On a recent driving trip down the East Coast of Florida, I was surprised and awakened to see the above billboard. Sure, I’ve seen the occasional “Who Is John Galt?” bumper sticker, and given the driver a knowing nod upon passing them, but I’ve never seen the perennial objectivist question committed to in such a big way. In a world where daily news of ongoing government encroachment on free market principles and increasing dis-incentives for individuals to work hard and create something of value, it’s easy to feel like we are living in the first few chapters of Atlas Shrugged.
Seeing this billboard filled me with curiosity and mystery, but somehow gave me hope. Who funded it? Is he a successful small business owner, entrepreneur, inventor? Why isn’t there a contact number or website for more info? Who was he hoping to influence, and to do what? These thoughts stayed with me throughout our trip and on the way back up, I made a point of pulling over to take a photo. Those who know, know — and will hopefully help to effect a change of course in our current trajectory. Those who don’t yet know, will hopefully be curious enough to investigate and draw their own conclusions using the power of their free mind.
Postscript: Just this morning while doing a little bit of Googling I learned that the gentleman who funded this sign, Craig Root, is indeed a successful small business owner. Turns out he founded and owns “Vista Outdoor Advertising” the outdoor advertising firm placing and operating this billboard. Per Root: “I’ve received only positive comments. Of course, only those of us who know the book and Ayn Rand would get the reference but it’s been great to rekindle the notion in our current atmosphere. I’ve also convinced some people to read the book just based on the sign. If 50 people read the book because of the billboard, that will meet my primary objective.” I hope his business booms and that current and oncoming tax structures don’t cause him to redirect his initiative.
I also hope some of our elected officials take a driving vacation down I-95 to Florida this summer, it’s beautiful this time of year.