Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Ayn Rand

November’s Federal Deficit 11 Percent Ahead of Last Year’s

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 13, 2017:

Buried in the latest report from the Department of the Treasury is this nugget: Through the first two months of the fiscal year, which began on October 1, the deficit (the difference between revenues and spending) was 11 percent higher than the same two months last year. And this despite revenues (taxes from individuals and corporations) setting records. The $433 billion the government collected in October and November was $13 billion more than it collected in the same period last year, and $11.3 billion more than it collected the year before.

In those two months,

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Donald Trump Meets Ayn Rand

The Passion of Ayn Rand

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 30, 2016:  

Ayn Rand passed away in 1982 at age 77 when Donald Trump was just 36. But the astounding success of her masterwork, Atlas Shrugged, led to an interview at the Trump Tower on Monday in the form of one of her most avid fans: John Allison.

Allison, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina in 1971, read a copy of it as a young man and it changed his life. There’s an outside possibility that it might change the life of millions of others.

Following graduation he went to work for BB&T Corporation, a small rural bank in North Carolina. By 1989 Allison was the bank’s CEO. By 2010 he had grown the bank from $4.5 billion in assets to

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Trump Meets With Former Banker Who Wants to End the Fed

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 29, 2016: 

John Allison BB&T

John Allison

Donald Trump met with former banker John Allison on Monday in a meeting that was largely ignored by the mainstream media. It remains unclear whether Allison was being interviewed for the job of secretary of the Treasury or was just giving Trump some advice from a free market perspective.

Either way, it’s a breath of fresh air in an era where statism and excessive hubris (the idea that mere politicians and economists can guide, even stimulate a $20-trillion-dollar economy with monetary policy) has reigned for decades.

Right after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina in 1971,

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Eric Cantor Handily Defeated by Virtually Unknown College Professor

Eric Cantor headshot

In a primary election that Paul Rothenberg, a non-partisan political analyst, called “the political version of the San Francisco earthquake,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) lost overwhelmingly to obscure economics professor Dave Brat. This is the first time since 1899 that a House Majority Leader has lost his reelection bid in his party’s primary. Despite being outspent by Cantor by more than 25-to-1, Brat breezed to victory on Tuesday, capturing 55 percent of the vote to Cantor’s 44 percent.

Virtually ignored by establishment Republican groups like Club for Growth and Heritage Action, Bart won by basing his campaign on

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The Bitcoin and Paris Hilton

This article first appeared in The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013: 

 

In a dismissive article in The New York Times on Monday, the author quoted a Bitcoin skeptic who predicted: “In a matter of months you won’t be hearing about it. It will go the same way of Paris Hilton.” He failed to follow the old rule: keep your words sweet and tender because someday

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Delays in the Obamacare Rollout Expose Lies and Deceit

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013:

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” Sir Walter Scott, meet Barack Obama. By trying to hide the real costs – far higher than most expected and way above the savings Obama initially promised – of signing up for Obamacare, Obama ordered his techies to force applicants to

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HealthCare.gov Delays Are Way More than Just Glitches

It’s been three weeks since the much ballyhooed start of enrollment for Obamacare and the results are not just disappointing. They are disastrously low. According to Mike Huckabee, fewer than 500,000 of the 7 million uninsured people needed in the next six months to make this program viable have been able to apply for coverage online, and most of them were

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New York City Council Passes Bill Forcing Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave

On Wednesday the New York City Council voted 45-3 to pass the New York City Earned Sick Time Act, a bill which will require employers with more than 20 employees to

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Welfare Tops $1 Trillion for the First Time

homeless

homeless (Photo credit: digital bullets)

In response to a request from the Senate Budget Committee, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported that federal welfare spending reached three-quarters of a trillion dollars last year. When added to what the states spent on welfare, another $300 billion, total government welfare payments in 2011 hit $1.03 trillion. More unnerving is that the report from the CRS didn’t include spending on Social Security or Medicare.

Putting it all together, federal spending on welfare greatly exceeded spending on the military ($540 billion), Social Security ($725 billion), Medicare ($480 billion) as well as the Departments of Justice ($31 billion), Transportation ($77 billion) and Education ($65 billion).

Welfare spending is likely to increase in light of the Obama administration’s determination to eviscerate the welfare reform bill passed in 1996 which contained modest work requirements to qualify. In a unilateral, unconstitutional move on July 12th, the administration essentially removed all work requirements that previously applied to the states, claiming that it had, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the power to “waive compliance” and use instead “alternative” requirements. As noted by Robert Rector, writing in The New Media Journal, “The policy will clearly waive compliance with the law’s existing work participation standard. If this is not gutting the work requirements, it is difficult to imagine what would be.”

