She's dead now, but in her prime she was a polarizing figure in the world of philosophy and economics. Ayn Rand was her name and such luminaries as Alan Greenspan was one of her disciples. I first read her work in my early youth, when still forming my view of the world. The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged quickly became my two favorite explanations for the way in which understanding of capitalism was considered.
The bold, handsome visage of the woman shown above shocked many a lad and lass in my youth with her uncompromising thoughts, and continues to do so even today. Want a taste? Well try this:
"Money is the tool of men who have reached a high level of productivity and a long-range control over their lives. Money of not merely a tool of exchange: much more importantly, it is a tool of saving, which permits delayed consumption and buys time for future production. To fulfill this requirement, money has to be some material commodity which is imperishable, rare, homogenous, easily stored, not subject to wide fluctuations of value, and always in demand amount those you trade with. This leads you to the decision to use gold as money, Gold money is a tangible value in itself and a token of wealth actually produced." (Ayn Rand, "Egalitarianism and Inflation").
Chairman Greenspan, despite his sixteen years of heading the Federal Reserve Bank, still believes what she said today. Shouldn't you?