We're Living in an Ayn Rand Economy

I">http://www.salon.com/2013/05/18/were_living_in_an_ayn_rand_economy_partner/">I agree with the title of this article in Salon, but the writer clearly doesn't understand Ayn Rand's philosophy or what's really happening in the world.

Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" fantasizes a world in which anti-government citizens reject taxes and regulations, and "stop the motor" by withdrawing themselves from the system of production. In a perverse twist on the writer's theme the prediction is coming true. But instead of productive people rejecting taxes, rejected taxes are shutting down productive people.

Most people I know don't enjoy paying taxes. In fact, Ayn Rand herself said that "In a fully free society, taxation—or, to be exact, payment for governmental services—would be voluntary." You can argue that her position is untenable, but it illustrates the point that taxes are, in fact, mandatory.

This author only looks at the fact people and corporations are avoiding paying their taxes in various ways. Which is true: Apple">http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/05/18/apples-tim-cook-to-propose-profit-repatriation-tax-changes/">Apple parks a ton of their profits offshore because of the 35% repatriation tax—money already taxed in another country. Individuals with a lot of income can hide their money in similar ways to large, multinational corporations. And the middle class? They don't like taxes either.Middle">http://www.forbes.com/sites/trulia/2013/02/12/jobs-arent-leaving-california-for-texas-but-people-are/">Middle class people are moving out of California in droves for that exact reason—the taxes are too damn high.

So it's pretty clear, no one likes taxes, or at least not the kinds of taxes that some would have to pay if they were being completely above board. And what do those tax dollars pay for? Unwinnable wars in other countries, bailing out rich people who made bad financial decisions, and putting people in jail who choose to take substances the government has said are illegal.

So how do those expenditures help people, exactly? What infrastructure does that build or maintain for the common good? From what I can see those that are paying taxes are funding a whole lot of activities that, at the end of the day, do not actually do them any good.

Compulsory taxes are a forced redistribution of wealth. What's worse is that the redistribution is not from the rich to the poor, but from the poor to the rich. Because who controls the people that make the laws? The rich, who can afford to bribe the lawmakers to make more favorable laws for their pet projects and get a tax break to boot.

And you know what? That sounds an awful lot like what Ayn Rand foretold in Atlas Shrugged. Who is John Galt, indeed.