Ayn Rand In 600 Words

The local hardware store just got a shipment of fine new generators.  Nice Hondas.  The quiet/efficient ones that are a cool and sleek counterpoint to the loathsome over-revved rattletraps that box stores crap out.  There were about a dozen lined up (a huge stock for my rural area!).  The price seemed fair.

I want one!  I lust for a Honda generator like other men lust for a Ferrari.  (Homesteaders are just as materialistic as anyone else.  I may scoff at a new iPhone but if you mess with my woodsplitter you’re going to die.)

Sadly I’m cheap.  I prefer money in my pocket to a new generator.  We all must make choices.

This got me to thinking about folks who need a generator far more than myself.  Lucky I’m not that screwed!  Aren’t there a bunch of folks penned up in NYC that are still wanting for power?  Imagine the horror of warm beer!  Last I knew they were protesting and bitching about FEMA and engaging in other time wasting activities to express their displeasure.  If I were in their shoes (which would never happen) I’d buy one of those Hondas no matter what the price.  I’d have it faster than you can say “smoking credit card” and never look back.

I suspect the supply of generators in Sandy’s wake is a mite slim.  Hmmm…  Soon I was scheming.

The price looked fair, there was ample stock, I’ve got a big ass truck, a criminally high credit limit, and a hankering for a road trip.  I’m not above “adventure” and the hardware store has a good return policy.  I could buy a bunch of these babies and deliver them to some poor slobs locked in the city.  Hopefully I’d swing enough profit to cover my time and fuel.  If, for some reason, New Yorkers would rather freeze in the dark than pay cash for a generator I’d return them to the store for a full refund.  I’m always willing to risk a tank of gas on a stupid idea.

Why  not?

If I added a couple hundred per unit to cover costs and another 10% I could get me one of those magic red power makers by delivering/selling ten.  Right now there’s a market of people who lack the technology to make beer cold.  Win win!

You know where this is going.  Reality set in.  There’s a modern word that’s routinely misused when someone adds a couple hundred per unit to cover custom delivery to the middle of a FEMA clusterfuck; price gouging.  And selling without a permit.  Without Union labor.  Etc…  In 2012 engaging in legal but informal trade is, paradoxically, de-facto illegal.

People who can’t legally buy a large soda sure as hell aren’t going to have the freedom to greet me and a truck full of generators.  They’re too busy protesting, or suffering, or whatever people who are locked in a city do when the lights go out.

I got in my truck and drove home.  I had a cold beer by the warm fire and thanked my lucky stars I’m not some Mayor’s pet.  As I post this I presume a bunch of city dwellers are still sitting in the dark.  That sucks but they’ve got to live in the cage they built and this particular redneck, who could help, isn’t going to deal with the drama.

See?  I just explained Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged in 600 words.

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About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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16 Responses to Ayn Rand In 600 Words

  1. Gene Botting says:

    It would be sad if it weren’t so true. Now I want a Honda. Your fault!

  2. julie says:

    You did good and with no boring monologues.. and yes, unfortunately what you say is true :(

  3. You did indeed. Bravo, sir!

    And when this post turns up in a search return for kids doing school reports, there are going to be some very confused teachers wondering where the kids thought generators and big gulps were mentioned in the text…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ayn Rand in 2 words Eff em. I think that is what you meant to say.

  5. MaxDamage says:

    I’m reminded of the words of Inigo Montoya: “Let me explain. No, there is no time. Let me sum up.” That’s a pretty fitting start for a summation of Rand, as well as Hayek if we’re going to add economics to the picture.

    To wit, I’ve been granted by my Creator a gift of Life, a certain number of minutes on this mudball spinning its way around old Sol each year. Those are minutes I cannot get back if I spend them unwisely. There is no board to appeal to, there is no arbitration, the most precious gift ever given is my gift of life and I intend to make the most of it.

    Thus, if you want something from me you *must* make it worth my finite and valuable time, at the bare minimum, before I can agree to any trade. Once that’s done we can talk money.

    Also, if you want something from me and intend to take it, by force if necessary, beware. That gift of life that I cherish above everything else? Sorry, doesn’t include yours.

    – Max

  6. asm826 says:

    There needed to be some unnecessarily overwrought sex in your story somewhere. Something where you meet a beautiful railroad magnate with your truck of generators and she discovers the meaning of life while you tear at each other .

  7. Homebrewer says:

    Cash in the bank earning no interest while the central bank monetizes all of the debt and the G is addicted to spending is not a good way to save. Buy the generator – you know you want it, it’ll hold value better than the US dollar. And it’s a ficken Honda. Now I want one :-)

    • I do consider some tools to be “inflation hedges”. Like my chainsaw and woodsplitter. Others, like my tractor, are “sunk costs” that worked out more in theory than in practice. (On the other hand my 60+ year old tractor is fully depreciated and could easily be sold for it’s original sticker price any time I can manage to start it.)

      Generators might not be inflation hedges because I can (if I have to) live without them. They’re just something I want just because I want them. Like another rifle or a cool hat.

  8. Pingback: Atlas Shrugged in 600 words | Save Capitalism

  9. Pingback: Ayn Rand In 600 Words | The Adaptive Curmudgeon’s Blog | Emigre From A Podunk Outpost

  10. Cliff Hudson says:

    Work in the fundamental difference between living in a dense urban area versus an open rural one, and I’ll consider that maybe you have fully thought through your argument :)

  11. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2012/11/21 « Free Northerner

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