...that will be the question liberals - as well as corporations like GE, who thrive off of the taxpayer teat - will be asking with more and more urgency and fear as things begin to unravel over the next 15 months.
At a time when Atlas Shrugged has come to life, it should be no surprise that we just re-lived one of the epic scenes in the novel, where a young engineer stands up and defies collectivism at the Twentieth Century Motors factory:
Gerald Starnes died, and his three children—two brothers, Gerald Jr. and Eric, and their sister Ivy—proposed a radical change in management for the factory. Under this system, people would work according to their ability, but be paid according to their needs.
The employees actually voted in favor of this plan, with no conception of what it would mean. This vote took place in the main assembly bay of the factory. After this vote...Mr. Starnes said the following: "This is a great moment in the history of our country! Remember that none of you may leave this place, for you are all bound here by the moral code which we all accept!"
"I don't," said John Galt, who quietly stood up in his place. Every eye sank when it beheld him, because "he stood like a man who knows that he is right."
Galt went on, "I will put an end to this once and for all." Then he turned to walk out of the bay.
Gerald Starnes called after him, "How?"
Galt turned and said, "I will stop the motor of the world."
Ladies and gentlemen...meet Ronnie Bryant, a coal mine operator out of Alabama. After listening for two hours at a public meeting organized by the Justice Department and the EPA on "environmental justice", he rose to speak:
My name’s Ronnie Bryant, and I’m a mine operator…. I’ve been issued a [state] permit in the recent past for [waste water] discharge, and after standing in this room today listening to the comments being made by the people…. [pause] Nearly every day without fail — I have a different perspective — men stream to these [mining] operations looking for work in Walker County. They can’t pay their mortgage. They can’t pay their car note. They can’t feed their families. They don’t have health insurance. And as I stand here today, I just … you know … what’s the use? I got a permit to open up an underground coal mine that would employ probably 125 people. They’d be paid wages from $50,000 to $150,000 a year. We would consume probably $50 million to $60 million in consumables a year, putting more men to work. And my only idea today is to go home. What’s the use? I don’t know. I mean, I see these guys — I see them with tears in their eyes — looking for work. And if there’s so much opposition to these guys making a living, I feel like there’s no need in me putting out the effort to provide work for them.
So as I stood against the wall here today, basically what I’ve decided is not to open the mine.
I’m just quitting.
And so the strike of the able, the strike of the producers, the strike of the mind, has begun.
Godspeed, Ronny Bryant. We'll know all is safe once you return to he world...
In his own words...video via Protein Wisdom: