Industry in America Are a Varied Lot, Application Essay

Excerpt from Application Essay :

industry in America are a varied lot, ranging from self-righteous and mean-spirited individualists to community-minded altruists. The tensions among these capitalist types is as evident today as it was in the days when Ayn Rand first penned The Fountainhead. Since Rand was a Russian immigrant, it is not particularly surprising that her experiences with socialist and communist societies colored her perspective of capitalism, to a degree reminiscent of a defensive reaction formation. The protagonists in the film Atlas Shrugged engage in a capital strike that is intended to bring the economy to a standstill in order to emphasize the rightness and importance of laissez-faire capitalism. The decline of the transcontinental railway stands in for the future of America if it practices communism and upholds the values of moral relativism. The fundamental tenant of these industrialists was that they were entitled to function according to a natural order that encouraged individuals to put their own selfish interests before those of others as doing so would eventually contribute to the common good. Foremost in this effort was the desire to ensure that individual liberty and private property rights were paramount, and essentially unfettered by artificial governmental barriers and laws. While I certainly embrace the idea of supporting individual creativity and productivity, I can not support a management philosophy that does not consider solutions designed to improve the conditions and the community of the workers. The spark to work well for a company -- or for oneself -- should come from the significance of the contribution the business provides society. Sadly, the book and film portray pure economic forms, but pure systems do not exist -- any system is vulnerable to corruption by human beings, particularly those who are focused on their own happiness and self-interest above all else.

Atlas Shrugged 2. There emerges from the film the notion that industrialists -- capitalists -- are entitled to the fruits of their labor -- and, notably, their inherited privilege and status -- without regard for the needs of those whose labor results in these benefits. Several prominent economists have -- at one time or another -- put forth the same basic idea: Milton Friedman asserted that the focus of a corporation should be to generate a profit, and that people working productively in their own self-interest were the ones who change the world. Adam Smith was proponent of the free-market economy, arguing that rational self-interest that governs the behavior of individual is directly related to economic well-being. Alan Greenspan was also a free-market economist; moreover, he attended the salon sessions held by Ayn Rand in her home. Yet, Smith, Friedman Greenspan, and Rand seem to ignore the hugely significant contributions to societal well-being that resulted from the unselfish labor and contributions of people like Jonas Salk, invented polio vaccine and then refused to pursue a patent on the vaccine so that it would available to all people and…

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