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Hello All,

I am the new CEO of The Atlas Society. I am giving a webinar next Monday @ 9pm ET called Galt's Gulch Now! We have limited availability, so if you are interested, please register now at http://www.atlassociety.org/webinar-galts-gulch-now

I have provided a brief description below:

In reaction to the negative global trends for economic freedom and personal freedom, a number of new communities are being created using the "Galt’s Gulch" moniker from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. In this live, interactive presentation, Atlas Society CEO Aaron Day will review the state of economic and personal freedom, discuss and define "Galt’s Gulch," and then analyze some of the larger initiatives (such as Glenn Beck’s Independence Park and The Free State Project) to see if they meet the essential definition of a "Galt’s Gulch." Sign up now to reserve your spot and participate in the online discussion after the presentation.

Best,

Aaron

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Artificial communities are unlikely to be free of the "natural" communities of the wide world, simply because they will not have the critical mass of numbers nor the mix of skills necessary for self sustaining community existence. It is a nice pipe dream, but a pipe dream never the less.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I want to thank Aaron Day for his letter. I may re-contribute to The AS soon as my ship comes in. Soon means in the next month. I will look his suggestion up after the event but I doubt I will join in.

Every attempt at establishing a Galt’s Gulch that I know of required a Midas Mulligan to supply the land or barge, and his money was crucial. But who wants to live under the rule of a “Midas” who might seem like a benefactor and “daddy figure” at first but could turn into an ogre? I don’t even like going to someone else’s house to watch the big game because I don’t like somebody else’s rules.

I can imagine an Atlantis Underground Revolution forming against Goldfinger’s tyranny.

Peter

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Aaron,

Welcome to OL.

Congratulations on your new post as CEO of The Atlas Society.

I went ahead and registered. It will be interesting to see a webinar from O-Land instead of Internet marketing (which is what I am used to with webinars).

You probably know that I am a fan of Glenn Beck. I'm curious as to why it would be important to call Independence Park a Galt's Gulch. As I understand it, there will be living arrangements at Independence Park for those who wish, but it will also be a theme park modeled after Disney parks.

So that webinar theme confuses me as to the urgency of this topic. In other words, I like the metaphor as far as metaphors go and I can see a comment or two, but I don't find anything earth-shattering about whether those things are true Galt's Gulches or not. It's almost like who cares what you call it or whether one is like the other?

I'm not trying to be snarky. I almost didn't sign up because of that.

Anyway, I'll wait and see.

At least it will be good to discuss--from our subculture's lens--major initiatives devoted to good ideas and freedom like Beck's.

I was unaware of The Free State Project. I just now looked it up and I wish them well. I doubt I will ever become much interested in it, though. Something about it does not resonate with me. It does look closer to a Galt's Gulch than a theme park. A cold-ass Galt's Gulch at that. New Hampshire can get bitter freezing in the winter.

Michael

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I just attended the webinar, but I got the time zone conversion screwed up, so I missed the first hour. I only logged on during the Q&A.

I asked a couple of questions, which were graciously answered, but I hope they post a replay so I can hear the first hour--the actual presentation.

I want to report on this thing, but I want to actually hear it first. :)

btw - I am moving this to the TAS corner.

Michael

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From, Strategic Moves, by Stuart Woods, pages 255 to 257:

Stone called Airship Transport in Newburgh, New York, and asked for the CEO.

Holly Barker.

Its Stone. Hows the world of International business?

Not as boring as I thought. Actually, Todd Bacon left the place in pretty good shape. The C-17 has been repaired, and were back in business. I may be able to get out of here and back to Langley pretty soon.

Good luck on that, Stone said. I need some information, and I hope you can help me.

You can ask, she replied. You know I cant always answer.

Nothing like that. Have you ever heard of an island in the South Pacific called Attola?

Funny you should mention that, Holly said. I first heard about it last week.

Tell me what you can.

The way I hear it, this was a little fleabag of an atoll, something like twelve miles by five, the sort of place we spent thousands of lives to take from the Japanese during World War Two. It has a central, extinct volcano and some glorious beaches and has failed to attract tourists because its only runway was too short, and the government couldnt afford to extend it. Last year, a consortium of half a dozen billionaires sort of bought the place.

Bought a country?

