JB||

    greenish, Anthem is a quick read that gets across the gist of her celebration of individualism.

    Fountainhead is also good, but read before Atlas Shrugged.

  • adrian||

    don't bother reading atlas shrugged, we are living it. much creepier in 3D.

  • ||

    If you want to understand Ayn Rand and her philosophy I would recommend something much better than her Novel. You should read her bound periodicals, The Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist and the Ayn Rand Newsletter.

    Not that the novel is bad, in fact it was rated by the Library of Congress as the greatest book ever in changing people's lives!!!! It was second only to the bible which has had a 2,000 year head start!


    People try to say the characters are too narrow or as some have put it, lacked "psychological realism". If you go in with the understanding that these are characters are archetypes and the novel will be unlike any other novel you have ever read then you will be ready for a life changing experience.

    Many, many people have read Atlas Shrugged and have made the comment that they felt they were "opening their eyes for the 1st time." ……hopefully you will have a similar experience.

    Another thing to consider, if you want to hear Ayn Rand, is to go to the following webpage

    https://secure2.convio.net/ari/site/SPageServer?pagename=reg_ar_library&JServSessionIdr008=88hhbmv5o1.app46b

    It is a full of audio & video files of Ayn Rand. It is free and a great place to start to get acquainted with Objectivism.

    I would not take the critics of Ayn Rand too seriously. The dishonesty and utter lack of demonstrating an understanding of Objectivism is laughable. For example, critics often try to equate Objectivism with whim-worship. If that is the level of understanding, there is no point in discussing her actual philosophy with people of that intellectual development.

    Remember, an ant can't hear thunder!!

  • ||

    Yes, it really is awful that the government is threatening to ratchet up taxes to the level of the CLINTON YEARS!

    Goodness gracious, but this is just flat wrong.

    Obama is proposing taxes that will exceed those of the Clinton years. Just two examples off the top of my head - eliminating the cap on Social Security and reducing the charitable deduction for earners above $250K.

    And those are just his relatively firm proposals to date. He's also talked, quite a bit, about raising the capital gains rate.

    If you're going to defend your guys taxing ways, at least try to do it honestly, without misrepresenting what he has said he will do.

    And, show of hands (so we can identify the terminally naive), who thinks the above is comprehensive list of the tax increases that we will see under Obama.

    How many people would really turn down a raise because they'd be taxed at a higher marginal rate?

    I think you will see a lot of Euro-style shrugging, where people take more days off in lieu of pay increases that they will only see a fraction of anyway.

  • SpongePaul||

    I still have never, ever met anyone (including myself) who has voluntarily turned down a raise because the marginal tax rate will go up on the income from the raise. It's really stupid, because you'll still make more money than if you didn't have the raise!
    ______________________________________________
    Not always, 95% of the time yes, but if you are on a tax income line yes, a raise could cost more.
    Lets say i made x dollars and my boss wnats to give me a 3% raise. This raise will now put me over thew income line for the next tax bracket, rasing my taxes by 5%. thus i have a net loss of 2%. taking the raise actually cut my pay. Now this is the unusaul scenerio, but it does happen

  • ||

    I left a job in `04, and didn't really get back into the job market until late `07.

    My distaste for the Iraq war, and my unwillingness to pay for it, had a lot to do with why I lived off unemployment and my now non-existent savings.

    Did I shrug?

  • ||

    """"Anthem is a quick read that gets across the gist of her celebration of individualism."""

    Or that audio cliff note called 2112. Just replace any part that says guitar or music with electricity.

  • ||

    """If you're going to defend your guys taxing ways, at least try to do it honestly, without misrepresenting what he has said he will do.""""

    How can anyone do that when B.O. misrepresents what he says he'll do? I didn't follow the campaign trail very well, did I miss the Ads where he talked about tripleing the debt and seriously raising taxes? I'm already convinced B.O. doesn't know how to get us out of the mess, he's just throwing shit at the wall praying something will stick. By shit I mean our hard earned money.

  • max hats||


    Not always, 95% of the time yes, but if you are on a tax income line yes, a raise could cost more.
    Lets say i made x dollars and my boss wnats to give me a 3% raise. This raise will now put me over thew income line for the next tax bracket, rasing my taxes by 5%. thus i have a net loss of 2%. taking the raise actually cut my pay. Now this is the unusaul scenerio, but it does happen



    That's not how it works. (ridiculously simplified example) -- Say there are bracket graduations every 20k, and you make 60k, your breakdown works like this:

    20k paid at 20k bracket rate
    20k paid at 40k bracket rate
    20k paid at 60k bracket rate

    Unless there is a bracket with over a hundred percent tax rate, going up in income will never cost one money.

