Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 18

atlas5Dagny Taggert: I’m in a cabin learning to be unemployed and hating it!  I can’t go to Hank, because being in a committed relationship with someone isn’t about helping each other out!  No one knows where I am.

Francisco d’Anaconia: I know where you are.

Dagny: Curses! What do you want?

Francisco: To do what I do best. Give the same speech I’ve given three times before!

Dagny: I love that speech!

Francisco: The rich do all the work! The undifferentiated masses need our CAPITALISM! And me and my friends are engaging in massive economic sabotage, while claiming that none of the economic woes are our fault! Seriously, you could just go back and read my other speeches. It’s pretty much the same stuff. The only new thing is that you should go away, Dagny, and leave the “looters” and “moochers” to die without us (ignoring, again, that we’re economic saboteurs and literally pirates, because that has nothing to do with how bad things are getting, nope, it’s all the “looters” and “moochers”, not the terrorism and piracy).

Dagny: Wait! The radio is turned to the plot channel! There’s been a railroad disaster! I’ve got to get back to work! To New York!

Francisco: D’oh!

James Taggart: I’m incompetent, but I’m glad my sister isn’t . . . drat!

Dagny: I have returned! I will work to put things in order! I will call Hank!

Hank Rearden: I’m so sorry that I signed over the rights to Rearden Metal.

Dagny: You’re tall and thin, and therefore a CAPITALIST, so I will literally ignore how much you’re empowering the “looters”! Make me some railroad. Ignore the costs. Pay people double or triple what it takes to get them to work!

Kit Bradley: The wha’? What do you mean “ignore the costs”? You’re broke! It’s been a plot point up to now that Taggart Transcontinental is having trouble making payroll! And you’re going to massively expand payroll, paying double or triple normal pay?! How are you going to get the liquidity to do a large rail expansion when you can’t meet present payrolls?! WHY IS THIS BOOK SO BAD?!

Hank: Yes! Let’s ignore costs! Despite your company literally being broke, and the legal system so corrupt that you’re not allowed to raises costs to cover the additional expenditures, I will make your rails, confident you can pay me!

Dagny: See you soon, where I will continue to ignore how badly you betrayed our ethical standards, despite them supposedly being so important to me!

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