In a story that could be taken from the plot of Atlas Shrugged, the French company Mandriva has gone Galt. According to Business Insider the company, which was a competitor of Microsoft had money problems starting in 2010. This led to a restructuring process that included layoffs of some employees. In a statement to Business Insider the former CEO said that these employees sued the company and won. “The Company was ordered to pay these employees hundreds of thousands of euros and ordered to pay “provisory execution,” meaning immediately.”
This case involved many aspects that Rand railed against in Atlas Shrugged, a group of moocher employees who felt entitled to pay from a company that they were fired from because of their need not their value. Also a Government that forces a Company to act against its self interest and act as a charity and not a profit seeking entity.
Like many of the Industrialists from the novel, the shareholders of Mandriva didn’t want to dump any more of their money into a enterprise dominated by moochers and closed up shop. European regulators who are responsible for the destruction of competitors of Microsoft like Mandriva are the same people who have sued Microsoft for being too Monopolistic, proving Rand’s dictum that you can ignore reality but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.
President Obama has pushed America dangerously close to a point where industrialists will “shrug” on a massive scale. His regulations to destroy the coal industry, Obamacare with its employer mandate, further regulations on the banks and his war on the one percent have created a level of uncertainty not seen since the Great Depression. Slow to nonexistent real job growth, record numbers of people receiving food stamps and record amounts of investor money on the sidelines waiting for economic conditions to improve are the consequences.
Here in America we are quickly reaching the point France has arrived at and Rand warned about that “When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion… you may know that your society is doomed.” The President and the American people might ignore this reality but the consequences will remain. Hopefully our next President will change the dangerous path we are on, if not it will be time for us all to go Galt.