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.