Well I am most of the way through Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I have about 40 pages left in John Galt's speech and another 150 or so to go. I will have to re-read the speech a few times for it to all sink in.
The book is fundamentally changing my consciousness and how I perceive the world and the role of government. I'm not going to go into much detail about the book, because I think everyone should read it for themselves.
The question I have is this: Can we somehow make our own Atlantis somewhere? And the follow-up is this: How? Every time I look at my paycheck and see how much is gobbled up by the socialist machine. My hard-earned money taken to fight a war I do not support in Afghanistan, to continue a war with no exit strategy in Iraq. To feed and give cars to those who don't want to get jobs. Money I earn encourages people to have as many children as possible so they get more welfare money.
My hard-earned money goes to pork projects like libraries for drunken senators. A quarter of a million for Obesity research. 750M for a bus terminal in Fall River and another half billion for one in New Bedford.
It is mind boggling to me how much better I would have done for myself if I invested that money. Even with the stock market as bad as it is I would have had a heck of a lot more of a retirement than I do now. Even with an act a simple as putting extra $ towards the house, I'd be better off.
It is infuriating to me how wasteful the government is. What do I expect from the federal government? Defense of our borders. Protect me from fraud. Investigate inter-state crime and prosecute and punish the guilty. Act as a supporting framework for the states. Provide a common currency. Maintain and promote American History and science. Maintain a national archive and museums. (Library of Congress, Smithsonian) Provide a national registry for patents. An intelligence agencies) to provide our military with what it needs to raise hell and to defend us. A tariff and taxation division to charge import and export tariffs to help fund the government and to give Americans an edge if they can produce it locally. A common level of business responsibility for the chemicals used, workers safety, realistic emissions control and monitoring - no you cannot dump toxic waste into a river.
In addition to defense of our borders we need a volunteer military that is competently trained and properly equipped to let us do whatever ass-whuppin we need. Let's face it, some meatball somewhere is going to fuck with us, so we need to put such a beat down on them that the next crazy bastard picks on China or Russia instead.
All of these things can be done better without the layers and layers of bureaucracy. Nationally, the Personal Income Tax would go away. Most corporate taxes would go away. This frees up a LOT of money for charity, to get your own retirement, to pay for your own health insurance. Business would hire more workers, more money would flow from consumers to American companies and products. Which hire more workers, so on and so forth.
At this point I am so tired all I want to do is be free. Not the illusion of freedom I'm fed by mass media but true freedom. Freedom to make it or break it on my own. If there is a Midas Mulligan out there? Need someone to scrub a floor, to do landscaping or dig ditches until I save up enough to start a woodworking business?