Ayn Rand’s landmark novel, Atlas Shrugged is a favorite with philosophers and libertarians alike. But at 1,168 pages Rand’s thesis/manifesto/novel is perhaps not so fondly recalled by those who found it on the required reading list. Engineers, plant managers, and especially heavy industry CEOs enduring turbulent 2022 just might want to dust off the old dog-eared college paperback… or at least read the cliff notes.
“The story of Atlas Shrugged takes place in the United States at an unspecified future time. Dagny Taggart, vice president in charge of operations for Taggart Transcontinental Railroad, seeks to rebuild the crumbling track of the Rio Norte Line that serves Ellis Wyatt’s oil fields and the booming industrial areas of Colorado. The country is in a downward economic spiral with businesses closing and men out of work. Other countries in the world have become socialist Peoples’ States and are destitute.” Book Summary at cliffnotes.com
Sound familiar? There’s even a playboy copper mining magnate who organizes the reverse strike, the Great Resignation among his capitalist brethren at the highest levels. With their hands forced by a no-nothing government, The Strike was an industrialist counterpunch that was inevitable in Rand’s government-mandated crumbling world.
Make no mistake, this is nothing new. Back in the real world, Rand’s red flags have been waving in heavy industry for decades. The typical news story from Joe Biden’s own home state of Delaware back in 2018 is a case in point.
“Employees at Delaware City Refinery are nervously eyeing their future after Philadelphia Energy Solutions, a major competitor, recently filed for bankruptcy, citing the heavy expense of buying federally mandated renewable fuel credits that are also causing financial distress at the Delaware plant.” – Delaware Republic
Catch 2022: The Year Supply and Demand Karma Catches Up
This is the year that the heavy industry leaders of 2057 may one day look back upon as Catch 2022, if that industry can survive a nationalized takeover like we see in China now. The CCP is infamous for imposing mandatory covid shutdowns and draconian quarantines that drive private companies in China out of business while harvesting their essential human resources for their own state-owned factories and mines.
The 1957 classic that took 12 years for the enigmatic Rand to complete is turning out to be quite the accurate prophecy. As they say, when it comes to “fossil foolish” governments around the world, the future is now.
Shrugging Off Impossible Industrial Challenges in 2022
The US and global industrial producers face impossible challenges in the brave new green world. We’re seeing it already as aluminum and steel raw materials prices forced shutdowns at Alcoa and the lights are winking out in other sectors as well. It’s a trend that has surged around the world, and now it’s catching up in the US as well in 2022.
Merchant refiners are literally between a rock and a hard place as we discussed in a previous blog, Lithium Refiners are at the Mercy of Miners. But they’re not alone. A quick search shows that if misery loves company there’s plenty to go around in industries across the board.
“Refiners have been prioritizing gasoline over chemicals as demand continues to rise. In addition, crude to chemical producers, especially in Europe, are feeling unprecedented cost increases due to the sky-high natural gas prices.”
That puts secondary producers in the petrochemical sector at the mercy of the oil refiners who can’t be blamed for placing their crude raw material resources in the most profitable products. Need diesel? Sorry, gasoline is king of the profit hill right now. In Europe, natural gas is good as gold and nearly as hard to get, due to questionable green energy programs.
Now we’re bracing for the next step as producers are forced to shrug off losses with production cutbacks and always costly shutdowns. Would it surprise anyone in heavy industry if the current government elites, ignorant at best or outright evil at worst, ordered manufacturers to produce at a loss?
Negative Production, deficit production? What do we call it?
The mean, anything but lean, green policies of the current US and WEF endorsing governments are “shaking the industrial complex” according to the latest pop-ups. Perry Mason or J.Jonah Jameson could have written these bold black headlines, those clickbait alarms that flash at us with every notification. Anyone who’s read Atlas Shrugged can now grasp the parallels to reality in 2022 like an overdue palm slap to the forehead.
Who is John Galt?
Ayn Rand’s manifesto via the fictional John Galt waves the red flags of the collapse of capitalism. Rand is probably in a genre by herself from the engineering or corporate viewpoints. How often are heavy industry and the folks who keep on cranking out what the world demands portrayed as the prosecuted heroes? Not often in the mean, far from lean, green culture of 2022 and beyond.
John Galt and company were the doers, the achievers, the essential go-to guys and gals that provide the world with the products it needs to thrive. Ayn’s socialist sellout corporate flunkies and Big Government are exposed for the villains that they can become when allowed off the leash.
But our problem now is how to rein them in and get them back on the leash.
About Resource Erectors
Despite the challenges of Catch 2022 we’ve found that you can’t keep a good company down. You can check out those companies at our job board for top-level industry professionals. With decades of specialized industrial recruiting experience in mining, manufacturing, industrial minerals, bulk materials, safety, sales, and more Resource Erectors can help you build the teams your company needs to weather the turbulent effects of Catch 2022.
If you’re a heavy industry professional ready for a strategic move up the career ladder we have lucrative career-enhancing opportunities with six-figure salaries and competitive benefits packages with our company clients who know that their most precious resources are their human resources. Contact us today to get started.