Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Greedy bastard" or selfish?

Colbert talked about "going John Galt" on his show last night (about three minutes in). Naturally he makes fun of it, and does not seem to understand it from either a moral perspective, or as a form of protest. However, at least it is getting some attention. And as threatened as left-leaning types seem to be by the term, it must really strike a chord. It strikes me as odd that if you work and make money, you're a selfish bastard and if you stop working hard and making money, you're a selfish bastard. Which is it?



Blogger uncle ken said...

The corollary: you have two choices to avoid being a selfish bastard.

1. Work hard but don't make money. The Mother Teresa gambit.
2. Don't work hard, but rake in the Benjamins. This would include athletes, movie stars and those who sell their sex tapes on the internet after a weekend in Paris. Primarily this category is full of politicians, upper echelon civil servants and their confreres in the private sector such as investment bankers and lobbyists.

10:21 AM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

For those going John Galt, perhaps you can share your plans. You too Helen.

10:25 AM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

Cham: I'll tell you for $25.00. In the Gulch nothing is free, or looking at it our way, knowledge has value.

10:32 AM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger MJ said...

"Which is it?"

Neither, if you're anything other than a conventional leftist you're a selfish bastard.

10:39 AM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

If they made a movie of Atlas Shrugged, what role would Colbert play?

10:46 AM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Happy Hour...Somewhere,

Good question, I'll have to think about it. I read recently that there is talk of a movie of Atlas Shrugged. Apparently, it is one of the few classics that has never been made into a film.

10:52 AM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger The Cranky Tutor said...

They are talking about doing an Atlas Shrugged movie...with Brad Pitt playing the role of John Galt.

11:32 AM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

Uncle Ken -

Heh. The problem with selling information (of any kind, and that includes music & movies) is that you can't know the value of the information until you've received it. Until then, you just have to trust that the seller has correctly priced the information.

And often, the seller won't have priced it correctly. Maybe they're deliberately overcharging you for junk info ($20 for that film?!?), or maybe they're charging a fair price but they don't realize that the info isn't useful to you (turns out I had figured that tip out for myself, now how do I get a refund? And will he even believe me that I'd already figured it out? Probably not.)

So, yeah. There are ways around this problem -- movie reviews, giving half the info up front but withholding (say) a key ingredient or two from the recipe until payment is delivered -- but it's still a thorny problem.

11:36 AM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger John said...

And as threatened as left-leaning types seem to be by the term, it must really strike a chord. It strikes me as odd that if you work and make money, you're a selfish bastard and if you stop working hard and making money, you're a selfish bastard.

Ha ha ha!

We're not threatened by your talk of "Going Galt" -- we're splitting our sides laughing at you.

First of all, has anyone who makes $250,000+ actually stopped working? (Bernie Madoff doesn't count.)

And if someone does, I won't call him a selfless bastard, I'll call him someone who puts his money where his mouth is. As for the rest of you lot...

11:40 AM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger thomas said...

I was directed to your site from someone making fun of Going Galt and I thought you too were making fun of the idea. Then when I found out you are serious I about coughed up my water laughing so hard. Damn you people are pathetic whinners.

11:44 AM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Brother J said...


It isn't necessary to completely stop working, just cut back. Go here: for some examples. In particular look at the example of the pediatrician. He'll remain employed, but 3 of 7 of his employees won't.

The government will not raise the revenue it thinks it will and people at the lower end of the income spectrum will be the ones hurt most, not the "evil rich."

12:11 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

What others do or plan to do is of little interest to me but I have to say that leftists are hardly threatened by "going galt". Colbert is simply saying what so many feel, and he is amused, not threatened.

12:14 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

What is ironic is that we are seeing everyone going John Galt. The players just don't realize it. How absurd is Tim Geithner when compared to Wesley Mouch? Orren Boyle to John Thain?

Perhaps it is amusing to imagine going Galt, but is it anymore absurd than Alec Baldwin saying he would move out of America if Bush won? He felt the country was going to go to hell in a handbasket and he wanted no part of it.

What Colbert and his kind never seem to get right is that there are many, many corporate stooges who fit the model of what Ayn Rand called the moochers and who want no part of her world. They might actually have to produce something otherwise.

