Some myths never seem to die, especially the ones that draw life support from ceaseless social media invective. You cannot follow Ayn Rand on Facebook or Twitter without repeatedly encountering the accusation that she was a hypocrite for accepting Social Security benefits, since she opposed the welfare state in all its forms. Rarely, however, do her attackers bother even to read what she wrote on the subject. To clarify the issues, I wrote this article a few years ago, hoping to encourage careful attention to her reasoning as a prerequisite to passing judgment. Since the myth still lives, I’m publishing a lightly edited version of that article here on New Ideal. Onkar Ghate published this article originally on May 6, 2019, in New Ideal, the journal of the Ayn Rand Institute.
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