I came across the expression “Go Galt” in Paul Krugman’s article titled “The Twinkie manifesto” appearing in November 20 New York Times. The phrase appears in the second paragraph of the following interesting remark:
The data confirm Fortune’s impressions. Between the 1920s and the 1950s real incomes for the richest Americans fell sharply, not just compared with the middle class but in absolute terms. According to estimates by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, in 1955 the real incomes of the top 0.01 percent of Americans were less than half what they had been in the late 1920s, and their share of total income was down by three-quarters.
Strange to say, however, the oppressed executives Fortune portrayed in 1955 didn’t go Galt and deprive the nation of their talents. On the contrary, if Fortune is to be believed, they were working harder than ever.
I learned from Freedictionary that “Go Galt” means “to cease working in response to punitive taxes as a form of protest.”
What is the origin of “Go Galt”?
Is “Go Galt” used only for describing the business owners’ giving up business to protest heavy tax? Is it the wealthy’s or employers’ counter version of workers’ “strike”?
Can I use “Go Galt” for simply meaning “stop working / business” without a heavy-tax connotation?