Blogs > Liberty and Power > Is Ayn Rand Spinning in Her Grave Yet?

Jan 27, 2006 6:17 pm

Is Ayn Rand Spinning in Her Grave Yet?

Ayn Rand had a pretty good handle on the mixed-economy, i.e., the corporate state (notwithstanding"Big Business: America's Persecuted Minority"), and its relation to war. (See Chris Matthew Sciabarra's classic article, "Understanding the Global Crisis: Reclaiming Rand's Radical Legacy" pdf.) So how curious that her favorite philosopher, Leonard Peikoff, and the institute he founded in her name support a foreign policy of intervention, war, and, perforce, mass murder (see the press releases and such at ARI), and her favorite economist, Alan Greenspan, became the world's chief central planner of money and banking. (He retires next week.)

Greenspan's economic philosophy was on horrifying display the other day when he urged Congress to close an exemption in the banking regulations that enables Wal-Mart to form an industrial loan company (ILC), a type of bank that could process credit- and debit-card transactions in its stores. Here's what Greenspan had to say, according to the Associated Press:
The character, powers and ownership of ILCs have changed materially since Congress first enacted the ILC exemption. These changes are undermining the prudential framework that Congress has carefully crafted and developed for the corporate owners of other full-service banks.

Importantly, these changes also threaten to remove Congress' ability to determine the direction of our nation's financial system with regard to the mixing of banking and commerce and the appropriate framework of prudential supervision. [Emphasis added.]
Is he kidding? Congress has" carefully crafted and developed" a"prudential framework" for the banking industry? And if we aren't careful we might harm Congress's"ability to determine the direction" of the financial system? Could it escape anyone's notice that here Greenspan reveals himself as favoring central planning on behalf of"the corporate owners of other full-service banks"?

Boy, with advocates of laissez faire like this, who needs fascists?

Cross-posted at Free Association.

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