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Reason Alert: Atlas Shrugged, Tax Day, the City That Outsourced Everything

Atlas Shrugged movie hits theaters and 72,000 pages of tax code

April 15, 2011

- Reason Behind the Scenes of Atlas Shrugged - Who Is John Galt?
- Sandy Springs, Georgia: The City That Outsourced Everything
- 72,000 Pages of Tax Code
- A Post-Postal Society
- New at Reason
 
Reason Behind the Scenes of Atlas Shrugged - Who Is John Galt?
The movie Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 opens in theaters today. Director Paul Johansson, screenwriter Brian O'Toole, producer Harmon Kaslow and the cast sat down with Reason.tv to talk about the film and  try to answer the question, "Who is John Galt?"
 
In the May issue of Reason magazine, Senior Editor Brian Doherty details how this movie got made and the 38-year struggle to turn Ayn Rand's famous novel into a film. Doherty concludes: "The finished film succeeds as a professional quality filmed recreation of scenes and themes from that book. Rand fans should love it for that. If you aren't already privy to the material, it (understandably) lacks the emotional and intellectual force of the novel—as well as the resolution of the plot and theme. But if this film succeeds, [Producer John] Aglialoro intends to finish up with two more films over the next two years. Rand came to the United States because of her love of Hollywood and the dreams of a rich, romantic, vivid life that American movies inspired during her constrained, deprived youth in Soviet Russia. It was one of her dreams to make an Atlas movie, and Aglialoro imagines himself able to visit Rand's grave with head held high, telling her, 'We did it.'
 
Reason.com's Kurt Loder, however, is not a fan: "It’s a blessing, I suppose, that Ayn Rand, who loved the movies, and actually worked extensively in the industry, isn’t alive to see what’s been made of her most influential novel. The new, long-awaited film version of Atlas Shrugged is a mess, full of embalmed talk, enervated performances, impoverished effects, and cinematography that would barely pass muster in a TV show. Sitting through this picture is like watching early rehearsals of a stage play that’s clearly doomed.  The movie is especially disappointing because Rand’s 1957 book, while centrally concerned with ethical philosophy (and inevitably quite talky), has a juicy plot that, in more capable hands, might have made a sensational film."
More:
Reason.tv: The Making of Atlas Shrugged the Movie
Matt Welch: Happy Atlas Shrugged Day!
P.J. O'Rourke and Others Review Atlas Shrugged
 
Sandy Springs, Georgia: The City That Outsourced Everything
The city of Sandy Springs doesn't have any long-term financial liabilities or a budget deficit. And while other cities face massive deficits, Sandy Springs is installing state-of the-art traffic management systems, paving roads, building new parks and investing in new emergency response technology. Reason.tv tells the story of the city that outsourced everything.
States Should Not Be Allowed to File for Bankruptcy
 
72,000 Pages of Tax Code
As Americans file their taxes, Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum writes, "The federal tax code, which in 1913 could be published as a single 400-page book, today occupies some 72,000 pages. In the last 10 years alone, reports National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson (your designated friend at the IRS), 'there have been approximately 4,428 changes to the tax code.' The instructions for filling out Form 1040, which took up two pages 75 years ago, are 179 pages long this year. No wonder that nine out of 10 taxpayers use software or professional preparers to do their taxes. Olson estimates that the process consumes 6.1 billion hours and costs $163 billion a year...Here is another pretense that stands in the way of a simpler, fairer, more efficient tax code: the idea that politicians can improve our decisions by using tax preferences to encourage officially approved behavior, whether it's giving to charity, going to college, adopting children, investing in research, converting corn into fuel, or buying a house, a hybrid car, or a health insurance policy. It's bad enough that the government forcibly extracts a share of our income; it should not presume to direct the spending of the rest."
Reason.tv: 47 Things that IRS Stands For
President Obama Bets That the Government Can Save Itself
The Case Against Farm Welfare
John Stossel: Serious Budget Talk Is Welcome
Why Are Liberals Demonizing Paul Ryan's Budget Plan?
Shikha Dalmia: Nanny State Approach Will be the Undoing of Ryan's Plan
Friday Funnies: Budget Time
 
A Post-Postal Society
In the May issue of Reason magazine, Greg Beato examines the post office's rapidly vanishing role in society: "...post offices are homey but high-minded emblems of democracy, bustling third spaces for towns too bucolically correct to tolerate a Starbucks (which are still outnumbered by post offices by a more than two-to-one margin). In the same way that Filson hunting jackets and chambray utility shirts have been recast as urban fashion, the post office is turning into a lifestyle prop, an authentic, old-timey example of 'heritage' communications. And, of course, the most democratic place in the land to recycle your old cell phone when you upgrade to a Nokia E5 and its superior messaging capabilities."
 
New at Reason
 
Video: Three Steps To Get Our Highways Moving Again
 
Robert Poole: Airport Security Newsletter
 
Robert Poole: Surface Transportation Newsletter
 
Shikha Dalmia: Use Open Records Laws to Go After the Government, Not Individuals
 
Will Florida Republicans Stand Up Against Occupational Licensing Abuse?
 
Matt Welch Talks About Averting the Gov't Shutdown on Freedom Watch
 
Nick Gillespie Discusses Libya With Judge Andrew Napolitano on Glenn Beck
 
The Perennial Right-Wing Plot to Seize Hollywood From Liberals
 
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