Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney and the Atlas Shrugged Conspiracy

In all the hoo-hah about Mitt Romney dissing the 47% of Americans who don't owe any federal income tax, the more terrifying and damning part of his speech almost slipped by unnoticed.  The New York Times barely mentioned it in this excellent piece accusing Romney of being a cynical class warrior.


Of course, since Romney was speaking to the rich, that is his best defense, to say he was just playing to his rich audience, and that he is not seriously contemptuous of real America, even though he seems to be whenever he is in the presence of ordinary Americans.

But this line really stood out.

"If he is elected, he said, capital will come back and 'we’ll see, without actually doing anything, we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.'"

It stands out because 1) he expects the economy to grow without intervention, which means he doesn't really believe Obama has been the disaster president his campaign has been framing and therefore there is no reason at all to choose him over Obama on economic grounds; 2) he believes business is deliberately withholding capital and jobs from the economy in order to bring about a conservative government.  Both views are dangerous.

In the first case, it means that he really wouldn't waste any time on the economy, his central campaign platform, and would be free to follow his interests in starting new wars with Iran, and conflicts with Russia and China; and he can pursue the culture war on behalf of his church. It implies that whatever "plans" he has released about the economy are not important to him, nor would he fight a Republican Congress on behalf of the people.  He doesn't believe the American system is broken and with further tax cuts, more debt, and more centralization, the elimination of the middle class would accelerate.

The second opinion should receive a lot more attention than it has been getting.  Paul Ryan said "we are living in an Ayn Rand novel," and this was the first indication that Romney believes it too.  In the novel "Atlas Shrugged," the wealthy entrepreneurs, angry at regulation and taxes, go on strike to withhold their talents from the public.  Society deteriorates and the mastermind of the plan, John Galt, comes forward to tell the public that the entrepreneurs don't need them, but they need the entrepreneurs and they will only get the entrepreneurs to return and save them if they give up their dreams of an equal or just society.

Romney and Ryan are admitting it right to our faces: business is withholding capital and jobs from the economy until they get conservative government, that is to say, more tax breaks and an end to any threat that their taxes will be raised in the future.  If it's truly being done in a systematic way, then corporations should be taxed at 90% with capital controls to take away their ability to ever run the economy into the ground as a political manipulation again.  The rich in this scenario are enemies of the state and traitors to government of the people.  And if it's not true, if it's just wishful thinking on the part of Romney and Ryan, then they are dangerous magical thinkers who believe that if they wish something to be true, it is true.  If that is the case, they should not be given control over nuclear weapons, for they are dangerous men.

In the meantime, what will our history books say thirty years from now? Will they say Criminal Rich hijacked the nation from 2000 on, and were eventually exposed and brought to justice?  Or will we have stopped teaching history in thirty years because "the slaves don't need to know such things"?

No comments:

Post a Comment