Jonathan Chait of The New Republic recently took on Ayn Rand and her philosophy, and thus he took on the entire intellectual edifice of the right, which is built on Rand’s view that any restrictions on the activities of capitalism ubermen is a moral abomination.
Chait critiques Rand on moral and logical grounds, but he is strongest when he subjects Rand’s worldview to withering factual criticism (see page 3 of his article). Alan Greenspan, a famous Randian, recently admitted that his free-market ideology was wrong. Passages like the below, from Chait’s article, should convince more Randians of the error of their ways:
“In reality, as a study earlier this year by the Brookings Institution and Pew Charitable Trusts reported, the United States ranks near the bottom of advanced countries in its economic mobility. The study found that family background exerts a stronger influence on a person’s income than even his education level. And its most striking finding revealed that you are more likely to make your way into the highest-earning one-fifth of the population if you were born into the top fifth and did not attain a college degree than if you were born into the bottom fifth and did. In other words, if you regard a college degree as a rough proxy for intelligence or hard work, then you are economically better off to be born rich, dumb, and lazy than poor, smart, and industrious.”