Pretty much. The place is run by an elected president and a legislature of twelve men, and theyve sold most of the island, exclusive of the capital city, its only town, in return for a bundle of cash and an agreement to rebuild the capital and extend the runway. They now have a ten-thousand-foot runway and an airport terminal building, and jet fuel is available.

Let me guess: they have no extradition treaty with the United States.

Nor with any country, Holly replied. The new owners have also subdivided most of the island and have begun selling lots minimum, five acres and have funded a construction company to import building materials. Theyve also completed a cushy new beach resort of about a hundred suites. And the construction company is already the islands largest employer. They adopted a building code and everything.

And let me guess again theyve started a bank.

Sorry, I should have mentioned that; it was the first thing they did. Its up and running and is a member in good standing of the world banking community.

And it offers numbered accounts and confidential services.

Exactly. It already has deposits of more than a billion dollars.

Does the IRS know about this?

Probably, but theres nothing they can do about it. Atoll has accepted no foreign aid from the United States, so we have no leverage there, short of invasion or blockade. I understand we would like to have a naval refueling station for both aircraft and ships, so were being nice to them.

This sounds like a story on 60 Minutes, Stone said.

It probably will be soon. Why do you want to know about this?

Its my turn to give you this answer, Stone said. I am not at liberty to say.

Gee thanks. I spill my guts, and you tell me nothing.

Soon perhaps. Be patient.

Go away. Holly hung up.

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There is no aspect of Ayn Rand's writings I found more interesting and inspiring than Galt's Gulch. So much so, that I built my own.

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The concept of Galt's Gulch is premised on it being hidden.

Therefore, although I respect the effort of the Atlas Society to parlay the concept into reality, it appears to be counterintuitive to the revolutionary essence of Ayn's concept.

A...

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The concept of Galt's Gulch is premised on it being hidden.

The best place to hide in right out in plain sight.

Therefore, although I respect the effort of the Atlas Society to parlay the concept into reality, it appears to be counterintuitive to the revolutionary essence of Ayn's concept.

A...

In my opinion, the need to form a collective is antithetical to Rand's idea. But since this world itself is imperfect, anyone who takes action however flawed, to realize that ideal, will learn a valuable lesson from the experience which will refine their subsequent actions. Building Galt's Gulch is an evolutionary process.

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This path has has some merit.

The best place to hide in right out in plain sight.

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There has been a concerted effort among Rhode Island conservatives and libertarians to "Go Galt" by leaving the state, thus denying the Democratic-progressive-union ruling class the much-needed tax revenue to carry out its mad designs (I left the state in disgust in 2010). The unofficial movement appears to be working as the state is the only state in the U.S. that has been consistently losing population, and its measured workforce continues to shrink. There is virtually no productive private sector left in the state - everyone is on public assistance, a public employee, or part of a political organization. Watching the state destroy itself from afar has been difficult, but it now serves as an important case study in the folly of progressive social policy and central planning.

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There has been a concerted effort among Rhode Island conservatives and libertarians to "Go Galt" by leaving the state, thus denying the Democratic-progressive-union ruling class the much-needed tax revenue to carry out its mad designs (I left the state in disgust in 2010). The unofficial movement appears to be working as the state is the only state in the U.S. that has been consistently losing population, and its measured workforce continues to shrink. There is virtually no productive private sector left in the state - everyone is on public assistance, a public employee, or part of a political organization. Watching the state destroy itself from afar has been difficult, but it now serves as an important case study in the folly of progressive social policy and central planning.

The just way to deal with the bastards is to give them what they have been asking for.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The just way to deal with the bastards is to give them what they have been asking for.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Well said. The most prominent RI progressive blog has been labeling those leaving the state "cowards" and "quitters" for years now, and has been rejoicing within its own warped echo chamber over the departure of so many "neo-cons and right-wingers" (businesses and working middle-class families) from their borders. Meanwhile their standard of living continues to plummet, the financial problems of the blue-model state get ever worse, and, like any repressive regime or backwards banana republic, all they can think to do is continue to blame alleged "conservative" subversive elements within the state rather than take a hard look at why their utopian economic policies have been failing so hard in practice. You can never bring people like that to their senses because they don't have any senses in the first place; the state has been heavily liberal/Democrat-controlled for 75 years and they're still busy blaming Republicans/"DINOs"/conservatives for all of their problems. The best revenge is leaving such social experiments and refusing to be a victim, denying the central planners their coveted revenue, and of course, living well.

