Rand: Don’t Drive Away the Producers in Society

In this weeks’ WSJ weekend interview (which I blogged yesterday), NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer lamented that excessive regulation was putting a strangle hold on the American economy. And it is true that the more oppressive the government becomes, the more lawmakers seek to redistribute from the successful to pitied, the more policymakers direct private business operations, the more social entitlement mentality increases, and the more the producers of society are looked at with disdain for their supposed lack of communal charity, the closer we get to a society that does not advance, does not create, does not grow, and slowly withers away.

Niederauer says the way society is suppose to operate is: “the entrepreneur gets rewarded for taking personal risk, borrowing capital, taking an idea, starting a new business from scratch. That’s America the last time I checked.” But now, the ability to take risks is being stripped by Congress. The ability to find new capital is being strangled away. The incentive to create and grow is being legislated into oblivion by “reform” ideas. And those who took risks and failed continue to be supported by the rest of society.

All of this has eerily similar tones as the world Ayn Rand constructed in her novel, Atlas Shrugged. She writes of a world where it is no longer valuable for the producers to pursue financial and personal gain, and those who employ, design, and create wind up leaving civil society. Rand’s ideas were fully captured in this book that makes one of the most profound cases for pure, uninhibited, politically incorrect, radical capitalism. These are the ideas that we celebrate this week at Reason, in our Radicals for Capitalism week.