With the financial meltdown of the last couple or so years, the world seems to be turning to a populist mentality of blaming bankers and businessmen for the world’s ills. Often people forget the tremendous good that entrepreneurs, capitalists, and profit-seeking individuals have done for society.

I loved The Fountainhead. It was a refreshing break from most of the books I was reading in high school in that it celebrated the potential of mankind. I see Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, on the other hand, as a bit ‘out there’ for me. Nonetheless, I think this is a great quote from Ms. Rand, conveying the often overlooked fact that businesses/corporations can actually have a net social gain for society:

The American businessmen, as a class, have demonstrated the greatest productive genius and the most spectaular achievements ever recorded in the economic history of mankind. What reward did they receive from our culture and its intellectuals? The position of a hated, persecuted minority. The position of a scapegoat for the evils of the bureaucrats.