“One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.”
—Ayn Rand, 1975
These words were written more than 30 years ago, but they apply exactly to today’s financial crisis. Today’s problems are the result of a government-controlled financial and housing system that rewarded irrational behavior and punished responsible behavior. Yet they are being blamed on “the free market”—with more controls offered as the solution.
Why? For the same reason that the controls were passed in the first place. The dominant moral and political ideas in our culture lead Americans to believe that a free market, with its unfettered pursuit of self-interest, is immoral and destructive—whereas a government that controls and manipulates the economy in some indefinable “public interest” is seen as a source of economic security and prosperity.
On these pages, ARC experts clarify the fundamental issues involved in the current crisis—the controls that led to it, the ideas that led to the controls, the destructiveness of the government response so far. And they provide the antidote: an explanation of the true, benevolent nature of the morality of rational self-interest and the political-economic system of laissez-faire capitalism.
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“Today, people are beginning to understand that the government's account is overdrawn, that a piece of paper is not the equivalent of a gold coin, or an automobile, or a loaf of bread—and that if you attempt to falsify monetary values, you do not achieve abundance, you merely debase the currency and go bankrupt.”