Mister Pain wrote:
But for a peek inside the minds of the 1%... invaluable.
I'd like to address this, if I may.
Though it's true that most of the book's protagonists are mostly wealthy CEOs, that isn't universally true. Perhaps the best example is John Galt (Rand's vision of the ideal man, remember), who works as a menial laborer and doesn't have any corporate holdings. Another good example is Quentin Daniels, a young engineering prodigy who's taken right out of college and eventually becomes Galt's protege.
It's also worth remembering that for every Dagny Taggart in the book, there's a Jim Taggart. For every Hank Rearden, there's an Orren Boyle. For every John Galt, there's a "Head of State" Mr. Thompson. It's strange how everyone talks about the corporate heads that are portrayed as saints in this book, without ever mentioning those who are depicted as pond scum.
The difference is that the protagonists of the book are responsible for creating things. They innovate. They take risks. They don't deal in political favors and they hire people solely on merit.
Compare that with the villains of the piece, who can only beat the heroes by dragging them down to their level. These are people who've grown so fat and lazy on the status quo that they'll defend it to the death, even if it means killing whatever brilliant new improvement that comes along. Though if they can take the profit and the credit for that improvement instead, so much the better.
Say what you will about the book, but I don't think anyone here would argue that there's way too much of the latter in the world today and not nearly enough of the former.