Atlas Shrugged could probably never be made into a movie because I'm not sure Hollywood could do it with a straight face.

12:27 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Colbert has little to worry about. He's rich.

I'm sure some rich people will continue to work as hard as always. Some won't. It's a matter of how many "going Galt" does it take to make a difference. In 1990 a luxury tax on yachts didn't hurt the rich. They simply quit buying yachts and U.S. yacht manufacturers laid off 200,000 employees. This could happen again on a larger scale.

The real greedy bastards are those who are too lazy to pull their own weight and support themselves. The lefties that want to take other people's money to support that lifestyle.

12:29 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger smitty1e said...

It strikes me as odd that if you work and make money, you're a selfish bastard and if you stop working hard and making money, you're a selfish bastard. Which is it?
Now, Dr. Helen, are you asking your readers to apply logical analysis to a mostly emotional question?
My "Galtian flourish" for this administration will be to avoid all major purchases, e.g., a new car.

12:35 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

Colbert is simply saying what so many feel, and he is amused, not threatened.

I wonder what he'll say when unemployment goes up, and tax revenues go down?

Many of us are following Smitty1e's route: cutting back on expenditures, buying things I need, and stocking up on certain food stuffs that I'll eventually use. Waiting and seeing how things play out.

Borrowing in excess of $1 trillion isn't the best course of action, is it? assuming that the entire sum is being borrowed, and that DC hasn't decided to simply print money. Oh, wait, I think they have started printing money to cover the debts.

Inflation is coming, baby. Wait till Obama gets his cap-n-trade scheme set up - and watch your electric rates skyrocket. And that isn't even counting the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, nor the implementation of the Obama tax hikes. Oh, and of course Clinton's 10 year t-bills will be coming due.

Boy, howdy, we live in interesting times!

12:48 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Woman said...

Hahahaha... <-- Left response.

You are silly, silly people.

Get off our Intarwebz. They were publicly funded.

1:34 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think Colbert's point is that Objectivism is fundamentally flawed as a philosphy. He was funny about it, but the principles still hold.

Some minor points:
Taking Atlas Shrugged to its end, the creation of a utopia where only the best and brightest live and work, is inherently doomed by this question.

"Who cleans the toilets?"

When you go about your day to day existence you constantly rely on those who are far from the best and brightest. People who work hard and get little compensation for that work. Leaving aside the truly insufferable wastes of humanity, there will always be the bottom levels who are the ones that "get things done" that you're not even considering. So yes, Objectivism is arrogant.

A=A is a great example of the flaw. It's too simplistic to be consistent in a real world situation. Physics proves, through the study of quantum mechanics, that perception is not reality. What appears to be A could be B or A and B combined. Uncertainty exists in the world on every level. Objectivism denies that, while removing other human traits such as humility and compassion. It's a pretty looking system, but in the end, you can't live in it. That's not going to stop some of you from trying though.

2:12 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger thomas said...

First of all Atlas Shrugged sucked. Second, you folks don't understand what a tiny insignificant minority you are that you really think anyone but the stiffed waitress (who is probably white and uneducated therefore Republican) is the only one that is going to notice. Your Moral protest is absurd beyond rational thought. Threatened? Not hardly, validated knowing your ilk is being pushed further and further into the obscurity of other fringe radical movements.

2:15 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger thomas said...

Thinking the best and brightest are Republican is allpart of this falsehood you have swallowed which states all democrats are on welfare. Go form your Utopian society. Try Idaho.

2:17 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

In 1957, Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged wrote: Orren Boyle-- "...if I were to get--it's just a thought--if I were to get a subsidy to carry me over the next year or two, until I catch my stride and --"
"What? Again?" Yelled Mr. Weatherby..."How many loans have you got from us and how many extensions, suspensions and moratoriums? You haven't repaid a penny--and with all of you boys going broke and the tax receipts crashing, where do you expect us to get the money to hand you a subsidy?"

In 2005, there were many people calling the current crisis, Bill at Calculated Risk or Ben Jones at the The Housing Bubble Blog or Peter Schiff of Europacific who were ridiculed and told to take their tin-foil hats and STFU but they were right. They presented arguments and information that anyone could get their hands on.

