It isn’t always the Government

It’s easy to forget that in Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, the first victim of businessman James Taggart’s bar-room plot was sacrificed not by the Government but by a union of railway companies. The “Anti-Dog Eat Dog” rule was enforced by a trade association, empowered to make rulings for the industry, and it ruled that the upstart Dan Conway should close his business.

Art follows life and often life follows art, so it came as no surprise to read this about Kickstarted full-length kids crime drama “Veronica Mars”:

“What the fans have done says a lot about what Veronica Mars meant to them,” the actress said. “We had a lot of people in their 20s and 30s saying to us, ‘Veronica got me through high school, I want to donate to you’.”

Thomas admitted being “entirely out of my comfort zone” in deciding how his backers, some of whom had donated up to $10,000 (£6,000), should be rewarded.

“It’s like the Blair Witch Project of crowdfunding, it’s a first,” he said. “I wanted to credit around 40 people as associate producers on the film, but then I ran into trouble with the Producers Guild of America.

“We also had hundreds of backers as extras on the film, but I came up against red tape about hiring a certain number of ‘real’ extras first. I think I learned more about union rules than anything.

Sad, that such an amazing opportunity to hone ones craft, and push the boundaries of business methods, was over shadowed and endangered by protectionist BS.

4 Comments

  1. People do not have to join these guilds, associations and so on – UNLESS the government gives them powers that lead to de facto compulsory membership. This is true for unions (see W.H. Hutt’s “The Strike Threat System”) and for producer associations.

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    1. I chatted at dinner once with someone involved in just such a task. She mentioned a 2 year project and millions of pounds, just to get a license – before taking any deposits.

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