I read Atlas Shrugged for the first time about 15 years ago. Yes, I was already in my 30s when I read it for the first time all the way through. It resonated with me, I started a blog with reference to John Galt in the title, I looked for gold $ pins, the whole nine yards...but I didn't check out. For the last couple of years I've had a couple of things on my mind: What would it take to convince enough people to just check out and quit participating How big would the "strike" need to be to have an impact How long would it take to really, truly get the attention of TPTB, whoever they are How long would it have to last to be meaningful Possibly a more important question though, is how long could most people who wanted to check out actually do so? From a discussion point of view, I'd like to explore those questions. What I don't want to do is have this devolve into a rant about illegal taxation (although it is), and a whole host of other tangential topics. I'm curious, at least as a thought experiment at this point, as to what it would truly take. I am a producer, or at least I see myself as one. I provide a service to the company that I work for and I get compensated for it. I dutifully pay may taxes and receive at least some services or what should pass as services. I make charitable contributions. I spend what I can on the things I like to spend them on and pay the rest for the "necessary" stuff in my life. I don't think I'm a leach or a mooch. What would it take for me to check out and just walk away? I don't know. I'm not independently wealthy although I do more than pretty well. I couldn't set up shop in the middle of the Rockies and frankly I don't want to be a hermit or a live with just my family as the only ones within several hundred miles. I'm a semi-social creature, so I don't think a Galt's Gulch is doable for me any time soon. But would it need to be? If I had a skill I could barter for to receive the goods and services I needed, and enough of the people around me decided they didn't want to feed the beast anymore, could we get by? And for how long? I see taxes and any secured loan being the primary reasons that people couldn't check out and the tools the government and business would use to force people to get back to work. They couldn't force us to work at gunpoint, but they could absolutely make life miserable for those unable to fight back and without the resources to stay out for a long time. What other tools do they have at their disposal to force us back in line, or are they all economic? Would they actually take the chance and go "full despotism" if it was required? And finally, what can we do in little (and not so little) ways to check out, go Galt, and stop the engine of the world?