Thinking about it, I was rather unfair to the denizens of Galt's Gulch, the richest 400 people in America. After all, they have 50% of the assets of America, they can certainly afford to bring with them all the materials and farm tools they would need in order to make a nice home for themselves in Galt's Gulch. A few of them even have theoretical knowledge of how to use these, and a few of them -- in the technology industry, mostly -- have even used a few small hand tools themselves, though not recently. For example, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has actually used a screwdriver. Granted, he was only 18 months old at the time, but at least he knows what a screwdriver is, unlike Cindy Walton.
Still, the end result will be starvation and death for the denizens of Galt's Gulch. Even with all the farm tools in the world, if you've never farmed before the likelihood of managing to grow a crop is pretty slim. And the 400 have no practical skills in how to repair farm equipment, not to mention that they can't even fuel their tractors and bulldozers without paying money to the hated peasants outside the Gulch, which they have foresaken doing because the peasants are just leaches and dimwits beside their obvious brilliance. So it might take six months, or a year, or two years, but eventually the last denizen of Galt's Gulch shall perish from hunger, likely after gnawing the last shreds of meat off the raw carcass of the next-to-the-last denizen of Galt's Gulch (raw carcass because, again, the 400 richest people in America may have a *theoretical* notion of how to light a fire and cook meat over it, but the number of said richest people who've actually done so is not likely to be very high).
So anyhow, enough of Galt's Gulch. So what happens to the rest of the world once the denizens of Galt's Gulch go into hiding in their hidden valley? Well..
At your local Wal-Mart, the trucks come in with merchandise as usual, and the workers unload them and stack them on the shelves as usual. The store managers walk their stores as usual and approve hiring of workers and accept resignations of workers and the store's computers send the day's sales to Walmart Bentonville every day, and the computers at Walmart Bentonville issue orders to their suppliers every day. The supplier relations specialists in Bentonville keep contacting their equivalents at their suppliers to negotiate pricing and availability as contracts expire. At suppliers, the product managers continue developing new products and getting approval from the VP of Marketing to put them into production, and selling these products to Wal-Mart.
Then one day, it's time for the monthly board of directors' meeting, and neither Jim Walton nor Robson Walton show up. The CEO asks, "Has anybody seen Jim or Rob?" Nobody has. "Oh well, we don't need them for a quorum, let's get the reports from our operating units and make any decisions we need to make." And they do.
Ten months later, it's time for the annual shareholder's meeting, where the board of directors has to be re-elected by the shareholders and... err... the biggest shareholders, every single one of the Walton family, are missing. Neither hide nor hair has been seen of them for almost a year now. The board shrugs, and renominates themselves as well as two more people to take the board positions of the two Waltons who are no longer around.
At some point someone asks, "Sayyyy.... nobody's seen the 400 richest people in America recently. Is something going on? Have they been kidnapped or something?" The FBI goes to the homes of the top five people on the Forbes 400 list, and manage to badge their way past the guards and ascertain that the guards have not seen their employer in over a year and that their employer's business manager continues signing their paychecks as usual. Said business manager says she hasn't seen her employer either but assumes said employer is at one of their other homes. The FBI gets a court order to search the home under reasonable suspicion that a murder or kidnapping may have taken place, and find clues to where the Galt-goers have gone. They go to Galt Gulch and find all 400 corpses plus the corpses of their spouses and heirs, many horribly mangled due to cannibalism. The world is agoggle about how horrible it was that the 400 went to such extremes to remove themselves from the presence of their "inferiors" yet came to such a terrible end. And then...
... the world goes on, as it's been going on for the past year without these "masters of the universe". The 400 took their spouses and heirs to Galt's Gulch with them and there were no survivors and they left no wills, so the ownership of the properties and corporate shares that they owned devolves to the unclaimed property division of the states the 400 resided in, which then auctions them off and has plenty to pay off their state's entire debt plus any deficits caused by recessions. New owners take over and let the employees continue running the companies, as has been true for the past year that the owners were nowhere around. In the end, all that happens is that the 400 proved just how little they contributed to the economy, which didn't even notice they were missing until the FBI found the gory evidence of a Donner Party Event in Galt's Gulch.
-- Badtux the Fiction Penguin