Ayn Rand’s epic novel Atlas Shrugged tell us a story of captains and giants of industry (so-called job creators) quitting their positions and disappearing leaving society To disintegrate behind them as they Retreat to a secret gulch in Colorado to build their new idyllic Society.
These characters are the Atlas in her novel that Shrugged- letting off the weight of the world behind them. Advocates of capitalism and laissez-faire operation in the marketplace point to this as the correct way to run an economy. Many CEOs seem consider themselves in the same mold as Howard Roark. In her book, these captains of industry are creators. They own their own companies, they run them completely by themselves mostly.
A big difference from Rand’s mythical book and reality is the fact that most of these people running companies are not the creators of the companies they’re simply managerial staff that rose to the top to become CEO. Their focus isn’t on creating jobs- it’s on creating money for themselves and stockholders even if they leave workers behind with low pay long hours being laid off and unemployed. They don’t really care about the cities and towns and states in which their businesses are located other than what they can wring out of them for tax breaks.
If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that the real “Atlases” of the world- the people that work in every-day jobs in the grocery stores and the restaurants and the factory floors- these other people now shrugging!
Republicans were determined to prove that the extra pandemic relief money that was being pushed out by the federal government was keeping people out of jobs. Nearly all states have since eliminated this extra money and yet people aren’t going back to work. Perhaps they’ve gotten used to getting by on a little less but having peace of mind and feeling of dignity that they’re not being taken advantage of day in day out just to keep from starving.
Atlas is indeed shrugging and it’s the atlases of the world that keep it afloat telling the captains of industry that they’re tired of being pawns in a money game making a few people wealthy as they continue to struggle day in day out with pays below a livable wage and lack of Universal Health Care and no support in childcare
Originally published at http://dennisbmurphy.blogspot.com.