Living in a Randian Paradise

ByBrian Hoffer

Living in a Randian Paradise

In the novel Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand writes through the character Francisco d’Anconia:

“So you think that money is the root of all evil? … Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or the looters who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil? (pg. 410-413)

Right off the bat, Ayn Rand can’t even quote the Bible correctly. Regardless of her religious and philosophical tendencies, this error dismantles the entire speech. Depending on the translation from the Greek, the correct phrase is “For the love of money is the root for all kinds of evil”. Perhaps that’s the problem with the current Republican platform – they view  greed as good, and consider the rest of the population moochers.

Despicable Me Reference

Why else would you run a completely false campaign ad accusing Obama of getting rid of the work requirement for welfare and simply handing out money? Because welfare has gained the connotation of being a handout to lazy people, to moochers, and playing off of this image allows Republicans to attempt its destruction. Never mind the millions of people too poor to survive, yet apparently too rich to get any support, especially in the most conservative of states.

Relieving “job creators” of their burdensome regulations and taxes supposedly will lead to job creation. Never mind that basic economics teaches that employees are usually the largest expense for a business, so hiring more people is only justified if the resulting production is worth more than their salary and benefits. In an economy where demand has collapsed, you don’t need that extra production, making the employees a cost rather than a benefit to the company. This is why we’ve lost so many jobs – those tax cuts and lax regulations would simply allow companies to cut corners and gain higher profits for the same amount of production. It won’t create jobs; it will only make the wealthy wealthier.

Democrats are hostile toward the rich and are trying to loot them to support their programs? Are they simply trying to redistribute the wealth in a socialist manner? Well, it would seem that way, if it weren’t for the fact that we have another example: the IMF wants Botswana to reduce income inequality in order to promote longer economic growth. This inequality occured DESPITE welfare expansion in Botswana. Botswana, by the way, is one of only a few countries that exceeds the United States (the wealthiest nation on the planet, mind you) in income inequality. It has a GINI Coefficient of ~.48, where .4-.49 is considered high inequality; the US sits at .38,, extremely high when compared to other countries with similar income levels.

Top Marginal Tax Rates in 20th Century

The poor aren’t robbing the rich; it’s been the other way around for decades. If we could put men on the moon, rapidly expand the middle class, and do much more when the top marginal tax rate was 70% or more, then surely allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for the upper class won’t bring about economic doom. Despite assurances that government doesn’t create jobs, in a depression created by the wealthy, government IS the largest entity capable of creating demand, and thus jobs. Unless, of course, the wealthy have a change of heart when it comes to charity. But that’s highly unlikely. In fact, that’s immoral in Rand Land.

After all, they can’t even imagine that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”.

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