Ayn Rand Stans, Like Elon Musk, Sure Seem To Love Government Assistance
"Government 'help' to business is just as disastrous as government persecution." Who else could this quote belong to than the Lucille Bluth of laissez-faire capitalism, Ayn Rand, a woman who has influenced generations of bootstrapping libertarians who want nothing more than to free themselves from the smothering of the nanny state? Unless, of course, it's time to get their ba ba and bankie.
Libertarians have always made it clear that the only coronavirus countermeasure they want is the government keeping its nose at least six feet away from how they run their businesses by vehemently opposing the state-mandated lockdowns, pandemic policies, and spending. Yet, when the Trump administration recently released the list of all small businesses that received government funding through the Paycheck Protection Program to prevent lockdown furloughs, it turned out that plenty of these same opponents were eagerly sucking on Uncle Sam's teat all along. The most shocking of which had to be the actual Ayn Rand Institute, which got up to a million dollars in government handouts to continue spreading the anti-welfare message of a woman who lived in social housing while cashing Social Security and Medicare checks.
This you, bro?
Except that the institute's Fountainhead-heads would like to point out that the money they received was not welfare at all. Instead, like the rugged individualists that they are, they "unapologetically" liberated that money from the government oppressors -- by filling out government forms and cashing government checks. In an open letter, senior members preempted the PPP loan reveal by stating they considered this money as "partial restitution for government-inflicted losses." In other words: reparations for the same people who keep arguing that they're not responsible for their ancestors owning slaves.
Of course, anyone with a lick of libertarian knowledge shouldn't be surprised that they're quite adept at taking government money. The paychecks of most Fortune 500 CEOs contain so much government assistance that owning a gold helicopter should count as being a diversity hire. But it seems that no billionaire benefits more from stealth socialism than those who fiercely claim to be rugged individualists. Take, as a totally random example, Elon Musk, the Family Guy message board troll who somehow became one of the richest men on two planets. The libertarian billionaires will loudly proclaim that he achieved his success with nothing more than a dream, a garage office, and Tony Stark-levels of genius. Ask any of his biographers and they'll tell you it likely had more to do with the free money he finessed from the taxpayers to bail him out, and the billions of government subsidies poured into his company to further rocket research.
Of course, the Ayn Rand Institute, Elon Musk, and any other Randian bros should be allowed to take as much government support as they're entitled to or, according to their objectivist ethos, as much as they can get away with. There's nothing hypocritical about libertarians taking a lot of taxpayer money -- libertarians have always loved robbing the working class. What's hypocritical is how they twist and turn to pretend that their bootstraps aren't being held up by the same government support received by the struggling people they are so quick to look down on.
The question isn't who's going to let Cedric Tweet, but who will stop him?