Pre-Order Objective Economics: The Implications of Ayn Rand’s Philosophy on the Science of Economics

 Professor Northrup Buechner has just completed Objective Economics: The Implications of Ayn Rand’s Philosophy on the Science of Economics.

 This book is written for any man who wants to know how a free economy works and/or some of the implications of Ayn Rand’s philosophy for economics. The philosophical overview of my book is this: Modern economics is the product of modern philosophy. Since on every important issue, Objectivism is the opposite of modern philosophy, Objectivism changes everything about economics. This includes economics’ method, the conception of the economy, the meaning of competition, the conception of price, the principle of gains from trade, the nature of business costs, the concepts of supply and demand, the theory of price, the role of scarcity, and the theory of aggregate production. Overall, as the result of all the preceding, Objectivism confirms the practicality of capitalism.

You can pre-order your copy today by Contacting Customer Service at Rowman & Littlefield Publishers by telephone 1-800-462-6420 or email customercare@rowman.com and ask for “Objective Economics: How Ayn Rand’s Philosophy Changes Everything About Economics.” Please make sure to give them the order code “UPREPUB.” It is not available on Amazon at this time.

Read an excerpt from the preface at Capitalism Magazine or visit his site at www.ObjectiveEconomics.net.

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What all the fuss in Wisconsin was about…

From Restrictions on Public-Employee Unions in Wisconsin Become Law (WSJ):

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law Friday eliminating most collective-bargaining rights for the state’s public employees, while boosting how much they will pay for their benefits and making it tougher for public unions to retain members.

[..] Under the law, unions said it will be more difficult for them to retain members. The new law requires that 51% of all eligible workers—including those who don’t vote—approve a union, which means unions can win a majority of votes cast, but still be barred from representing workers. Previously unions had to win a majority of votes cast. The state also will stop collecting dues automatically as soon as contracts end. Peter Davis, general counsel of the Wisconsin Employee Relations Committee, the state agency that oversees union elections, said he didn’t believe any other state requires unions to win a majority of eligible voters.

[…] Many union members object to the tougher election requirements. “Annual certification is just a complete tactic to bust the unions,” said Chris Fons, a 45-year-old high school teacher from Milwaukee. Mr. Walker defended the changes in union elections. “It really puts the onus on saying if the union wants to provide value they have to prove it,” he said. “If people believe it then they’ll come out and vote.”

Under the previous system state workers were forced to pay money to unions that they did not approve of. In fact, in the 28 non-right-to-work states, unions had negotiated provisions that forced government employees to pay union dues — or get fired.

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Atlas Shrugged Adaption “Competent” and “Credible” according to TOS Review

The Objective Standard (TOS) reviews Part 1 of the Atlas Shrugged Movie Adaption.

The review praises the acting of  Taylor Schilling (Dagny) and Grant Bowler (Rearden) for executing their parts near perfectly, while pointing out that:

…Each plot point is there, as is much of Rand’s dialogue sans most of the overt expressions of her philosophic viewpoint, which first-time director Paul Johansson does his best to illustrate instead through the actions of the characters and the events of the plot. For the most part, the script stays true to the novel while updating it in ways that do not blunt the power of Rand’s theme—no small feat.

The review summarizes that “Atlas Shrugged: Part I is not the novel and it does not pretend to be,” but that:

…It is a fairly competently made, credible adaptation of one of the most complex novels ever written. Even with its flaws, the film is enjoyable and has wonderful moments, including some in which it captures the power of the novel—such as the party during which Dagny gets the Rearden Metal bracelet, the scene during which Hank hands over his ore mine to Paul Larkin, and the already mentioned scene during which Dagny and Hank discover the motor. Fans of Ayn Rand’s masterpiece likely will enjoy these scenes in particular and appreciate the movie generally. Those unfamiliar with the story will probably enjoy the movie as well and may find their curiosity sufficiently piqued to read the book. If so, they will be even more richly rewarded. All in all, Atlas Shrugged: Part I will be a satisfactory journey for many viewers and could help increase awareness of Rand’s work.

Read the full review here.

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Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Ayn Rand’s We The Living at the Objectivist Summer Conference 2011

This year’s conference — OCON 2011 — will be held from July 2–8 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In addition to the beauty of our beachfront setting, the Fort Lauderdale area offers a wide array of leisure and entertainment activities.

Two years ago, John Allison former CEO of BB&T delivered a lecture titled “Principled Leadership”; this year his lecture is titled “Teamwork and Independent Thinking.”

Longtime Capitalism Magazine writer John David Lewis presents a special perspective on the thought and work of doctors based on his recent experiences as a patient in his new talk, “Individual Rights and Health Care Reform: A Patient’s Perspective.”

