The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand–Paul Ryan

 I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.–Ayn Rand, interviewed in Playboy, 1964.

To illustrate this on the altruists’ favorite example: the issue of saving a drowning person. If the person to be saved is a stranger, it is morally proper to save him only when the danger to one’s own life is minimal. –Ayn Rand, “The Virtue of Selfishness”



Don’t go jumping off the docks

Don’t put yourself in danger

You’ll catch cold if you wet your socks

Rescuing a stranger.


To the cries of drowning men

We all must turn our backs

We fired all the lifeguards when

We cut the income tax.


Where’s the virtue, what’s the sense

When, by charity beguiled,

You give up your hard-earned cents

To feed a hungry child?


The greatest vice is sacrifice

And it’s a moral blunder

To charge less than the market price

Or share your hoarded plunder.