March 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

Matt Yglesias vs. The Randians:

Atlas Shrugged is a stupid book, Ayn Rand is a stupid woman, and John Galtís ideas are stupid. That said, none of them are nearly this stupid. Randís novel isnít about a world in which executives who build companies based on a lot of incorrect decisions, then pay themselves millions of dollars while bankrupting their firms, then come to the government hat-in-hand asking for bailouts, then find that the bailers-out want to attach some strings to their hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds and then go to hide out in Galtís Gulch. That doesnít make any sense at all.

If the folks running Citigroup and Bank of America and AIG were good at their jobs, we wouldnít be in this situation in the first place. Thatís the point. But they werenít good. They lost staggering sums of money. Their companies went broke. They had to beg for taxpayer dollars. You donít get to do that and then turn around and ďgo Galt.Ē

I'm not as anti-Rand as Matt is, but I view "Atlas Shrugged" the way I view "Sex and the City"- it's just fine as entertainment, but if you start using it as a blueprint for how to make every decision in how you live your life, it can only end in tears.

Posted by Stephen Silver at March 20, 2009 05:08 PM
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