Can't help but wonder what my life would have developed into had I read the book when I was in high school or college. Atlas Shrugged didn't add much substantially "new" to my belief system, but it did clarify and crystallize it as nothing else had before. I'm thinking of re-reading it again sometime soon (but I've re-read the part about Kip Chalmers' train at least forty times since winter and laughed every time it goes into the tunnel: yes, I'm perverse that way :-P)
So now in a page right out of Atlas Shrugged, a coal mine owner in Alabama has metaphorically taken the Ellis Wyatt route: abandoning his business and leaving the sign saying "I'm leaving it as I found it. Take over. It's yours."
Here is Ronnie Bryant's statement that he made at a public hearing in Birmingham, as being reported on David McElroy's website...
"My name’s Ronnie Bryant, and I’m a mine operator…. I’ve been issued a [state] permit in the recent past for [waste water] discharge, and after standing in this room today listening to the comments being made by the people…. [pause] Nearly every day without fail — I have a different perspective — men stream to these [mining] operations looking for work in Walker County. They can’t pay their mortgage. They can’t pay their car note. They can’t feed their families. They don’t have health insurance. And as I stand here today, I just … you know … what’s the use? I got a permit to open up an underground coal mine that would employ probably 125 people. They’d be paid wages from $50,000 to $150,000 a year. We would consume probably $50 million to $60 million in consumables a year, putting more men to work. And my only idea today is to go home. What’s the use? I don’t know. I mean, I see these guys — I see them with tears in their eyes — looking for work. And if there’s so much opposition to these guys making a living, I feel like there’s no need in me putting out the effort to provide work for them. So as I stood against the wall here today, basically what I’ve decided is not to open the mine. I’m just quitting. Thank you."Well, I can't say that I blame him. Earlier today I learned that a dear friend in California was having to apply for a business license just to tutor kids after school. When I read that, I was like "What the...?!?"
Business owners, and especially small business owners, are the source of all industry and productivity in this country. Hell, in any country. They do not need or deserve to be overly burdened with ridiculous amounts of government oversight, legislation and regulation. When I read the story of Ronnie Bryant, and how he has given up out of frustration... it pisses me off!! This was a man who created and maintained jobs that people need and want.
Much more of this, and there won't be a United States as we have come to know it.
Sometimes, I wonder if that's the conscientious purpose of too many in our government.