Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is a libertarian masterpiece that is a must read for anyone that is a friend of liberty and capitalism. The novel is set in America during an unknown time. The country is in a midst of a financial crises and the government creates various “temporary” regulations to counter the “national emergency”. These regulations actually create further harm to the economy. The government, of course, never admits that their control and meddling is the source of these problems. The blame is always put of selfish people and greedy businessmen.
Wesley Mouch is a bureaucrat in the novel who eventually assumes the role as the county’s chief economic planner. He believes that the government must take an active role to ensure that the economy recovers.
Wesley Mouch introduced a series of economic regulations designed to improve the economy. These included the “anti dog eat dog act” (to reduce harmful competition) and Directive 10-289.
Directive 10-289 purported purpose was to stop the country’s economic decline by freezing the economy in its present state. The directive employed comprehensive central government planning to freeze the status quo.
Part of the directive read as follows:
Point One: All workers, wage earners, and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment...
As life once again imitates art, a real life Wesley Mouch has emerged as an economic advisor to President Obama. Lawrence Chimerine, a prominent economist, has proposed his own version of Directive 10-289. Chimerine is proposing that the White House call for a "national initiative" in which Corporate America would agree to “temporarily” put a freeze on further job cuts.
As I was curious how such a plan would be implemented, I called and interviewed Dr. Lawrence Chimerine. His answers to my questions were fascinating.