Quick take about Chait on Rand:
Yglesias recommended it
, but I wasn't thrilled with the review. Anybody who has worked in industry knows that added value comes from lots of people. Some important movers and thinkers at the top, but also small improvements coming from workers lower on the totem pole. Rand takes a "superstar" approach to what makes the world move forward, but that's not reality. It also ignores the fact that what we do today is the result of accumulated knowledge from previous decades (and centuries).
This does give me an opportunity to present my favorite question for Libertarians:
Who did you pay for the use of the English language?
A libertarian, true to the creed, would have to eschew using English and instead, craft a language de novo
in order to properly claim not to be sponging off the rest of society.
Mother Jones dropped it off their web site, but Ian Frazier had a very funny take on libertarianism, My Own Private Kingdom
Here's the excerpt I could find:
I AM AN INDEPENDENT GUY. I take a lot of pride in doing for myself, like my dad and my granddad before me, and I don't need any bloated, out-of-control government holding my hand. When I found our local public schools to be less than satisfactory, I said the heck with them, and began schooling our kids at home. They've never been happier with the learning experience, and they score higher on standardized tests than 98 percent of the kids in the state. I don't waste my life waiting on bureaucracy and I never have. I own a quarter-ton pick-- up and a 10-foot plow blade, so I can plow our road and the right-hand lane of the freeway if necessary every winter, and with the Allis-Chalmers grader I bought at auction I keep all the local roads that I use smooth and well maintained year-round.
We grow a lot of our own fruits and vegetables out back, and any produce from the store I always inspect myself As for the meats and poultry we buy, I carefully examine and certify every single piece using techniques I learned in a meat-inspecting class on the Internet...