"Indeed, Miss Rand's writings are catnip for those who seek to deflect any and all blame for the current economic crisis away from the private sector. Like the airtight religious belief system that it essentially is, Randian capitalism can never stumble or fail — it can only be betrayed."Heh.
I first read The Fountainhead, then Atlas Shrugged when I was in my late 20s with a wife and two children to support. I found them an odd mix of stilted didactic text mixed with heaving-bosom "woman's fiction." I was entertained by how she walked her characters through their set pieces, but not swept up by thier wooden speechifying.
I guess you have to read Rand while in your teens to really be ruined by her books.