Book Review – Atlas Shrugged

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Recently I read a book that changed the way I look at the world. This book, titled Atlas Shrugged, is perceived as being the “Republican” anthem that bleeding heart liberals despise. In reality Ayn Rand’s 1100+ page tour de force of libertarian thought couldn’t be more applicable to the current socioeconomic situation in America.

The basic plot of this masterpiece is a post industrial revolution America ruled by an over regulating, oppressively taxing, & anti-rich government. The government becomes so overbearing on society that it begins to collapse and all of the innovative industrialists leave. With all of the intelligent and ambitious citizens leaving, the basic tenets of life, like food and transportation, go undelivered. Interwoven into this narrative is the struggle of the hard working businessman to continue providing those staples of everyday life in the face of seemingly unbeatable bureaucratic odds.

You can see bits and pieces of this happening today. Burger King is “inverting” to Canada, and the likes of Accenture, AON, Tyco, Transocean, and Fruit of the Loom have already left American shores. Hillary Clinton has been quoted as saying “corporations and businesses don’t create jobs”. Obama is speaking about businesses and how their creators “didn’t build that”. Government is huge and they’re starting to take credit for the success of the private sector while attacking those who do not comply.

Like Atlas Shrugged, when the government bureaucracy reaches unsustainable proportions, those things we take for granted will no longer be available to the common man. One of my favorite parts of the book was when a character realized no more grapefruit juice was available for consumption as a result of the draconian measures taken upon the railroads who transported the commodity and the farmers that produced them. Point being, people won’t realize it’s a problem until it hits their kitchen table…and by that time it will be too late.

A government promising entitlements to the masses ensures it will get itself re-elected year after year. Citizens need to be wary of a growing government promising to take care of people through these very entitlements and benefits. They will inevitably be voted in, and once firmly entrenched will go after entrepreneurs and successful businesses to pay for these programs in the name of the “greater good”. When the producers in society start being fleeced through taxes and regulation, they will leave and there will be no one left to bleed.

What can you do? Not much, unfortunately. Yes, you can vote in Rand Paul and hope he evokes a fundamental change if elected. But, chances are he won’t win and America will continue down this dangerous path. As Doug Casey has explained, “Your biggest risk is political risk”, and the prescient individual will start looking overseas for greener pastures. If you can’t leave (many of us can’t) start prepping your wealth to make it through to the “other side”. It’s not a question of “if”, only “when” this system will collapse. When it does it will provide perhaps the best buying opportunity for depressed assets we have ever seen….how will you ensure you’ll be ready when the time comes?

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