December 27, 2012

Going Galt means different things to different people.

Observes Roy Edroso, reading Will Spencer:
[W]e've seen folks Go Galt by leaving lousy tips, by alerting local merchants that they planned to "buy nothing – other than vacations out of the country – until the president exits," by quitting smoking, etc. Or at least talking about doing it.

I had despaired they'd ever get serious about it. Spencer, though, has an impressively meticulous list of tactics...

So next time some guy at the DMV fills in his license application with scribbles, then winks at you; or sneakily takes a whole stack of change of address forms from the post office; or takes a government job and, unlike any other civil servant you've ever seen, goofs off — then you'll know the revolution is afoot. This time for sure!

41 comments:

Anthony said...

I'm doing my part by starving the government beast at all levels. We had tolls start on a local bridge and I haven't crossed it in three years, as I can avoid doing so. Anything I can do to avoid sending money to the government -- or government-supported entity (good bye, GM!) -- I will do.

rhhardin said...

Going Galt is an economic effect, a response to the vanishing of incentives, not dropping out.

Lem said...

Is it a relative of YOLO?

Jay Retread said...

Please "go galt" so more sane members of society can rush in and take your slice of the market place.

Whiny dumb-asses...

Jay Retread said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

I am particularly amused when law professors at public universities threaten to "go Galt". Like the economy would miss Instapundit (I guess Amazon would get a few less hits from the Instapundit readers who are encouraged to buy crap by him).

TosaGuy said...

"Going Galt" = dropping out of consumerism.

People on both sides do it for their own reasons. The tinier the action, the higher the urge to place it in an important context.

edutcher said...

Going Galt for a lot of people means telling their doctor what their end of life plans are is nobody else's business.

Pogo said...

Rhhardin is right, again.

The left did not learn from their other failed experiments in socialism, where the productive went Galt and their economies eventually failed. It's the negative effect on economic growth that occurs when you penalize the productive, removing incentives to prosper.

The idiot US socialists always forget to figure in that individuals will react to their policies by changing their behavior, but instead believe that the economic pie will stay the same. Fucking morons.

It takes about 3 generations to completely burn through your seed corn, it turns out. But the Irish already knew that, 'from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in thee generations' and all.

somefeller said...

If I remember correctly, the original idea of Going Galt related to talented, socially necessary people withdrawing from society and society falling apart without them. The ultimate in taking the ball home with you. From what I've seen, most of the people who talk about Going Galt are not talented and don't provide much to society. Atlas they ain't. But they rule their cubicles!

edutcher said...

Some people don't get the Death of a Thousand Cuts.

Rusty said...

Jay Retread said...
Please "go galt" so more sane members of society can rush in and take your slice of the market place.

Whiny dumb-asses.


That's the general idea.
When you're paying all the taxes we'll see who the dumbasses are.
Cheers.

Rusty said...

somefeller said...
If I remember correctly, the original idea of Going Galt related to talented, socially necessary people withdrawing from society and society falling apart without them. The ultimate in taking the ball home with you. From what I've seen, most of the people who talk about Going Galt are not talented and don't provide much to society. Atlas they ain't. But they rule their cubicles!

Then again those of us that can do things have those in cubicles at their mercy.

cubanbob said...

Going Gault simply means maximizing tax avoidance although some might go a step further in to tax evasion. But I would never suggest anyone cross that line eventhough if we were to emulate Europeans that would be the national sport.

Robert Cook said...

I wonder how many commenting here today realize Roy Edroso is mocking the threatened (or realized) examples of "Going Galt" he finds among the Randian halfwits sitting in their basement redoubts, imagining the grievous wounds they're inflicting on...local clerks, food servers, and small business!

I'd bet somefeller does. Who else? (Anthony? No.)

edutcher said...

Cook, most of the "halfwits sitting in their basement redoubts" are the Lefty trolls, such as yourself.

As for some phony folksy, he doth protest too much.

Chip Ahoy said...

I have no interest in being productive at all. None.

It's all gone.

And that's not whinging either, that's my natural reaction. This happened twice before. Once in Boy Scouts. We moved. We had a great troop in Tokyo but when we moved to Shreveport, with much better facilities, the leadership sucked and I hated it. Dad was really putting pressure on me too because Barry was an Eagle with badges all over the place, so many they wont even fit on his sleeve, they're sewn an a swath and worn proudly across the whole chest like a diplomat, except with circles all over it. And each circle patch means a very involved achievement that comes with a whole book to achieve.

Incidentally, you know, in sign language, all those status hierarchy words, I don't know the name of the group, but all similar words, king, queen, duke, prince, diplomat, count, and all other words like that denoting status, refer to that pretentious decorative fabric swath. The starting letter is used, for the desired English word and going diagonally from shoulder to waist. All dignified signs, immediately all recognizable by context. Irrelevant, I realize that, but I couldn't resist because it's like learning twenty-five new words all at once.