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There has been a concerted effort among Rhode Island conservatives and libertarians to "Go Galt" by leaving the state, thus denying the Democratic-progressive-union ruling class the much-needed tax revenue to carry out its mad designs (I left the state in disgust in 2010). The unofficial movement appears to be working as the state is the only state in the U.S. that has been consistently losing population, and its measured workforce continues to shrink. There is virtually no productive private sector left in the state - everyone is on public assistance, a public employee, or part of a political organization. Watching the state destroy itself from afar has been difficult, but it now serves as an important case study in the folly of progressive social policy and central planning.

Exactly the same situation of the productive voting with their feet has been unfolding in California just as Ayn Rand predicted. It's beautiful to watch the chickens come home to roost from a safe distance.

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The best revenge is leaving such social experiments and refusing to be a victim, denying the central planners their coveted revenue, and of course, living well.

Isn't that the highest form of revenge? Living well and letting your enemies gag on the fact.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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This path has has some merit.

The best place to hide in right out in plain sight.

The bigger the bureaucracy, the more cracks there are through which to fall. I want the government to continue to keep growing because that process insures increased bureaucratic ineptitude... and that's where American freedom flourishes.

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There has been a concerted effort among Rhode Island conservatives and libertarians to "Go Galt" by leaving the state [ ... ]

This is interesting -- a concerted effort to depart The Ocean State. Can you give us any names publicly? I imagine a plan as large as you imply will show some holes in recent demographics too. An unusual 'departure' rate may also have attracted wide comment, as with the disappearances of the gulchers in Atlas Shrugged. I bet the departed Rhode Island libertarians and/or conservatives are not actually in hiding.

I admit I had forgotten what I knew about Rhode Island. I forgot the mildly and wildly weird stuff. Here is some from the Wikipedia entry on the wee state. Did we ever know that the official state drink was 'coffee milk'?**

  • Rhode Island has some of the highest taxes in the country, particularly its property taxes, ranking seventh in local and state taxes, and sixth in real estate taxes.
  • Rhode Island's 2000 total gross state product was $33 billion, placing it 45th in the nation. Its 2000 per capita personal income was $29,685, 16th in the nation
  • The largest employer is the state government
  • .The fourth largest employer is the Catholic church
  • The state was notorious for organized crime activity from the 1950s into the 1990s when the Patriarca crime family held sway over most of New England from its Providence headquarters
  • Pizza strips are prepared in Italian bakeries and sold in most supermarkets and convenience stores, they are rectangular strips of pizza without the cheese and are served cold.
  • Party pizza is a box of these pizza strips
  • Famous to Rhode Island is Snail Salad, which is served at numerous restaurants throughout the state. The dish is normally prepared "family style" with over five pounds of snails mixed in with other ingredients

(I left the state in disgust in 2010). The unofficial movement appears to be working as the state is the only state in the U.S. that has been consistently losing population, and its measured workforce continues to shrink. There is virtually no productive private sector left in the state - everyone is on public assistance, a public employee, or part of a political organization. Watching the state destroy itself from afar has been difficult, but it now serves as an important case study in the folly of progressive social policy and central planning.

A case study is a lot of work. Can you make a case that Rhode Island is self-destructing, with some names, facts, numbers, comparatives? I don't think Rhode Island is consistently losing population. These 2000-2010 figures contradict your assertion, though it is true that Rhode Island and Michigan are two states that lost population between 2010 and 2012.

Perhaps a more cogent explanation of Rhode Island's population trends (low and no growth rate) would come from a wider national scope. For example, this depiction of population changes for the USA suggests broader reasons for departures and arrivals (rather than by 'progressive social policy'. Looking at longer trends, changes in Rhode Island may be better understood as resulting from the long-term dynamics of the rise of the Sunbelt economies. In which case Rhode Island can serve as a bellwether, but not an outlier, of continuing economic shifts.

Of course the numbers of men and women of consequence deemed to have left Rhode Island along with Baratheon since 2010 are small, between five hundred and a thousand -- the sums being uncertain since some departures were via cemetery, and since the sums must take into consideration the low live-birth rate of RIs valiant, galtish women, a rate far below the replacement ratio.

