This chapter also shows the ominous collapse of American industrial production. The closing plants and stores, the rising unemployment, and the lack of consumer goods aren't the only elements adding to the growing gloom. The retirement and mysterious disappearance of brilliant, talented individuals in a wide range of fields adds to society's pessimistic outlook. For example, Richard Halley, the brilliant composer whose music Dagny loves, has retired and gone into seclusion. Likewise, Owen Kellogg, a rising young star of Taggart Transcontinental, tells Dagny that he's leaving not only the Taggart line, but railroading entirely. He loves his work, and he doesn't plan a career in another field, but he leaves. Owen's reasons are a mystery to Dagny; she finds his actions inexplicable. The question of the new piece of music also troubles her. She knows with certainty that only Richard
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