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Ayn Rand joins the Ticket 
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Post Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/n ... -rand.html

The New Yorker wrote:
With the choice of Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney adds more to the Republican ticket than youth, vigor, and the possibility of carrying Wisconsin—he also adds the ghostly presence of the controversial Russian émigré philosopher and writer Ayn Rand.

Although she died thirty years ago, Rand’s influence appears on the rise on the right. As my colleague Ryan Lizza noted in his terrific biographical Profile of Ryan, Rand’s works were an early and important influence on him, shaping his thinking as far back as high school. Later, as a Congressman, Ryan not only tried to get all of the interns in his congressional office to read Rand’s writing, he also gave copies of her novel “Atlas Shrugged” to his staff as Christmas presents, as he told the Weekly Standard in 2003.

Two years later, in 2005, Ryan paid fealty to Rand in a speech he gave to the Atlas Society, the Washington-based think tank devoted to keeping Rand’s “objectivist” philosophy alive. He credited her with inspiring his interest in public service, saying, “[T]he reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.”

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/n ... z268ddF0nn


See also:
Profile of Paul Ryan http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012 ... fact_lizza
Comment: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79612.html


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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
Paul Ryan is with very stupid or a liar. He doesn't know peanuts about Rand, who was an adamant atheist.



Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:10 pm
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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
I think Ryan knows a lot about Rand, and he is not stupid. Politics is about building coalitions, and Ryan sees his support base in the libertarian and social conservative communities, due to the strong links both have to business.

He has to play both sides of the street, recognising there are more social conservatives than libertarians, so downplaying his debt to Rand. That is the hypocrisy of politics.

Perhaps a more fundamental contradiction though, is his argument that you can cut government and increase the military. That is a recipe for kaboom.

But Obama will most likely win, so the speculation is that Romney just put Ryan on the ticket to be able to blame the extremist Tea Party for losing the election so a more realistic Republican campaign can be mounted in 2016.


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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
Robert Tulip wrote:
I think Ryan knows a lot about Rand, and he is not stupid. Politics is about building coalitions, and Ryan sees his support base in the libertarian and social conservative communities, due to the strong links both have to business.

He has to play both sides of the street, recognising there are more social conservatives than libertarians, so downplaying his debt to Rand. That is the hypocrisy of politics.

Perhaps a more fundamental contradiction though, is his argument that you can cut government and increase the military. That is a recipe for kaboom.

But Obama will most likely win, so the speculation is that Romney just put Ryan on the ticket to be able to blame the extremist Tea Party for losing the election so a more realistic Republican campaign can be mounted in 2016.


Ryan may be trying to play both sides of the street, but he is most certainly not following Rand's Objectivist philosophy. Rand was an ardent Atheist and Ryan is a hypocrite who has lived on government money for years. Rand would have refused government money. I don't agree with her, but at least she stuck by her principles.



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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
Objectivists and social conservatives agree on strong ties with business and small government, but not much else. Atheism, legalize drugs, legalize prostitution, radically downsize the military for purely defensive border protection, pro choice, total elimination of the social safety net? Yeah good luck with that, I'm with lindad_amato on this one.

Robert Tulip wrote:
But Obama will most likely win, so the speculation is that Romney just put Ryan on the ticket to be able to blame the extremist Tea Party for losing the election so a more realistic Republican campaign can be mounted in 2016.

I think you're misreading the U.S. election from down under. Image At this point, Obama seems more likely to win than a week or two ago, but there are still 3 debates etc. so who knows. If Obama wins, the right wing will place the blame on running a MODERATE Republican, so a more extreme right wing candidate will be mounted in 2016. If THAT candidate loses, then perhaps "a more realistic Republican campaign" will begin.



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Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:48 pm
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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
On-line panel discussion of a new book:

Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government
Monday, September 24, 2012
6:00 PM (Reception To Follow)
Featuring the authors Yaron Brook, Executive Director, Ayn Rand Institute; Don Watkins, Fellow, Ayn Rand Institute; moderated by David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute.

If you can't make it to the Cato Institute, watch this event live online at http://www.cato.org/live and join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #CatoEvents.
http://www.cato.org/event.php?eventid=9179



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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
Here is a really good article that explains how Ayn Rand's philosophy is directly relevant to world economic circumstances today. It is about Australia, but it is just as relevant for anywhere.


Quote:
Leaders must restore our freedom to improve productivity

by: David Murray
From:The Australian
September 24, 201212:00AM

IN 2007, I participated with an international group of chief executives brought together by the Harvard Business School to mark its centenary. The result of the interviews by the three professors involved was their book Capitalism at Risk: Rethinking the Role of Business.

Harvard's publication sets up a working definition of market capitalism as a sub-system within and dependent upon a larger system which features private property rights, security, sanctity of private contracts, a sound currency and banking system, prices set by independent enterprise and free trade among nations.

