Sen. Ron Johnson: "I Guess I Identify With Hank Rearden"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 28 2013 2:22 PM

Sen. Ron Johnson: "I Guess I Identify With Hank Rearden"


The best interview you'll see today is Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson's interview with the Randians of the Atlas Society. Johnson basically debuted in the national media by praising Ayn Rand and calling "Atlas Shrugged" his "foundational book."

Noting that Massachusetts "is requiring insurance companies to write polices at a loss," he says, "We're living it," referring to the novel's dystopian world in which society's producers are weighed down by parasitic non-producers.

Two and a half years later, the unemployment rate is actually down, but Atlas gets Johnson to talk about the statue he co-owns and to fret about real people "shrugging."


"It's a real concern," says Johnson. "I'm certainly concerned a lot of the generation of baby boomers that have had successful businesses — they just might shrug. With all the regulations, with all the increasing taxes, they might say 'I'm just going to give it up.'"


Also, he says he's most like dashing metallurgist and industrialist Hank Reardan.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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