Monday, June 10, 2013

Krugman and the Atlas Shrugged gang

One of the more amusing aspects of researching Ayn Rand for the play I'm working on is that I can just do a quick search of Paul Krugman's blog archives - he's mentioned Rand on many occasions as you can see here. But one mustn't only do a search on her name because Krugman also mentions characters from Atlas Shrugged. Just the other day he wrote:
Actually, before I get there, a word about self-styled conservative “market monetarists”: guys, have you noticed who your real policy enemies are? People like me, Brad DeLong, etc. are skeptical about the Fed’s ability to offset the effects of fiscal austerity, but we do want it to try. The furious academic opposition to quantitative easing is instead coming from moderate conservative macroeconomists, notably Taylor and Feldstein. So your problem isn’t just that the GOP’s effective leader on economic issues gets his macro from Francisco D’Anconia; it’s that even the not-so-silly wing of the party is dead set against what you consider reform.
Until recently I wouldn't have realized that this was a dig against Rand-worshipping Libertarians because I didn't know enough about Atlas Shrugged to realize that Francisco D'Anconia is the Latin millionaire playboy who had an affair with Rand's Mary Sue figure in the novel, Dagny Taggart.

Krugman also noted Paul Ryan's debt to Francisco D'Anconia.

But yes, I know. I can't keep avoiding it. The only way I can really critique Atlas Shrugged is to finally read the damn thing. And I promise I will read the whole damn thing. Even if it takes me years. Which it might.