The Corner

Re: Federal Fiat

Jonah, you got everything right but the title. It’s national fiat*: There’s nothing “federal” in any meaningful sense of the word in an ever more centralized government ordering a private company to build in a state that suits the national government’s priorities rather than a state that suits the company’s.

Incidentally, I finally got to see Atlas Shrugged The Movie, which has been roundly mocked by various reviewers, including on the right (PJ O’Rourke). I broadly agree with Andrew Stuttaford’s take. The design is kinda goofy and a lot of the acting is like out-takes from Dynasty, but it’s still about something in a way that any number of slicker products aren’t. And in particular it’s about an America in which government departments with benignly technocratic names regulate, cannibalize and confiscate private companies in the supposed interests of “equalizing” differences between states.

Crazy, huh?

Let’s stick with stuff that’s far more plausible – like Sean Penn’s Valerie Plame movie…

PS On the other hand, Federal-Fiat would make a good corporate name for the new Chrysler.

[*UPDATE: On reflection, I think I’ll go with “central fiat”, which has the appropriate whiff of Soviet planning about it.]

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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