Friday, February 27, 2009

Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged - Still meaningful today?

I read Atlas Shrugged in 1984 when I started my first business, Treasures of Asia, in Honolulu Hawaii. My best friend Jennifer Plumbo gave me the book and said that the protagonist, Dagny Taggart bore a striking resemblance to me in philosophy.

The book changed my life. It helped shape my libertarian views and mold me into the person I am today. I have a first edition of Atlas Shrugged in near perfect condition that my husband gave me as a wedding present and I've gone through several paperback books.

While it's obvious that the absence of government regulation is tied to the economic crisis we are experiencing today, I think Atlas Shrugged has lessons we all need to be reminded of: a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, reward for those who take the risk to create their own businesses, and the injustice of government-mandated tax collection forced on business owners – these ideas are still valid today.

As a business owner, I always resented being an unpaid tax collector for the government. Having to charge sales tax and then spend the time to create reports for the government was not the best use of my time.

Here's a great article about Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged: Why Do CEO's (Still) Love Ayn Rand?

In light of our current economic environment, I have dusted off Atlas Shrugged and placed it on my bedside table. Feeling the weight of a whining world wallowing in depression that is unable to shake off a crisis of confidence, I recognize that it's time to read Atlas Shrugged again. Atlas Shrugged is definitely still meaningful today.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs and Financial Advisors

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