Anorak News | George Monbiot gets Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan wrong

George Monbiot gets Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan wrong

by | 6th, March 2012

GEORGE Monbiot goes all over Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan this morning:

It has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the postwar world has produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power. It has already been tested, and has failed spectacularly and catastrophically. Yet the belief system constructed by Ayn Rand, who died 30 years ago today, has never been more popular or influential.

I dunno really: Maoism killed 60 million people after 1949, Pol Potism a third of Cambodia’s population.Compared with that inspiring the Tea Party seems pretty minor. And on Alan Greenspan:

Once in government, Greenspan applied his guru’s philosophy to the letter, cutting taxes for the rich, repealing the laws constraining banks, refusing to regulate the predatory lending and the derivatives trading which eventually brought the system down.

Strangely, Greenspan never really was in government. He was the central banker, equivalent of Sir Mervyn as Governor of the Bank of England over here. OK, you can sort of call that government if you like but it’s a bit off. But the central banker doesn’t have any power at all over tax rates, that’s the President and Congress. He didn’t repeal any laws constraining banks, Congress did, “predatory” lending isn’t something regulated by the Federal Reserve, if anyone does it’s the FDIC or the Comptroller of the Currency, two quite different offices and finally, derivatives trading is not regulated by the Fed but by the CFTC. And it wasn’t even derivatigves that brought ths system down but mortgages which again are not regulated by the Fed but by the FHA among others.

Other than that Greenspan was, you’kno’, a follower of Rand so it must be his fault.


Posted: 6th, March 2012 | In: Money Comment | TrackBack | Permalink