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Burt Rutan: "Wealth Is Created."

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The productive giant Burt Rutan was given a lifetime achievement award at Washington DC's National Air and Space Museum. This occurred Wednesday night (March 21) at the annual NASM Trophy awards ceremony. Upon receiving his well-derserved award, Burt proceeded to criticize people for never listing his money making activities among his achievements. He considers making a lot of money to be one of the greatest things he's done. Burt went on to tell the audience that wealth is created and that if we want a prosperous America we need cheap energy and entrepreneurs who are not stifled with regulations.

I think what America desperately needs is for more of our most productive people to recognize that wealth is created, making money is moral, and to say these things in public. This counters the destructive nonsense spouted by people like Bill Gates. Burt Rutan is a real American hero and he is far more American than any of the creatures currently running for President.

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...and I suspect he got this idea from Miss Rand.

I worked with Uncle Burt in the mid 90s* during a project for which Scaled Composites (his company) was hired by the company I worked for. After he spouted off a few things like the quote above during some brief off-engineering times, I asked him if he had heard of or read Miss Rand. He said yes, but then gave a series of "Yes, she's right about this, but wrong about that..." These were not minor issues like whether stamp collecting is a great hobby, but significant issues.

After briefly and politely trying to correct his errors, I gave up in the face of his intransigence - but still got along famously with him. And he's still a great American.

*This was his asymmetrical design and walking-around-with-his-parrot-on-his-shoulder era. We got into a fun argument about how many access panels to have on the aircraft - he wanted far fewer than I did. He pointed to the parrot and said something like "He only has X openings." To which I immediatley quipped, "Yes, but he has holes so that at least everything that goes in can come back out!"

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