The boss at the new place was fat slob who slobbily idly bossed us all around by doing a bunch of ridiculous useless ritualistic Boy Scout crap inside a very well-appointed activities center, with pool tables, and pinballs, basketball courts, and such, and with three broad reservations available right there on base, a HUGE airbase, we never once went out. So I didn't go. I never got one single badge. Even fishing. I was a complete blowout. Fishing, you had to gut the fish, and I was all, fuck that, so no badge for me.

My brother and I walked out the house together toward the activity center half the distance crossed and I veered off another direction. I recall that moment of parting, it was a critical moment. He continuing straight on to the activity center and I don't know where I went. I recall that moment but not where I went mor what I did nor what happened after that. I kept sliding out of my father's graspy grips, there were other activities too that I shirked, I didn't care for any of those things, alter boy, civil air patrol, sons of vfw, school extra curriculum activities, all organized things I rebelled, shirked and slipped out of. Not one fucking merit badge. That's a bit Galt. That's not whinging, just underperforming on purpose because you don't buy the whole scheme.

But I can buy a badge in seconds though eBay if I want. Cooking badge, two types, the black pot is better. The toque and spoons are too restaurant-y. Buy thirty of those badges, sew 'em on a swath and wear it around all day like a big ponce. "He look everybody, I'm an Eagle."

Robert Cook said...

@edutcher:

That's "randian halfwits."

Robert Cook said...

Although, I realize that's a redundancy.

Howard said...

The teabagging redstate bitter clinger live in welfare heaven supported by the educated blue state technocrats and unionized manufacturing workers.

The problem with their Goin all Galt n $hit wetdream is that the Dagny's, Francisco's, Hank's and John Galt's are bluestate Obama voters.

Bu Bye Bubba. Don't let the door hit your WalMart ass on the way out of the 21st century.

Howard said...

Hey Rusty

The blue states are already paying most of the taxes and the redstates are the biggest moochers.

It's how we keep you knuckledraggers out of the geographically and culturally desirable areas.

Howard said...

Go ahead and "Go Galt" That's just your excuse for losing your dead-end anti-intellectual menial job to a third-world illegal immigrant.

Howard said...

Sorry for the excess cheering edoucher. It's like pulling the wings off flys without the guilt.

Paco Wové said...

The idea that "going Galt" == "driving up the cost of government" seems rather idiosyncratic.

cubanbob said...

1/3 of the welfare caseload is in CA and Howard rants...

Lets eliminate the tax exemption for state and local income taxes. I'm tired of subsidizing blue state moochers. And lets raze Detroit so the Air Force and Navy can use it as a bombing training area, the better to free up valuable land in NV. Yes lets move all the military installations to the blue state so we don't have to listen to morons like Howard tell us how a zero like him is subsidizing all the mouth breathers in the South.

Darleen said...

Hey Howard

I live in high tax very blue California

all those red states you claim as moochers many don't have any state income tax

CA has #2 highest and we get to deduct our state income taxes off our fed taxes

meaning, those moocher red states are subsidizing blue states like CA & NY

have a great day!

Darleen said...

PS I very much doubt that the claim of going Galt involves stiffing waitpersons

it's one of those Left-Lib things borne of never reading one page of Atlas Shrugged.

The whole of AS is the starving of the Beast

Or, as Heinlein would have it, returning to the natural state of things via "bad luck"

Rusty said...

Robert Cook said...
I wonder how many commenting here today realize Roy Edroso is mocking the threatened (or realized) examples of "Going Galt" he finds among the Randian halfwits sitting in their basement redoubts, imagining the grievous wounds they're inflicting on...local clerks, food servers, and small business!


Bob.
You really are the last person to be calling anyone a half wit.

Rusty said...

Howard said...
Hey Rusty

The blue states are already paying most of the taxes and the redstates are the biggest moochers.

It's how we keep you knuckledraggers out of the geographically and culturally desirable areas.

I 'd hardly call the metropolitan Chicago area less geographically or culturally deprived.
But in any case eat your heart out.
Now get back to work.

Rusty said...

Howard said...
Go ahead and "Go Galt" That's just your excuse for losing your dead-end anti-intellectual menial job to a third-world illegal immigrant.



Another government drone heard from.

Paul Brinkley said...

I always understood Going Galt to mean following the footsteps of Midas Mulligan, Ellis Wyatt, and the other characters who mysteriously disappeared into Galt's Gulch in the novel. It's a discrete transaction - withdraw from the society you don't like, scrupulously taking from it only the things you produced, and leaving anything that you consumed, such as use of public infrastructure.

So yeah, civil disobedience isn't really going Galt, and Edroso is right, IMO, to criticize stuff like that.

