I read “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand for the first time last year. While I don’t support everything in the book, the basic idea is that there are two types of people: workers and looters. Workers do just that: they work hard to provide a living for their families, and want to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Looters live their lives always trying to figure out how to get something for nothing. In other words, looters want to enjoy the fruits of OTHER people’s labor.
When I read the book last year, I understood that our country was at a crossroads, but I had hope that all we had to do was wait another year, and we could begin to correct the problem in our country: get some conservative people in office that believe in limited government, individual property rights, and fiscal responsibility.
We all know how that turned out. And for the first time in my life, I find myself believing that there is a very real possibility that our country will not survive. We have too many people with grabby hands that want to take what other people have worked for. We have too many politicians willing to promise free stuff in order to get elected. Hard choices need to be made, and that isn’t popular.
One of my favorite movies is “I Remember Momma.” There’s a scene where the oldest son wants to go to high school, but they don’t have enough money. The members of the family make financial sacrifices: some promise to work to bring in extra money, the father decides he will give up the luxury of his pipe tobacco, etc. That is the American spirit. If that play were written today, it would have ended with the family crying about the fact that Old Man Wilson who lives across the street is rich enough that he could pay for all of them to go to school. Then the kids would have “occupied” the Wilson’s front lawn until they paid for Nels to go to high school.
Atlas Shrugged is the story of a country where the workers get fed up, and leave the looters to form their own community. They allow the country to collapse in on itself simply by their absence. They refuse to continue to have their hard work and innovative ideas bled dry by those who have nothing to contribute. I can certainly see Rand’s point of view. The party that is the United States is coming to an end, and we will be left with the check.
I sit here five days after an election where half the country chose to reelect a President that has spent the past four years spending money that we don’t have hand over fist, and giving away free stuff at record rates. It is only after the election that we are hearing about the “Fiscal Cliff.” This country is indeed on a precipice, and I am afraid that the man at the wheel is putting his foot on the gas. I know my liberal friends will disagree with me, but that is how I see things. If any of my liberal friends care to respond, please tell me how I am wrong, not just that I am wrong. How can I believe that a President who sunk us into more debt than we have ever had is going to somehow reverse this trend and bring us back from the brink?
I’m tired of arguing with people who refuse to see the truth that is right in front of them. I’m tired to trying to explain things to people who won’t listen. I’m tired of having half my income taken away from me and given to other people. I’m just tired of this whole thing.
I have talked to people in the past few years that say our country (and therefore, the world) is headed for economic collapse. I used to smile at that, since I had faith in the American People. I had faith they would see the light, and realize that something needs to be done. I don’t have that faith anymore. Now I believe there is a very large chance that our country could collapse in the next decade. I now believe my father’s advice, that in the new economy, food and firearms will be the currency of the day. If you have food but not firearms, you will soon have neither. If you have firearms but not food, you will starve.
I don’t know when the economy will collapse. I don’t know if our country will rise from the ashes, but I do know that I am simply tired of fighting. Half of you out there agree with me, and the other half thinks I’m an idiot. I can live with that. Can you?