Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Who Is John Galt?" - Atlas Shrugged

I took some time last night after a long day of work to watch the recently released "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1" on DVD.  For those unfamiliar with the story, released in 1957 by Ayn Rand, it is a look into the future at what happens to a society when government begins to take over all aspects of life and the business people there begin to give up and just walk away.

The setting of the movie is 2016 and it opens showing the DOW Jones Industrial Average crossing under 4000 and oil prices at $137 a barrel due to problems in the Mid East.  The government begins imposing price controls and goes after the "wicked capitalists" who brought the country down.

The story is so similar to what is taking place today and what is ahead of us that it is almost eerie that it was written in the 1950's.

Occupy Wall Street has become the rallying cry around the outrage of today's class warfare.  Our country has experienced a massive shift where the wealthy (the 1%) such as doctors, lawyers, bankers, and business owners have become super rich.  The middle class has stayed stagnant in terms of wage growth and is now slowly fading away as jobs continue to disappear in America.

I am a believer in free market capitalism.  I am not a part of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, and I look up to and hope to one day be part of the 1% in America in terms of entrepreneurship and new business creation.  I want to be part of the group that creates jobs, not because I want to create jobs first, but because it will increase my business productivity, profitability, and simultaneously increases the country's.

Unfortunately, we no longer have capitalism in our country.  We have crony capitalism.  I saw nothing wrong with the greedy bankers who created enormous profit machines from 1980 up to 2008.  I did not have a problem with the massive bonuses for the CEO's, the traders, or the bond originators.  I saw nothing wrong with the large bonuses and reckless decisions made by GM or Fannie Mae.

My problem was with the government response when they failed.  My problem lies exclusively with the bailout and the continued backstop in place by our government as they move forward as zombie toxic balance sheets.

I have said over the past few years that when the public understands what they have done to our money and country the anger would be beyond belief.  The Occupy movement is the first manifestation of that anger which will continue to grow as our economy gets worse and the government continues to grow larger and more "involved" with all business.

I said repeatedly that it would get so bad that I even worried for the safety of the bankers who stole our money and then were bailed out by us to ensure their bonuses continued uninterrupted.  This statement seemed absurd at the time, even to me as I was writing it.

Yesterday, a package was sent to the CEO of Deutsche Bank, one of the largest banks in Europe, with a return address from the ECB (European Central Bank).  The box contained a bomb surrounded by shrapnel.  Fortunately, it was intercepted before getting to the CEO.

This is only the first step of what is to come.  I wish the people could see through the smoke and understand that it is not the banker's fault they were and continue to be bailed out, it is our government's fault for giving them the money.  They need to leave New York and march toward Washington.  That is the epicenter of this entire problem that is about to get much, much, worse.

For those that have not read the book or seen the movie Atlas Shrugged I would recommend both.  Ayn Rand was the teacher of our former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan before he entered Washington and was turned to the dark side. 

I believe that there is no stopping the train wreck ahead as we continue moving 175 miles per hour toward the cliff.  However, you personally and your family have the ability to get out of harms way (as much as possible) to get through the aftermath.

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