Letters to the Editor

'Atlas Shrugged' seems eerily prophetic

We're now into the first six months of the Obama presidency. I'm sure eight out of 10 of the people on this island are giddy over the speed of the social progress promised by him during and after the campaign.

I first read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand years ago, and it seemed to me there was little similarity between the book and reality. OK, there was the War on Poverty with Medicare/Medicaid and the beginning of a huge national debt. But the states were still pretty much in control of their own destiny, while the federal government was there to protect us from external threats (and maybe start a war or two) and to provide a kind of safety net for those who just couldn't compete in a capitalistic environment.

So I read the book as an interesting novel. It has a great plot and wonderful characters. It made little impression on a 30-some-year-old man with a career and a thriving family. I was pretty much in control of my life. I paid taxes since my first job at 13. The thought that someday more than 30 percent of working Americans who file tax returns would not pay federal income tax never occurred to me.

I re-read the book recently and was dumbfounded that a book written in the '50s was so eerily current — almost a prophecy of where our nation is headed if we stand by and continue to be star-struck with this amazingly charismatic politician.

If you haven't read it, do so. This is not a Republican vs. Democrat, or right vs. left book. Whether or not you agree that our country is headed in the same direction as in this novel, it's a wonderful novel.

It's a great read. You owe it to your self.

Don Antonio
San Juan Island

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