An Ayn Rand Institute flashback: "U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims"
Of course you all remember the libertarian classic "U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims" from the Ayn Rand Institute from a few weeks ago:
As the death toll mounts in the areas hit by Sunday's tsunami in southern Asia, private organizations and individuals are scrambling to send out money and goods to help the victims. Such help may be entirely proper, especially considering that most of those affected by this tragedy are suffering through no fault of their own.
The United States government, however, should not give any money to help the tsunami victims. Why? Because the money is not the government's to give...
What's odd is that there are several sites linking to this article at this URL. However, when you go to that URL you hit an article entitled "The Appeal of Ayn Rand". Now, perhaps that URL - despite looking like a permalink - was some kind of a front page or something.
So, let's search for 'tsunami' at their page.
That's odd. Just two hits, both to the article "Clarification of ARI's Position on Government Help to Tsunami Victims":
On December 30, 2004, the Ayn Rand Institute released as a letter to the editor and as an op-ed a piece that condemned the U.S. government's use of taxpayers' money to help victims of the recent tsunami ("U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims"). That piece was inappropriate and did not accurately convey the Institute's position. We would like to clarify our position.
Obviously, the tsunami, with the thousands of innocent victims left in its wake, is a horrible disaster. The first concern of survivors and of those trying to help them is to provide basic necessities and then to begin rebuilding. The American public's predictably generous response to assist these efforts is motivated by goodwill toward their fellow man. In the face of the enormous and undeserved suffering, American individuals and corporations have donated millions of dollars in aid; they have done so by and large not out of some sense of altruistic duty but in the name of the potential value that another human being represents. This benevolence, which we share, is not the same thing as altruism...