More On Ayn Rand & Alan Greenspan
Meanwhile, Dean Baker presents a very distorted and misleading interpretation of Ayn Rand's philosophy in light of the actions and comments by former follower Alan Greenspan.
"First, insofar as Greenspan acted (or didn't act) out of ignorance of the true situation, it was because he was ignoring Ayn Rand, not because he was following her...
...What would Ayn Rand expect to happen? On the one hand we have the hot shot executives, on the other hand the schmucks who own stock in these banks. Would Ayn Rand expect that the executives would put aside their ambition, their lust for success, their greed, in order to benefit shareholders who are too dumb to even know what a credit default swap is?
Not for a second; Ayn Rand would watch the Wall Street big boys run roughshod over their shareholders' interests and be applauding them every step of the way. That is how the game is played. If Greenspan didn't think the Wall Street crew would rip off their shareholders for every last penny, then he was not a worthy disciple of Ayn Rand."
Apparently, Baker only knows that Rand argued for egoism, while ignoring that part about how her version of egoism, which she called rational egoism, precludes deceit and reliance on government subsidies. He also appears to have missed that Rand argued for free markets, as he later correctly notes that today's financial industry is not anything remotely resembling a free market, and that the Wall Street executives he claimed Rand would celebrate does not want free markets, because under a free market they wouldn't have been able to get away with this kind of rip-off.
Rand's reputation is clearly damaged today by her former association with Greenspan, something which is partly deserved, partly undeserved. On the one hand, she certainly did err in ignoring the warning signs that were apparent already in the 1970s (With Greenspan supporting some of Gerald Ford's stupid ideas, including the "Whip Inflation Now"-buttons(he now claims to have considered the buttons stupid, but at the time he endorsed them, meaning he was either lying then or now)) about Greenspan's flawed character and non-commitment to her principles. On the other hand, Greenspan got much worse after her death, and had she been alive today, even she would have almost certainly given up on him and rejected him just as much as Yaron Brook has done.