This is to continue the discussion of Objectivism from the front page. Some basic info:

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) (wikipedia) was a Russian immigrant, author, screenwriter and creator of the philosophy called "Objectivism", which advocates selfishness as a virtue and denounces altruism. 

Among her writings are The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, both of which have been turned into feature films.

Despite her atheism, Rand is popular among Tea Party conservatives because of her anti-tax stance.  

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan was a personal friend of Rand.

Tags: ayn rand, capitalism, objectivism, selfishness

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Replies to This Discussion

Hmm?  I wasn't trying to be right.  Here I thought I was mocking the screwed up worldview of the neo-cons, in which anything they don't like must obviously be unconstitutional.
Sorry, I was continuing your mocking.
Heh.  Okay, let's flip a coin.  Which of us was being oblivious?  :-D
So Susan read my last post when it comes on how long do they take to post anyway?

Pretty much instantaneous.  By the time the 'Reply added' (or whatever it is) message appears in your browser, the board is updated for everyone else.

 

It can take a few seconds for the notice to reach your inbox, though.  Depends how the exchange servers are running.  I've seen messages that other people post, on a message thread that I refreshed, before the notice hits my inbox.

Mind you, we're talking a matter of seconds, in the single digits, here.

Taxes are in the constitution but income taxes were added to the constitution sometime after 1900 (I forget the exact ammendment). Sales tax has always been accepted and I dont have a problem with sales tax so much as I do income tax since sales tax is more voluntary in nature (spend less pay less taxes). I dont think anyone has a problem with paying taxes as much as people have a problem with paying excessive taxes which violate one of the fundamental rights garanteed to us, namely the right to property. Because they violate this right income taxes are unconstitutional even though they were added to the constitution.

(spend less pay less taxes)

How does that differ from "Make less money: pay less in taxes?"

In practicallity not much I will grant you that, but its changes it from a compulsory system to voluntary which is generally easier to stomach and also allows for better accountability since you government "bill" is at the end of every receipt istead of being hidden from view. Also say I made $100,000 next year but only spent $40,000 of that I would not be forced into paying taxes on the money I saved which would enable me to recieve more interest if I placed it in an interest bearing account ect.

The general problem I have is demonstrated right in your example.  Sales taxes are, by their very nature, regressive.  Someone making only $40,000 a year would end up paying a much greater percentage of their income, in taxes.

 

Taxation should be taken out of discretionary money, not that used for buying the bare necessities.  Income tax brackets, plus a few basic deductions (children) allow for this sort of differentiation, in general.

Is our current economic crisis a refutation of Objectivism?  I think so.

Ayn Rand attracted a number of wealthy and influential followers (and even more who wanted to be so).  Longest lasting and most influential was Alan Greenspan, who set policy based in part on Objectivist ideas.  He has publicly admitted that he was wrong about market forces - they did not magically prevent the 2008 collapse.  His last official act was to implement his longest held beliefs about how things should be, and they failed.  So did Objectivism, and so did Ms. Rand.

Kinda harsh, I know, but there it is.

4) The USA has a HUGE illegal immagrant-worker issue.  The Central Americans are taking our jobs.  Our poor/under educated need jobs,too or most go on welfare/unemployment.

 

Georgia (or was it South Carolina?) tried that.  They tightened down on illegal immigrants, and the end result was farmers with their produce rotting on the stalks.  We need illegal immigrants.  They do jobs that Americans won't do, in many industries.

 

Give them jobs and collect their taxes.  Then, call it a day.  What we need to do is keep the corporations from shipping the jobs off to other countries.  It's time for a little tariff control and protectionism.

The kind of altruism that Rand attacked was the sort that sacrificed a greater value for a lesser one, which on many levels makes no sense whatsoever. However, that is not the totality of what altruism is. Helping the less fortunate through difficult situations does not necessarily involve the aforementioned sacrificial giving, but rather exhibits the inclination of many humans to be compassionate, considerate and humanistic. As long as that is not done at the demand of a government and at the point of a gun, no one should have a complaint. As for the philosophy of Objectivism and all that, I devoured everything Rand wrote, and subscribed to the Objectivist and the Newsletter, but when I visited the Nathaniel Branden Institute in New York City, my youthful starry-eyed fascination with the "movement" was forever deleted due the almost "religious" fervor of the other participants in the Institute.

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