You Didn’t Say That, Somebody Else Did

The last time I read Atlas Shrugged was almost twenty years ago. I thought it was time for a reread. While reading it, I came across the following:

“Rearden. He didn’t invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn’t have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousands of other people. His metal! Why does he think it’s his? Why does he think it’s his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. Nobody ever invents anything.” [p. 262 in the 35th anniversary edition]

This was said by James Taggart to Cherryl Brooks.

Rearden is, among other things, an inventor who has just created a new alloy that is much better than steel. The pretend capitalists of the world are not happy because he’s going to compete them into the ground with his Rearden Metal. Taggart is the nominal head of a railroad. In reality, his sister Dagny runs the railroad and he takes the credit for her success while constantly doing his best to undercut her; he himself has never done a worthwhile thing in his life.

Obama channeling Ayn Rand? How bizarre, even if he’s channeling a Rand villain.



Economic Dis-Reporting

This morning, I was listening to “The Marketplace Morning Report” on NPR. The head of the Boston Fed said that he thought that the Fed should pump lots more money into the economy. The reporter pointed out that some people thought that that would lead to inflation.

The Fed guy replied that there were no signs of inflation now.

No one (with any economic sense) thinks that inflation is possible today, no matter how much money is pumped into the economy. There is simply no demand that would drive prices up, even though there’s all too much money floating around. The fear is that, once demand does go up, there will be all that money just waiting to pump up prices.

The Fed guy had to understand this.

Ditto the reporter.

The kindest thing one could say about the exchange is that it was “he said/she said” reporting.

But the accurate thing to say is that it was a dishonest government official enabled by a dishonest reporter.

The Lyin’ Paul Ryan

I tuned into NPR this morning and heard Paul Ryan giving his speech after becoming Romney’s running mate. Of course, I know that when a politician’s lips move, he’s almost certainly lying; nevertheless I felt stirred by his talk of freedom and America’s founding principles.

Then I looked up his abortion and drugs stances.

Ah, it’s so nice to have my dark view of politicians reinforced.