In Greek mythology, Atlas was a giant who carried the world on his shoulders. In Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, Atlas represents the “ prime movers”—the talented few who bear the weight of the world’s economy.1 In the novel, the prime movers go on strike against the oppressive burden of excessive regulation and taxation, leaving the world in disarray and demonstrating how indispensable they are to the rest of us (the “second handers” ).
Avi-Yonah, Reuven S. "Why Tax the Rich? Efficiency, Equity, and Progressive Taxation." Review of Does Atlas Shrug? The Economic Consequences of Taxing the Rich, by J. B. Slemrod, editor. Yale L. J. 111, no. 6 (2002): 1391-416.