Posted Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, at 1:00 PM
THE SKY -- In the final days of the Florida campaign, I heard Newt Gingrich debut than refine a different sort of campaign promise. If elected, he said, businesses and job-creators would realize -- within moments -- that they could start being productive again. He explained it thoroughly at one stop in The Villages. In Tamp, he was drowned out by applause: "I think you're going to see the economy start to recover election night. The minute people start to realize Obama's gone..."
Too late, it occurs to me: This is the plot of Atlas Shrugged. Capitalists, fed up with a patent-stealing, work-punishing, wealth-looting government, hide out in an enclave founded by mega-capitalist John Galt. "I propose to show to the world who depends on whom," explains Galt, "who supports whom, who is the source of wealth, who makes whose livelihood possible and what happens to who when whom walks out." The producers go on strike; society collapses; when the producers return, so does optimism.