Back to the Future: Ayn Rand and The Accountable Capitalism Act

Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act yesterday, which you can find the text of the bill here. Senator Warren describes why she feels this act needs to be law in a guest op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. Her Senate office published a single page summary of the bill.

The bill has created a lot of conversation, pro and con. My focus is on the cons because the Accountable Capitalism Act is a classic case of government overreach. Reading the bill, I thought of Ayn Rand book Atlas Shrugged and some of her famous quotes. Here are a few items in the bill and quotes from Ms. Rand.

My favorite line in the bill is the rich are getting richer and her bill seeks to change income inequality. I’ve memorized this quote from Ayn Rand because it identifies what his bill is really about, “Run for your life from any man (or woman) who tells you money is evil. That is the leaper’s bell of an approaching looter.” The Accountable Capitalism Act is nothing but income redistribution and has looter written all over it. 

Senator Warren echoes a character from Atlas Shrugged. There is a scene where Horace Mowen says “Something ought to be done… “A friend of mine went out of business – last week – the oil business…couldn’t compete with Ellis Wyatt. It isn’t fair. They ought to leave the little people a chance. He shouldn’t be allowed to produce so much…there’s a shortage of oil in the city…. Things aren’t right. Something ought to be done about it.” The bill creates a government office in the Commerce Department requiring any corporation with more than $1 billion in revenue to have a federal charter of citizenship. Don’t remember anything in the constitution about “Office of Corporate Citizenship.” But we must make things fair according to Senator Warren. John Stossel stated in a piece “In fact, the free market sorts such things out far more efficiently than bureaucrats. It’s just not good business to hurt your customers. My 30 years of consumer reporting taught me that businesses rarely do this, and—here’s the market’s self-regulation—those that do don’t stay in business long. That’s not a perfect system, but it’s much better than central planning. Had today’s bureaucrats been in charge decades ago, they would have banned things like aspirin, cars and airplanes.” Amen. 

Language in the bill states, “The term “general public benefit” means a material positive impact on society resulting from the business and operations of a United States corporation, when taken as a whole.” The bill does not define what the “general public benefit” is or “taken as a whole.” I’m certainly not going to use a definition from Senators Warren and Schumer. Shall we go with the Wesley Mouch version of public benefit? You cannot have more than another or you are a criminal. I feel the term “general public benefit” in the liberal Democrats mind says the rich are now criminals because they are both rich and powerful but worse… free. Free to do whatever they want whenever they want. Socialism is the opposite of free. Atlas Shrugged deals a blow to Senator Warren here also, “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them…you create a nation of lawbreakers – and then you cash in on guilt.” Making new criminals and cashing in on guilt defines the progressive left, right out of the Saul Alynsky playbook.

There are no benefits to another layer of government regulation to the economy. There are already laws on equal opportunity, environment, security exchanges, and the list goes on. From Ayn Rand, “Government “help” to business is just as disastrous as government persecution… the only way government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping it’s hands off.” The economy is in the midst of a huge boom, and Senator Warren’s bill would change all that. Yes, in many cases the economy is not “fair” and there are some clear demographic reasons for that. Life is not fair, get used to it.

Reading more of Ayn Rand’s book, written in 1957, it truly is an expose’ on our time and what the progressive left is trying to do to America’s wealth generating corporations.