Atlas Shrugged * The crying song of the people * Excerpt

This is what happens when inept people rule the country and prioritize budgeting for friends and luxury rather than food and subsistence and jobs:


“Soybeans make an excellent substitute for bread, meat, cereals and coffee-and if all of us were compelled to adopt soybeans as our staple diet, it would solve the national food crisis and make it possible to feed more people.

The greatest food for the greatest number-that’s my slogan.

At a time of desperate public need, it’s our duty to sacrifice our luxurious tastes and eat our way back to prosperity by adapting ourselves to the simple, wholesome foodstuff on which the peoples of the Orient have so nobly subsisted for centuries. There’s a great deal that we could learn from the peoples of the Orient.”

“Copper tubing, Miss Taggart, could you get some copper tubing for us somewhere?” the voices were pleading over her telephone.

“Rail spikes, Miss Taggart!” “Screwdrivers, Miss Taggart!”

“Light bulbs, Miss Taggart, there’s no electric light bulbs to be had anywhere within two hundred miles of us!”

But five million dollars was being spent by the office of Morale Conditioning on the People’s Opera Company, which traveled through the country, giving free performances to people who, on one meal a day, could not afford the energy to walk to the opera house.

Seven million dollars had been granted to a psychologist in charge of a project to solve the world crisis by research into the nature of brother-love.

Ten million dollars had been granted to the manufacturer of a new electronic cigarette lighter-but there were no cigarettes in the shops of the country.

There were flashlights on the market, but no batteries; there were radios, but no tubes; there were cameras, but no film.

The production of airplanes had been declared “temporarily suspended.” Air travel for private purposes had been forbidden, and reserved exclusively for missions of “public need.” An industrialist traveling to save his factory was not considered as publicly needed and could not get aboard a plane; an official traveling to collect taxes was and could.

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