|Pamela Geller as Dagny Taggart, VP of Taggart|
Transcontinental Railroad Lines (of "Atlas Shrugged")
The story is about key capitalists bowing out of the economy as governmental interference increases. The capitalists start their own colony and economy in a hidden valley in Colorado, and let the larger economy crash on the shoals of governmental overreach. The term "Who is John Galt?" refers to an early leader of the capitalist movement, who walks off the job one day after a pro-socialist meeting of the workers. "Who is John Galt?" then becomes a popular saying like "What's the price of tea in China?" or "Does a bear sh*t in the woods?" or simply "Who knows?"
Today, more than fifty years later, politicians have learned nothing about economics, and governmental overreach is on steroids. When major companies go out of business or move their operations overseas (to escape high taxation and onerous regulation), don't ask "Why?" Ask "Who is John Galt?"
The term "Atlas Shrugged" refers to the great Atlas of capitalism who, instead of continuing to hoist the world on his shoulders, shrugs off the burden. Now when companies shut down and entrepreneurs drop out of the economy or leave our tax world to find freer havens, people say that "Atlas is shrugging." Pamela Geller named her blog after this phenomenon, i.e. "Atlas Shrugs."
This phenomenon is not new. I remember years ago when European politicians complained of the "brain drain" to the United States, as talented European engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs fled to the greener pastures of North America. Today we may be experiencing a "reverse brain drain" as the technically talented follow their ambition to China and India. Socialism and its weaker sister liberalism do not strengthen an economy, they slowly choke the life out of it, resulting in lower productivity as the talented seek greater opportunity elsewhere.