    Please, anyone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm not.

  • Seitz||

    This raise will now put me over thew income line for the next tax bracket, rasing my taxes by 5%.

    A little "marginal tax rates 101". You're only taxed the higher rate on what you earn in the bracket. So no, it doesn't happen. In a purely hypothetical example, and only as it relates to income taxes, you will not reduce your total take home income if you accept a raise that puts you in higher bracket.

    Imagine a graduated tax bracket system like we currently have, but with only two brackets, a 10% bracket for people earning under $200k, and a 90% bracket for marginal dollars earned over $200k (again, only dealing with income here, not payroll, etc.). A person making $195,000 will take home $175,500 (gross income minus 10%). A person making $205,000 will take home 180,500. The first $200k is taxed at the lower rate, and marginal dollars over $200k are taxed at the higher rate.

    Simply breaking into the higher bracket does not mean that ALL of your income is taxed at the higher rate. Only the portion you make above that threshold is taxed at the higher rate.

  • ||

    I moved to Mexico, but it's too close to the U.S., so I'm moving to Chile. Americans should also following famed investor Jim Rogers to Singapore. Costa Rica and Panama are also nice countries.

    Nothing will change unless emigration increases and immigration decreases. Vote with your feet!

  • Seitz||

    I hit submit a little early, but I should add, that higher rate may still make you want to limit your income to $200k. It's not worth working for the last $5k if you don't get to keep any of it (which is the point of this thread, I guess), but strictly speaking of income taxes, you will never take home less net just because additional gross income puts you in a new bracket.

  • BDB||

    "Simply breaking into the higher bracket does not mean that ALL of your income is taxed at the higher rate. Only the portion you make above that threshold is taxed at the higher rate."

    Right, if I went freom $249,000/year to $251,000/year I'd pay about $30 more in taxes than I would before the raise. I'd have to be retarded not to take the raise because of that. I'm still going to end up with more money.

  • ||

    "For the New Intellectual". The opening essay is nonfiction, and then the rest of the book quotes various speeches from the novels. Not that it isn't worth it to read her fiction, but this is a good shortcut or introduction, however you prefer to look at it.

  • ed||

    "Am I the only one who reads the train scene in Atlas Shrugged and sees it as a barely-veiled - gas chamber?"

    "considering her philosophy could fit on the back of a cocktail napkin, the page counts of her books are inexcusable."

    "I managed to read up a bit on Ayn Rand's life and realized that she was batshitinsane"


    And you wonder why nobody takes libertarians seriously?

  • Kilroy||

    Re the income tax / raise argument:

    With the original statement about not turning down a raise, was BRB implying that we should be okay with higher taxes because if we got a raise we'd still make more money? I certainly hope that's not the point because that would just be plain silly.

  • Another Phil||

    """"Anthem is a quick read that gets across the gist of her celebration of individualism."""

    Or that audio cliff note called 2112. Just replace any part that says guitar or music with electricity.


    Until the end, at least. The 2112 guy kills himself. The Anthem guy escapes the city and builds a life for himself.

    P.S. 2112 is awesome. And a pre-emptive piss off to all the Rush haters.

  • BDB||

    "With the original statement about not turning down a raise, was BRB implying that we should be okay with higher taxes because if we got a raise we'd still make more money? I certainly hope that's not the point because that would just be plain silly."

    No, you don't have to be happy about the higher taxes, I'm just pointing out that if you refuse to make more so you won't have to pay more in taxes you're going to end up with less money. Even with a tax hike.

  • BDB||

    It is just a pet peeve of mine when people don't understand what "marginal rate" means.

  • ||

    A good quick Ayn read is "Philosophy, Who Needs it?"

  • Kilroy||

    BRB, you're right as long as you're speaking strictly in financial terms. However, there is non-financial value to money as well.
    For example: I want to buy something for $10. My gross income is at least $10. Taxes lower my net income to $9. I can't buy it. Eventhough I still have the $9, it doesn't do any good if I can't buy what I want. I'm denied the satisfaction of having what I want eventhough I worked hard enough to be able to buy it.

  • Kilroy||

    BDB, sorry I misread your name.

  • ||

    Pearls before swine, Libertoonians.

  • ||

    BDB,

    But if you make $250K or more, you're rich and, therefore, evil.

  • Warty||

    Pearls before swine, Libertoonians.

    Splitter!

  • Grandpa Whithers||

    "I left a job in `04, and didn't really get back into the job market until late `07.

    My distaste for the Iraq war, and my unwillingness to pay for it, had a lot to do with why I lived off unemployment and my now non-existent savings.

    Did I shrug?"

    That you, joe?

