In 1964 Ayn Rand published in Cosmopolitan Magazine an essay entitled “The Money-Making Personality.” That essay is available on Google Books as part of the book “Why Businessmen Need Philosophy”
This article contains tremendous insight into the difference between the difference been the Money-Maker and the Money-Appropriator, of which the following is a taste:
The Money-Maker is the discoverer who translates his discovery into material goods. In an industrial society with a complex division of labor, it may be one man or a partnership of two: the scientist who discovers new knowledge and the entrepeneur — the businessman — who discovers how to use that knowledge, how to organize material resources and human labor into an enterprise producing marketable goods.
The Money-Appropriator is an entirely different type of man. He is essentially noncreative – and his basic goal is to acquire an unearned share of wealth created by others. He seeks to get rich, not by conquering nature, but by manipulating men, not by intellectual effort, but by social maneuvering. He does not produce, he redistributes; he merely switches the wealth already in existence from the pockets of its owners to his own.
The Money-Appropriator may become a politician – or a businessman who “cuts corners” — or that destructive product of a “mixed economy”: the businessman who grows rich by means of government favors, such as special privileges, franchises; that is, grows rich by means of legalized force.
It is an excellent idea to keep Ayn Rand’s concept of this crucial difference in mind as we evaluate the precise actions of the Private Equity firms.