This year also marks the 75th anniversary of Ayn Rand’s We the Living, which we will mark with a special panel discussion featuring Drs. Shoshana Milgram, Robert Mayhew, and Onkar Ghate who will discuss the new chapters they have written for the forthcoming expanded edition of Essays on Ayn Rand’s “We the Living,” edited by Robert Mayhew.

Other general session lectures will include: The Objectivist Movement: 50 Years Later by Yaron Brook; Individual Rights and Health Care Reform: A Patient’s Perspective by John David Lewis; Q&A with Interviewees in 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand by Michael S. Berliner and others; The Culture of “Package-Dealing” by Peter Schwartz; What It Takes to Win: A Workshop on Defending Capitalism by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins; an Open Q&A by Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate; Spaceflight as It Was—and as It Ought to Be by Andrew Lewis.

Optional classes include: Principles by Harry Binswanger; Ayn Rand and the Romantic School by Tore Boeckmann; History of the Supreme Court (part 1): The Least Dangerous Branch? by Eric Daniels; Egoism and Altruism by Gregory Salmieri; Bach and the 19th Century by Thomas Shoebotham; The Nature of Literary Heroism by Andrew Bernstein; Topics in Intellectual Property: The Computer and Biotech Revolutions by Adam Mossoff; The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (part 2): Kant’s Moral Philosophy by Jason Rheins; To Imagine a Heaven—and How “Sense of Life” Can Help You to Claim It by Tara Smith;  The Measure of All Things by Robert Knapp; The History of Ancient Greece: The Early Fourth Century by John David Lewis; The Age of Discovery: Discovering the New World (c. 1300–c. 1600) by Andrew Lewis; and Ayn Rand, Private Investigator: Detection in Fiction and Philosophy by Shoshana Milgram.

There will be a variety of events and social opportunities for conference attendees as well, with opening and closing receptions, and an Independence Day BBQ dinner on July 4 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa.

Links: OCON 2011 Website

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Freedom of Association is a Right; Collective Bargaining Is Not A Right

From Collective Bargaining Is Not A Right (Heritage):

[…] the freedom of association is a right shared by all Americans and protected by the First Amendment. In contrast, collective bargaining is a special power occasionally granted to some unions. In upholding North Carolina’s ban on government union collective bargaining, a federal court wrote in Atkins vs. City of Charlotte: “All citizens have the right to associate in groups to advocate their special interests to the government. It is something entirely different to grant any one interest group special status and access to the decision making process.”

Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) budget bill in Wisconsin in no way infringes on any Americans’ right to associate and lobby government. What it does do is allow Wisconsin employees to choose not to join a union and keep their job at the same time. It also forces the government unions in Wisconsin to collect their own union dues instead of using the power of the state to withhold them directly from employee paychecks.

Now there is a question you’ll never see in a New York Times poll: “Do you favor forcing all state employees to join a union and empowering government unions to take union dues directly from employee paychecks?”

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Aglialoro Atlas Shrugged Movie Screenplay is “Incomprehensible Gibberish” — Film Stage Review

Writes Timothy Farmer a The Film Stage in his [Review] Atlas Shrugged: Part I on whose dialogue he judges as “incomprehensible gibberish.”

[…] I haven’t a clue in hell what was rolling through John Aglialoro‘s and Brian Patrick O’Toole’s craniums when they wrote the screenplay. Somebody please have them admitted for a CAT scan ASAP.Meeting the script mediocrity head-on is production designer John Mott and his vacant style. Many scenes in the film are either too cluttered or severely lacking character. The book is extremely visual, essentially spelling out what needs to be purchased by the art department. Unfortunately, it seems Mott as if relied solely on Cliff Notes.

[…] There is absolutely no chemistry between the characters, not even a single metabolic drop. Blame it on not enough coverage, rehearsal, etc. The list is long. That said, the actors themselves are terrific, but still unable to escape lazy set-ups and sloppy subplots […]

This is not good news. Thankfully, there are some redeeming qualities to the movie…

On a more upbeat note, Schilling’s Dagny Taggart is stunning, circumventing her wooden lines with pitch-perfect delivery. The way she composes herself while interacting with fellow cast mates radiates a tired screen, most especially those scenes she shares with Bowler as Henry Rearden. Edi Gathegi playing Eddie Willers and Jsu Garcia, who portrayed Fransisco D’Anconia, did well with their minor roles.

[…] It was neither compelling nor entertaining to watch. I was hyped on the thought that the book was finally being transformed after forty years into a film, yet had my doubts. My doubts won. […]. C-

 Read the full review here.

