She told them not to help looters and moochers but they insisted on donating to orphanages anyway.
Jane McGalt is at it again, stroking her audience with sweet, sweet Randian words of self-pity and greed. For the longest time we who snark could not understand why Miss McArdle chose the financial industry as the object of her worship. It wasn't until we began mocking and therefore reading Atlas Shrugged (Part II coming soon!) that everything became clear.
Like every other "under-appreciated" and overpraised young child of privilege, Miss McArdle read Atlas Shrugged at an impressionable age and the life and times and personality of one Miss Dagny Taggart imprinted upon her soul like that of a baby duck and his mother, if the baby duck were a resentful teenager and the mother duck a Russian harridan with little writing talent. While McArdle was growing up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, CEOs and Wall Street were the most celebrated "industries" of her little world. Naturally when she became a Randian, McGalt chose to work with the captains of industry, leaders of men, superior in birth, education, and success--the elite of Wall Street. Megan McArdle became Jane Galt, a producer in a world of moochers and looters, an Ubermensch among inferior public school rabble, a natural leader of men and women into a new age of innovation and success. Sadly, working on Wall Street did not lead to personal success, no doubt because lesser men dragged her down into failure with their envy and inability to make the trains run on time.
But the Jane McGalts of the world do not let a little thing like failure keep them from their goal of worshipping businessmen and financial industry innovation. McArdle's
In Should We Redistribute Grades Like We Do Income?, McArdle responds to Xpostfactiod's critique of Robin Hanson's post about taxation. The discussion is foolish; Hanson states taxation is income redistribution, ignoring everything that taxation pays for so he can call college students hypocrites for being for taxation and against "grade redistribution." Xpostfactoid's Andrew Sprung argues that "tax[es] of one kind or another is the price of admission to any human community" and earning grades is not the same as taxation. McArdle responds in (what is for her) exhaustive detail complete with logical fallacies, saying society has no more right to take money from people than it does to take away grades from students, and Sprung has not proven that it does. Sprung goes on to explain social utility to McArdle, although he acknowledges, " I think that charge boils down to the fact that I accept the society's collective right to make its own rules by democratic means, and she does not."
McArldle's post ends with this passage:
But the poor quality of the arguments for difference does not bode well. They suggest that most of us just want to redistribute income because, well, we wanna . . . not because we have any particularly good reason. Which was Robin's point in the first place.
Helping others is a privilege. Paying our way is a duty and responsibility. To Randian princesses, taxation is theft, redistribution of her money to inferior people who were too weak, stupid and lazy to get a good education and job.
But McArdle is just one of many people who enjoy talking themselves out of basic human decency; here Ramesh Ponnuru tells us that Jesus really didn't mean it when he said turn the other cheek; we Americans have a get-out-of-hell-free card because God loves us best--or whatever reason is floating and bobbing around in that snow globe he calls a head.