We Are Living in "Atlas Shrugged"

So says Stephen Moore, and it’s hard to argue.

For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians
invariably respond to crises — that in most cases they themselves
created — by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations.
These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the
politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral
repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse
under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the
name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.

The current economic strategy is right out of “Atlas Shrugged”: The
more incompetent you are in business, the more handouts the politicians
will bestow on you. That’s the justification for the $2 trillion of
subsidies doled out already to keep afloat distressed insurance
companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses, and auto companies —
while standing next in line for their share of the booty are
real-estate developers, the steel industry, chemical companies,
airlines, ethanol producers, construction firms and even catfish
farmers. With each successive bailout to “calm the markets,” another
trillion of national wealth is subsequently lost. Yet, as “Atlas”
grimly foretold, we now treat the incompetent who wreck their companies
as victims, while those resourceful business owners who manage to make
a profit are portrayed as recipients of illegitimate “windfalls.”