Full-Length Friday Quotation: Ayn Rand on the Value of the Entrepreneur

Quote Posted on Updated on

ayn-rand“There is an important division of labor not taught in our colleges.  Scientists discover the laws of nature.  Engineers and inventors apply those laws to develop ideas for new products.  Laborers will work to produce these goods if they are given a salary and a prescribed task, i.e., a plan of action and a productive purpose to guide their work.  These people and professions are crucial to an economy.  But they are not enough.  If all we had was scientific knowledge, untried ideas for new products, and directionless physical labor, we would starve.  The indispensable element here, the crucial sparkplug which ignites the best of every other group, transforming merely potential wealth into the abundance of a modern industrial society, is business.  Businessmen accumulate capital through production and savings.  They decide in which future products to invest their savings.  They have the crucial task of integrating natural resources, human discoveries, and physical labor.  They must organize, finance, and manage the productive process; or choose, train, and oversee the men competent to do it.  These are the demanding, risk-laden decisions and actions upon which abundance and prosperity depend.”

Ayn Rand, “The Moneymaking Personality” [1963]