  • Civil Discourse||

    "How can anyone do that when B.O. misrepresents what he says he'll do? I didn't follow the campaign trail very well, did I miss the Ads where he talked about tripleing the debt and seriously raising taxes? I'm already convinced B.O. doesn't know how to get us out of the mess, he's just throwing shit at the wall praying something will stick. By shit I mean our hard earned money."

    But of course this has nothing to do with him being an affirmative action President, right?

  • Ben||

    "But if you make $250K or more, you're rich and, therefore, evil."

    Unless you're a Democrat.

  • engineer||

    No one would turn down a raise, but they might turn down a promotion if they didn't see sufficient marginal gains in income to make the extra work they would have to do worthwhile.

    It also makes people less likely to save and invest, and tends to drastically reduce high-risk investments(while some might think of bad loans as high-risk investments, this category also includes most cutting-edge technologies). Can't believe no one else here pointed that out.

  • engineer||

    It is ironic that Bill Gates supports Obama, considering that the economic left and their ilk gave Microsoft a massive shakedown some time back.

  • max hats||

    "affirmative action President, right?"

    You say this a lot, but it does not mean anything. If I chose a candidate for a job based on my own personal preference - whatever my preferences may be - that is not affirmative action. The federal government does not say the American people are required to, or will receive preferential treatment for, electing a black president.

    It's almost as if you're saying "affirmative action" as a code word for your racial distaste. But of course that would be ridiculous.

  • Orren Boyle||

    "She doesn't deal with these corporatists like Thain who were pushing paper around and using regulations to feather their nests."

    That's right. Everything I did was for the good of the people. I just wish somebody had given me a chance.

  • Civil Discourse||

    "You say this a lot, but it does not mean anything. If I chose a candidate for a job based on my own personal preference - whatever my preferences may be - that is not affirmative action. The federal government does not say the American people are required to, or will receive preferential treatment for, electing a black president."

    I say it alot because -- as has quickly become apparent -- he wasn't elected because of his track record of exceptional governence. It was due to his incredible skill at playing the race card. First with Clinton and then with McCain.

    Face the truth; this guy is fucking up EVERYTHING.

  • Civil Discourse||

    alot = a lot

  • max hats||


    I say it alot because -- as has quickly become apparent -- he wasn't elected because of his track record of exceptional governence. It was due to his incredible skill at playing the race card. First with Clinton and then with McCain.



    Even if that was true (which is extremely debatable), even if every Obama voter voted for him entirely because he is black (that is why we elect so many black presidents, after all) - even if that were completely true, that is not affirmative action. That is not what affirmative action means.

  • Civil Discourse||

    Affirmative action means giving an unqualified person the job in order to create "diversity". That's not what the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had in mind (it's intent was to protect individuals, not groups)

    The media played a big part in this election. I have been following Presidential elections since the 60's 2008 was unbelievable.

    Ever take any Implicit Association Tests? I have:

    https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

    The first one I took indicated I showed no preference for European-Americans or African Americans. First IMP so it's doubtful I could game it. I wasn't the least bit surprised at the outcome.

    Look Eric Holder says I'm a coward about discussing racial issues. I say he's full of shit. I'd also add that he is the fruit of America having elected its first affirmative action president.

  • Kilroy||

    Oops, got distracted and forgot to finish my point . . . which engineer did for me:

    If I have to work 20% harder in order to earn 10% more benefit, then it may not be worth it and I may in fact refuse the raise and/or promotion. I still want to buy something for $10, but now I have to earn $15 in order to take home $9.50. I still can't buy what I want and I'm expending more in time and stress than the extra $.50 I make.

    Not sure I'm making sense today, too focused on the weekend.

  • ||

    Many raises keep one up with, one hopes, inflation. Of course you'll take them. But if you believe increased taxes don't affect one's work product, then you could safely advocate taxing all but $1 of the raise with no consequences to the worker? The fact is that most substantial raises require taking on more responsibility, longer hours, more away from home travel, hassle in managing others, etc. And, at the margins, the amount you get to actually take home will have an effect on whether or not you take the additional responsibility.

  • JB||

    maxhats,

    Something like 2% of Obama voters say they were voting for him because he was qualified. There were various reasons, but the color of his skin was definitely one of them.

    Until Obama releases his standardized test scores, he will be the affirmative action president. I would be utterly shocked if he didn't benefit from affirmative action for undergrad and law school.

  • max hats||

    Affirmative action means giving an unqualified person the job in order to create "diversity". That's not what the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had in mind (it's intent was to protect individuals, not groups)

    -crazy-man word soup deleted



    Affirmative action is a state controlled or sanctioned program to place "disadvantaged" groups in positions via either aggressive recruiting of qualified candidates, lowered standards, or some combination.

