Life Imitates Art: A number of Soviet dissidents did take menial jobs, writing in their spare time. Because they were critical of the government, the Soviets wouldn't hire them as writers. Refusing to work was considered "social parasitism" and a serious crime on the Soviet Union.
Misaimed Fandom: Wisconsin Senator and GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan once said, "[T]he reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand." We can only wonder what work by Rand advocating service to the public he's talking about.
Doing It for the Art: Look above you at the critical reception of the film. It's obviously not being done for big bucks. It's for fans and would-be fans of Ayn Rand. Conservative radio host Jack Hunter summed it up with this remark: "Objectively, it is a mediocre movie at best. Subjectively, it is one of the best mediocre movies you’ll ever see"
Executive Meddling: the first film flops and they continue on but with an entirely new cast? Someone has a personal interest in this.
Fridge Brilliance: Decriminalization of recreational drugs is a pet cause of many Libertarian thinkers, due to it being a relatively-victimless crime and a very naturalistic supply-and-demand-driven market.
A truly hilarious one—Quentin Daniels, the brilliant young physicist, is Oswald from the Drew Carey Show/Lawrence from Office Space!
Still the assistant to powerful women, Eddie Willers is Bruce from Judging Amy.
Teller makes a cameo in the second film.
Not Screened for Critics: The second film wasn't screened for critics, instead it was shown for the conservative Heritage Foundation and libertarian Cato Institute. Producer John Aglialaro claimed it was because professional movie critics had dubious integrity. Then the film actually came out and managed to do even worse than its predecessor did even without critics giving it early bad reviews.
The Other Darrin: The entire cast changes between all three films. In particular, Dagny Taggart starts out being played by Taylor Schilling in the first film, then is played by Samantha Mathis in the second film, and Laura Regan in the third.