Want Their Own State
By Doug Patton
is John Galt?”
of philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand will recall that question
as the opening line of her massive tome, “Atlas Shrugged.”
Over the course of the next 1,100 pages, the reader learns
that John Galt is the novel’s capitalist hero, a man who
methodically has become the catalyst of a successful attempt
at recruiting the best and the brightest entrepreneurs of
American industry to withdraw from the commerce of their
country. The result is a steady decline of the U.S. economy,
as America’s producers refuse to continue paying for the
vision was a warning that the socialism she had seen in
her native Russia was creeping into the expectations Americans
had of their own government. And this was in the 1950s!
years later, the American producer of goods, services and
creative ideas labors under a financial and regulatory burden
Ayn Rand could only have contemplated in her worst nightmare.
And while the miracle of free-market capitalism still remains
a strong motive, the insatiable appetite of government at
every level to redistribute wealth is rapidly destroying
the incentive to create it. (Witness the recent shameless
pandering of Democrats and Republicans alike to give “tax
credits” to an entire class of Americans who pay no taxes!)
has been estimated that if all the assets of every individual
American were confiscated and redistributed evenly, within
a few decades those assets would be right back in the same
hands. That sounds about right. Spenders spend. Savers save.
Producers produce. Parasites do not.
the Libertarians. It might sound Quixotic, but a real movement
is gaining ground among a growing number of people who have
become alarmed at the pace with which the United States
is racing toward confiscatory taxation for the purpose of
a scheme that would make Ayn Rand proud, the Libertarians
are plotting to take over a state, revamp the government
with policies of minimal taxation, spending and regulation
and possibly even threaten to secede from the Union. They
think they will need about 20,000 hard-core believers in
a small state to accomplish this. I think they just might
be on to something.
Republican Senator Malcolm Wallop once said that the difference
between Democrats and Republicans was that if Democrats
introduced a bill to burn down the Capitol, Republicans
would offer an amendment to phase it in over three years.
another way, in the words of a frustrated conservative House
Republican with whom I spoke recently, Democrats seem willing
to lock arms and step off the cliff together into the socialist
abyss singing “We are the world,” while his Republican colleagues
seem perfectly content to line up and march off single file.
Libertarians will tell you they believe that government
should defend the shores and deliver the mail – unless,
of course, someone else can deliver the mail more efficiently
and cheaper. In other words, pure Libertarians advocate
maximum liberty with minimum restrictions in any and all
arenas of human activity.
sounds good, but carried to its logical extreme, it involves
decriminalizing virtually every “vice” known to man: gambling,
prostitution, the personal use of illicit drugs and abortion
on demand performed by anyone anywhere. I have often said
that I would become a Libertarian in a heartbeat if it were
not for these social issues. However, when it comes to economics,
they are right on target.
years ago, the average family of four in America paid just
four dollars in federal taxes out of every $100 earned.
State and local taxes were also at a minimum, with many
states not even utilizing sales or income taxes.
was this economic freedom, not the power and authority of
government to confiscate our assets and solve our problems,
that made us the world’s greatest superpower. Libertarian
economic philosophy may be our last hope of escaping the
tax burden that is threatening the vitality of nations all
around the world.
Patton is a freelance columnist who has served
as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor at
the federal, state and local levels. His weekly columns
can be read in newspapers across the country, and on www.GOPUSA.com,
where he serves as the Nebraska Editor.
He also writes
for Talon News Service (www.TalonNews.com).
e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.