The definition also set important facilitating conditions such as education, health, rule of law and effective and accountable government, (although I believe security is a facilitating condition whereas the rule of law is mandatory).

This definition supports the notion that people who are free are more likely to innovate, invest, adapt and become more prosperous. Interestingly, the Harvard professors concluded that "there is a series of publicly valued goods that the market system requires for it to function properly. But democratic governments around the world seem unable to buy or produce them".

The global financial crisis resulted in heavy criticism of market capitalism but, as the Harvard study showed, not many, if any, developed market governments were either supporting it or practising it.

Perhaps the most important learning from my work experience is that human systems come before work, business or technical systems.

This has led me to the conclusion that the real issue facing Europe is a cultural one with a crisis of leadership, a problem also faced by other so-called "advanced" economies.

By examining systems too narrowly, we can be led to credible but unhelpful conclusions because those systems sit within a broader human system. For example, market capitalism is often cited as a system contributing to economic stress, even though it can only operate as part of a larger system dependent on a nation's culture.

The seemingly intractable problems of the eurozone countries best highlight this larger systemic failure. Adoption of a single currency across very diverse economies, and unbacked by a single rule of law, was never going to work.

Yet learned people in Europe predicted reserve currency status for the euro, like the US dollar, which they saw as giving the US an unfair advantage, presumably because the US could gorge more debt than they could -- with relative impunity.

The truth is that the US never set out, at independence, with a specific objective of having the world's reserve currency. By conducting a system which supported market capitalism, they have, until recently, built prosperity and a currency backed by their rule of law, which the rest of the world respects.

Other features of Europe's malaise stem from a socialist system, which attracts votes by offering debt-funded entitlements or adopting causes which infer protection from myriad future threats and open the way to more interventionist, unproductive uses of public money. This interventionist approach seeks to centralise decision making and legislate for everything.

At the same time, politicians pursue the now well-drilled system of 24/7 spin to "manage" public information, avoiding hard decisions which, generally, require a more prudent approach to public financing. The appearance of progress is given by making pronouncements about growth and stability, secure banking, free trade and multilateral co-operation. In reality the debt is still rising as is trade protectionism. Central banks are left to avert successive crises of confidence, essentially by changing the names on IOUs -- a response that ultimately does little to add credibility to bond holders. This condition, the "eurovirus", is not limited to the eurozone. Britain, the US and Australia have caught it and continue to conduct systems that limit freedoms, overcommit public finances and/or are unsupportive of market capitalism while leaders preach the benefits of an open economy.

If leaders promote human systems based more on power than merit and freedom, they are essentially closing down the creativity, diversity, specialisation, capacity to trade and ambition that produces productivity and prosperity.

Leadership is about organising work to turn intention into reality, a reality of value to those they lead.

For this to occur, there has to be an alignment between that reality, the behaviour of leaders, the systems they govern and the symbolism and signals transmitted by them, all of which nurture a culture of freedom. Unfortunately there are many examples of misalignment.

Few people understand the process by which a government makes financial commitments and issues bonds to fund them. Because this appears to happen without fuss, voters believe their commitments are affordable. The reality is that governments either encourage or mandate that banks, funded largely by voters' deposits, should hold their bonds. Not only that, through their agencies they create rules that make it more attractive to continue to hold their bonds. Thus we see in Europe and the US a situation where countries have government debt of 50 per cent to 100 per cent of GDP but total liabilities of 150 per cent to 300 per cent of GDP.

The point is that the culture of their citizens includes a belief that this is all right. But many of the bond holders are foreigners who can either sell their bonds or choose not to renew them.

Politicians perpetuate this culture by relying on their agencies, central banks, to create more government obligations by buying their own bonds, a process that creates an unhealthy interdependency between governments and banks with even greater systemic risk. Is this modern economics or a Ponzi scheme?

The central banks are not to blame because they are only doing what they must to preserve stability. It is their governments that created the underlying problem.

Because citizens believe their entitlements are affordable they will oppose vigorously any attempt to reduce them. At each new development in the crisis leaders point to the new regulatory developments initiated by them so that the crisis will not happen again. The appearance of hastily convened summits, more regulatory intervention and the usual set of diversions, all managed in the 24/7 media spin system, is keeping the culture well removed from any new and better reality.

The tragedy for Australia is that we are witness to this leadership crisis in Europe and the US, but our leaders do not want to inculcate a culture able to avoid the same malaise. Many commentators and our political leadership point to the need to raise productivity to address future prosperity.

But our leaders are not allowing our free-market economy to be more productive. They point, quite rightly, to the highly successful opening up reforms of the Hawke and Keating. So what is the problem? Any human system, whether in the home, in business or in government has to be based on freedom and bound by some rules if it is to be productive. This is why unbridled capitalism has never been an option -- it must be circumscribed by the rule of law.

