Skip to comments.“Going Galt” and the next Tea Party wave
Posted on 03/18/2009 10:05:58 AM PDT by Red Badger
My syndicated column today spotlights two related phenomenon: the Tea Party revolt on the streets and the Going Galt revolt with our wallets. For new readers who are just learning about the protest movement and want to join, the best organizational resources are Tax Day Tea Party (nationwide April 15 events), Twitter #teaparty, PJTVs list of upcoming protests, Re-TeaParty (send teabags to Washington and find July 4 events), and TCOT Report. And one more good one: New American Tea Party.
Some tinfoil-hatted kooks are still pimping their conspiracy theories about the movement. The latest: Aha! Malkin once gave a speech to Americans for Prosperity and AFP organized the Denver anti-pork protest two weeks ago before Santelli went on his Tea Party rant last week, ergo its all a vast plot!!!!!!
Protesters should take this nonsense as a sign of success. You havent really made it until youve aroused the paranoia of the unhinged Left.
Enough. In a word, that is the message of disgusted taxpayers fed up with the confiscatory policies of both parties in Washington. George Bush pre-socialized the economy with billion-dollar bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Barack Obama is pouring billions more down those sinkholes. The camels back isnt just broken. His neck and four legs have all snapped, too.
Enough. Last Friday, thousands of Americans turned out to protest reckless government spending in the pork-laden stimulus package, the earmark-clogged budget bill, the massive mortgage entitlement program, and taxpayer-funded corporate rescues. Contrary to false left-wing blog smears that the hastily-planned impromptu events were Astro-turfed, the crowds were packed with first-time grass-roots activists. They were people with families and day jobs whose usual definition of community organizing involves neighborhood yard sales or their kids soccer matches. They were members of the silent majority who decided to be silent no more.
Enough. These Tea Party protests spanned the sunny Santa Monica pier to the icy streets of Chicago and Cleveland to rain-drenched Atlanta, overflowing grounds of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, massive crowds in Greenville, S.C., several hundred each in New York City and Washington, D.C., and all points in between. Like those who demonstrated before them in Seattle, Denver, Mesa, Arizona, and Overland Park, Kansas two weeks ago, the Tea Party participants held homemade signs that said it all: Your mortgage is not my problem; Liberty: All the stimulus we need; No taxation without deliberation.
The speed and scope with which they mobilized were due not to nefarious outside conspiracists, but to social networking websites Facebook and Twitter (where a burgeoning network called Top Conservatives on Twitter became the central clearinghouse for information). Planning for a new wave of demonstrations on April 15 has begun at www.taxdayteaparty.com.
Enough. While they take to the streets politically, untold numbers of Americas wealth producers are going on strike financially. Dr. Helen Smith, a Knoxville forensic pathologist and political blogger, dubbed the phenomenon Going Galt last fall. Its a reference to the famed Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged, in which protagonist John Galt leads the entrepreneur class to cease productive activities in order to starve the government of revenue. (Not coincidentally, Rands novel sales are up and John Galt references punctuated many of the Tea Party demonstrations.) Dr. Smith was inundated with stories like these:
Another blogger at Pursuing Holiness wrote: Last year my family paid nearly a thousand dollars a month in federal taxes, and we are not by any stretch of the imagination rich. Im going to make it my business to cut that amount in half, using every legal means possible and reducing my income so there is less to tax.
Enough. Those business owners are not alone. This week, ABC News spotlighted upper-income earners going Galt in response to President Obamas proposed tax hikes on families with incomes of $250,000 or more. A Lafayette, La. Attorney told the reporter she was cutting back on her business to avoid the tax threshhold: Why kill yourself working if youre going to give it all away to people who arent working as hard? Tax hikes have consequences. Incentives matter. Only self-deluded wealth redistributors living in la-la-land believe otherwise. Another business owner, Dr. Sharon Poczatek, explained:
The motivation for a lot of people like me dentists, entrepreneurs, lawyers is that the more you work the more money you make, said Poczatek. But if Im going to be working just to give it back to the government its de-motivating and demoralizing.
The perpetual Borrow-Spend-Panic-Repeat machine in Washington depends on the capitulation of the wealth producers. Theres only one monkey wrench that can stop the redistributionist thieves engine. Its engraved with the word:
Intelligent and looks to boot - what a combo!!!
