@but Thank you for defending the book as a work of fiction. I think the thing that people lose track of is that Atlas Shrugged isn't saying that society will always reward those who work hard and punish those who refuse to contribute, nor is it saying that people have value because they have money. Note that the society in Atlas Shrugged rewarded the looters and punished those who were productive, and James Taggart though wealthy was the epitome of the depraved. Rather what the book was saying is that those who work hard and are creative *should* be rewarded and those who take without producing anything (like Wall Street bankers) *should* be scorned.
It is this reading of the book that makes me think that regulation is not incompatible with Atlas Shrugged: we should put regulations in place that help capitalism to work better - to reward those who are willing to work (whether the head of a rail road or an inner city school teacher).