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4. Jason Pye: Frustrated Randian 

Jason Pye tries to live his life in accordance with his libertarian ideals. He is a devotee of author and philosopher Ayn Rand, whose work promotes laissez-faire capitalism and individualism.

"I view government as something that should play a minimal role in our lives."

He avoids public transportation "as a point of principle."

He tries not to shop at WalMart because, in conjunction with courts "They've abused private property rights," he says.

He's even a libertarian in his love life.

A newlywed, he delayed marrying his girlfriend of five years, Amanda, because of his political beliefs.

"I didn't want to get married for a while because I didn't want government to have to approve my marriage. It's a private matter."

After he talked things over with Amanda, the pair finally got married this summer. The deciding factor: "The tax benefits, plus I could bring her on my health insurance."

As hard as Pye tries, though, big government is getting more and more difficult to avoid. Thanks to President Bush, he can't even bank without government meddling. And, now, there's the Administration's massive Wall Street bailout. It includes a quarter-trillion dollar investment in (i.e. purchase of) American banks – including Atlanta-based SunTrust, where Pye has long done his banking.

When SunTrust announced it sold stock to the government valued at one-quarter of the bank's worth, Pye was livid.

"I'll be closing my SunTrust accounts this week," he announced on his blog. "I'm going to BB&T."

Less than four hours later, Pye posted an update. "Scratch that idea, the Feds picked off BB&T too," he wrote, linking to news that BB&T took $3.1 billion from the government. "This is the most disappointing news I've read in a long time."

BB&T's move was a kick-in-the-gut to Pye because he long-admired what he believed was BB&T CEO John Allison's commitment to capitalist ideals. Just two years ago, the bank donated $1 million to fund an Ayn Rand reading room at UNC-Greensboro.

"Allison just spit on Ayn Rand's grave."

Pye is exploring whether to move his checking account to a credit union.


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