Who Is Today’s Wesley Mouch? Barack Obama

WASHINGTON–Last night John Stossel aired a one-hour special on Ayn Rand’s classic novel “Atlas Shrugged.” In it, referring to one of the novel’s greatest villains, Stossel asked the question, “Who is today’s Wesley Mouch?”

“In ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ the economy is being strangled to death by government spending and controls,” writes Alex Epstein, a fellow with the Ayn Rand Center. “And yet its leading economic official, Wesley Mouch, prescribes more government intervention as the solution: ‘I need wider powers!’ he yells repeatedly.

“Besides the yelling, President Barack Obama sounded an awful lot like Wesley Mouch at his December ‘jobs summit,’ which was intended to address our 10 percent-plus unemployment.

“Consider the context of the summit. The Bush and Obama administrations warned us that if we didn’t fall into line with their trillion-dollar bailouts and industry takeovers, we would be punished by unemployment over 10 percent. We fell into line. Unemployment went over 10 percent.

“In the face of these developments, what is the response of Barack Obama? Does he consider that maybe his economic manipulation has made things worse? No–in the mold of Wesley Mouch, he imposes new government programs to alleviate unemployment, rationalizing his interventions on the grounds that ‘We cannot hang back and hope for the best.’

“Only in the anti-capitalist worldview that underlies government policy today does a lack of government intervention constitute ‘hanging back and hoping for the best.’

“When we witness any kind of economic dislocation, from a housing boom and bust to 10 percent unemployment, the only summit to hold is one on how the government is using its coercive power to create the problem (for example, boosting unemployment by preventing prices and wages from falling). And the last conclusion that a rational summit would ever draw is to give either Wesley Mouch or Barack Obama wider powers.”