Ayn Rand did not, as letter writer David T. Jack ("The Rich's Burden," Nov. 5) erroneously writes, primarily oppose taxation and regulation because they are a burden on society that only "in excess" stifle prosperity; she opposed such actions because they categorically (i.e., at any level) involve government violating the individual rights it was constituted to protect.
Furthermore, it is not taxation and regulation that are necessary for a civilized and safe environment, as Mr. Jack believes, but respect for individual rights. The governments of nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea and Pakistan enact countless regulations but cannot be civilized because they are bereft of the respect for individual rights necessary for any type of civil society to flourish.
By contrast, a rights-respecting government would not be expansive in scope nor require massive confiscation of wealth for its operation as it would be limited to the proper functions necessary for the protection of individual rights: the courts, the police and the military.
AMESH A. ADALJA