The people who you want to get the message do not work in the evenings and will not be there to see the peoples’ displeasure.
Protesting outside an empty building after hours is pretty stupid.
If the crap from DC continues, you'll soon see tea parties morning, noon, and night.
I’ve ‘Gone Gault’.
I have a relative who was self-employed. For years, he only worked 7-8 months a year because after a certain point, he paid 2/3 in taxes, right off the top. "What's the point?", he'd say, "Why should I work for only 30-odd cents on the dollar?". He completely quit a few years back, decided that it was more fun to play with his grandkids.
I've got several other relatives - self-employed, small businessmen, all - who have dramatically curtailed their work, or completely gotten out of their businesses entirely over the past few years. Same attitude...."What's the point?". For the self-employed, the only changes are to their own immediate lifestyle. But, for the small-business owners among them, the "changes" affected dozens, if not a couple of hundred, employees.
I think, in general, the change will be bad. And, it will happen from the top-down. Not, as Obama thinks, the bottom up. For no other reason than a man making $200,000 has ten times more purchasing clout than one making $20K. Not to be crass, but it really *is* all about money.
You also forgot the news cycle - it will almost certainly make the 5 or 6pm news if you do it in the afternoon. It will almost certainly NOT make the 10pm news if you do it in the evening.
When protesting, you must think of these things. It’s part of why the lefties were so successful in the last two electoral cycles.
Are any of the people calling for this “Going Galt” thing actually doing it themselves? Has Dr. Helen Smith quit being a forensic pathologist?
Michelle Malkin is obviously as busy as ever. Why is it that all of the examples of “going Galt” are unverifiable?
Wait! I know! Dumbest. Idea. Ever.
A lot of people who are doing it are, quite smartly, not advertising it. Too, a lot of people are becoming ‘undocumented workers’. Also not good to advertise.
“A lot of people who are doing it are, quite smartly, not advertising it.”
As I said, it’s a little fishy how there are supposedly “a lot of people” but we have no way of verifying that. I say if “Going Galt” is such a great idea, let’s see Michelle Malkin do it.
How do you know she hasn’t?
Again, it would not be smart to advertise it.
Where I come from, it's called "being sensible". Also might be referred to as "early retirement". Not really anything to advertise, there.
I tried to explain the concept to a liberal at my office. He asked a lot of the same questions ....basically couldn't understand why people actively would make a choice not to make money. I tried to explain...."person A, just values his time more than the 40 or 50-odd cents (or 30...) he makes on the dollar after the government is done with him." Still couldn't convince him.
I guess they would post their financial statements from 10 years back and going forward so people can see how much less money they are making than before, and how much less taxes they are paying than before ... on the books.
But that wouldn't be the real story I suspect.
I am way ahead of the curve on this one. I have been preaching boycott for years. Why do we continue to do business with the enemies of freedom? I don’t. We need to put liberals on the unemployment lines. Don’t buy from conglomerates who give politicians money. Buy from local small businesses that support the Constitution, private property rights, gun rights, and freedom.
By the way, buy gold NOW. Obama is inflating the currency to create false prosperity and to swindle our creditors There is no way we are ever going to prepay the debt, we are inflating our way out of it. Do not lend money. If you own rental property, get ready for national rent control in addition to rationed health care, etc.
We know what the results of this disastrous regime will be. Prepare now. Read the Von Mises Institute’s book about the German inflation of the 20s and the Kennedy inflation of the 60s/70s here:
I tried to explain...."person A, just values his time more than the 40 or 50-odd cents (or 30...) he makes on the dollar after the government is done with him."I understand that part. Quite well. :)
What I don't find convincing is the claim that there are very many people — really anybody — actually doing this. If they are, why keep quiet? If you're retiring, why not announce that you are "going Galt" even if it's just to support the anti-tax movement? I don't see any examples and I'm having trouble believing that this is anything other than hype.
Secondly, where is the evidence that "going Galt" has any effect at all? In the book, when John Galt withdraws from society, society loses out. Where is there any evidence that anyone is affecting anything with this? People retire all the time, even earlier than most, but that just creates room for others to do the work they once did. Who is retiring who can't be replaced?
