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Monday, March 18, 2013

 Fiscal policy and political stability: The danger of profligacy 
,
Paul Ryan  | [....] I, having spent most of my professional life around Ayn Rand-loving deficit hawks like [Paul] Ryan, imagine that Mr Ryan really is imagining a full-on Zimbabwean monetary calamity, as fantastic as that may seem.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

• • Heritage DeMinted 
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A protracted struggle this year and last over control of the Cato Institute's board of directors resolved with the "retirement" of Ed Crane, who had presided over Cato since its earliest days, and his replacement as president by John Allison, an incredibly wealthy former bank executive with a commitment to the philosophy of Ayn Rand.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

• • • Is Paul Ryan a hypocrite? 
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Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | One might think the fact that Paul Ryan is a terrible Randian, as Connor Friedersdorf establishes at length, would come as a bit of relief to liberals who would rather not see a Randian “radical for capitalism” a heartbeat away from the presidency. But, alas, relief is not the reaction one observes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

• • • Ayn Rand on Tax Day 

Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individual Rights  | Ayn Rand’s position on government finance is unusual, to say the least. Rand was not an anarchist and believed in the possibility of a legitimate state, but did not believe in taxation. This left her in the odd and almost certainly untenable position of advocating a minimal state financed voluntarily. [....] It’s true that we each benefit from the availability of genuinely public goods, but we benefit most if we are able to enjoy them without paying for them. A rationally self-interested individual will not voluntarily pay for public goods if she believes others will pay and she can get a free ride. But if we’re all rationally self-interested, and we know we’re all rationally self-interested, we know everyone else will also try to get a free ride, in which case it is doubly irrational to voluntarily pitch in.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

 Rand Paul and religion 
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Atheism  | [Rand] Paul is a fan of Ayn Rand, a noted atheist.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

 Breathtaking and transformative 

Capitalism  | Were I to pinpoint the causes of rising inequality, I would cite skill-biased technical change and evolution in the nature of executive compensation. And then, if you wanted to know why public opinion has not so far supported policy to offset the distributional effects of these changes, I would cite the ideological influence of “free-market” figures such as Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman. I don’t believe the influence of these thinkers is ultimately due to moneyed interests, so my argument comes down to the claim that the left has lost ground in the battle of ideas. It is not surprising that the left finds this hard to accept; to do so would be to admit failure.

Friday, September 17, 2010

• • Paul Ryan’s rhetoric 

Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | Because Mr Ryan’s theory of natural rights remain implicit, it’s hard to know what functions he believes a rights-respecting government can legitimately perform. But in light of Mr Ryan’s admitted enthusiasm for Ayn Rand, it seems reasonable to suspect that ideal in Mr Ryan’s heart of hearts does not leave much room for the welfare state. [....] As far as I can tell, Mr Ryan’s first principles don’t actually support the kind of government he proposes to modernise. First principles (such as Ayn Rand’s) that amount to a radical critique of the liberal-democratic welfare state are a pretty poor foundation for a practical approach to the government of the liberal-democratic welfare state.

Monday, August 30, 2010

• • Scenes from the rally 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | I walked down to the Mall on Saturday to listen to Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin address the thousands of supporters who gathered around the Lincoln Memorial in the muggy summer heat. [....] Robert McCartney of the Washington Post has a good write-up of some of the “exaggerated thinking” that he encountered at the rally, and while my experience was vaguely similar, the people I talked to were more tethered to reality. [....] [One] man came over and provided a Randian analysis of the economic environment, referencing “Atlas Shrugged” and claiming that producers would stop producing if taxes continued to rise. I pointed out that Barack Obama had, to this point, actually lowered taxes for most workers, but this did not faze him. I then asked how the deficit, a priority for both men, could be lowered without higher taxes. One man offered that supply-side policies would lead to greater government revenue, while the other wanted to lower spending. What spending? Earmarks.