The more I read, the more I am struck by the irony of the title of the Stephen Moore article in the Wall Street Journal that inspired my reading in the first place: Atlas Shrugged: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years.
When Rand wrote the book, it was complete fiction. America was enjoying a time of unprecedented prosperity in the 1950's despite the ascendancy of the "looters" and "moochers" that Rand so despised. Strong unions and a 90% top marginal tax rate did not destroy the economy or cause industrialists to close their factories and disappear.
In the last thirty years, however, American manufacturing has declined precipitously and the United States has gone from the biggest creditor in the world to its biggest debtor. All this happened as American economic policy turned in favor of Rand's "prime movers" with tax cuts for the wealthy and union bashing.