by Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
On Friday, the print edition of the New York Times carried this headline over a column by Paul Krugman: “How Many Americans Will Ayn Rand Kill?” (The digital headline reads: “When Libertarianism Goes Bad.”) Krugman makes the following points: libertarian rhetoric is all about “freedom” and “personal responsibility.” Politicians in states filled with the Ayn Rand crowd refuse to issue mandates to wear masks, believing this comes under the Ayn Rand screed that individual choice must always triumph. Krugman correctly defines this failed logic as follows:
“Many things should be matters of individual choice. The government has no business dictating your cultural tastes, your faith or what you decide to do with other consenting adults.
“But refusing to wear a face covering during a pandemic, or insisting on mingling indoors with large groups, isn’t like following the church of your choice. It’s more like dumping raw sewage into a reservoir that supplies other people’s drinking water.”
Unfortunately, Krugman fails to make the essential connection between Ayn Rand, the brand of Republican politician that dominates now in so many state houses, and Charles Koch – the man who has been leading the billionaire network that has been funding this anti-government, anti-regulation movement for more than forty years.