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Old 03-06-2009, 09:27 AM   #21
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and I was about to comment that some of these posts must be causing some of our friends on this forum to lose their lunch And it's still breakfast time.

Since it elicits such extreme responses, this is encouraging me to actually read the thing. Maybe I'll bring a wheeled-dolly to the library, my elbow has been killing me, tendon-itis or something. That's a BIG book.

-ERD50
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:29 AM   #22
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Ummm,

When I was in high school, my circle of friends would gather at our friend Julia's house to "intellectualize". Atlas Shrugged was a book we spent much time admiring and discussing. Later, as a poor student living in a one room apartment, sharing one bathroom in a three story apartment house of one room apartments, and running out of food some weeks, I picked the book up again. It ended up in shreds on the floor after I stomped it to death. I declare my "age of reason" had occurred.

I have always, since then, considered the book to be for children who will eventually grow up to the real world.
I'm assuming you no longer live in a one room apartment with little to eat.

To what do you attribute your success to?

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Old 03-06-2009, 09:55 AM   #23
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I'm assuming you no longer live in a one room apartment with little to eat.

To what do you attribute your success to?

-ERD50
Living in a country of opportunity for a redneck-river-rat young woman. But mainly to the airplane, my deliverance.

People don't appreciate the other side of the 60s-70s. Television liberated an entire generation out of their local status quo and into a world they wanted to explore. There were local universities like Portland State University where one could afford tuition, live cheaply in the neighborhood, and find a job that would pay for both tuition and living expenses (almost). Faculty would chose to nominate you for small scholarships if they thought well of you and knew your plight. The degree you earned easily got you into the major state university PhD programs where you were supported on teaching or research assistantships which didn't get you out of poverty but did provide survival.

It was really the first generation that could make it out of their origins. Perhaps it was the only time that young people could find the support system in the society that enabled them to leap so far. The many men who survived Vietnam had a good GI bill and VA loan program. My husband, who grew up even poorer than myself, had both.

The tone was different when I was growing up. Schools, even in small towns, were good (the upper class kids also attended them). Parents without high school diplomas believed in education, college and breaking the cycle.

The point is that I was born smart; I don't take much claim for that advantage. Other than making some use of that birth-quality, I met enablers all along. They were just more subtle than those we think of today.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:21 AM   #24
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It was really the first generation that could make it out of their origins.
I suspect that millions of people who came through Ellis Island would disagree with you there.

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Television liberated an entire generation out of their local status quo and into a world they wanted to explore.
and there. They came from Europe (mostly) to a new and strange land long before TV.


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There were local universities like Portland State University where one could afford tuition, live cheaply in the neighborhood, and find a job that would pay for both tuition and living expenses (almost).
Well, there are a lot of stats that show college costs outpacing inflation. But I think one can still attend in-state schools under the conditions you mention. It might be tougher, but I'm not sure where the blame lies for that. Those in-state schools are not run by greedy industrialists, are they?

add after googling: http://www.pdx.edu/sites/www.pdx.edu...ition_Fees.pdf

$2049 per term, tuition and fees for residents. That does not seem so bad to me. DD made almost $4,000 on her summer job, could have taken a part time if needed. Yes, would either need loans, savings, or that part time job to do it on her own at those rates. But it is doable, and I bet many are doing just that.

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Old 03-06-2009, 10:31 AM   #25
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Atlas Shrugged remains the most important book I have ever read. My dog eared, highlighted paperback copy is one of the things I would grab in a fire.

Like Grep, I am a fan of dystopian novels, and one of my all time favorites is the much slimmer Rand book Anthem. I highly recommend this for the ones unwilling to pick up the larger tome.

Atlas Shrugged still has as much meaning for me at 38 as it did at 18, guess I'm still a child, huh? <grin>
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:15 AM   #26
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guess I'm still a child, huh? <grin>
I recall in another thread you said you were still frisky...
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:25 AM   #27
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and I was about to comment that some of these posts must be causing some of our friends on this forum to lose their lunch And it's still breakfast time.

Since it elicits such extreme responses, this is encouraging me to actually read the thing. Maybe I'll bring a wheeled-dolly to the library, my elbow has been killing me, tendon-itis or something. That's a BIG book.

