“...In her book, “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal,” she directly mocks democracy in both the past and present periods, and disparages “the will of the people.” It is indeed true that Rand is disgusted with the state, a fact which makes the tea partiers erroneously think that Rand is their ally. But such praise of Rand is remarkable considering that the issue of taxes – at the crux of their movement – was addressed by Rand only in regard to big companies, and never as a concern for ordinary people….” Vladimir Shlapentokh
Evidently the world Ayn Rand envisioned, where the elite have control over almost all the income of the nation is coming true. The Pink Flamingo is far from a socialist. I am a conservative. I am a Reagan Conservative. Today, that makes me a moderate.
So be it.
We are living in a world where the wealth of this nation is becoming concentrated in a handful of the ultra, ultra rich. I’m not talking 10% of the population, rather 5%. Today, they are so wealthy they now count for ONE THIRD of the money spent in this nation. The top 20% account for 50% of the spending.
“…BMW this week said it more than doubled its quarterly profit from a year ago as sales rose 16.5 percent; Porsche said its first-half profit rose 59 percent; and Mercedes-Benz said July sales of its high-end S-Class sedans — some of which cost more than $200,000 — jumped nearly 14 percent in the United States.
The success luxury retailers are having in selling $250 Ermenegildo Zegna ties and $2,800 David Yurman pavé rings — the kind encircled with small precious stones — stands in stark contrast to the retailers who cater to more average Americans.
Apparel stores are holding near fire sales to get people to spend. Wal-Mart is selling smaller packages because some shoppers do not have enough cash on hand to afford multipacks of toilet paper. Retailers from Victoria’s Secret to the Children’s Place are nudging prices up by just pennies, worried they will lose customers if they do anything more.
While the free spending of the affluent may not be of much comfort to people who are out of jobs or out of cash, the rich may contribute disproportionately to the overall economic recovery.
“This group is key because the top 5 percent of income earners accounts for about one-third of spending, and the top 20 percent accounts for close to 60 percent of spending,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “That was key to why we suffered such a bad recession — their spending fell very sharply.”
Just a few years ago, luxury retailers were suffering. Too many items were chasing too few buyers, and high-end stores began cutting prices. As a result, consumers awaited 70 percent discounts rather than buying right away. Sales of luxury goods fell 17.9 percent in October 2008 from a year earlier, SpendingPulse said, and double-digit declines continued through May 2009.
Now, many stores are stocking up on luxury items, as shoppers flock to racks of expensive goods.
“They’re buying the special pieces, whether it’s the exotic leathers, the more fashion-forward pieces,” said Stephen I. Sadove, the chairman and chief executive of Saks Fifth Avenue. “There’s a dramatic decline in the amount of promotions in the luxury sector — we’re seeing higher levels of full-priced selling than we saw prerecession.”…”
People have a right to be wealthy. They have a right to make a tremendous amount of money. The problem right now is the process has been gamed by a bunch of libertarian ringers, and socialist moguls like George Soros and the Koch Brothers. I hate to agree with a bunch of liberals, but these dudes do have all the money. In order to keep it, they have the best government they can buy.
The rest of us get screwed.
True Randian libertarian theology of elitism is not much different from socialism.
“...Tea party activists, in their fervor against the elites, more closely echo the motto of the Russian Bolsheviks who insisted that “the cook if taught will efficiently govern society.” So deep is the tea party mistrust of elite, over-educated Americans that the mediocre academic pedigree of some of their favored political figures seems to be a point of pride.
While tea partiers commend Rand as the champion of individualism, they conveniently forget that in her novels, the only people who seemed to benefit from her aim to protect individualism and the unlimited freedom of action were her Nietzschean tycoons. Indeed, Rand was fully indifferent to the workers in her novels, whom she described as primitive beings – “savages” in the words of Atlas’s steel mogul Hank Rearden, arguably one of Rand’s most beloved personages….”
The only difference is the oligarchs of the world step all over everyone else. In socialism, the so called “workers” step all over the wealthy, destroying them for a new class of wealth. Rand’s philosophy allows the wealthy to destroy everyone in order to become even wealthier. In her world, it doesn’t matter what one does as long as a person has their own “ethics”. If their ethics say to slaughter an innocent school girl, then she praises that person. They are an individual.
“…Another important difference between these two systems of thought is that Social Darwinism regards social progress as an inexorable natural process, provided it is not stalled by charity or welfare programs. Objectivists, on the other hand, believe that even if man is left free to produce and achieve (a tragically rare circumstance in world history), it is not inevitable that human society will progress. Objectivists advocate laissez-faire capitalism not because we believe it will create a utopia, but because it leaves individuals free to prosper if they choose to exercise the thought and effort necessary to do so….”
She was almost Marxist in her capitalism.
“…We have seen this kind of selective championing of an ideologue before. In the 1960s, Vladimir Lenin was considered by many Russian dissidents to be their ally in the fight for the liberalization of Soviet society, simply because they agreed with one single item in his ideological heritage: his relative tolerance of the differing views of his party comrades.
At the same time, these neo-Leninists ignored the fact that their icon was a constant foe of the free election process and of liberal freedoms, in addition to being the founder of the infamous Soviet Gulag.
It is obvious for those who have genuinely read Rand’s novels and essays (as opposed to those who are merely formulating opinions of her from hearsay), that she and the tea party politicians have very nearly opposite views on the desired political system….”
All of this creates a horrible problem for the GOP. Eric Cantor exemplifies the problem, not because he is a problem but because of his increasingly libertarian arrogance – how it is presented to the world by the media. We live in a world where people believe what the media tells them. Ergo – the GOP is evil and don’t like real people. Ergo – we lose elections.
They can’t get this into their brains. You must learn how to package things to win the PR war. It doesn’t matter if they are wrong, the Dems are so good at taking the high road that honesty can’t defeat them.
We really do need to get our Republicans to understand they are Republicans and NOT libertarians. Until they do, we’re screwed and the Dems win.