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Atlas Shrugged Adaption Lacks Talent and Vision

The movie reviews for the Atlas Shrugged adaption have been making headlines. Perhaps the most interesting one comes from a reader commenting on a sort-of-review at Slate. (In the Slate review that best that we can learn is that “The actors and scenes are there to present Rand’s philosophy to the Twilight and Nicholas Sparks set.”) At the end of the review a reader named “Sean D’Aconnia” opines:

“[…]It is not all the glorious things that David Kelley or Barbara Branden claim it to be. In fact, it’s almost a beautiful mess but doesn’t quite reach that level because it’s not beautiful really, although there are some scenes that could have been. You can almost taste it at times. But that’s because I know the novel.
 
The friend who invited me to the screening commented to me that “Atlas Shrugged Part 1″ is ‘not as bad as we think it is.’  Unfortunately, it is.”

[..]  While I enjoyed the actor playing “Hank Rearden”, the direction was just not up to a standard befitting a movie version of Atlas Shrugged, and changes to the story were not handled well. […] In fact, it was not lack of budget that
ruined this film – it was lack of talent and vision.

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Atlas Shrugged Movie Producer Comments Make Charlie Sheen Seem Like The Voice of Sanity

From The Daily Caller:

[…] John Aglialoro, the producer of the movie adaptation of the classic Ayn Rand novel “Atlas Shrugged,” hinted that part three of the movie trilogy might be made as a musical.

“But you know, part three could be a musical . . . like a Les Miserables kind of a musical,” said Aglialoro. “That’s part of the impact and I guess I haven’t said this publicly yet, but I’m looking at it completely different if part three is a musical with quality music that’s done in a certain way that people will like.”

[…] Aglialoro, who held the movie rights and toiled over adapting the novel to film for 18 years, told TheDC he wants to shock audiences with the final installment: “I mean, if you saw the play Les Miserables without the music, and then with the music, you may go in there saying, ‘oh hell, I would never want to see that great book in a musical.’ That’s going to shock a lot of people to see part 3 be a musical, and part 2 may be very different from part 3 and very different from part  1. It has to be new, you know . . . We get a freshness, a vitality about it, and yet it has the same, rock-solid principles and philosophies that we all know and love.”

Clueless. If the AS movie bombs Mr. Aglialoro will be the reason for it.

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Grand Prize of $10,000 in 2011 Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

The Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest is open to 12th Graders, College Undergraduates, and Graduate Students from all over the world with an entry deadline of September 17, 2011. FIRST PRIZE: $10,000; 3 SECOND PRIZES: $2,000; 5 THIRD PRIZES: $1,000; 25 FINALISTS: $100; 50 SEMIFINALISTS: $50. Entrants must write an essay on one of the following topics:

1. What do you think is meant, in Part III of Atlas Shrugged, by the phrase “utopia of greed”?
2. Why does Francisco D’Anconia, heir to the greatest fortune in the world and a productive genius with boundless ambition, change his course and pose as, of all things, a playboy?
3. What does the story of Atlas Shrugged have to say about the relative powers of good and evil and the conditions under which one is victorious over the other?

The winning applicant will be judged on both style and content. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged.

To learn more visit: Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest.

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Profiles in Business Courage: George Buckley CEO of 3M

Writes Richard Salsman at his blog on Forbes on  Bravo For George Buckley, A Righteous CEO:

Since his party’s failure in the mid-term elections, President Barack Obama has been posing as “pro-business” and a “centrist.” There’s not a single reason to believe it. Obama is a phony — on this and many other issues — just as he was during his 2008 campaign. If Obama is “pro-business” in any way, like most politicians today he claims to be so only to extract tax revenues and campaign funding. That’s the sole extent of it. Business is a mere host to his political parasitism. Yet his hostile attitude isn’t much different from that seen in the GOP.

[…] That Obama is being disingenuous is clear from the avalanche of new regulations, controls and dictates now piling atop America’s businessmen, whether due to ObamaCare’s further socialization of the health care sector, or to Dodd-Frank’s scheme to further invade the financial sector, or to the EPA’s latest crusade against nearly every sector by calling CO2 a “pollutant.” […] In his essay on regulation Obama also conceded that many “unreasonable burdens on business” have “stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs,” yet he refused to call for the repeal of any set of regulations, or the abolition of a single regulatory agency. He keeps sponsoring and signing laws that impose still more burdens.

[…] For an alternative assessment — i.e., with refreshing honesty and candor — consider a recent interview of a courageous business executive who dares to describe Obama’s actual policy toward business: legalized looting. According to George Buckley, CEO of 3M Corp. since 2005, “We know what [Obama’s] instincts are: they are Robin Hood-esque. He is anti-business.”

Buckley further explains that “there is a sense among companies that the U.S. is a difficult place to do business,” and “it is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science.” He adds that “politicians forget that business has choice. We’re not indentured servants and we will do business where it’s good and friendly. If it’s hostile, incrementally, things will slip away. We’ve got a real choice between …

Read the rest of Richard Salsman’s article at his blog on Forbes:  Bravo For George Buckley, A Righteous CEO.

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