Perhaps Ayn Rand was just too early and perhaps it may never happen. She loved this country and had faith in the American people and their spirit and their ability to pull themselves out of situations like this.

I sincerely hope so.

2:17 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Mister Wolf said...

Ah, this is very interesting...

Mainly because both sides are right.

Let me explain, the leftists don't fear this movement. They don't think it'll harm them. Granted, this is due to their plain out ignorance. Remember, the people "going John Galt" are not the rich or poor. It's parts of the middle class, such as physicians, lawyers, small business owners, and mid-level corporate managers. These people are some of the key job creators in our economy (remember, small businesses is what hires most people within our economy). Thus, because these people are going Galt unemployment will soar accordingly as they lay off staff.

As for not using something just because I'm usually against most publicly funded projects(most are crap), once it's funded with my tax dollars I'm more than allowed to use it. Simple as that. I bought it(once again, not usually of my own choice), might as well use it.

2:20 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:23 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

"Taking Atlas Shrugged to its end, the creation of a utopia where only the best and brightest live and work"

No - you confuse the temporary interlude in Galt's Gulch with the book's actual ending where those who disappeared re-emerge. Should read "taking Atlas Shrugged to its end, the rebirth of a country where the best and brightest were free to live and work without constraint or approbation".

Just because Pavarotti is singing at the Opera tonight doesn't mean tickets won't be taken, drinks served and, who knows, the toilets might even get cleaned :-)

2:27 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger thomas said...

Do you really think there are enough of you out there to really make a difference. If the Moral Majority calls for a Disney Boycott the year they set attendance records do you really think you can make a difference? THis is hilarious.

2:31 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

Thomas, you are probably right. There are not enough people voluntarily going Galt to make a difference, but there are plenty of people who are having John Galt happen to them. Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, etc., are going bankrupt because people are cutting back, albeit involuntarily and they ARE making a huge difference. Maybe this multi-trillion dollar bail out will save everyone and they can go back to spending like crazy.

From everything I am reading, this just does not have a happy ending for anyone.

2:44 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Keep saying it, thomas, and maybe you'll at least convince yourself of it.

Or maybe not even that.

2:45 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

thomas said...

"Roman, Do you really think there are enough of you out there to really make a difference"

1. It's not about making a difference to others, it's about making a difference for ourselves. We are not serfs.

2. If one person dies on a crowded 747 does it matter? It does if he was flying the plane.

2:57 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Moses said...

The left is right and wrong. They are right because to the extent that you're just refusing to work, and people are naturally greedy, others will just step in and take your business. If you save your money, it goes into the bank and gets loaned to someone who will spend it. (That's why those who claim savings are bad do not understand economists. There is no paradox of thrift either.)

They are wrong because "Going Galt" fits perfectly with the changing social mood of rejecting materialism. Allstate is one of the first advertisers to capture the change, and they do so by directly referencing the Depression. Therefore, I expect a "Going Galt" movement will cause the natural trend towards less work and more family time to accelerate and broaden.

Going Galt can't succeed without critical mass though. It is a tipping point movement. In small numbers, it's a joke. But get a decent number of adherents, and things get interesting. Also, a lot of people may "go Galt" by switching from income tax generating activities to barter, or using precious metals for exchange rather than dollars. Going Galt could become code for "let's do an off the books transaction".

The big question is whether people are serious and they really want to change the government/society in big and permanent ways, or they are throwing a hissy fit because Obama won. Would you be going Galt if McCain won? Maybe he wouldn't be raising taxes now, but we'd probably see just as big deficits, and that's where the real crime is taking place. He'd probably cut taxes though, and lots of Republicans/conservatives would defend him. The deficit and entitlement time bomb would still loom.

If you're serious about Going Galt, then go all the way. Stop voting. Just think through not voting, and how you'd protect your rights. You will understand real power and how to truly change the system. The left will laugh harder, and win political victories...but no one cares about Confederate elections.

3:25 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger thomas said...

It seems to me you folks can not decide upon the definition of "Going Galt". Either it is a conscience decision to not use goods and services in hopes that the US economy and/or certain poor individuals fail. Or it is the unintended consequence of a recession. Which is it?

Hey, if you folks want to stop rampant materialism you can call it what you want, call it going green.

3:28 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Mister Wolf said...

