“It’s not my fault I’m the biggest and the strongest. I don’t even exercise.”

by Andrea Elizabeth

Finished with Chapter 4 of Atlas Shrugged, which is not where the title quote came from. Some things you shouldn’t have to attribute.

The railroad alliance has just voted for the Anti-dog-eat-dog proposal, which will stifle a better run railroad for the common good of the other railroads. Because of Dagny’s brother, Jim, the Taggert railroad is not as well run, but will profit from the stifling. Dagny is very angry because she respects her competitor and thinks he’s being treated unjustly. She wanted to save the Taggert line from her brother and beat Dan fair and square, not this way. Hello, bank bail-outs.

Questions

Does laissez-faire economics lead to monopolies? Standard Oil story says yes.
What’s so bad about monopolies? Too much money for one person?
Does breaking them up make too much money for 5 people?
Should the strongest be stifled to let the weaker have a chance?
Will the weaker think he deserves his success when he doesn’t?
Does it matter if he does?
Will he actually be successful, or will standards decline?
If standards decline, will that open the U.S. up to be beat by foreign goods and services? Like happened with the car industry.
Does the U.S. need to stay the biggest and strongest? All other world powers have fallen over time. You get to relive their pasts when they host the Olympics, not for profit.

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