It also bears a heavy all-or-nothing component - you can't go half-Galt. You must sever every bind to the society, or at least the public infrastructure - no paying of taxes, no driving on highways or locally-maintained roads, no reliance on national defense, no applications for government grants, etc. Just avoiding sales taxes alone pretty much forces you to move somewhere that imposes no sales tax - which apparently means Alaska, Delaware, or Oregon, and not buying any prepared food (or fudging a little on going Galt and paying it). The road thing is hard to avoid without a great deal of privately owned land, big enough to maintain its own roads and still provide everything you want to consume while living there.

Needless to say, "going Galt" in the Mulligan / Wyatt sense is a drastic life change. Hard to do, so few do it. Probably the people who come closest to it are Amish, Mennonites, and some denizens deep in rural Montana, Idaho, and Alaska.

Sam L. said...

Damn shame, Chip. No two troops are alike, and clearly #2 was "#2". did you even think about looking for a different and active outdoor troop?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I always understood Going Galt to mean following the footsteps of Midas Mulligan, Ellis Wyatt, and the other characters who mysteriously disappeared into Galt's Gulch in the novel

My take is that the producers and contributors to society just quit. Moved out of society and created their own in Galt's Gulch. Thereby leaving the takers, the moochers, the hangers on and those that purposely were dragging down the productive to twist in the wind.

Without the workers and productive in society to be leeched off of, the 'grasshoppers' will starve or fall into anarchy and kill themselves off.

Personally, I didn't see many of the things in Spencer's list that we aren't already doing.

sydney said...

It would be very hard to "go Galt" in the real world. The only way to do it completely is to leave the country, renounce your citizenship, and take up elsewhere. Haven't there been reports of some rich people already leaving and becoming citizens of other countries? The rich are always the first to flee. They can afford it.

Paul Brinkley said...

sydney, please check out my comment if you haven't.

I agree that it's virtually impossible to go Galt and stay in country in principle, but in effect, it's possible (though drastic). The basic idea is to isolate - that is, understand - everything you give to the public infrastructure, and everything you take from it, and reduce both to an absolute minimum. That includes dealing with private entities that choose to work within that public infrastructure as well.

What the rich are doing when they move abroad isn't going Galt, but rather swapping public infrastructures (presumably to one they like better). To truly go Galt in the novel's since is to sever oneself from all such infrastructures - any infrastructures you rely on are only those you agree to with their provider, and presumably pay for as you go for simplicity, although that's not required.

I actually think it would be harder for the rich to do this than for the middle class or working class, since the former would lose a great deal more wealth on paper, and initially a great deal more quality of life in practice. It's been years since I read the book, but IIRC, the people of Galt's Gulch could not economically acquire goods outside of it, started with zero industrial capacity, etc. They had to rebuild all that. Part of the point was that it was so bad on the outside that the people preferred this life. They were the sort of people who firmly believed it was better to be ranked in society according to one's productivity, precisely because it was better for the quality of life in the long run.

Alex said...

Going Galt is easy until you need the emergency room or a trip to the dentist.

Rusty said...

Alex said...
Going Galt is easy until you need the emergency room or a trip to the dentist

Yeah. Unless you medical and dental personel are going Galt as well.
My dentist has already told me that' she'll knock off 25% for cash.
My MD has traded me office visits for motorcycle work ie rewelding frames.

gbarto said...

I think Rusty hits the nail on the head. The people who come the closest to going Galt these days are the doctors who decided to retire at 50 or 55 rather than stay in practice as the government paperwork requirements grow. I know several doctors of this description. If it weren't for one of them, I might have a colostomy bag instead of my colon. It's a damn shame it's gone, but he decided at a certain point that it wasn't worth it if he was working for the government more than his patients.

Likewise, everyone who skips the overtime because time with friends and family is better than jumping a tax bracket has gone Galt in their own way.

There's one last crew, though, that's gone Galt in a big way, and that's those employers who spread out hours so that anyone who doesn't have to be full-time is getting less than 30 hours a week. Going Galt all the way, in protest, is pretty damn hard, as has been observed. But rearranging your life to minimize the inconvenience laws, regulations and taxes pose for you or your business speaks to the same idea, that what we get out of government isn't worth what we put into it so you try not to put in more time or money than you absolutely have to.

Darleen said...

I always understood Going Galt to mean following the footsteps of Midas Mulligan, Ellis Wyatt, and the other characters who mysteriously disappeared into Galt's Gulch in the novel.

Nope, it just meant that if you have to live in the real world, you work for your needs but not use your creativity. E.G. the professor working as a fry cook. Or Francisco looking for all the world as a narcissistic playboy while dismantling his company from the inside.

Darleen said...

My dentist has already told me that' she'll knock off 25% for cash.
My MD has traded me office visits for motorcycle work ie rewelding frames.


Yep, there is going to be an increase in off-the-books bartering and cash work.

rastajenk said...

I got the "get a government job and don't do it" part covered. :-)