-ERD50
ERD50, based on your comments in various threads, I think you would like the book (I sure liked it). I also recommend Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:13 PM   #28
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I used to have a dorm mate (in college) who was a rabid Ayn Rand fan. He took things rather far, stating that he would prefer to see his own mother, etc., die of starvation and exposure before she received a penny of support from any source, especially including himself. With that level of self-righteous selfishness, he didn't remain a friend for long.
I'm no objectivist and have only read a few of Rand's works, but I think the response of an objectivist would be that the mother should have no right to demand support or money from her son, but the son has the freedom to choose to spend his money in any manner he sees fit, including donating to charity or to his own mother. The main point of "Atlas Shrugged" is that we should all be free to chose to do what we want to do with our own resources and not be forced to relinquish our funds for the support of others.
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:56 PM   #29
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I'm no objectivist and have only read a few of Rand's works, but I think the response of an objectivist would be that the mother should have no right to demand support or money from her son, but the son has the freedom to choose to spend his money in any manner he sees fit, including donating to charity or to his own mother. The main point of "Atlas Shrugged" is that we should all be free to chose to do what we want to do with our own resources and not be forced to relinquish our funds for the support of others.
THANK YOU, FUEGO! Now I won't have to try a third time to read "Atlas Shrugged". Your take is about what I thought the book was trying to say. I also struggled with "Moby Dick" and most of the other "great literature and required reading" in high school and college lit. Just never could get into fiction for some reason. Love movies, plays, even TV - all fiction (even when it's not, heh, heh). But reading a "story" and not trying to learn a "skill" always seemed a waste of time. I'm sure many would say reading AS would be learning a skill, but then I'll take the Cliff Notes version, thank you very much.

Just one underachiever's view point.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:08 PM   #30
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THANK YOU, FUEGO! Now I won't have to try a third time to read "Atlas Shrugged". Your take is about what I thought the book was trying to say. I also struggled with "Moby Dick" and most of the other "great literature and required reading" in high school and college lit. Just never could get into fiction for some reason. Love movies, plays, even TV - all fiction (even when it's not, heh, heh). But reading a "story" and not trying to learn a "skill" always seemed a waste of time. I'm sure many would say reading AS would be learning a skill, but then I'll take the Cliff Notes version, thank you very much.

Just one underachiever's view point.
I read mostly non-fiction as well, but this was one piece of fiction that really kept my interest through all 1100+ pages. Excellent development of characters. **SPOILER** It was a real experience watching Dagny develop from a hard working, driven machine trying to run a business and make a profit and then watching her realize her efforts are futile and then decide to give it all up in the end and join John Galt (for the right reasons).

I would suggest even if one leans to the left in their politics, it can still serve to give some insight into how the right-leaning mind works.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:07 PM   #31
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I would suggest even if one leans to the left in their politics, it can still serve to give some insight into how the right-leaning mind works.
This is what concerns me about BradJolina owning the rights to the film version: in the film version, Dagny and Hank are elected house speaker and president (respectively) and save the world through a multi-trillion dollar government spending program and massive tax hikes.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:07 PM   #32
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THANK YOU, FUEGO! Now I won't have to try a third time to read "Atlas Shrugged". Your take is about what I thought the book was trying to say. I also struggled with "Moby Dick"...
Same for me. I'm getting a pretty good sense of the book from past posts and now these, and it does sound like it could hold my interest.

Must be a lot of like-minded individuals, I just got back from some errands, so stopped at the library while I was out and every single item associated Ayn Rand was checked out. And they had more than a few items.

Hmmm, wonder if there is a trend, or correlation with recent events? Two years ago when I looked for it, there it was, sitting on the shelf (taking up the space of five average-sized books!).

Guess I'll put a hold on it.

-ERD50
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:04 PM   #33
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One interesting thing about Rand is how those leaning both conservative and liberal seem to be attracted to her books. You wouldn't think democrats and liberals would respect her work but many do. It just seems to cross all boundaries. Fastinating.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:24 PM   #34
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I read her books in high school. Once I got out into the world I realized that her black and white philosophy does not co-exist well with human beings. Everything in this world is shades of gray.

(I really don't mean this to sound patronizing to those who just discovered Rand.)

Her philosophy was Objectivism, from which sprung up Libertarianism and Greenspan, free market economists, the pureness of self-interested capitalism, and here we sit today. A world economy almost destroyed by some guys who wanted their freedom to gamble with credit default swaps and other creative financial instruments.

Greenspan testified before congress that he was astonished that he had found a "flaw" in his philosophy. This in itself testifies to his arrogance.

I guess I am very cynical about human nature. Her philosophy of self-interest resulting in the best of all possible worlds is total utopia. It's no better than a communist philosophy, IMHO. People will take advantage of any opportunity to get more for themselves. They don't really think about the consequences for other people.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:32 PM   #35
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Same for me. I'm getting a pretty good sense of the book from past posts and now these, and it does sound like it could hold my interest.

Must be a lot of like-minded individuals, I just got back from some errands, so stopped at the library while I was out and every single item associated Ayn Rand was checked out. And they had more than a few items.

Hmmm, wonder if there is a trend, or correlation with recent events? Two years ago when I looked for it, there it was, sitting on the shelf (taking up the space of five average-sized books!).

Guess I'll put a hold on it.