Aye, there isn't enough of us.

But as Ken pointed out, you fail to understand what going Galt means.

Going Galt is far more deep than most people realize. It's also far more simple. It is embracing a deliberate philosophical life that embraces the cold facts of reality. The vast majority of philosophers ever to have lived had the same objective as going John Galt. Seeking out a deliberate life that one was in control of. As Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." We philosophers, have broken away from the meaningless life that mindless consumption, endless "prosperity", and the cult of "equality" in order to embrace a better one, as we do not want to be equals in slavery any more.

3:29 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Mister Wolf said...


The strength of the movement is that there is no clear definition of what going "John Galt" is. I define it as leading a deliberate life lead by one's knowledge of philosophy. So many Randians have "gone Galt" by my definition...but so have Roman Catholic monks and the lady who decided to quit work so she homeschool her kids and cooks and cleans her own home instead of hiring other to do it for her.

To my fellow "Galts",

Not only do we need to make sure that people see our model for living life. The world needs role models, people who are happy with a simpler life. Those who can be contrasted with the "keeping up with the Jones's crowd".

One can not dictate how to go Galt, I believe that it would be counter to the spirit of the movement. Instead we must find our own paths in becoming more aware of ourselves and our surroundings. The only recommendation I can offer is an urging to study philosophy. Not just Rands, but those who came before such as Aristotle and the Stoics.

3:40 PM, March 12, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, we'll see.

3:40 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Uncle Ken,

"It's not about making a difference to others, it's about making a difference for ourselves. We are not serfs."

Exactly. Presidential Libertarian candidate Harry Browne wrote, "How I found freedom in an unfree world" and likewise, those of us who want to take matters into our own hands and have some individual level of control over what we do will find our own way.

To others:

"Going Galt" might, for some be working part time, it might be maxing out their SEP account to reduce their tax load when they didn't before, or letting go of consulting work that they didn't want to do or other things that are tedious in exchange for time and less aggravation. If the only incentive to working harder is getting called names and expectations to foot more of the tax bill, why bother? No one can tell an individual what is right for themselves, they must decide what works for them. I have heard from emergency room physicians that say they will cut their hours, why bother when some other sucker can take their place? If you think you can do it, go ahead. Maybe Moses above will step in and take over the business. Good luck to him--four years of Med school, four years of residency and many years of training are brutal.

3:55 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger thomas said...

You all you wonderful hardworking people that have time to twittle away hours brain farting on the internet instead of working at your job. Truely the wheels of capitalism will fall off with out your hard work.

3:59 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

*Good luck to him--four years of Med school, four years of residency and many years of training are brutal.*

May I jump in here? I totally understand and support the idea that each individual should closely examine their own lives and periodically ask themselves, "Why am I doing this?"

But suppose this "Going Galt" movement is really just an excuse to do something that otherwise you would not have had the courage to do.

That is, surely some of you had expressed disillusions with your chosen professions well before Obama was inaugurated and unveiled his Big Bucks Bailout Plan. Maybe you are just using this "movement" to justify in your heart of hearts what you really wish you had done decades ago? ie/get out of a profession that no longer satisfies you and that financially and fulfillment-wise, you no longer see necessary to perform?

People have been doing this for ages, folks. Cutting back on their corporate or practice hours, when possible. Deciding "I have enough -- time to partially retire and enjoy the kids'/grandkids' sporting events; take the afternoon off and go fishing; use the vacation time alloted to you, etc. Such actions don't have to be a "protest" against anything, just another way of exercising one's personal choices in a free market.

My point is: if you want to cut back, do so. If you want to invest your precious time or monetary resources in another venture, do so. If it truly is a good move for you, you'll gain the rewards INTERNALLY, and won't need the country to "feel" your absence and suffer (that's much like suicide's think, no?) to benefit from your own individual choices.

And nobody needs to encourage you to join such a movement: sadly, it's something you should have been born knowing (look out for number one, and don't feel guilty if you change your mind about career choices and needs.)

Surely, it's a lot of stress to be a psychologist, or dentist doctor or attorney, if you're constantly taking on other people's troubles. There is no shame at all in saying, "enough": financially I no longer need to sell myself in that way to make a living.

