“Word to the Wise” is a new regular series of posts I’m starting on my blog. Here I’ll share quotes that often translate into good advice (for me, anyway) or simply offer food for thought. Their genesis will vary as will their topics. I should mention that Happy Catholic’s popular Well Said posts have inspired me to include this feature on my block of Blogville.
The only requirement for my highlighted quotes is that they inspire, broaden my mind, challenge me (implying that I may not always agree completely with everything that’s said), and/or make me laugh or maybe even cry.
For my inaugural quote, I thought I’d be a rebel rouser and steer clear of anything having to do with touchy feely things like motherhood or faith that I frequently write about.
If you haven’t read the late 1950s novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, I highly recommend it.
In my humble opinion, the book, which shows a worst-case scenario of what happens when socialistic ideals are embraced, should be required reading for all members of current Congress. You do know that the $800-plus billion economic stimulus package that’s been passed by the House includes diverting $650 million to help television viewers convert from analog to digital, right? Who knew that American citizens’ inalienable rights now include life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and access to television?
Without further ado, an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal editorial:
“The current economic strategy is right out of Atlas Shrugged: The more incompetent you are in business, the more handouts the politicians will bestow on you. That’s the justification for the $2 trillion of subsidies doled out already to keep afloat distressed insurance companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses, and auto companies – while standing next in line for their share of the booty are real-estate developers, the steel industry, chemical companies, airlines, ethanol producers, construction firms and even catfish farmers. With each successive bailout to ‘calm the markets,’ another trillion of national wealth is subsequently lost. Yet, 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.’
Ultimately, Atlas Shrugged is a celebration of the entrepreneur, the risk taker and the cultivator of wealth through human intellect. Critics dismissed the novel as simple-minded, and even some of Rand’s political admirers complained that she lacked compassion. Yet one pertinent warning resounds throughout the book: When profits and wealth and creativity are denigrated in society, they start to disappear – leaving everyone the poorer.”
Excerpted from Atlas Shrugged: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years
(The Wall Street Journal Online)