-ERD50
According to this article The Washington Independent » Battling Obama by ‘Going Galt’ sales of Atlas Shrugged have tripled since the presidential election. I knew I should have invested in it!
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:35 PM   #36
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People will take advantage of any opportunity to get more for themselves. They don't really think about the consequences for other people.
I think you are right. If only we could harness this. If only there were a system in which each person, in pursuing their own self interests, helped everyone else . . . I'll bet that would be a winner.

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages."
- A. Smith
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:14 PM   #37
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I think you are right. If only we could harness this. If only there were a system in which each person, in pursuing their own self interests, helped everyone else . . . I'll bet that would be a winner.
That sounds like something Francisco might say.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:12 PM   #38
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People will take advantage of any opportunity to get more for themselves. They don't really think about the consequences for other people.
In addition to samclem's classic observation, let's look at this from the other side:

I guess Oldbabe would prefer a world where people did NOT take advantage of opportunities to get more for themselves. We would end up with a bunch of people without. Perhaps we should think about the consequences of *that* world?

You are welcome to it, I want no part of it. Please don't do it here in the USA, I don't want to have to move so you can have a world our Founding Fathers did not imagine. The Declaration of Independence would have read more like " don't go pursuing happiness, someone might get hurt, the govt will provide you with everything you need".

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A world economy almost destroyed by some guys who wanted their freedom to gamble with credit default swaps and other creative financial instruments.
This conveniently forgets the govt involvement which upset free markets which allowed this mess to form in the first place. And that was basically rules and regs that encouraged people who could not afford a mortgage to get one, because the govt wanted them to have one. Further regulation was only required to try to contain the consequences of the earlier regulations. Occam's Razer - eliminate the unbalance and you can eliminate some/most/all of the added regulation.

But no, the govt comes in, upsets the apple cart, and then says "Hey, you guys need supervision to get these apples picked up".

-ERD50
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:50 AM   #39
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Living in a country of opportunity for a redneck-river-rat young woman. But mainly to the airplane, my deliverance.

People don't appreciate the other side of the 60s-70s. Television liberated an entire generation out of their local status quo and into a world they wanted to explore. There were local universities like Portland State University where one could afford tuition, live cheaply in the neighborhood, and find a job that would pay for both tuition and living expenses (almost). Faculty would chose to nominate you for small scholarships if they thought well of you and knew your plight. The degree you earned easily got you into the major state university PhD programs where you were supported on teaching or research assistantships which didn't get you out of poverty but did provide survival.

It was really the first generation that could make it out of their origins. Perhaps it was the only time that young people could find the support system in the society that enabled them to leap so far. The many men who survived Vietnam had a good GI bill and VA loan program. My husband, who grew up even poorer than myself, had both.

The tone was different when I was growing up. Schools, even in small towns, were good (the upper class kids also attended them). Parents without high school diplomas believed in education, college and breaking the cycle.

The point is that I was born smart; I don't take much claim for that advantage. Other than making some use of that birth-quality, I met enablers all along. They were just more subtle than those we think of today.
Funny, the opportunities you're attributing to the 60's-70's (when I went to college). I don't disagree, but my father always attributed the GI bill after WWII to lift him from his orphan-no-family status. Before joining the Navy he was penniless, living in an orphanage and working summers as a farm hand. But after his service in the Navy he was able to make it through a good state university (GI bill tuition and stipend, enough for room and board for him and wife), to begin his very successful career as an engineer. What helps the GDP more, a bored farm hand or a brilliant engineer? In fact, I think a lot of people attribute our tremendous boom in the post-WWII era to the fact that most veterans could go to college. He was then able to help his kids pay for college so we could emerge debt-free, only needing to work part-time on our way through.
Damn that government interference - I missed out on the pastoral life!
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:03 AM   #40
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Funny, the opportunities you're attributing to the 60's-70's (when I went to college). I don't disagree, but my father always attributed the GI bill after WWII to lift him from his orphan-no-family status. Before joining the Navy he was penniless, living in an orphanage and working summers as a farm hand. But after his service in the Navy he was able to make it through a good state university (GI bill tuition and stipend, enough for room and board for him and wife), to begin his very successful career as an engineer. What helps the GDP more, a bored farm hand or a brilliant engineer? In fact, I think a lot of people attribute our tremendous boom in the post-WWII era to the fact that most veterans could go to college. He was then able to help his kids pay for college so we could emerge debt-free, only needing to work part-time on our way through.
Damn that government interference - I missed out on the pastoral life!
I didn't attribute it to the 60s, I said it was available to the Vietnam era vets. Actually all I was trying to saying was that when I hear about how young people struggle today, I realize how truly enabling my own era seems to have been in comparison. Just my own observation and not meant to get into a debate.
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