We know in business that the equivalent of freedom for employees is a system built on merit (not power) and clarity of authority. Similarly a nation needs clarity in its rule of law. Yet we have reached the point where a set of easily recognised principles is insufficient to guide behaviour.

We boast that the federal parliament got through 250 pieces of legislation in one set of sittings. Statutes are increasingly larger, more complex and incapable of understanding without expert advice. Even then the risk of court action remains, and not even the experts or those who wrote the law can predict how the justices will interpret the words.

For business, the cost of legal complexity is much higher than the dollar cost of compliance. Company directors are the subject of hundreds of statues, many of which deem them criminals before they meet. Commonly in employment law, safety legislation, environment law and tax and competition law they, as Australian citizens, suffer the ignominy of reversion of the onus of proof under the law. They are guilty until proven innocent, sometimes without proper application of the rules of evidence in a proper court. Other office holders such as union officials can have protection from the law, limiting their accountability.

Our right to property as Australians also lacks clarity. What is predictable about a residential development approval for an existing dwelling which contains over 80 conditions and requires layers of consultants to interpret environmental and other planning laws or a court hearing with highly uncertain outcomes? The value of business goodwill can be bullied away by regulatory threat.

We claim to believe in free trade but override that freedom with systems of licensing and government approvals which stifle competition by giving advantage to larger entrenched players, and raise the cost of doing business. Worse, government approvals to contract and trade always leave open the prospect of corruption.

Australia's public finances are far more vulnerable than the political rhetoric would have us believe. If we combine the high operating leverage in the federal budget (recently alluded to by Don Argus) with high net foreign liabilities and a seemingly permanent current account deficit, Australia's public finances are very vulnerable to global shocks. It was this vulnerability that required the government to guarantee the banks, not weakness of the banks.

The issue is that as a commodity exporter, Australia is a price-taker whereas the high welfare bill is a fixed cost. Such a structure does not normally allow for much debt at all.

Notwithstanding these vulnerabilities, the signals from politics seek to preserve the status quo or even weaken it. For example, attacks on successful mining entrepreneurs influence a culture opposed to success, productivity and prosperity by outing successful people, thereby limiting their capacity to participate in society on an equal basis with everybody else.

Moving the national debate to live RBA meeting broadcasts or jawboning bank interest rates diverts the community from the substance of the economic issue.

Market capitalism is not of itself a problem, but crony capitalism, best practised in the US through the lobbying industry, is destructive, because those that do not benefit lose confidence in the system.

Similarly debt financing of entitlements creates a rising tax burden on a shrinking number of taxpayers who lose confidence. When this happens the public no longer holds the government accountable and the government does not have to be accountable.

Leaders, of any political persuasion, by their action or inaction, condone behaviour, whether it is productive or unproductive, and what they condone they authorise. One constant signal we get is that Australia's greatness stems from its rule of law and freedom. Both in fact are weakened by political leadership not facing reality.

If higher productivity is needed to manage in a more volatile world, then our leaders need to give us back our freedom.

To do this they must act to show they believe in it, govern systems that reflect it and send signals that support it. In this way, the Australian culture will become highly productive and the majority of our citizens, so many of whom have come from turmoil in other parts of the world and will relish this additional freedom, will help make this the place to be.

David Murray is former chief executive of Commonwealth Bank and former chairman of the Future Fund


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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
LanDroid wrote:
On-line panel discussion of a new book:

Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government


I bought the Kindle edition of it, had it uploaded the moment it was released.




Ryan on Rand:



Obama on Rand:
Obama was asked about Rand in a recent Rolling Stone interview:

http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blo ... and-wrong/

Now, Ryan has a much better understanding of her writing as evidenced by that youtube, but he is definately NOT an Objectivist, but what he says can be backed up by referencing her actual writing, unlike what Obama said, which cannot be, and I wonder if he even opened any of her books, as he only said "we'd pick up"...


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Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:15 am
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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
It's weird place we've come to when government regulation is said to be inimical to capitalism. Yet this strand of thinking is clearly present in the U.S. Mitt Romney, in his quick side-stepping to the center, had to announce that he believes in regulations (of the finance sector). If he were to unseat BO, who knows what he might really do under pressure from his far-right party. Regulation has always been a necessity in a capitalist economy. The only respectable argument is how much of it should exist at the federal--vs. the state and local-- level.



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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
DWill wrote:
It's weird place we've come to when government regulation is said to be inimical to capitalism.


They are to laissez-faire capitalism. The reason why "laissez-faire" was even added to capitalism by Rand, (which can be thought of as a redundancy), but it was to make sure people know that it's about full, pure, unregulated, "hands-off" capitalism that she is talking about. The "flood of misinformation, misrepresentation, distortion, and outright falsehood about capitalism" Rand spoke of, is why she adds the hands-off part, to distinquish it. People often associate mixed economies with capitalism, because it has elements of freedom in it, mixed with regulations, controls, etc. But regardless, the point is, she makes sure that when she speaks of capitalism, it's said capitalism.

