Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal has penned a timely piece comparing the world of Ayn Rand’s 1957 classic “Atlas Shrugged” to the growing lunacy evident in today’s economic and political landscape.
His summation of the book’s moral is brilliant: “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.”
That pretty much describes the current political environment, doesn’t it? How else could incompetent auto makers, bankers, investment houses and insurance companies lobby for and receive hundreds of billions of dollars in handouts?
“… 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,’” Moore writes.
It’s long been fashionable for politicians to point fingers accusingly at the wealthy and propose soak-the-rich legislation, partly because it’s easy and partly because it appeals to the class envy that lurks in the hearts of many.
Unfortunately, though, when you get rid of the affluent and their enterprise, you also lose a lot of jobs and capital. This crabs-in-a-pot mentality not only benefits no one, but ultimately hurts everyone, except, of course, politicians.
Anderson native Jim Rice was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday. The former Boston Red Sox standout was chosen on his 15th and final season on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot.
The Anderson Independent-Mail includes a look at Rice’s early years, including his time as a football standout at T.L. Hanna High School.
Oh, how the media loves a redemption story, particularly if it’s a charade. Take this Atlanta Journal-Constitution profile, titled “Former madam takes advantage of second chance.”
The report, by Shane Blatt, details the ups and downs of Lisa Ann Taylor, a former adult magazine model who pleaded guilty last year to prostitution and drug charges after being charged with running a brothel in one of metro Atlanta’s tonier neighborhoods.
Ms. Taylor was given seven years’ probation and ordered to pay a $150,000 fine within a year.
So how has Ms. Taylor taken advantage of this “second chance?” Perhaps by going to college to try and further her education? Maybe by trying to help other women get out of prostitution? How about by visiting schools and telling children, particularly young girls, that beauty and sex appeal are transitory?
Not quite, according to the AJC:
“These days, the 44-year-old tends to the bar and occasionally gyrates in the buff at Doll House on Cheshire Bridge Road, where she goes by her stage name, Melissa Wolf.
“‘If you tip really well … you get to see the twins,’ the former Penthouse model quips to a regular customer.”
That’s right, the AJC’s idea of a second chance is to trade prostitution for … stripping. Inspirational. And since the adult entertainment industry is known for its robust 401(k) and pension plans, Ms. Taylor should be able to retire in comfort when her body is no longer able to serve as a source of revenue.
The story even concludes on a heart-warming note: “It’s been a very difficult road, and it’s nice to know that in the adult business, we’re one big family,” Taylor said. “It doesn’t matter what you do. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody’s deserving of a second chance.”
Ms. Taylor is free to make a living as she (and the law) sees fit, but it seems a stretch to believe that the adult business is “one big family,” at least as the word “family” is typically defined? In reality, the odds against her “living happily ever after” (ala “Pretty Woman“) are long indeed.
One expects this sort of tripe from a strip club bent on self promotion, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution only embarrasses itself by painting Ms. Taylor - living what is in all likelihood a dreary, dead-end existence – as a story of redemption.