Not only is this usurpation unconstitutional — effectively neutralizing and negating legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in 1996 — it also hastens the day of

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Atlas Shrugged Part 2 was Eerie, Chilling, Disappointing and Affirming

Atlas Shrugged, Part 2 - Movie PosterPart 2 of the trilogy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was, by turns, eerie, chilling, disappointing and affirming. With twice the budget of Part 1 it is broader in scope with a closer adherence to Ayn Rand’s original novel. With a new cast, many had high expectations. In some respects it succeeded, in others it was a dismal failure.

Opening like a James Bond thriller, Dagny Taggart (Samantha Mathis) is driving her private jet at maximum velocity in an attempt to catch another pilot over the Colorado mountains. She cries out in exasperation the theme that appears throughout the movie: “Who is John Galt?” The implication is that the other pilot has the answer.

The film flashes back to her frustration nine months earlier when she is unable to learn who the inventor is of an energy generator that operates on static electricity – developing essentially free energy with no pollution. The story line is simplicity itself: creative entrepreneurs are deemed to be enemies of the state and their capital (including their patents, ideas and inventions) must be forcibly relinquished – “gifted” in the movie –  to the state, all in the name of egalitarianism.

With six protagonists and five antagonists, the film could have been simple to produce. But with 56 other secondary characters, some assuming major but brief roles in the film, the story line is

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Let’s Give Ayn Rand a Little More Credit, Shall We?

Paul Greenberg: Who is John Galt? And Why Does Ayn Rand Still Fascinate The Young?

[Upon reading one of Rand’s novels] for a brief bright period, as with all forms of intoxication, the subject is convinced he’s discovered the secret of the universe, the essence of existence, his purpose in life . . . but in most cases such feelings pass, like adolescence itself.

When they don’t, it’s called arrested development or, in the case of Ayn Rand, objectivism. That’s what she dubbed her “philosophy,” though subjectivism would be more appropriate, for essentially her “philosophy” was her own egoism expanded into endless manifestos.

All of which might be summed up in two words: greed glorified.

Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow! Greenberg has taken the gloves off and lets us know what he really thinks! I’m surprised, frankly. He’s highly regarded: he’s the editorial director of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.

But I don’t think he’ll win any such award for this piece in which he takes the entire Randian philosophy and chucks it out the window. He does it with such tactless abandon that he actually hurts his own reputation:

One can understand Miss Rand’s appeal to the young, and may it never diminish, but it’s hard to understand why adults should think she was any better a thinker than she was a writer…

If you’re not an Ayn Rand fan at 21, you have no youthful spirit. If you’re still a fan at 42, you have no common sense.

Well, thanks for that, Mr. Greenberg! All Rand has done is turn the political conversation around—too bad she didn’t live long enough to see its impact today—with an entire generation of young people beginning, thanks to Rand, to ask the right questions: What is the proper role of government? How would the free market respond to certain problems? And so on.

But, no, Greenberg is happy to throw the entire philosophy overboard because it isn’t faith-based. Greenberg quotes Psalms 127:1: “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” Conclusion: Ayn Rand was an atheist—a vitriolic critic of eternal things—and so therefore she has nothing to say to this generation struggling to find its way out from under the dictatorship that’s coming.

She deserves just a little more credit, Mr. Greenberg.

Objectivists for Romney-Ryan 2012!

Craig Biddle: Romney-Ryan 2012—Ayn Rand Forever

Prior to Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, I was going to vote “for” Romney in the sense of voting against Obama. In light of this development, however, I not only plan to vote for Romney-Ryan; I also emphatically endorse their ticket, and I urge readers of TOS [The Objective Standard], Objectivists, and fans of Ayn Rand to do the same.

English: Protester seen at Chicago Tax Day Tea...

Protester seen at Chicago Tax Day Tea Party protest with sign reading “I am John Galt”. Edited to protect protester’s identity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s take a running start at this. Biddle is the editor of The Objective Standard, which, according to its website, is “a quarterly journal written from an Objectivist perspective, Objectivism being Ayn Rand’s philosophy of reason, egoism, and laissez-faire capitalism.” He is a promoter of Ayn Rand’s ideas and philosophy as spelled out in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. That philosophy, according to Wikipedia’s “shorthand” explanation is:

a philosophy created by Russian-American philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand (1905–1982). Objectivism’s central tenets are that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (or rational self-interest), [and] that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism.

I have to overlook Rand’s (and Biddle’s) vitriolic hatred of religion in order to accept and support her philosophy of unalienable rights as spelled out in the Declaration.

From there, it’s easy to see why Biddle is not only willing to vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket, but strongly support it as well. Biddle puts it well:

Let’s seize this opportunity to explain to people how and why Ayn Rand’s ideas—her observation-based metaphysics and epistemology, her life-serving morality, and her rights-protecting politics—require phasing out Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, so citizens are not enslaved to each other; deregulating the economy, so producers can create wealth, jobs, and prosperity; eliminating barriers to immigration, so Americans can associate and contract with whomever they choose; ending regimes that seek to harm us, so we can live free from terrorism; in short, reestablishing the Land of Liberty, so Americans can exercise their moral right to the pursuit of happiness.

