What has prompted people, over the course of three millennia, to look upon work and commerce as degrading and deceitful? Why have they instead tended to look upon the leisured and lordly as models of the good life?
The new century’s continuous procession of business scandals, collapsing bubbles, and financial meltdowns have left defenders of capitalism nonplussed. The business leaders who have been most prominent in the news are a peculiar mix of the incompetent, the sleazy, and the criminal, as the names Jack Grubman, Bernie Ebbers, John Rigas, Jeff Skilling, and Ken Lay attest.
BOOK REVIEW: Edwin S. Rockefeller, The Antitrust Religion (Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 2007), 123 pages. $9.95 (hardcover). When Ayn Rand published Alan Greenspan’s criticism of the antitrust laws in 1966, there were relatively few critics of antitrust, and certainly few lawyers and economists among them. Now there are many: mostly university professors, Austrian School economists, and writers for libertarian think-tanks. However, there are very few critics who are pillars of the U.S. antitrust bar. So it is quite significant to hear a rejection of the entire notion of antitrust from someone who is a former chairman of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law with more than fifty years of practice in the field. Edwin S. Rockefeller is a venerable member of the antitrust establishment.
Ayn Rand published her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged  in 1957. It's an enduringly popular novel -- all 1,168 pages of it -- with some 150,000 new copies still sold each year in bookstores alone. And it's always had a special appeal for people in business. The reasons, at least on the surface, are obvious enough.
As the prices of oil, gasoline, and natural gas have skyrocketed over the past year, many people have demanded that the government do something about it. They have short memories. The last “energy crisis,” complete with fossil-fuel shortages, soaring prices, long lines at gas pumps, occurred during the Seventies. President Jimmy Carter wore a sweater, preached conservation, and in 1977 signed a law creating the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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