Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

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For those who have never read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, now is probably a good time to pick it up. The book is long but it is a page turner. Some claim it is prophetic but I see it more historical in nature - many of the stories, sadly, have striking parallels to the 1930s and 1940s, especially the development of the nuclear bomb (Project X in the book) and the government control over private enterprise (Directive 10-289 in the book is very similar to the National Industrial Recover Act industry codes). There are more allegories throughout the book.

My point is that the book shows how reliance upon government bureaucrats and increased centralized control leads to a breakdown in regular economic activity and destroys trust, the most valuable commodity in a non-barter economy. This, in turn, has very real ramifications for average people - average people die.

Here is a pitch from the Ayn Rand Institute:

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