    Electing a president is different. I didn't get the memo from the government telling me to look for qualified minority politicians and give them extra consideration. I'm would not be risking legal action should I vote for McCain. Etc.

    Words mean things.

  • max hats||

    So he wasn't smart enough to get into Harvard Law, but he did end up editor of the law review somehow?

    I get it. Obama was one of the dumb U. Chicago Constitutional law professors.

    See, see, because he's black clearly not that clever of a fellow.

  • ||

    The rich white man's club made sure Obama got the job while arranging the ruination of the economy. After the total failure of the Obama administration to save our asses, the rich white man's club will point and say, "see, this job is way beyond the ablities of a boy."

  • ||

    it's a right-wing version of 'I'm moving to Canada if Bush wins.

    I guess...but putting your money into offshore tax havens is an honest to goodness wise investment strategy right now....and it looks even better 1-2 years from now.

    It also might be a good idea right now to move out of the rust belt, California and New York...

  • ||

    The rich white man's club made sure Obama got the job while arranging the ruination of the economy.

    If they can get a Black man elected president in oppressive racist America then why the hell don't they just lower income, capital gains and corporate taxes to a flat 10%?

  • Seitz||

    I would be utterly shocked if he didn't benefit from affirmative action for undergrad and law school.

    As opposed to say, a white President like Bush, who got into Yale entirely on his merits, with no regard for his legacy status?

    And yeah, most affirmative action cases, who couldn't get into a good school without dark skin, end up becoming editor in chief of the law review of one of the nation's top law schools. It literally happens all. the. time.

  • Franklin Harris||

    This is 2009. Atlas doesn't shrug anymore. He just says, "meh."

  • ||

    """The media played a big part in this election. I have been following Presidential elections since the 60's 2008 was unbelievable."""

    It played a big part in sinking Kerry in 2006 too. Do you have a problem with that?

    Maybe your just read the Ann Coulter memo?

  • ||

    Uh, try 2004

  • ||

    Let me get this straight. People are reading Atlas Shrugged, and readin up on Rand. Reason Magazines Hero. And people are pissed about that? LOL

    It reminds of when your 15 and you discover a band that noone knows about. And all of the sudden they become popular, and you feel they "sold-out".

    Thats what this comment section looks like. Be happy people are reading about Libertarianism. For God Sakes...

  • ||

    Some of you fuckers are crazy.

  • ||

    No, they're just Libertoonians.

  • JB||

    He's obviously not that clever because he is hiding something.

    He could be hiding how clever he is, but I doubt it.

    I know the standardized test scores of Bush and Gore (both significantly lower than mine), and I would like to know Obama's.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Transparency (or Mr. Affirmative Action) hasn't released them.

  • ||

    I know the standardized test scores of Bush and Gore (both significantly lower than mine), and I would like to know Obama's.

    Because we all know that if your standardized test score is lower than the 99th percentile, you have no business trying to be elected president. Or you're just making up stuff that has nothing to do with anything? Or your ACT/SAT score is higher than Al Gore's...I bow before you. Oh why oh why don't we just make our greatest physicists, engineers and mathematicians presidents? You also undermine yourself by commenting on your high cognitive measurables while also apparently not knowing what affirmative action is.

  • ed||

    the Rand comeback

    She never went away, actually. Her books have been in print and bestsellers for decades.

  • ||

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

    From the novel, the essentials w/music and video

  • ed||

    Most excellent, Richard. Thanks.

  • ed||

    Here's a more user-friendly link to Richard's videos. I've watched the first five and I'm very impressed. Well worth your time if you're not a knee-jerk anti-Randian trolling retard.

  • ||

    You don't even need to cut back on production. All you gotta do is say "fuck it, I'm cashing out and retiring..."

    A distant cousin sold a business during the dot.com for 57 million, and retired. Then he got bored and started a new business. If it was today why should he start the new business? Why cut short his retirement in the Virgin Islands for a 18 hour work week, when Obama's going to take his money and drag his name through the mud?

  • </||

    Amazon sales ranking:

    Atlas Shrugged #120

    The Turner Diaries #9,872

    The ranking and gap should be some kind of political barometer.

  • JB||

    Art-P.O.G., did I say any of those things? Please put words into my head some more.

    Sure, I think most politicians are stupid. I tend to think Obama might be quite stupid since he hasn't released his tests scores.

    I would be very surprised if Obama didn't benefit from affirmative action for undergrad and law school admissions.

  • AshleyZ||

    98% of Americans got a tax cut under Obama, and the others will be paying the same as they did under Clinton. That means that taxes are the second-lowest in American history. That's hardly "soaking the rich". But keep bellyaching; it's really attractive.

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