Be a gardener, if that's your thing. Or create a pet-services part-time business if you want to spend more time with say animals, than people with problems. Take up boating, or fishing or kayaking, and get out of the office more on those nice days. If you plan right, yes you can afford it!

Somewhere in the 80s (or maybe well before), we started accepting the material values society was giving. No thanks. Give me clean water and air, open spaces, a gassed up car, and a sunny day, and trust you me, I can definitely entertain/educate myself, no movements or help needed.

We really all should bring our kids up to be free thinkers, evaluating the value of things themselves not based on trappings, and then teach them to be self reliant so they can afford such a life. That, more than any book in the world, will serve them better than a one-time reaction protest movement, no?

4:43 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

*You all you wonderful hardworking people that have time to twittle away hours brain farting on the internet instead of working at your job*

See, it's all about taking responsibility for budgeting one's own time and choosing how to allocate a finite resource. Keep practicing: you'll eventually get it too!

4:44 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Tonto said...

Businesses in Kalifornicatia are moving to adjacent states because of the taxes. It's not too far a jump from there to the gulch is it?
If The One keeps on with his socialist agenda, I see lots more of that in store.....

4:52 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Heather said...

First of all, has anyone who makes $250,000+ actually stopped working? (Bernie Madoff doesn't count.)

My husbands co-worker quit Monday. He said, "It wasn't worth it"

5:47 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger LPF said...

"If they made a movie of Atlas Shrugged, what role would Colbert play?"


6:45 PM, March 12, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why thomas, you sound jealous.

7:03 PM, March 12, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful thoughts, mary. However, you don't get it either.

7:05 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Pete Morris said...

has anyone else recognized that the most socialist enterprise in the u.s. is the n.f.l.? They have revenue sharing, a salary cap, and the biggest loser gets the best draft pick.

7:16 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

I want in the Gulch! I will clean the toilets. I will be an Objectivist toilet cleaner.

7:19 PM, March 12, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I do find that really amusing...especially the other professional leagues have also instituted some kind of salary cap/luxury tax system...and have a "reverse order of finish" draft.

Meanwhile, European soccer (as far as I understand it) is more of an unbridled capitalist system with clubs like Manchester United or Real Madrid able to outspend rival clubs by 10s of millions.

Funny world sometimes, eh?

8:02 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Mad William Flint said...

I'm in the process of working out how I'm 'Going Galt' and it's for a very simple reason (fellows will understand, detractors may gain some clarity):

- The government doesn't have the right to the fruits of my labor.

I'm not looking for a "movement."

Now the socialists can laugh at me all they want, it's of utterly no concern to me.

What they'll never do again is live off me.

(Plus they even have that pithy "sticks and stones" saying about when people chuckle at their foolishness. I don't remember quite how it goes but I do seem to remember the end being "...then we win.")

9:15 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mike Wilson -

The quote you're thinking of was originally from Gandhi, I believe. It goes something like this:

"First they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
They they fight you.
Then you win."

As for "going John Galt", my own income isn't anywhere NEAR $250k, so I'll be making no changes to how much I work. But a friend of mine who's a doctor has specifically mentioned that he's thinking of cutting back on the hours he works to get under the $250k line. Or the $200k line, or whatever it ends up being. He said "And that extra time I have, I'll probably use to clean up the house myself instead of hiring someone to do it." So there's one cleaning service that's going to be getting less revenue if he does that. Multiply that by ten or twelve doctors or lawyers doing the same thing, and you start seeing serious job loss in the service sector.

And for those who would call my friend "selfish" for his decision... what would you do about it? Would you force him to work extra hours and keep employing a maid service? See, I'm not too happy with the concept of forcing people to work. We had a little unpleasantness about that sort of thing 150 years ago...

10:09 PM, March 12, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing most of the people laughing at those going Galt don't make enough money to be impacted by the tax increases, except of course, entertainers who make a lot more than $250k and need new material for their programs.

What seems to have most people concerned isn't the increase in the marginal rate, but the increase combined with lowered deductions for mortgage interest, health care costs, etc., etc.

The one-two combo would have a significant financial impact on lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants, etc., not to mention millions of small business owners.

It is the upper middle class that is at the heart of new job creation in this country, and anything that discourages that group from being as productive and profitable as possible will only make the recovery that much more difficult.

