In hilarious fashion, writer Alex Beam delves right into the Ayn caricature of the typical elitist who pretends he's doing a favor for the masses - by criticizing a book and a philosophy he admits he's never read:
I would be the first to admit that I don't know much about Ayn Rand, beyond her name. The Ayn rhymes with dine, and Rand is supposedly an Americanization of her birth name Rosenbaum. I have heard the operatic details of her personal life, (much younger lover, proves to be fickle; drama ensues) and have a crude understanding of Objectivism, the "morality of rational egoism" that Brook cites above. Private entrepreneurialism = good; centrally planned, government-funded economy = bad.
As it happens, America's most prominent Randie is probably former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who presided over one of the most grandiose expansions of government expenditures in world history. In 1982, Greenspan attended Rand's funeral, where her body lay next to a large floral arrangement of a dollar sign. R.I.P.
Alex Beam knows nothing of the economy, and nothing of Ayn Rand, only knows that Alan Greenspan attended Rand's funeral and that he presided over government expenditures. Those expenditures were caused by politicians, public pressure, silly world trade agreements - take your pick, but it wasn't Greenspan, who admitted after he left his post that most of what he had done was against what he believed in. But we can't speak out against the sanctity of the Federal Reserve falsely controlling the money supply, because that's an existing institution in the US and Rand is dead, so it's easy to make fun of her without ever reading her books.
Good work Alex, can't wait to read your next article!