The "John Galt Effect" [update 2]
Molecular biologist Arthur B. Robinson, who has obtained the signatures of more than 31,000 scientists to his 'Oregon Petition' opposing the theory of climate change, has identified what he calls a "John Galt Effect" at work in the US elections and "the national events that preceded them."
Named "in honor of Ayn Rand's famous character in Atlas Shrugged.... it is occurring to a very significant extent," he says. It is an "opportunity cost" about which economists are utterly ignorant, but shouldn't be. Read about it here [hat tip Ellen Stuttle].
UPDATE 1: George Reisman reckons the Age of Show Trials, with Capitalist Defendants in Shackles is already imminient -- and the likes of New York Times columnist Maureen Down "will be there, perhaps with knitting needles, in the role of a modern-day Madame Defarge, the Dickens character who knitted while watching aristocrats being guillotined during the French Revolution."
UPDATE 2: An economist (one of the good ones) smacks me down. Responds Eric Crampton,
Economists utterly ignorant of the John Galt effect? It's called the tax elasticity of labour supply. And, surprisingly enough, economists have studied it. In fact, the world's top expert in the effects of tax policy, Joel Slemrod, who visited Canterbury last year to give the Condliffe Memorial Lecture, edited a book on it, available at Amazon called "Does Atlas Shrug? The economic consequences of taxing the rich." There's also plenty of work that's been done showing the horrible consequences of the kinds of top marginal tax rates we had in the 50s-70s.Read on here for more.