Ayn Rand’s real world position regarding government benefits

January 29, 2011 | By | 34 Replies More

I recently spotted this excerpt in Wikipedia (I left the footnote references so you can backtrack):

Tea Party Advocate (Wikimedia Commons)

A heavy smoker, Rand underwent surgery for lung cancer in 1974. Although she had long opposed government assistance programs, she eventually accepted Social Security and Medicare payments for herself, under the name of “Ann O’Connor”, and her husband as well.[87] A July 1998 interview with Ewa Joan Pryor, a New York state social worker, conducted in 1998 by the Ayn Rand Institute, revealed that Pryor assisted the two with filing. Federal records obtained through a Freedom of Information act request confirmed that between December 1974 and her death in March 1982, Rand collected a total of $11,002 in monthly Social Security payments.[88] O’Connor received $2,943 between December 1974 and his death in November 1979.[89]

Rand, is often cited today by conservatives touting extremely limited federal government, including many Tea Party advocates who are currently collecting social security payments and Medicare benefits. Here is the Wikipedia opening paragraph on Rand:

Rand’s political views, reflected in both her fiction and her theoretical work, emphasize individual rights (including property rights) and laissez-faire capitalism, enforced by a constitutionally limited government. She was a fierce opponent of all forms of collectivism and statism,[3][4]



Category: Health Care Reform, hypocrisy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. How Ayn Rand destroyed a home : Dangerous Intersection | August 16, 2012
  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Looks like Charles Koch and Friedrich Hayek are also notable hypocrites regarding the “free market” public positions, as reported by The Nation:

    “In a personal letter from 1973, the right-wing billionaire urged the libertarian philosopher to collect Social Security and to use Medicare coverage when visiting the United States. Why? Because Social Security and Medicare work.”


    Here’s more on this letter from Dylan Ratigan’s show.

  2. Adrian says:

    What is your point?
    Had you read more of her writings, you would know that she openly advocates for the proper reception of handouts if and only if one is opposed to taxes.
    Would you refuse a handout from organized thieves that continually rob your home?
    Common sense is apparently not so common.

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