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Subject:  Rational Self-interest Date:  11/8/2009  5:52 PM
Author:  PuddinHead42 Number:  3 of 4

I was thinking about this recently. While it seems to make pretty good sense, it has the same basic flaw as other economic systems, from communism to socialism to capitalism: people are not rational. For the most part, greed is a substitute for rational self-interest, but it does not bother to stop short of making money on the backs of others. I have not read Atlas Shrugged and will probably have to retire before I have time, but I have wondered about some of the main concepts.

For instance, where do "Randians" or objectivists (libertarians?) stand on regulation? Given that people are not rational and never will be, we cannot have unbridled capitalism anymore than we can live without speed limits or criminal laws. Sure, most of your neighbors would not steal your lawnmower, but the consequences of the law help stop the one "bad" neighbor. I am for small government and despise the big giant health care, stimulus and cap-n-trade bills. However, I don't think I would shrink the gov back to defense only like a Ron Paul or "pure" libertarian.

Does anyone believe we are rational enough to make rational self-interest work?
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