As the Greek crisis unfolds in Europe, the latest chapter involves a potential bailout from the IMF — about 17% of whose total funds come from this country. This prompted my recall of the following quote (with one word updated):
What are all those people counting on? If a [Greek] factory goes bankrupt, the equalizers will find another factory to loot. If that other factory starts crumbling, it will get a loan from the bank. If the bank has no money, it will get a loan from the government. If the government has no money, it will get a loan from a foreign government. If no foreign government has any money, all of them will get a loan from the United States.
What they don’t know—and neither does this country—is that the United States is broke.
–Ayn Rand, “Egalitarianism and Inflation”, June 1974
That one led to this one, echoing the same theme:
What were they thinking now, the champions of need and the lechers of pity?—she wondered. What were they counting on? Those who had once simpered: “I don’t want to destroy the rich, I only want to seize a little of their surplus to help the poor, just a little, they’ll never miss it!”—then, later, had snapped: “The tycoons can stand being squeezed, they’ve amassed enough to last them for three generations”—then, later, had yelled: “Why should the people suffer while businessmen have reserves to last a year?”—now were screaming: “Why should we starve while some people have reserves to last a week?” What were they counting on?—she wondered.
Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged” Part Three/Chapter V