The following is an excerpts from Atlas Shrugged, © Copyright, 1957, by Ayn Rand.
"They let us vote on it, too, and everybody—almost everybody—voted for it, We didn't know. We thought it was good. No that's not true, either. We thought that we were supposed to think it was good. The plan was that everybody in the factory would work according to his ability, but would be paid according to his need.He goes on to explain how it worked
The Starnes heirs made long speeches about it, and it wasn't too clear, but no body asked any questions. None of knew how the plan would work, but every one of us thought the next fellow knew it. And if anybody had doubts, he felt guilty and kept his mouth shut—because they made it sound like anyone who'd oppose the plan was a child-killer at heart and less of a human being. They told us that this plan would achieve a noble idea.
"Try pouring water into a tank where there’s a pipe at the bottom draining it out faster than you pour it, and each bucket you bring breaks that pipe an inch wider, and the harder you work the more is demanded of you, and you stand slinging buckets forty hours a week, then forthy-eight, then fifty-six - for your neighbor’s supper - for his wife’s operation - for his child’s measles - for his mother’s wheel chair - for his uncle’s shirt - for his nephew’s schooling - for the baby next door - for the baby to be born - for anyone anywhere around you - it’s theirs to receive, from diapers to dentures - and yours to work, from sunup to sundown, month after month, year after year, with nothing to show for it but your sweat, with nothing in sight for you but their pleasure, for the whole of your life, without rest, without hope, without end … From each according to his ability, to each according to his need…"He goes on to explain how good men were forced to become bad
"We’re all one big family, they told us, we’re all in this together."
"It took us just one meeting to discover that we had become beggars - rotten, whining, sniveling beggars, all of us, because no man could claim his pay as his rightful earning, he had no rights and no earnings, his work didn’t belong to him, it belonged to ‘the family’, and they owed him nothing in return, and the only claim he had on them was his ‘need’ - so he had to beg in public for relief from his needs, like any lousy moocher, listing all his troubles and miseries, down to his patched drawers and his wife’s head colds, hoping that ‘the family’ would throw him the alms."
What was it they’d always told us about the vicious competition of the profit system, where men had to compete for who’d do a better job than his fellows? Vicious, wasn’t it? Well, they should have seen what it was like when we all had to compete with one another for who’d do the worst job possible. There’s no surer way to destroy a man than to force him into a spot where he has to aim at not doing his best, where he has to struggle to do a bad job, day after day. That will finish him quicker than drink or idleness or pulling stick-ups for a living.
“God help us, ma’am! Do you see what we saw? We saw that we’d been given a law to live by, a moral law, they called it, which punished those who observed it - for observing it. The more you tried to live up to it, the more you suffered; the more you cheated it, the bigger reward you got. Your honesty was like a tool left at the mercy of the next man’s dishonesty. The honest ones paid, the dishonest collected. The honest lost, the dishonest won. How long could men stay good under this sort of a law of goodness?
Rand demonstrates the hypocrisy in the behavior of the villains.
Was there any reason why this sort of horror would ever be preached by anybody? Was there anybody who got any profit from it? There was. The Starnes heirs. I hope you’re not going to remind me that they’d sacrificed a fortune and turned the factory over to us as a gift. We were fooled by that one, too. Yes, they gave up the factory. But profit, ma’am, depends on what it is that you’re after. And what the Starnes heirs were after, no money on earth could buy. Money is too clean and innocent for that.And the downfall..
Well, we got what we asked for. By the time we saw what it was that we’d asked for, it was too late. We were trapped, with no place to go. The best men among us left the factory in the first week of the plan. We lost our best engineers, superintendents, foremen and highest-skilled workers. A man of self-respect doesn’t turn into a milch cow for anybody. Some able fellows tried to stick it out, but they couldn’t take it for long. We kept losing our men, they kept escaping from the factory like from a pesthole - till we had nothing left except the men of need, but none of the men of ability.Pretty powerful writing and would take the time to not only read the book but read this part of the book. I know some might say it is extreme, but Health Care is not right it is a service. And to tax the wealthy to run/make deficit neutral is not right, I'm sorry it just isn't. Why are we forcibly taking someone’s income to the benefit of someone else?I have a problem with the concept of taking the fruits of someone’s hard earned labor simply so that I or someone else may benefit at their expense.
To work - on a blank check held by every creature born, by men whom you’ll never see, whose needs you’ll never know, whose ability or laziness or sloppiness or fraud you have no way to learn and no right to question - just to work and work and work - and leave it up to the Ivys and the Geralds of the world to decide whose stomach will consume the effort, the dreams and the days of your life. And this is the moral law to accept? This - a moral ideal?
Well, we tried it - and we learned. Our agony took four years, from our first meeting to our last, and it ended the only way it could end: in bankruptcy.
I know this is a hot topic, leave me a comment and let me know how you feel? Am I a child-killer? Is the government given us a moral program?