Sonny Bunch has newfound appreciation for Ayn Rand’s libertarian magnum opus:
I’ve written before about how I think Atlas Shrugged is a relatively silly book; entertaining as pulp fiction and with a key central idea (that idea men/capital providers are just as important, if not more important, than the laborers who bring those ideas to life), but ultimately unworthy of real adulation. But man…you read things like this, and you start to understand how caricatures like Rand’s come to be taken seriously.
Short version: A hedge fund manager thought it was unfair that mortgages were being arbitrarily rewritten by Congress to his disadvantage. He told the New York Times this. After the story ran, six liberal members of Congress sent him this letter:
We were outraged to read in today’s New york Times that you are actively opposing our efforts to achieve a diminution in foreclosures by voluntary efforts. Your decision is a serious threat to our efforts to respond to the current economic crisis, and we strongly urge you to reverse it. Given the importance of this to the economy and to what it means for future regulatory efforts, we have set a hearing for November 12, and we invite you to now testify. We believe it is essential for our policymaking function for you to appear at such a hearing, and if this can not be arranged on a vountary basis, then we will pursue further steps.
“We will pursue further steps.” But wait! There’s more!
For the hedge fund industry, which has flourished for much of the past decade, to take steps so actively in opposition to what is currently in the national economic interest is deeply troubling and will clearly have serious implications for the rules by which we operate in the future if this posture of obstruction of our efforts is maintained.
As Conor notes over at the Scene, this is what happens when you empower the government to make the decisions about what is in the economic interest. They use their power to threaten and bully those who don’t comprise their base of power. See: Venezuela under Chavez.
As the Professor writes, Alinsky Lives.