Atlas Tugged

Eight years ago, every sophisticated critic had the same sophisticated criticism to make of (the admittedly terrible) Atlas Shrugged movie: how absurdly anachronistic it was to think that a modern economy could depend on something as coarsely physical as railroads. OMG. SMH. According to the wisdom du jour, then as now, the future is digital–a condition that renders the world of crudely physical things dispensable.

Here we are, eight years later:

Union Pacific, a major rail carrier, also expressed relief at the deal. “We look forward to the unions ratifying these agreements and working with employees as we focus on restoring supply chain fluidity,” the company said in a statement.

Mr. Walsh wrote on Twitter that the agreement “balances the needs of workers, businesses, and our nation’s economy.”

“Our rail system is integral to our supply chain,” he said in a follow-up tweet, “and a disruption would have had catastrophic impacts on industries, travelers and families across the country.”

7 thoughts on “Atlas Tugged

    • I don’t own a car, so I travel to and from work every day by train. It seems self-evident to me that plenty of people do the same: I see them every day, twice a day. The proximity of urban centers, office parks, malls, and medical centers to rail lines would likewise seem to suggest that trains have some importance in this, our modern economy, and could in principle have more importance than they do. And I’m just talking about commuter trains, not freight trains. Add freight trains to the mix, and it becomes awfully hard to see what the anti-train smugness was about.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. All of a sudden, railroads are so important to the economy that if the rail workers unions don’t voluntarily agree to sign the latest contract, well, The White House will just have to step in and force them. One more proof, in case any was needed, of the essentially Hobbesian sympathies of the American business “community,” down to a belief in the compatibility of contract and coercion.


  2. Pingback: Atlas Mugged | Policy of Truth

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