I feel compelled to respond to Amesh A. Adalja’s Nov. 8 letter (“Ayn Rand’s Beliefs”), which seems to posit that if the government only had respect for individual rights, the size of government would be dramatically reduced. Indeed, the opposite is true: Because of its respect for individual rights, the government finds it necessary to intervene, likely far beyond its own intents and wishes.
If companies had respect for the rights of individual workers, there would be no need for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or a mandated minimum wage. If companies had respect for the individual rights of the population of surrounding communities, there would be much less need for the Environmental Protection Agency. If companies and the super-rich did not find ways to cheat on taxes and shirk other fiduciary obligations, there would be less need for the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Internal Revenue Service (especially its enforcement aspects).
I’m under no illusion that Mr. Adalja and like-minded people will understand, but it’s the basic lack of respect for individual rights from some companies and some individuals that creates the need for a larger government.
DANIEL P. COLES