In regards to Romney, in the first Presidential election:

Romney does not know what free market means. He thinks you cant have a free market without regulations. He was very assertively explicit about that. He thinks regulations are essential to a free market.

Wrong.

A free market is not free when there are regulations.

He says every free economy has good regulation.

Wrong.

It is precisely because of regulations that no economies have been free market economies.

This is the type of misinformation about free markets, what he is speaking of is really mixed economy types.


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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
You describe a utopia for free-marketers. Others see dystopia in this, which is where I'd put myself. You've drawn the lines clearly.



Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:20 am
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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
Whenever we implement an ideology that we think is the greatest thing since Jesus, things go wrong. Look at the fervent factions that supported Communism in the wake of Marx's writings. Communism was another idea that was great in theory, but bad in practice. Proponents of objectivism rightly point out that it's the opposite. But the opposite of an extreme is another extreme, and ideological extremes by their very nature are a thorn in humanity's side.

We don't need to reinvent the wheel with an untested ideology. The US economy and middle class has done extremely well in the past. There is a model that we know works. But things change over time. With technology like television, it was easier for campaigns to influence vast numbers of people. Large sums of money were spent on advertising. This change was a catalyst, and lobbyists rose in strength and number to fill the void between corporations and politics. This happened at the same time that revolving doors opened, in the mid 1970's. Other factors contributed as well, creating a ripe recipe for private interests to cognitively capture politicians.

With a much smaller Objectivist economy, there would still be influence. At least SOME regulation will be needed, and a much beefier judicial system to account for post-crime adjuducation, which is a necessary side effect of less regulation. Lawyers will rise in power.

The much smaller government would be more susceptible to the shock of corruption. Unless you fire or kill every lobbyist and affiliated politician(which I of course don't recommend), there is a legacy in place that no wand waving will remove. Shrinking the government in the right ways can reduce much of it. But this very process of shrinking will be corrupted before it even begins. The lobbyists and the influence are already there!

This is exactly what we're seeing. A warped version of shrinking the government. Why are we deregulating places that actually benefit from regulation, such as the financial system which has horrible information asymmetry? Why are we making tax cuts that don't stimulate the economy, and weighing the cuts upwards? Why are we cutting programs that people's lives depend on at the same time that we're providing subsidies to corporations that don't need them? We're shrinking in the wrong ways, with Objectivists taking the lead. Let's hope this Objectivism doesn't make it into the White House in a few days.

The problem is that private interests can heavily influence government. Even your Objectivism cannot work until that problem is fixed. Obama mentioned doing something about it. We'll see in time.


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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
This reminds of one of the convo‘s, at Lillian’s wedding anniversary party in Rand‘s novel Atlas Shrugged, a contradictory, grossly distorted view of free market economics:

Quote:
A businessman said uneasily, “What I asked you about, Professor, was what you thought about the Equalization of Opportunity Bill.”
“Oh, that?” said Dr. Pritchett. “But I believe I made it clear that I am in favor of it, because I am in favor of a free economy. A free economy cannot exist without competition. Therefore, men must be forced to compete. Therefore, we must control men in order to force them to be free.”


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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
Mr A wrote:
This reminds of one of the convo‘s, at Lillian’s wedding anniversary party in Rand‘s novel Atlas Shrugged, a contradictory, grossly distorted view of free market economics:

Quote:
A businessman said uneasily, “What I asked you about, Professor, was what you thought about the Equalization of Opportunity Bill.”
“Oh, that?” said Dr. Pritchett. “But I believe I made it clear that I am in favor of it, because I am in favor of a free economy. A free economy cannot exist without competition. Therefore, men must be forced to compete. Therefore, we must control men in order to force them to be free.”


That's not all that great a distortion. How many people really want to compete in a marketplace when they buy a house, as apposed to simply wanting to secure a home for themselves and their family? That's a particularly poignant question in the US today. How many enjoy competing with fifty other qualified candidates for a job, when a lack of success could mean financial ruin?


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Post Re: Ayn Rand joins the Ticket
Quote:
This reminds of one of the convo‘s, at Lillian’s wedding anniversary party in Rand‘s novel Atlas Shrugged, a contradictory, grossly distorted view of free market economics:


Which part is contradictory? Which part is distorted?

Your words are cheerleading without substance. Dig into the details. Pick out some of my claims and attempt to refute them. Are you afraid you'll be shown to be wrong? Do it, quote a sentence of mine then use your evidence and reasoning against me.

If you refuse to violate one man's rights, he's going to turn around and use his extra freedom to violate the rights of his neighbors. Objectivism is a fantasy.


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