If you’re wondering how Florida Gulf Coast University became the first 15th seed in the history of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to advance to the Sweet 16, look no further than the ur-text of the school’s economics department: “Atlas Shrugged.”
U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate on the Republican presidential ticket, has said that Ayn Rand, the author of “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged,” lit the inner fire that led him to public service.
With the ascent of Paul Ryan, the chain-smoking, Russian-accented, flinty-hearted figure of Ayn Rand has once again elbowed her way into the American conversation. Will her name come up during the debate between the vice-presidential candidates on Thursday?
John Allison, former chairman of bank holding company BB&T Corp., admires author Ayn Rand so much that he devised a strategy to spread her laissez-faire principles on U.S. campuses. Allison, working through the BB&T Charitable Foundation, gives schools grants of as much as $2 million if they agree to create a course on capitalism and make Rand’s masterwork, “Atlas Shrugged,” required reading.
It’s 2016, and the skies over America’s heartland have turned tornado dark, seemingly for good. The economy has suffered a collapse and Americans are hungry and fearful. Anarchy reigns in some urban areas.