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April 27, 1990 - Image 54

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-04-27

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The Philosophy Of Oil

Young entrepreneur Charlie Silver
credits philosophy for his rapid success
in the 10-minute oil change business.


Staff Writer

The new intellectuals must
fight for capitalism, not as a
`practical' issue, not as an
economic issue, but, with a
most righteous pride, as a
moral issue. That is what
capitalism deserves, and
nothing less will save it.
— Ayn Rand
For The New Intellectual


Charlie Silver never took a business class. He learned about drive-through oil change shops by being a
voracious reader.


FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 1990

harlie Silver lives by
the words of the late
Ayn Rand, founder
of the controversial
philosophy known as
In fact, Silver credits
Rand's philosophy for pro-
viding him the impetus to
give up a career in Dem-
ocratic politics six years ago
to open a 10-minute oil
change business in
Southfield, a profession then
new to him.
Now, at 30, Silver's busi-
ness is booming. In a
relatively short time, The
Oil Dispatch has grown from
a one-shop operation with
six employees to a seven-
store chain with - 70
employees. Sales for 1989
totalled $3 million.
Within the next few mon-
ths, an eighth shop is ex-
pected to open, boosting the
employee count to 100. Pro-
jected sales for 1990 are $4.5
"We've grown very fast,"
says Silver, president of the
company. "Now we will slow .
down. I've built the system; I
know the business. But I've
never run an organization
with 100 employees.
"I've never taken a busi-
ness class," Silver says.
"The key is having good
No matter what the sub-
ject, Silver relates it to
philosophy. He believes the
world is a benevolent place
in which a person is self-
made and has complete con-
. trol of individual successes
1 = or failures. He and other ob-
• j ectivists preach capitalistic
"I want to educate people
on the virtues of capi-

talism," Silver says. "If you
are doing what is good for
yourself, you create values
for everybody."
To Silver, making money
is the best example of virtue.
The government, he says,
has overstepped its boun-
daries. He says all business
— among them postal ser-
vice, education and roads —
should be privatized. The
government need only pro-
tect individual rights.
"I think about principles,"
he says. "I can be difficult to
get along with. I don't com-
"If I can teach my ideas,
eventually things will
change," Silver says.
"Business is all about
observed reality," he adds.
"In business, you must

"I want to educate
people on the
virtues of
Charlie Silver

follow the C-team
philosophy: The customer is
absolutely right. That is all
you need to know about
Hanging on separate walls
of his new, sparsely dec-
orated Southfield office are
two framed posters: one of
Ayn Rand and one of Abra-
ham Lincoln.
Silver, who majored in his-
tory and studied philosophy
at the University of Mich-
igan, speaks exhaustively
about objectivism. He
believes the philosophy will
save the world from
He describes the poster of
Lincoln as a symbol of integ-
rity. Disillusioned with
politics shortly after enter-
ing the field, Silver suggests
government is a jaded pro-
Abraham Lincoln was the
one politician who truly
fought for principles, Silver
says, adding ideals and
politics today are not closely
In 1980, Silver worked
briefly for Michigan Sen.
Carl Levin in Washington,
D.C. Afterward, he landed a

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