The Obscure Economist Silicon Valley Billionaires Should Dump Ayn Rand For

He lived almost 200 years ago, but Henry George’s theories might have something to offer people who want to put their money to good use today.

by Michael Kinsley
September 1, 2017 8:00 am
from VANITY FAIR

RING A BELL? Henry George, whose 1879 book, Progress and Poverty, sold millions of copies. Photo Illustration by Tamara Shopsin/Photograph from Corbis/Getty Images.

So, you’re a Silicon Valley billionaire and you’ve already got the private plane. What you need next is a philosophy, something to live by, and to help finance, and—most important—to use to explain or justify yourself. Don’t just grab the next philosophy to come along. Chances are that will be Ayn Rand and her extreme form of capitalism, which she called objectivism.

Rand has a lot going for her, to be sure. First, you may have actually read her in high school and may have been genuinely influenced. Second, in a nutshell, she rationalizes greed, which you have nothing against. Third, she was into mildly kinky sex—something else you may have in common. Fourth, she was associated in some way you don’t quite follow with Alan Greenspan, who is respectability itself, whatever other Rand enthusiasts may have been up to.

But you’re too late…

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