This is a guest post by Dan Mitchell.
I suggested a couple of months ago that the economic turmoil in Greece and Venezuela is somewhat akin to a real-life version of Atlas Shrugged.
But I’m probably not doing justice to Ayn Rand’s famous novel because Atlas Shrugged is not just about an economy that collapses under the weight of too much government regulation, intervention, and control.
I probably won’t give the right description since I’m a policy wonk rather than philosopher, but Atlas Shrugged is also about the perils of self-sacrifice.
And I couldn’t help but think about that aspect of the book when I read the comments of certain Greek politicians during yesterday’s bailout vote in Athens.
If you scroll down to the 14:40 mark of this timeline from the U.K.-based Telegraph, you’ll find some remarkable comments that sound like they came straight from Ayn Rand’s book.
Greece’s ruling Syriza party has accused David Cameron of being mean over his objections to allowing British taxpayer’s money to be used to help Athens meet upcoming debt payments. …Mr Cameron’s attitude was described as cold-hearted by Nikos Xydakis, a deputy culture minister in Syriza. “Mr Cameron must explain to the European people and 11 million Greeks why he wants them to suffer a social crisis,” Mr Xydakis told The Telegraph. “This is not about politics, this is about human souls.”
Wow. I might agree that David Cameron is “mean,” but I think his cruelty is directed against British taxpayers, not Greek politicians.