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Thoughts on John Galt and 007

Blimey, those Atlas Shrugged themes keep on coming. Glenn Reynolds has a collection of reader thoughts about how, assuming Obama or for that matter, McCain wins, entrepreneurial vigour will be hit by any rise in taxes, particularly things like capital gains tax. Obama wants to raise CGT, which would be damaging to the US equity market, hence pension savings, not to mention curb new business formation. Way to go, Barack! Even so, the idea of entrepreneurs consciously choosing to cut back on any business plans while they sit out the first year or two of a leftist presidency is striking. Small businessmen and women are not getting much attention from politcians right now. No surprise: small businesses are disruptive; they tend not to be much interested in screwing subsidies or other benefits out of the state and are consequently not widely chased for campaign contributions. For sure, now and again a politician might talk about “helping small businesses” but there is a sort of going-through-the-motions aspect to it which means the pols do not really care that much. Just ask Joe The Plumber.

It is easy, in the current fears about the state of the world economy and what might be in store, to lose sight of what has actually been achieved in recent years. Fuelled by a mixture of education, supply-side tax cuts, a benign regulatory climate and the emergence of computers, small businesses in California’s Silicon Valley and other parts of the world have driven much of the growth seen in the past 20-plus years. Sure, big businesses get on the front page of Time or The Economist, but the small, or not-even-yet-started firms are the ones that matter. If the “animal spirits” of entrepreneurs are held back, we are all in a lot of trouble.

Anway, unlike some people who seem to want to torture themselves by sitting up all night to watch the elections, I shall be heading off to watch the latest James Bond film. Friends tell me it is not as good as the last one, with too much head-spinning action and not enough characterisation or jokes. But watching Daniel Craig blasting along in his Aston surely has to be better than watching Mr Magoo or The Community Organiser from Chicago. It is a shame Mr Fleming could not have written a novel where a bunch of crooked politicians wind up in a pool of sharks. Maybe that should be the next plot. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and write it.

6 comments to Thoughts on John Galt and 007

  • Sam Duncan

    I don’t want to get your hopes up, but I enjoyed Quantum of Solace. It’s not what you expect from a Bond film, but I came out thinking that if a new Fleming was starting out today, it’s exactly the sort of thing he’d write. When it’s not being just another 21st century action adventure, it reminded me more of Graham Greene than Fleming, really. I have a suspicion that in ten years, we’ll be reading articles along the lines of “conventional wisdom says it’s the weakest of the entire series, but…”

    Mind you, it’s certainly a strange Bond when the (few) gadgets seem like they’re from another film entirely.

    watching Daniel Craig blasting along in his Aston surely has to be better than watching Mr Magoo or The Community Organiser


  • Fred the Fourth

    Speaking of small business, I looked at my 401K the other day. About a year ago I had redistributed (hah!) some of the money to be more globally invested. All of the funds are now down very significantly, with one exception: DFA Small Cap, which is primarily a US domestic, small, growth-oriented fund. It has lost essentially nothing.

  • Richard Garner

    I think teh Quantum of Solace was indeed not as good as Casino Royal. But that is not the same as saying it was not a good film; it was very enjoyable.

    Directly relevant to your header, on John Galt and 007, here is Roderick Long’s recommendation for the chracter of Hank Rearden in any Atlas Shrugged film that gets made.

  • veryretired

    Some little overly enthusiastic collegiate came to the door, ringing the bell at 10 AM to ask if I had voted. He seemed truly surprised when I told him it was none of his business. Apparently, for the Oprah/Jerry Springer generation, wanting to keep one’s business private is quaint, at best.

    I did go to the polls later, after lunch, with my wife. I don’t know how she voted, and would never dream of asking, although I could probably guess about some of it.

    There were some local races I specifically wanted to vote in, and an especially objectionable tax initiative I wanted to vote against. As for the rest, well, that’s my business.

    I don’t have much hope for the presidential contest, whoever wins.

    McCain is a thorough going statist, and likely to be mildly belligerent in foriegn affairs while totally inept domestically.

    The Dear Leader is another Carter, likely to be leftily weak and “negotiable” in foriegn affairs, and incomprehendingly destructive of the economy domestically.

    My real concern is the possibility of some form of calamity, terroristic or natural, which could be used to justify declaring a “state of emergency”. Might start thinking about Costa Rica if that happens.

  • tdh

    M got played by Judy Dench. When’s Bond going to be played by Keira Knightley? Bond, Jamie Bond.

  • Hey, easy there! The only way Craig is out is over my cold dead body.