350px-US_states_by_population_change.png

Map of population change in U.S. states from April 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011.

Legend:

<−0.5%
<−0.25%
<0%
<0.25%
<0.5%
<0.75%
<1.0%
<1.25%
<1.5%
<1.75%
<2.0%
>2.0%

_____________________

** according to Wikipedia

The official state drink of Rhode Island is coffee milk, a beverage created by mixing milk with coffee syrup.

20030420-01.jpg

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This is interesting -- a concerted effort to depart The Ocean State. Can you give us any names publicly? I imagine a plan as large as you imply will show some holes in recent demographics too. An unusual 'departure' rate may also have attracted wide comment, as with the disappearances of the gulchers in Atlas Shrugged. I bet the departed Rhode Island libertarians and/or conservatives are not actually in hiding.

...

A case study is a lot of work. Can you make a case that Rhode Island is self-destructing, with some names, facts, numbers, comparatives? I don't think Rhode Island is consistently losing population. These 2000-2010 figures contradict your assertion, though it is true that Rhode Island and Michigan are two states that lost population between 2010 and 2012.

Perhaps a more cogent explanation of Rhode Island's population trends (low and no growth rate) would come from a wider national scope. For example, this depiction of population changes for the USA suggests broader reasons for departures and arrivals (rather than by 'progressive social policy'. Looking at longer trends, changes in Rhode Island may be better understood as resulting from the long-term dynamics of the rise of the Sunbelt economies. In which case Rhode Island can serve as a bellwether, but not an outlier, of continuing economic shifts.

Of course the numbers of men and women of consequence deemed to have left Rhode Island along with Baratheon since 2010 are small, between five hundred and a thousand -- the sums being uncertain since some departures were via cemetery, and since the sums must take into consideration the low live-birth rate of RIs valiant, galtish women, a rate far below the replacement ratio.

....

The Ocean State Current blog (formerly Anchor Rising) and the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity have done a lot of work on this issue, all of which is publicly available. The owner/editor of The Current, conservative writer Justin Katz, has had a long series of articles on letters and comments he has received from those who have fled the state (one such example is here). He's a very thoughtful individual and responsive to inquiries if you're interested in the subject. Those two organizations have produced a lot of original research on taxpayer migration data from the census as well. Although the net number of people leaving Rhode Island is relatively small, as you point out, there is data that supports that those leaving the state are a different class (higher income) from those moving into the state (lower income) (see here, for example). Anchor Rising itself has lost at least two contributors over the past several years to other states, and a number of regular commenters there and on the Providence Journal website have publicly stated their reasons for leaving, imploring others to follow suit (sometimes even going so far as to reference Ayn Rand directly). Steve Laffey was an RI conservative politician who semi-famously declared the state too broken to fix and, rather than run for governor, moved to Colorado.

As far as proving that the political-union class is destroying the state, I can give as many names and specifics as you have time for, although the names probably wouldn't mean much to anyone who isn't familiar. House Speaker Gordon Fox, a self-described "progressive Democrat," paid the largest ethics fine in state history. Much-loathed former Senate President Joseph Montalbano, also payer of a huge ethics fine) was just granted a coveted Superior Court judgeship this past week in a tacit quid-pro-quo by progressive (now Democrat) Governor Lincoln Chafee. His statement in the senate confirmation hearings to the sitting senators was that it would open the door to "happen to many of you" (see here). The top political spenders in Rhode Island are labor unions, who spent more money on elections than all business in the state combined (see here). I could go on all day on the subject, but I won't at this point, unless the commenters here have any specific questions.

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Remember Directive Number 10-289 which would prevent what may/is happening in Michigan, NJ, NY, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and California.

And if you think it cannot happen, check your premises. California and Michigan marxists, oops, enlightened progressive citizens are already talking about an exit tax for individuals, or, businesses who leave the respective states.

"In the name of the general welfare, to protect the people's security, to achieve full equality and total stability, it is decreed for the duration of the national emergency that:

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, under penalty of a term in jail. The penalty shall be determined by the Unification Board, such Board to be appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources. All persons reaching the age of twenty-one shall report to the Unification Board, which shall assign them to where, in its opinion, their services will best serve the interests of the nation.

Point Two. All industrial, commercial, manufacturing and business establishments of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishments shall not quit nor leave nor retire, nor close, sell or transfer their business, under penalty of the nationalization of their establishment and of any and all of their property.

Point Three. All patents and copyrights, pertaining to any devices, inventions, formulas, processes and works of any nature whatsoever, shall be turned over to the nation as a patriotic emergency gift by means of Gift Certificates to be signed voluntarily by the owners of all such patents and copyrights. The Unification Board shall then license the use of such patents and copyrights to all applicants, equally and without discrimination, for the purpose of eliminating monopolistic practices, discarding obsolete products and making the best available to the whole nation. No trademarks, brand names or copyrighted titles shall be used. Every formerly patented product shall be known by a new name and sold by all manufacturers under the same name, such name to be selected by the Unification Board. All private trademarks and brand names are hereby abolished.

Point Four. No new devices, inventions, products, or goods of any nature whatsoever, not now on the market, shall be produced, invented, manufactured or sold after the date of this directive. The Office of Patents and Copyrights is hereby suspended.

Point Five. Every establishment, concern, corporation or person engaged in production of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth produce the same amount of goods per year as it, they or he produced during the Basic Year, no more and no less. The year to be known as the Basic or Yardstick Year is to be the year ending on the date of this directive. Over or under production shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.

Point Six. Every person of any age, sex, class or income, shall henceforth spend the same amount of money on the purchase of goods per year as he or she spent during the Basic Year, no more and no less. Over or under purchasing shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.

Point Seven. All wages, prices, salaries, dividends, profits, interest rates and forms of income of any nature whatsoever, shall be frozen at their present figures, as of the date of this directive.

Point Eight. All cases arising from and rules not specifically provided for in this directive, shall be settled and determined by the Unification Board, whose decisions will be final.[1]

The following link is really cool...every character in the book is listed with page references...

http://atlaslisted.com/

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Seems like AS wasn't Romantisism after all. It's turning into pure naturalism. Depicting life as is. Scary.

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Seems like AS wasn't Romantisism after all. It's turning into pure naturalism. Depicting life as is. Scary.

I'm happy to see the principles she wrote about in Atlas Shrugged becoming reality... because it means that there is moral justice in this world, and that people are getting what they deserve as the consequences they set into motion by their own actions.

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I'm happy to see the principles she wrote about in Atlas Shrugged becoming reality... because it means that there is moral justice in this world, and that people are getting what they deserve as the consequences they set into motion by their own actions.

Indeed there is justice in the world. Not as much as there should be and only intermittently. If there were no justice, civilization would have collapsed long ago.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I'm happy to see the principles she wrote about in Atlas Shrugged becoming reality... because it means that there is moral justice in this world, and that people are getting what they deserve as the consequences they set into motion by their own actions.

Indeed there is justice in the world. Not as much as there should be and only intermittently. If there were no justice, civilization would have collapsed long ago.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I think it appears that way because much of what people perceive as injustice is actually the natural self-inflicted consequences of their own behavior. As I view America today, there is exactly as much justice (as well as mercy) as there should be. And that's good.

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By the way, I entered your sig into a translator. Hilarious!

You should change it to:

If my grandmother had Baals she would be my grandfather. ;)

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You can see a smaller-scale example of what I was describing in the Providence Journal today:

http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2013/06/662m-budget-approved-for-providence-residents-taxes-to-go-up.html

Providence, RI home owners yesterday received a 21% property tax to pay for public union raises and new hires. All of the public comments to the story are expressing outrage, but here is a selection of the comments relevant to our "Going Galt" discussion above:

"Folks, if you own property in La Prov, now is the time to punt .... it ain't gonna get any better ... Even a 10-20K loss is better than eventually having to abandon the property."

"thank goodness we bailed when we did. I fell so bad for those left behind."

"i guess it's time to say good by to my investment property"

"I left RI ten years ago and I look back and say, thank God I did."

"The only way out of this is leave or group together, other than that the end is near for the city and state."

"Send a message to all levels of Rhode Island government. Reduce the amount of times you dine out in Rhode Island by half. The reduction in meal tax, sales tax and the loss of income tax will get their attention. Also do not support businesses that offer public sector employees a discount."

"Sounds like the only way out is to move out of Providence for those that can."

"100 new firefighters?! For what? I will not pay any more."

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