Friday, October 17, 2008

John Allison


I’m not sure if any of you have heard this, but sometimes, capitalism gets a bad rap. No, seriously…the capitalist is not a beloved figure. Incredible, isn’t it?

Today, I want to take a look at one of the individuals who is on the front lines of the efforts to get a positive message out there regarding capitalism.

John Allison is the CEO of BB&T. He is also an objectivist and a big fan of Ayn Rand’s. He actively encourages people to read Rand classics like Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, both in his professional life and outside of it.

Under Allison’s guidance, BB&T has become involved in developing programs to allow people to discuss the virtues of capitalism. Allison spearheaded the donation of significant sums of money to establish dozens of programs like Duke’s Program on Values and Ethics in the Marketplace, UNC – Wilmington’s Moral Foundations of Capitalism program and Clemson’s Institute for the Study of Capitalism. Each center has its own unique focus, but all committed to teaching and researching the moral foundations of capitalism.

These centers lead discussion groups, bring in speakers and coordinate seminars to bring in thinkers from disciplines other than economics to spread the message that the capitalist is not evil, but rather that there is a moral foundation to capitalism.

Basically, John Allison is capitalism’s public relations guy. It’s terrible that we need a p.r. guy, but it’s great that a leader like John Allison is willing to take up that role and make a real difference in getting the message out there.

BB&T Programs

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