Is SEC Head-To-Be a Randroid?


Via Sploid comes that question about Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.), who has been tapped by George W. Bush to become the next head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Sploid link leads to excerpts of Cox's 1995 review for The New York Times of The Letters of Ayn Rand, in which the congressman writes:

"Despite her deserved reputation as a cool rationalist, nothing in her view that reason is the highest virtue implies a rejection of emotion. To the contrary, Rand herself rejected not only Communism, facism, and socialism, but also every economic system except free enterprise precisely because they subordinate the individual's pursuit of laughter, joy, and pride, and achievement to the 'greater good' of society. 'I cannot get away from the feeling that pure, abstract economics . . . forget the human element for the sake of the economic one,' she wrote in an early letter. 'Do economics have to fit man as he is or does man have to be
ground to a pulp to fit a preconceived economic mold?'

More here.

We might ask, of course, what's wrong with the SEC being headed by someone who believes in capitalism? (The short answer: Absolutely nothing, of course.)

Elsewhere, the reaction to Cox's nomination has been fraught with anxious Rand references ("a devoted student of Ayn Rand, the high priestess of unfettered capitalism," sniffs the International Herald Tribune) or outright condemnations ("the man who helped produce the Enron scandal" according to Alternet).

Despite lefty attacks such as the one in Alternet, there's no reason to think Cox will be a whore for corporate interests. Rather, he has a solid commitment to free markets, which is pretty damn refreshing from a congressman. As important, he has a commitment to free speech, as evidenced by his offering a free-speech alternative to the odious Communications Decency Act back in the '90s.

Reason interviewed him back in 1999, primarily about the then-hot issue of technology transfers to the People's Republic of China. Read it here.