Greenspan Grapples for Stimulus With Ayn Rand: Amity Shlaes

March 8, 2011 07:46

Government squeezes out growth.That’s the underlying conclusion of an academic paper by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

By Amity Shlaes at


Greenspan posits that failure by companies to choose to raise levels of such investment since 2008 is evidence of their concern about an unpredictable and overly activist federal government.

Fortunately Greenspan’s message will soon be delivered in a more accessible medium, and another Greenspan-related production, to boot. That medium is “Atlas Shrugged: Part I,” a movie set for release in the U.S. April 15. The film adapts “Atlas Shrugged,” a steamy libertarian novel featuring the ultimate corporate long-term illiquid investment, railroads.

As Greenspan notes in his autobiography, the author of “Atlas Shrugged,” philosopher Ayn Rand, influenced him heavily when he was a young economist.


Editor’s note: Quotes from Alan Greenspan:

“Stripped of its academic jargon, the welfare state is nothing more than a mechanism by which governments confiscate the wealth of the productive members of a society to support a wide variety of welfare schemes. A substantial part of the confiscation is effected by taxation. But the welfare statists were quick to recognize that if they wished to retain political power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending, i.e., they had to borrow money, by issuing government bonds, to finance welfare expenditures on a large scale.”

“Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. -Alan Greenspan”

Gold and Economic Freedom; The Objectivist, 1966

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