If you’re a regular reader and/or listener of The Strident Conservative, you know that I occasionally refer to George Orwell and his novel 1984 to describe much of what is happening in America today. In fact, I recently shared a meme on my Facebook page that suggested it was time to move the book to the non-fiction section of the bookstore because it was becoming a reality.
While it’s true that there is a striking resemblance between the fictional nation of Oceana mentioned in Orwell’s book and the U.S. today, I’ve come to realize there is an equally troubling work of fiction that reflects the current condition of our once great Republic, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.
In her depiction of a dystopian United States, Rand describes how private business has been all but destroyed by big government due to burdensome laws and regulations. Her apocalyptic vision of a conflict between “looters” (proponents of high taxation, big labor, government ownership, government spending, government planning, regulation, and redistribution) and “non-looters” (individualists who built American business) is a perfect picture of what we are witnessing in America today.
Trump has played the looter role as he picks winners and losers by taxing free trade and engaging in a trade war with the world. When General Motors announced last week that it will cut 14,000 jobs and close five plants due to skyrocketing steel prices brought on by the trade war, Trump responded with Godfather-styled threats of retaliation, including a promise to punish GM with higher taxes.
But Trump and the GOP aren’t alone when it comes to using the power of government to force its will on private business. On the other side of the #UNIBROW aisle, Democrats have been openly advocating policies straight our of Rand’s novel.
Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, where one of GM’s soon-to-be-closed plants is located, suggested on Friday that new laws are needed that would give the government control over the private property of corporations. His proposal would require corporations to direct company profits at workers, and it would restrict how venture capital is spent.
Ryan’s proposal isn’t new or unique.
Back in August, Massachusetts Senator and possible 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, a bill that would result in the largest government seizure of private property in human history by putting every business earning over $1 billion under total government control. Under the bill, the government would dictate board membership, compensation practices, personnel policies, and much more.
We used to consider 1984 and Atlas Shrugged works of fiction, but Washington is using them as instruction manuals to build a command economy.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are also featured on NOQReport.com.
His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.