Bola Egunjobi

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What You Earn

Posted by Bola Egunjobi on January 25, 2011

“When you live in a rational society where men are free to trade, you receive an incalculable bonus: the material value of your work is determined not only by your effort, but by the effort of the best productive minds who exist in the world around you.

“When you work in a modern factory, you are paid not only for your labour, but for all the productive genius which has made that factory possible: for the work of the industrialist who built it, for the work of the investor who saved the money to risk on the untried and the new, for the work of the engineer who designed the machines of which you are pushing the levers, for the work of the inventor who created the product which you spend your time on making, for the work of the scientist who discovered the laws that went into the making of that product, for the work of the philosopher who taught men how to think…

“The machine, the frozen form of a living intelligence, is the power that expands the potential of your life by raising the productivity of your time. If you worked as a blacksmith in the mystics’ Middle Ages, the whole of your earning capacity would consist of an iron bar produced by your hands in days and days of effort.”

– John Galt, in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

 

I find a lot to agree with, and much to disagree with, in Ayn Rand’s Objectivity and the way she expresses it. But the quotation above is one of the most eye-opening ascertions I have read in recent years.

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