People like Thomas can laugh all they want, but at the end of the day, they need the John Galts of the world more than the John Galts need them.

10:58 PM, March 12, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

peter said...
"has anyone else recognized that the most socialist enterprise in the u.s. is the n.f.l.? They have revenue sharing, a salary cap, and the biggest loser gets the best draft pick."

The Mayan game of ball was even more convoluted. The winners were executed in a sacrificial ceremony. Sort of the ultimate form of progressive taxation.

The Mayans disappeared. I suspect a lot of Juan Galts lit out for the jungle!

6:30 AM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger Randroideka said...

Twenty years ago, "Going Galt" could not have been a popular response to injustice because far too few people knew who John Galt was. That's changed. What remains to be done is correcting the widespread misunderstandings and misrepresentations - on both the left and the right - of what Ayn Rand was really saying.

Galt's revolution is fundamentally a moral one - the rejection of self-sacrifice and the recognition of rational self-interest. Even now, the man on the street might shudder at the phrase "rational self-interest", thinking that it means brunching on babies, etc. That's something that only another twenty years of education can fix, one mind at a time.

9:56 AM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger Moses said...

As for the toilet cleaners in Galt's Gulch. If I recall correctly, a famous philosopher or composer bagged groceries, and the young man working on the train moved there as well. There was positive recognition of all productive work.

10:21 AM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger The Cranky Tutor said...

I'm the only productive manager in my small company. I am currently being forced to carry the load for the others. I'm quitting. I'll be starting a job soon that is "beneath" me according to the letters after my name. I don't care. I want to work for a living with other people who are proud of the work they do. Who's going to clean the toilets? I will, if need be. Honest work is honest work. There is no such thing as work that is "beneath" me, except looters' work. You want to talk to someone who's taking this thing seriously? I'm one of them.
I don't care if anyone else is doing this. I don't care if anyone thinks it's stupid, pointless, or pathetic. This is about me and what I want. Anyone out there, left or right (but mostly left) who thinks that their opinion of me is going to change my mind really, really doesn't get it.

11:06 AM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

I am all about self-sacrifice, when it is warranted. I tithe, but I make sure I know where my money is going and how much of it gets eaten up by overhead. My eldest daughter goes to a private school, but I make sure she makes exceptional grades or I pull the plug. I will stay late to see a hard working patient who CAN'T get in during business hours, but I fire patients who no show too much.

Enlightened self sacrifice is a model I can get behind. Rewarding incompetence does not pass the smell test, and it NEVER will to wise people.


11:59 AM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

"And as threatened as left-leaning types seem to be by the term"

Threatened? Who are you trying to kid? We're as threatened by ya'll's claim that you're gonna 'go Galt', as you were when Alec Baldwin said he was going to leave the country if Bush was elected. You're not going to do it, and you're just going to look ridiculous when you don't.

Please, please, 'go galt'. Withhold all your creative and productive efforts and move to an undisclosed location to await the swift demise of society. We'll help you and Glenn pack!

12:56 PM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

"But a friend of mine who's a doctor has specifically mentioned that he's thinking of cutting back on the hours he works to get under the $250k line."

Tell your friend to learn some math and/or the basics of how marginal tax rates work. There's no economic benefit to getting below the 250k line.

1:03 PM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger DavidM said...

How exactly does one become rich in a free market without helping others?

(Politicos and slimy lawyers like John Edwards excepted)

Greed = lazy unsuccessful envious person's catchword to perpetuate class envy.

1:37 PM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger Sio said...

thomas said...

You all you wonderful hardworking people that have time to twittle away hours brain farting on the internet instead of working at your job. Truely the wheels of capitalism will fall off with out your hard work.
3:59 PM, March 12, 2009

Ahh, and then comes the name calling with the traditional slacker argument.

Word smarter, not harder there thomas. :)

1:42 PM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

"How exactly does one become rich in a free market without helping others?"

By providing goods or services others want at a mutually acceptable price. Value for value relationships. Hamburgers, haircuts or hot trophy wives - it's all win-win.

2:12 PM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

I would be proud to do any menial labor in Galt's Gulch and then rise up according to my abilities.