How do you know [Michelle Malkin] hasnt ["gone Galt"]?"Going Galt" means refusing to do your job so that you starve society of the products of your labor. Malkin's job is political commentary. This essay is ample evidence that she isn't following her own advice. If she was, she wouldn't be doing her job and she wouldn't be writing columns.
No, that’s not what Going Galt means. It means voluntarily reducing your income (on or off the books) so as to not pay more tax than absolutely necessary.
You do not know whether Malkin has or has not ‘gone Galt’ merely because she is still producing commentary. That my not be her only source of income ... or she may (or may not) have volulntarily reduced her pay, or any of a number of scenarios ... you just don’t know ... you’re making unsubstantiated speculations.
No, thats not what Going Galt means. It means voluntarily reducing your income (on or off the books) so as to not pay more tax than absolutely necessary.Thanks for clearing that up because that's not what John Galt did in the book. Also, John Galt did not "go off the books." Are you suggesting that I get income in non-traceable forms and then not report it, like Tom Dachle? I like how we've abandoned our "personal responsibility" values. That's more convenient.
You do not know whether Malkin has or has not gone Galt merely because she is still producing commentary. That my not be her only source of income ... or she may (or may not) have volulntarily reduced her pay, or any of a number of scenarios ... you just dont know ... youre making unsubstantiated speculations.You're right, I don't know what she's doing with her income. Still, not one of the people who is recommending that we "go Galt" has demonstrated in any way that they are doing so themselves. I want to see some proof that the advocates of this idea are actually following it. Just one of them.
I'm also not sure what I'm supposed to do if I were to "go Galt." I make less than $200K a year so my taxes are already going down. I'm not getting a pay increase this year because of the economy. I'm not getting a bonus this year because of the economy (and I don't work for AIG). I didn't even get any stock options this year. So... should I take a lower-paying job? It's not likely to actually be less work (in fact I can think of plenty of lower paying jobs that are more work than I do now).
So, what do I do to "go Galt"? It's not like the advocates of this idea are providing any examples. What are you doing?
Who is retiring who can't be replaced?
I think that's the $64 question. Traditionally, there's always been an entrepeneur willing to step up and fill the void when another one leaves. That's really the root of all this speculation...what happens, for instance, when I quit (retire, whatever) my job and there's no one to take my place?
Or, additionally, what happens when there's no one *competent enough* to take my place? I've had my position outsourced a couple of times over my career - once to India, once to a three-letter American company, who just brought in H1B's - and both times the replacements just couldn't compare. First company is long gone and the second is in a long, slow death spiral that they just don't recognize yet. And to clarify - the reason for the companies' failures is *not* only because they let me go (though I wish it were...), but mostly because their management assumed their highest paid, most senior, most competent engineers could be easily replaced.
I've lost contact with people from the first company. Of the people from the second company - roughly 200 IT geeks got the chop - maybe 1/2 stayed in IT. Of the rest, some retired, some found positions outside of IT, and some (like me) took positions that have lower stress, lower hours, lower travel, and lower pay. So, roughly 100 people are not producing all the way up to their highest potential. Is that going Galt? You'll need to make that call.
She’s not adding anything to the national treasury with her columns.
The best way to do go Galt is to reduce your consumption, put off purchases, and only purchase from conservatives.
The best way to do go Galt is to reduce your consumption, put off purchases, and only purchase from conservatives.Heck, I've been doing that for years! Nice to know that it's trendy now. :)
I've lost contact with people from the first company. Of the people from the second company - roughly 200 IT geeks got the chop - maybe 1/2 stayed in IT. Of the rest, some retired, some found positions outside of IT, and some (like me) took positions that have lower stress, lower hours, lower travel, and lower pay. So, roughly 100 people are not producing all the way up to their highest potential. Is that going Galt? You'll need to make that call.In another discussion, several people have talked about those who've cut back in some way recently, but involuntarily. Personally, I classify anything involuntary as suffering the consequences of the economy, not "going Galt" — which is a voluntary thing.
Some of the people who were laid off from my company started another company and invited me. Usually, I love startups and this might be a chance to build a new company that would create jobs, etc., but I turned it down because I'm feeling risk averse; maybe that's my way of "going Galt." Heh, I didn't even think about that...
I want Michelle to have my baby.
Yes, you are right, you are correct in your def. of ‘going galt.’
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