The rise of "Galtism" (and by "rise" I mean pathetic aggrandizement by self-important blowhards) has lately been much discussed on the Internets (and by "discussed" I mean openly, deservedly, and ruthlessly mocked).
Now, if a bunch of overpaid investment bankers and orthodontists want to decamp to the wilderness and start their own "capitalist commune" that's fine with me. My only request is that they bring a camcorder so they can record their inevitable grisly fate - whoever finds that footage is a virtual lock to win the Oscar for Best Documentary. But, really, the "Galtists" have to stop saying shit like this:
A 63-year-old attorney based in Lafayette, La., who asked not to be named, told ABCNews.com that she plans to cut back on her business to get her annual income under the quarter million mark should the Obama tax plan be passed by Congress and become law.
"We are going to try to figure out how to make our income $249,999.00," she said.
"We have to find a way out where we can make just what we need to just under the line so we can benefit from Obama's tax plan," she added. "Why kill yourself working if you're going to give it all away to people who aren't working as hard?"
People who aren't working as hard? And you know you're working harder than they are because you make more money? Really?
There is no hard correlation between hours worked and salary earned - not even within the same organization. Don't believe me? Ok, who puts in more hours? You? Or your company's CEO?
Maybe someone out there isn't making as much as you are because he or she didn't have the opportunity to go to law school. Maybe they didn't have the aptitude. Maybe they decided that they could do more good for the world as a social worker. Or a nurse. Or a cop. Or a firefighter. You know, those slacker cops and firefighters?
I work pretty damn hard but I have a very clear idea of where I rate on the "busting-my-ass" scale, and I suggest these Galtists take a good look at themselves and figure out where they rate too. Better yet, they should just get over themselves entirely. Wile E Quixote, in comments at the Ballon Juice post I link to above, has some good advice on how to do that:
I was a teenage Randroid but now I thank God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster that my father introduced me to Hunter S. Thompson. After reading "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", "Hell’s Angels", and "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail: 1972" I realized that getting stoned out of your skull on a variety of controlled substances and blasting through bat country at 110MPH in a convertible with one of your best friends and some good tunes would be much more fun than running off to the mountains, hanging around with a bunch of humorless drones and inventing new metal alloys all day long.
Works for me.