2:35 PM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Cham said...
For those going John Galt, perhaps you can share your plans. You too Helen.

10:25 AM, March 12, 2009

Stop it with the snarkiness.

2:35 PM, March 13, 2009  
Blogger Christopher said...

I guess I will be blunt here but the "Going Galt" protest is stupid.
What is the point?
The critique by Stephen Colbert was spot on. In times of economic crisis we have people who have money that are complaining? Your taxes will be raised approximately 5% and all of a sudden you want to cause a riot.
What of the poor and middle class that had nothing to do with the economic meltdown yet are suffering for it? Blame them?
But, like Colbert and others, I will call you on your bluff. You want to stop working and go to another country?
Please do, right now.
Build the perfect society with just “type-A me-firsters”. Let me know how much (lack of) success you guys have.

11:08 PM, March 13, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The real giggle is that I don't think most of the people here spouting their Galt stuff ARE rich people. It sure doesn't sound like it. Helen, in particular, seems to spend most of her time diddling around on the Internet with her Pajamas TV and the like. I'm not sure exactly when she's also being an Important Forensic Psychologist. Good when you have a hard-working husband, I guess.

So you have some mid-range earners, and some low earners and quite a few people who are leeching off others (their spouses, I guess). And THOSE people are talking about dropping out of work. Gee, it's going to stop the world. Or something.

12:31 PM, March 14, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...


You will never get it. Different not-so-parallel universe. Different value system.

It's not about stopping your world, it's about refusing indentured servitude. As far as incomes are concerned, when the guy who cleans the toilets quits you will just have to wipe out your own. Enjoy!

12:39 PM, March 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In case you all missed it, it was Gordon Gecko's stupid "Greed is good mantra" that caused all this mess.

12:48 PM, March 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, thomas, nathan, and Christopher, it seems that most of these folks are merely non-thinkers except in trying to "be like" "Dr" Helen. These people have lost their minds and souls. I don't see them as moderate or independent either. I used to be a Republican in the 1970s and 1980s but after getting tired of the non-thinking infestation that has ruined the party to the point of making it the party of self-righteous reactionary sellout whores, I switched Independent. Yeah, I sound very "liberal" to most of these folks now but it's actually pretty cool.

4:51 PM, March 14, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

In the book not everyone "revolted" in the same way...and I suspect in real life we also react differently. I am not "Going John Galt". I am "GOING RAGNAR DANNESKJOLD"
(In Atlas Shrugged Ragnar Danneskjold was a pirate in the book who sabotaged immoral government operations)

12:16 AM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger cubanbob said...

Amazing the stupid nonsense sprouted by people who don't earn anywhere near 250k never mind a lot more snarking at going 'Galt'. Before them is that asshole Colbert, jusy how much do you think he spends a year on creative CPA's and tax lawyers for tax avoidance. Seems more than a bit Galtish to me. Asshole ought to pay the full amount with no deductions, hypocrite.

As the the 250 mark, an extra 5% does mean a hell of a lot on every dollar above that simply because of the phase out of deductions and thats just on the fed income tax side.Then you have the state taxes to add on top and they don't have deductions for federal taxes for the most part. So depending on where you live 250k is not necessarily that much money but if every dollar above that gets hit with an effective tax of 50% then the incremental net is not worth the disproportionate effort to earn more unless the net difference is huge. Making 50k above the 250 is essentially grossing another 100k. Not many can earn that much more over the 250 in this economy and the effort to do so is disproportionately higher than earning the first 250. There are only so many hours in a day and the net difference between earning 250k and 300k in high tax states simply won't be worth the effort.

Then others will go 'Galt' the old fashioned way, work off the books for the difference. Going ten points above the 250 threshold by getting paid off the books in cash is an option lots of people will do, just like in Europe. Its just happens to be the amount of money in cash you could spend quietly in a year, gas, groceries, utility bills paid in cash at pharmacies or with money orders, lots of fairly small transactions. Indeed 25k in cash at the over 250k rate is equivalent to 45k in gross taxable. And the 25k off the books will cover basics living expense disproportionately to the amount of cash. Its not for nothing Europeans like cash so much, even having to print 500 Euro notes as a concession to reality.

The IRS has neither the manpower nor the expertise to begin to even track a meaningful number of these activities never mind prosecute them.