Isn’t this what we in the freedom fight are striving for? In light of so much Ryan-bashing not only from liberals but from neo-conservatives, this is a refreshing, if challenging, point of view.

Gary DeMar Boils Down Economics

Once in a while along comes an article so trenchant, so profound, so simple, that it just takes my breath away. Forget all about plowing through Human Action or Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, or certainly Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged! Gary DeMar, a talented and gifted student of economic theory has boiled it all down for us.

Thank you, Gary!

The Imminent Collapse of the Euro

Safe deposit boxes inside the vaults of a Swis...

One of the unintended consequences of the ongoing and accelerating crisis in the eurozone is that ordinary citizens are taking their money out of the banks and burying it. Lack of both confidence in the stability of the European economy and credible solutions to the crisis have led to the exit of currency from banks in Greece, Italy, and other European countries.

One Greek banker said that safe deposit boxes are in great demand: “There has been a big increase in rentals…about five-fold compared with last year. About 10 percent of the withdrawals we see are headed there. The most extreme case was a client who told me he was building a safe under his pool.” Retail bank deposits in that country are now at five-year lows, adding to the instability of banks whose balance sheets depend on those deposits staying put.

Italian citizens are moving their money out of the country into Switzerland while others are purchasing German bonds. Those purchasers have been so willing to pay for the privilege of owning safe German bonds that they have driven interest rates to less than zero.

Others are putting their paper into hard assets such as apartments in Berlin. Frederico Racca, a realtor in Berlin, reported, “Sales skyrocketed in the last two months due to

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Moody’s Warns of Possible French Debt Downgrade

Official logo of the French Republic, used exc...

Moody’s annual report on France’s finances appeared on Monday, its summary sufficiently couched in calm and reasoned tones that the markets took little notice: “The country’s AAA rating with a stable outlook reflects the French economy’s strength, the robustness of its institutions and very high financial strength.”

Further on in the report, however, ominous phrases began appearing, such as

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Top Economists Tell How to Grow Jobs

GROWTH

Image by SamuelBenoit (.wordpress.com) via Flickr

Now that the Senate has officially and resoundingly defeated President Obama’s jobs bill (The American Jobs Act), the question remains: just how do real jobs grow?

Matt Welch, writing in the November issue of Reason magazine, reminds his readers of what doesn’t work: government promotion of ideology. The Solyndra debacle is the most recent but not the only example. In May 2010 the President gushed over the positive impact Solyndra was having in growing jobs in the “green” sector:

We invested…in clean energy because not only would this spur hiring by businesses but it creates jobs in sectors with incredible potential to propel our economy for years, for decades to come. And we can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra…

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Atlas Shrugged: the Movie

Atlas Shrugged

Image by eflon via Flickr

Something is terribly wrong. The Dow has dropped below 4,000, gasoline (when available) costs $37.50 a gallon, the nation’s infrastructure is deteriorating, businessmen are wearing sandwich boards asking for work. Government’s response to the enervated economy is to impose even more regulations and forced wealth-redistribution on already-highly regulated business and industry. A gray palpable pall hangs over the land. Meanwhile, the nation’s most productive citizens begin to disappear voluntarily, one by one. But why? The question is answered by another question as mysterious as the disappearances themselves: “Who is John Galt?”

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Counting the Costs of Unemployment Insurance

Bismarck ca. 1875.

Image via Wikipedia

As part of the backroom deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for another two years, the GOP gave the progressives an extension of one of their favorite welfare-state building blocks: unemployment insurance—which will undoubtedly add to the long lines of suffering Americans in our country.

Otto von Bismarck, the “Iron Chancellor” of Germany in the 1880s, first introduced the concept of state-mandated unemployment insurance. It was then forcibly introduced in the United States during the Great Depression under the Roosevelt administration and has been expanded regularly ever since. In fact, the proposed extension would be the sixth such expansion since June of 2008.

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Reid’s Lame Duck Session: Just Mopping Up?

Photograph of a toddler holding a mop with a b...

Image via Wikipedia

Last Tuesday, September 7, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he intended to focus the current lame duck session on “mopping up” leftovers from the previous session, these included a national renewable energy policy, a small business jobs bill, and another stimulus bill. Reid said, “We are still going to be in Congress, working, after the election…There are things that we have to do. There is a lot of mopping up to do.” Reid failed to mention one small item that his lame duck session is determined to ignore altogether: the Bush “tax cuts” which are set to expire without Congressional action by the end of the year.

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How Relevant Is Ayn Rand Today?

Atlas sculpture, New York City, by sculptor Le...

Image via Wikipedia

It was news to many when Scott Powell announced that an obscure novel published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged, “may be second to the Bible as the most influential book read in America.” His statement that BB&T, the 12th largest bank in America, which resisted taking TARP bailout funds, requires reading of that same book as part of its management training program astonished many more.

American Conservative Magazine noted that “a week before the President’s inauguration, more people were buying it than Obama’s Audacity of Hope.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann