A Report on Life from John Galt’s Gulch

This is the jacket cover of the first edition of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
This is the jacket cover of the first edition of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Earlier this week, I realized that I have Gone Galt.

Based on Ayn Rand’s character John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, the phrase “Going Galt” means that I have withdrawn my financial, intellectual, and economic capital from the system and refuse to play by the “work, earn, tax, and repeat” rules imposed by the ever-increasingly socialist government. 

Going Galt was not a conscious decision on my part.  I didn’t sit down and say, “Screw you, I’m not going to play by your rules.”  It all just sort of came together at the end of 2019.  My employer shut down, so I went from earning more than $100,000 annually to collecting unemployment.  (Thanks to COVID-19 stimulus bills, I am still collecting $350 a week.)  I stopped paying more than $20,000 a year for health insurance, getting Obama Care at no cost to me.  As my income disappeared, my income tax bill has dropped so much that the IRS might have to pay me this year. 

I thought I might feel guilty about being “on the dole,” but that hasn’t been the case.  After all, I paid into unemployment and other systems for 35 years.  I don’t feel any more guilt about collecting it than I will feel about collecting Social Security.  Likewise, my health insurance payments—which at one point were more than my mortgage—subsidized plenty of other low-income peoples.  Now it’s my turn to be low-income and to get the subsidy.  Do I believe health care is a right?  No, not for a minute.  But just like I cashed my stimulus checks, if they are going to give health care to me, I’m going to accept it.

I am not collecting welfare or on food stamps; we have too many assets for that.  Besides, we’re not poor; we just are not earning any money.

Cutting Back

To make the numbers work, we sold our expensive house outside the city and paid cash to buy one in a very rural location that had more land, but half the square feet.  We are not paying interest to a bank.  (We have no debt of any kind.)  Our insurance cost also dropped, as did our property taxes.  Instead of spending $4,000 a year to buy propane from the country’s largest propane supplier, we are spending $1,300 to buy firewood from a three-man company where I know the delivery guy by name, and he stays to chat a few minutes after every delivery. 

With no commute, I drive fewer miles per week, even though stores are further away.  We shop less, not only because we need less, but because there are fewer opportunities to spend money.  Because we have more time to cook, we dine out very rarely.  We keep our money in the county by buying more locally, including locally-grown food, and are starting to grow our own.  One day, the government may work out a way to tax my eggs or kale, but I expect that day is still some time off.

I may live on a mountain instead of a gulch, but like John Galt, I am no longer actively contributing the economy.  I am not working harder and harder chasing smaller and smaller economic gains while my efforts support regulatory agencies I do not approve of and subsidize people living lifestyles with which I do not agree. Most importantly, I am not funding the socialist beast that sucks up money from those who make it and redistribute it to those who don’t.

Socialists Need Worker Bees

Socialists need other people’s money.  They aren’t very good at making their own (which probably explains why they are socialists and not capitalists) so they have to take it from others.  Socialists need to take the good ideas and innovations from clever, inventive people because they have none themselves.  They need efficient, productive managers and employees because they don’t know how to work, or how to get the best out of others by motivating and encouraging others. 

Socialism has a heavy hand; socialists only know how to wield the stick, not the carrot.  They threaten and punish rather than promise and promote.  As a result, the iron fist is soon seen through the glove and the bloom is off the rose.  By dropping out, by refusing to contribute, I am no longer their worker drone.

Socialism works like a street corner magician, making you look over here while they pick your pocket over there.  What happens if your pocket is empty? They go home broke.

We can stop socialism in its tracks by not sharing our money, our ideas, and our labor with them.   Make little or no money, and they can’t tax you.  File no patents and develop no new products and they will stagnate.  Don’t work for the man, and the man will eventually starve as his systems collapse around him.  You just need to be able to survive that inevitable collapse, and preppers are prepared for just that event.

By withdrawing your money from their system, setting aside your work ethic, and sitting on the sidelines, as I have done, you can hasten the collapse of the socialist regime.

Go Galt!

If you can afford to stop working, do so.  Take some steps to protect your assets, and then drop out. 

I don’t care if you move onto the Queen Elizabeth II and spend your early retirement circumnavigating the globe or buy an RV and circumnavigate the country.  Just do it while you are young enough to enjoy it.  Don’t pour your hard work and money into a system that sees you only as a resource to be exploited.