The irony lost on the typical smug arrogant lefty commenter about how insignificant it is a for an individual going ' Galt' is the while no single person doing so will have much of an impact, several hundred thousand doing so in an unorganized yet collective way will have a profound effect on the government's tax receipts. Those that earn at that margin and above the mark to 300k pay a significant amount of the income taxes collected. The rich business owners will find a way to minimize their taxable ordinary income, there are plenty of ways to do so, all quite legal, the higher the effective rate the more the avoidance schemes become more interesting. Soon the Obamunist won't be able to raise the rates even higher and won't be able to sell bonds to the only people who can buy them in the amounts needed, the wealthy and foreigners. Oh dear! What will the One We Weren't Waiting For Do? I suspect in 2011 the new definition of rich is a household income of 90k, possibly even lower, just like in dear old Socialist Europe. Also just like in dear old Socialist Europe the Obamunist will try a VAT tax as well, probably between 15% to 20% just like in dear old Socialist progressive Europe. Enjoy your coming trickle up poverty.

Lets see the slackers who dismiss anyone challenging them as posers and fakes who have time to comment on the net, as if they themselves are productive contributing members of society, laugh all you want until you get hit with the bill. Won't be quite so amusing then.

1:24 AM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger Peter Dane said...

I really don't care what the leftist trolls think.

I used to employ 16 people. I don't now.

I used to get a tx bill anually for five figures. I will be getting a refund now.

I used to only have one homestead exemption for my properties. Since selling them off, at an on-paper loss, the new owners are getting homestead exemptions on all of them.

I'm now hitting the government up for money - even though I don't need it. Why work and produce when I can draw?

My standard of living - unchanged, except I have more leisure.

I'm not going to move - I have front row seats to this farce right here; and more importantly - I HAVE MINE. Right here. Right now.

Have fun paying for your New Great Society. Thank your Dear Leader. Go punch your clock

10:02 AM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger Joe said...

This going Galt stuff really is idiotic. The hilarious part is many, if not most, of the people claiming that they will "go Galt" are arrogant, useless shits who think they do way fucking more than they actually do. Society will thrive without them in it. (Seriously, since the people who really are productive don't give a shit about this kind of kindergarten sociology crap; they are too busy actually making money.)

9:46 PM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger plutosdad said...

"First of all, has anyone who makes $250,000+ actually stopped working? "

No, but over and over throughout history it's been proven people will work less. If the extra few weeks of work will be taxed so much that I decide I'd rather take a vacation with my family, then that's what I'll do. Of course that may stimulate the economy of the tourist area I go to, but it means I produce 3-4 weeks less product for my customers, who then cannot produce as much, etc.

Feudalism was based around landords stealing outright from peasants. If you had a new idea for your smithy, you probably wouldn't try it out, what would be the point when the landlord just took your idea and used it himself? It's a more extreme example, but it's all gradual steps.

Certainly there are type A personalities that are so driven that they'll go at the same pace no matter what, but that's so few people. And our economy, the jobs available, the work to do, is just as much driven by people who are a little less driven, who are willing to take more risks than the average person.

Each little bit we discourage those people means we drag our economy down a that little bit, we slow down progress that little bit. I know "progressives" don't actually want progress but want to go back to the good ole' days, but those days never existed. I want progress, to live longer, healtier, I don't want to hold anyone back ever.

10:59 AM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger Mike said...

Sigh...none of the individual organisms in a reef are building a reef; they are just trying to make a place for themselves, yet the result is greater than the sum of its parts.

In that spirit even those of us who make far less than the 250k a year threshold can join in.

I do a lot of side work in return for unreported cash and services (got a new roof put on my house that way).

I can do this because even my non- lawyer/doctor skills are in demand, and can thus be traded off.

Am I sticking it to the man? Not hardly, but 100% of the fruits of (some of) my labor go to me-not society's leeches. It's a small satisfaction.

What all the scoffers need to ask themselves is, what happens when the millions of mechanics, roofers, plumbers, and electricians out there start acting in the same way?

There are not enough IRS agents to investigate them all, and then there won't be enough money to hire more.

Galt's Gulch is a state of mind, not a place.

8:06 PM, March 16, 2009  

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