Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Alabama Coal Miner pulls a 'John Galt'

Right Out of Atlas Shrugged’: Hear an Exasperated Alabama Businessman Tell the Feds – ‘I’m Just Quitting’

Ronnie Bryant was vastly outnumbered.

Leaning against a wall during a recent Birmingham, Alabama, public hearing, Bryant listened to an overflow crowd pepper federal officials with concerns about businesses polluting the drinking water and causing cases of cancer.

After two hours, Bryant—a coal mine owner from Jasper—had heard enough and, in a moment being described as “right out of Atlas Shrugged,” took his turn at the microphone:



The following is the text of Ronnie Bryant's statement:

My name’s Ronnie Bryant, and I’m a mine operator…. I’ve been issued a [state] permit in the recent past for [waste water] discharge, and after standing in this room today listening to the comments being made by the people…. [pause] Nearly every day without fail — I have a different perspective — men stream to these [mining] operations looking for work in Walker County. They can’t pay their mortgage. They can’t pay their car note. They can’t feed their families. They don’t have health insurance. And as I stand here today, I just … you know … what’s the use? I got a permit to open up an underground coal mine that would employ probably 125 people. They’d be paid wages from $50,000 to $150,000 a year. We would consume probably $50 million to $60 million in consumables a year, putting more men to work. And my only idea today is to go home. What’s the use? I don’t know. I mean, I see these guys — I see them with tears in their eyes — looking for work. And if there’s so much opposition to these guys making a living, I feel like there’s no need in me putting out the effort to provide work for them. So as I stood against the wall here today, basically what I’ve decided is not to open the mine. I’m just quitting. Thank you.


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3 comments:

Wayne said...

I feel exactly the same way. Have been involved in moving five factories from California to Mexico over the years. The reason? Overwhelming insane regulations on hiring and managing a human workforce plus other insane regulations such as osha, epa, etc.

Reggie said...

Wayne, it just continues to get worse, doesn't it?

California, New York and several other states are driving corporations, small businesses and jobs out of their states and out of our country!

They have to be doing this intentionally. The desired result must be the complete destruction of the United States. There is no other logical explanation.

MA_Benjamin said...

I finally saw the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged and my curiosity was piqued. The novel is championed by conservatives and libertarians as a defense of capitalism and rugged individualism. Liberals and progressives vilify the novel as simplistic, illogical, selfish and dangerous. As a film, it’s mediocre, but the theme of Atlas Shrugged speaks to our times.
The economic uncertainty roiling our nation should make the Tea Party and OWS fellow travelers and natural allies. Instead, the corporate media casts them as opposites, if not, adversaries.
Some Tea Party types have chosen the fictional John Galt as the iconic representative of their frustration with an intrusive (and in their view, illegitimate) big government [just like the Alamaba coal mine operator]. On the other hand, Occupiers – particularly the anarchists— wear Guy Fawkes masks to symbolize their desire to overthrow the system.
The contrasts are immediate. Galt is a fictional hero, while Fawkes is a failed historical figure. Galt used non-violent passive resistance to call attention to his grievances. Fawkes was a co-conspirator in a violent terrorist plot to assassinate King James I, destroy Parliament and restore a Catholic to the English throne. They are decidedly different approaches to dealing with oppression.
Read more at http://michaelbenjamin2012.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/are-you-john-galt/