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Ayn Rand - „Atlas Shrugged“:

The reporters who came to the press conference in the office of the John Galt Line were young men who had been trained to think that their job consisted of concealing from the world the nature of its events. It was their daily duty to serve as audience for some public- figure who made utterances about the public good, in phrases carefully chosen to convey no meaning. It was their daily job to sling words together in any combination they pleased, so long as the words did not fall into a sequence saying something specific.

In the clear, monotonous voice of a military report, consulting no papers, looking straight at the men, Dagny recited the technological facts about the John Galt Line, giving exact figures on the nature of the rail, the capacity of the bridge, the method of construction, the costs. Then, in the dry tone of a banker, she explained the financial prospects of the Line and named the large profits she expected to make. 'That is all,"she said.

"All?" said one of the reporters. "Aren't you going to give us a message for the public?"

"That was my message."

"But hell—I mean, aren't you going to defend yourself?"

"Against what?"

"Don't you want to tell us something to justify your Line?"

"I have."

Another asked, "Aren't you going to tell us your motive for building that Line?"

"I have told you: the profit which I expect to make."

"Oh, Miss Taggart, don't say that!" cried a young boy. He was new, he was still honest about his job, and he felt that he liked Dagny Taggart, without knowing why. "That's the wrong thing to say. That's what they're all saying about you."

"Are they?"

"I'm sure you didn't mean it the way it sounds and . . . and I'm sure you'll want to clarify it."

"Why, yes, if you wish me to. The average profit of railroads has been two per cent of the capital invested. An industry that does so much and keeps so little, should consider itself immoral. As I have explained, the cost of the John Galt Line in relation to the traffic which it will carry makes me expect a profit of not less than fifteen per cent on our investment. Of course, any industrial profit above four per cent is considered usury nowadays. I shall, nevertheless, do my best to make the John Galt Line earn a profit of twenty per cent for me, if possible. That was my motive for building the Line. Have I made myself clear now?”

The boy was looking at her helplessly. "You don't mean, to earn a profit for you, Miss Taggart? You mean, for the small stockholders, of course?" he prompted hopefully.

"Why, no. I happen to be one of the largest stockholders of Taggart Transcontinental, so my share of the profits will be one of the largest.

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