The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Are you a producer or a moocher?

Photo of Marsha Enright and Gen LaGreca
Marsha Enright and Gen LaGreca

“Atlas Shrugged: Part I,” which opens April 15th, is a movie unlike any other. Based on Ayn Rand’s novel, it dramatizes the fundamental conflict gripping our world: the battle between those who create value and wealth through their own efforts (the producers) and those who seek them through force (the looters and moochers).

With eerie accuracy, Rand’s novel depicted — in 1957 — the very struggle between these diametrical opposites that we’re witnessing today. This battle couldn’t be more important because the fate of civilization rests on the outcome. Since this conflict inescapably affects everyone, it’s crucial to know which side you’re on.

In Atlas Shrugged, producers like railroad executive Dagny Taggart and self-made steel titan Hank Rearden create new products and services, offer them in free trade, and consequently become rich. They are exploited by looters and moochers like Dagny’s brother James Taggart and steel executive Orren Boyle, who seek government intervention that favors them and thwarts their competition. In the story, the producers are vilified and their property expropriated, until they disappear. Without them, the country collapses.

Sound familiar? Today, America is in decline. The Wall Street Journal reports that “the number of U.S. IPOs has plunged to an annual average of about 130 since 2001 from an average of 503 during the 1990s.” Our nation’s debt is skyrocketing. Government has seized unprecedented control over industries like healthcare and banking. Corruption, group warfare, and the sense of “entitlement” to other people’s money are rampant. As Steve Moore notes in “We’ve Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers,” public jobs, money, and power are burgeoning while the private sector is shrinking.

In this epic drama of our age, what does each side have to offer?

Makers are essential to life. Humans must exert effort to create the food, housing, clothing, and other things we need and want. Producers are the people who make that effort and deliver the goods.

Some think producers are limited to corporate moguls, but in fact, they include anyone on any level — from janitors to company presidents, in small or large organizations — who earn what they have and don’t steal from others.

Producers offer their goods through voluntary trade — capitalism. Whenever producers have been the freest, the result has been an explosion of wealth and prosperity and a high standard of living for everyone. Witness 19th-century America or today’s least-regulated fields, like technology.

The opposite type is the taker, who wants to forcibly live off others’ efforts. Looters are takers who jockey for positions in government in order to seize wealth and gain power over producers. Moochers vote the looters into power in order to receive government benefits like welfare, subsidies, grants, business advantages, or jobs.

Since its inception, America has been a land of producers. The world’s most can-do people cleared farms, opened shops, lived and traded with one another in harmony, and created the great middle class — the producer class. Now, many Americans take no responsibility for their lives. Instead, they line up for money that’s not theirs; it’s simply “Obama money.”

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  • Pizza Trays

    Ayn Rand (aka Ann O’Connor and Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum) obviously didn’t get enough from her books if she used social security money. Then again she liked the cigs.

    Does sucking on the government’s tits make her a hypocrite? I’m not sure. But she must have changed her name for a reason. This broad was both shifty and sexy.

  • Fred M

    Excellent synopsis of Ayn Rand’s ideas as put forth in “Atlas Shrugged”. We can only hope the American people wise up before the economy collapses and the lights go out!

  • alpha_male

    Is it greed to produce a product and sell it for a profit?

    I think it is greed to demand “public” assistance, when in fact only 50% of Americans pay taxes. Joe Biden is not handicapped (physically anyway), poor or elderly, but he demands our taxes pay subsidies for the railroad with a station named after him!

    It is not charity when taken at the point of a gun.

  • djc13

    All I have to say about this whole “thing” is WOW. What a bunch of self absorbed, selfish, pat yourself on the back (for your “own efforts”)rhetoric, as if “one” did not catch a break in becoming wealthy and the fact that the poor, handicapped and elderly are villified as “takers”? Get real. Sounds like I learned about this before….Oh Yea….Greed….learned about in K-1 (pre-school)

    • 8484

      THAT IS EXACTLY RIGHT. YOU DID LEARN IT IN SCHOOL/COLLEGE AND THAT IS A LARGE PART OF THIS COUNTRY’S PROBLEM. LIBERAL PROFESSORS TEACHING THE SOCIAL EQUITY SCAM TO ALL YOUTH. I’M 70 AND HAVE SEEN MANY THINGS IN MY LIFE, BUT NOTHING LIKE WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE AMERICA THAT MANY OF MY FRIENDS HAVE DIED TO KEEP FREE.

      I DON’T KNOW YOUR AGE, BUT YOU REALLY SHOULD GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND OR WHERE EVER THE HELL IT IS.

      • esby

        I think liberal professors do teach about the caps lock button.

    • Hayek

      Ah yes. ….the old “that rich guy over there got lucky” explanation. The lame excuse of a loser who is jealous of the hard work and success of others in comparison to their own. Yes, some people win the lucky sperm lottery, but those people often turn out to be supporters of the mooch-ocracy … as long of course, as they remain insulated from the commoners they claim to champion. Ted Kennedy, just about any Rockefeller, Howard Dean, et al come to mind.

      And your claim that the handicapped and elderly are vilified as takers is sheer casuistry. No reasonable person has a problem caring for those truly incapable of caring for themselves through no fault of their own. We do have a problem, however, with rewarding poor choices over a lifetime with public largesse that only perpetuates a lack of personal accountability.