I watched Atlas Shrugged Part I yesternight and it beat my expectations. Judging by my friend's reviews (do note they're all liberals though they would likely admit they mostly aren't that into politics if pressed), I was expecting a heavy, slowly -evolving movie that beat you over the head with Rand's philosophy. Instead, it was a well-paced, well-shot movie that was not too much more biased than liberal-leaning movies out of Hollywood, only this was right-leaning.
Anyway, slight spoilers ahead (only if you've been sleeping for years, really):
In the movie, you get the see idiotic-sounding economic policies instituted by the economists of America. As I heard them I cringed.
Today, reading a large chunk of Man vs. the Welfare State by Hazlitt, I got to see historical figures in US history proposing very similar plans in the real world. I got chills down my spine. It's insane. You see these destructive ideas in the film and then you open a non-fiction book and then you read about how our leaders want to implement them. Insane.
I just thought I would share this experience.
Also, the movie is on Netflix instant view if you want to see it. I do recommend it. Can't wait for Part II in October.
Rand pulled a lot of her scenarios from actual suggestions of her day, so don't be too surprised about that. Read up on the history of Amtrak if you want to be saddened and shocked :P
I thought the movie was well done too.
Our politicians are never going to learn and implement good policies. We need a seachange, so to speak :P
But more relevantly, link for Amtrak?
I think I first read about it in Sowell's Basic Economics, where you'll get a better breakdown on how the gov screwed the rail-companies over than reading the wiki. I can give a brief breakdown.
It started as little interventions. The gov began requiring the rails to serve unprofitable lines, set prices, appointed government managers, and--surprise, surprise--when they went bankrupt took them over and ran 'em into the ground, leading to subsidies just like every government "business."
Amtrak now is a QUANGO created to provide rail service after gov monkeyed in the rail business, forced free-market rail companies out of business thereby, declared the free market doesn't work and took over. It's disgusting.
I had that feeling when I was reading America's Great Depression.