Friday, October 15, 2010

GO GALT ALREADY!

Recently, Greg Manikow, an economist in the Bush Adminsitration, wrote an editorial stating that if the Bush Tax Cuts for the top 1% were to expire, he would not work as hard as he presently does since any income above $250,000 would be taxed a total of 4% more than it is presently taxed. This argument has been around for awhile now: Bill O'Reilly made it a few years ago; there was a brief movement of individuals who all promised to go Galt over this very issue. All I can say is: Go Galt, already, and leave the rest of us alone, for Christ's sake!

Honestly, how many of these people are actually that important that we cannot live without them? Is Greg Manikow such a great economist that there is no one to replace him? How about Bill O'Reilly? Given that O'Reilly is being eclipsed by the Insane Clown Posse that is Glenn Beck, who is going to miss him? None of these people are irreplaceable? Give me a break.

The one overriding principle of any place of work is that no one is irreplaceable. No one. Assume for a moment that Manikow stops taking every speaking assignment offered. Will there be no one to take that speaking assignment? Hardly. Or O'Reilly stops writing his books. Given the lack of thought or empathy that goes into his turgid prose, most of us would be happy if he stopped writing them altogether. There is nothing these two call their work that is of such a singular creation that we could not live without it. Neither Manikow nor O'Reilly is that unique a talent.

This, by the way, is the problem with Atlas Shrugged in the first place. It presupposes that there are some individuals that are just so unique that the world cannot live without them. Now, assuming this is so, conservatives have a problem; basically, one of contradiction. If there are individuals so unique that we cannot do without them, then not everyone can be one of these individuals. If, on the other hand, as conservatives constantly harp, everyone can do it, then these individuals do not exist.

The reality is is that overall, there are very few people the world cannot do without. In almost every instance of scientific discovery, it appears there were individuals on the same track as those who are given credit for their scientific discoveries. So under the proper circumstances, scientific, social, communal progress would continue, perhaps a bit differently, but it would continue.

So if Bill O'Reilly or Greg Manikow, or Pam Geller (who produces even less than these other two do) were to stop working altogether, nothing untoward would happen. The US would continue on it's way; there would still be bad economic policy put forth by some other RWNJ; there would still be stupid commentary on Faux News; and there would still be ignorant RWNJ blogs.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Rayfield A. Waller said...

George;
I am immediately going to (or should that be 'going to immediately'?) put a link to your blog on MY blog site (rayfieldwaller.blogspot.com) because I was blown away by your blog from the first one I read to the twentieth. More to read! Great.

And I cannot fathom why it is that you have 0 comments on the Tea Bag blogs on this page! People should be reading your blog. I was doing a search of the word "asshole" on Google (I had just uploaded a blog entry entitled, "Assholes Bring Their Asshole-ness To Church" and I wanted to see if it had shown on Google yet) and I stumbled across your blog post, "MITCH McCONNELL AND JOHN BOEHNER ARE ASSHOLES!" From there I read your Tea Bagger posts and your "Galt" post and your "Is God a Christian," and "The National Review: Champion of Treason" (so much truth in this one that I wonder if you've used up the truth quota for the rest of us for the Fall season).

From there I just sort of wandered around your years of posts like a diabetic kid in a sugarless candy store.

Here's why I love your writing.

Despite my being an African American progressive I like to read (LOVE to read) people like David Halberstam, William F. Buckley (right or left, if they can write I read them), Henry Morgenthau, and when he isn't on about his baseball fetish, George Will, and that old bag, Arthur Schlessinger, and of course I worship Susan Sontag and Pauline Kael. Angela Davis, who writes about politics exclusively from a revolutionary perspective, is great. Gore Vidal is God. In short, your laconic, calm, dead-on sharp voice and common sense, intelligent willingness to just say the truth; not shout, not bark, just in an even tone, say it. Bravo. You should be a NYTimes columnist, I say, dammit.

Plus, you're funny, George. You're freaking funny. Ironic, sarcastic, and even sadly amused by the insanity you are putting your finger on, and you do indeed put your finger right on it. Anna Nicole Smith and Beyonce Knowells and other pop culture creatures suck up all the attention and someone like you gets no hits. After years of blogging you have few or no comments. Hopefully I will get people to come to this site by linking to it from mine, though I have few comments myself. In fact, I plan to do a blog post about your blog.
-Ray Waller

10:48 AM  
Blogger Rayfield A. Waller said...

reading your posts I get a sort of scary feeling: that you are predicting the near future with every post. In that sense, I feel your earlier posts are predicting your later posts--the posts begin to seem to be reading each other across time. In 2006 you wrote:

"So let us remember all of the insane, inept, incompetent, and just plain wrong who continue to state that their policy is the only policy which makes sense. And let us remember the screeching harpies who shouted "traitor" and "coward" at those of us who had the good sense to actually look at the situation before diving in and ask what were we diving into. Because if we don't remember these criminals, these cowards, these bigots, then we run the risk that two years from now, they will have rehabilitated their reputations enough that we will once again find ourselves ruled by madmen and tyrants, and perhaps then, we won't be able to get out at all."

"We run the risk that two years from now..." You hit that right on the head. It would be funny if it were not so strangely inevitable. Reading your posts makes me feel like the character, Paul M'uadib in Frank Herbert's sci fi novel, "Emperor of Dune." The poor bastard gets caught in an oracle trap: he can see the future and thus finds himself locked into the future that unfolds around him without hope, and without freedom. A metaphor for America itself since the Bush curse began--a curse not on them but on us.

Makes one nostalgic for the comparatively benign Kennedy curse, which though tough on the Kennedys, was not nearly as tough on us.

11:07 AM  
Blogger George said...

Ray,

Thank you for your comments. I hope that my future output - whether we agree or disagree - can be as thought-provoking.

9:52 AM  

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