To the editor:
Two contrasting books on economic policy and philosophy are Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and Purdy, Lindahl and Carter's Corporate Concentration and Public Policy. The latter book being written by three Ivy League College economic professors. That book reviewed the corporate abuses and practices that led to the trust busting by Teddy Roosevelt and the adoption of our anti-trust laws. Ayn Rand, an early advocate of supply side economics, has come into focus because of Congressman Paul Ryan's statement about Ayn Rand. His televised statements in 2005 and again in 2009 that his reading of Rand's book is what formed his economic philosophy and led him to run for Congress 14 years ago. Over the years he provided his staff with copies of Rand's book and requested that they read it.
Corporate Concentration and Public Policy set forth the predatory practices to destroy competition to attain an industry monopoly by John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil, Andrew Carnegie's Carnegie Steel, the Sugar industry and other industries in the early 1900s. The need for our anti-trust laws and regulations to preserve competition in our free capitol market system. Many of our industries had acted as O.P.E.C. does today.
Ayn Rand went so far as to hold compassion a weakness and she despised the poor as leaches who weakened society. Earlier this year the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops condemned Congressman Paul Ryan's proposed budget as morally unchristian. Congressman Ryan now has finally denounced his economic idol Ayn Rand. It is difficult to understand how Congressman Ryan, a Republican and a Catholic, could have venerated the philosophy of Rand, a Russian atheist and a strong pro-choice person.
Our economic philosophy must have the best foundation. I believe our reluctance to strictly enforce our anti-trust laws and financial regulations were a substantial factor in our recent financial crisis. There is no better teacher in life than experience. When we fail to learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.
Arnold E. Kempe