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What is unmistakable about Trump: his naked capitalism

President Donald Trump
REUTERS/Erin Scott
President Donald Trump

All so striking about the characterizations of President Donald Trump by both the left and right punditry is what isn’t on the list. For some on the right, he’s now a sociopath. The left has reduced him to a racist and/or white supremacist. Some of us, I admit, have called him a Bonapartist. But all of those labels, their appeal notwithstanding, are debatable. Indisputable, however, is that Trump is a capitalist, the most authentic — certainly the most experienced — who has ever been in the White House.

Nothing is more essential to capitalism than what its cheerleaders politely call self-interest, or what the rest of us term selfishness — the “I-got-mine-you-get-yours” ethic. Is there a more fitting description of Trump’s behavior? Self-centeredness is his most salient characteristic, verging on if not veering over into narcissism — and I’m being charitable. President Herbert Hoover, a self-made millionaire, might have been the first capitalist before Trump to enter the White House (others have since retired from there as millionaires). But in his former life Hoover had, significantly, helped to organize food relief to the starving masses in Europe after World War I — that is, displayed disinterested assistance to others. One searches in vain to find anything comparable in Trump’s history.

Trump may not be a Martin Shkreli, the jailed CEO who bragged about jacking up the price of a life-saving drug by a factor of 60 and justified doing so in the name of capitalism. But Trump is clearly on that end of the spectrum — along with Big Pharma that supplied the 76 billion opioid pills that resulted in at least 400,000 deaths in the U.S. And before that crew, think of the tobacco and sugar industries, or the addiction that Silicon Valley promotes. As well, the late David Koch, who unapologetically prioritized his private interests above the rest of humanity. Why should anyone be surprised that Trump treats the presidency as his personal business from which to profit? Self-interest, again, is baked into the DNA of a capitalist.

Not every capitalist, I recognize, who would be president might behave as Trump is doing. But the unmistakable fact is that it is a hereditary capitalist who is behaving in such an unprecedented way in the presidency — not an accident, I argue. And to be clear, it’s the shameless nakedness that is singular.


The failure of both the left and the right to acknowledge what’s so obvious about Trump speaks more to their own politics than to Trump himself. Both have a class interest in being myopic. For the right, it’s understandable. His authentic capitalist credentials are almost an embarrassment. The Business Roundtable’s recent Paulinian-road-to-Damascus moment is a transparent attempt to pretend that its members represent a capitalism that has now seen the light; naked self-interest à la Trump is a thing of the past. “Stakeholders’” interests, we’re now told, have priority over those of “shareholders.” Right, and let me tell you about that bridge in Brooklyn!

For the overwhelming majority of the left, would-be reformers of capitalism, Trump and his essence is an inconvenient truth. Rather than address what is unmistakable about him, Trump the capitalist, they prefer Trump the racist. It avoids the more instructive discussion about what has been from the beginning, at least in the U.S., the template for racial oppression, class oppression — capitalism being its modern manifestation. Contrary to what much of the commentary about 1619 suggests, the first captured Africans to be brought to what would become the United States didn’t come as chattel slaves. They were sequestered in Africa in a class-driven network in all skin colors and genders. On the other side of the Atlantic, they were then forced into indentured servitude — an institution of equal opportunity class exploitation par excellence for those not only in black, but, as well, in white and red skin. Permanent servitude for those in black skin came later. (By the way, I have yet to hear from those who make the racist charge about Trump’s supporters, in all their skin colors and genders, explain why he always gets big cheers of approval at his rallies whenever he claims that he is responsible for lowering black and Latino unemployment to now historic lows. Are they just enabling his self-centeredness or is it more complicated?)

August H. Nimtz Jr.
August H. Nimtz Jr.
To some of my relatives on the eve of Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, I advised caution about their hope that he would “grow into the presidency.” “A 70-year old billionaire,” I warned, “is not about to change his stripes.” The same, I argue, for the system that birthed him. To reform Trump is to reform capitalism: “It ain’t gonna happen!”

The unreformability of capitalism, a system that treats everything as a commodity for profitable deal-making, what Trump so epitomizes, is what makes contemporary politics so uniquely contentious and polarizing — not seen since its last major crisis, the Great Depression. That’s the real significance of the Business Roundtable’s newfound wisdom. It fears, rightly, that increasing numbers of working people are turned off by their system; hence the need to put lipstick on the pig. But they can’t disown Exhibit A for all that he and they represent — no more than Trump’s liberal critics can deny what’s so obvious about him.

There certainly have been racists in the White House and, arguably, the most consequential of them for subsequent race relations was Woodrow Wilson. The most academically credentialed of all U.S. presidents, the original meritocrat, Wilson, a Democrat, promoted policies that not only set back the post-Civil War gains of African-Americans but enabled the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan to a level about which David Duke can only dream. Wilson, like his modern-day counterparts, was smart enough to refrain from the kind of public xenophobic race baiting that Trump wallows in; but his actions, nonetheless, were devastating.

This summer a century ago was called “Red Summer,” in recognition of the hundreds of blacks throughout the nation who were murdered at the hands of what today might be called white nationalists and white supremacists. The carnage spilled over into the next year into Minnesota and elsewhere. For all his racist rants and dog-whistles — if that’s what they are — there is no evidence that Trump wants to or, more important, can repeat what Wilson enabled. More statues dedicated to Wilson’s Confederate heroes have been removed since Trump’s ascent than at any time since they were erected — a reality check for all of us about the true state of race relations in the U.S. in needed historical perspective.

What is incontestable, again, is that there has never been in the White House a more dyed-in-the-wool capitalist than the current occupant. The president is owed — he’ll like that as a capitalist — a debt of gratitude for helping to lay bare a system, aided and abetted by Republican and Democratic administrations, in all its grotesque reality.

August H. Nimtz Jr. is a professor of political science and African American and African Studies and Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Minnesota.

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Comments (40)

  1. Submitted by Steve Timmer on 09/06/2019 - 02:57 pm.

    Here’s a little more about Red Summer:

    https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2019/07/27/744130358/red-summer-in-chicago-100-years-after-the-race-riots

  2. Submitted by Pat Terry on 09/06/2019 - 03:06 pm.

    What nonsense.

    First, Trump is about the furthest thing from a capitalist. He was an utter failure at nearly every business he ever ran. He’s greedy. He’s a grifter. He traffics in conflicts of interest and insider deals. But while his career puts on the trappings of capitalism as he pretends to be a successful businessman, he isn’t certainly isn’t the most “authentic” or “experienced” or “dyed in the wool” capitalist we have had as president. His trade policies are a capitalist’s nightmare.

    I also take issue with the strawman argument that the left only recognizes Trump as a racist. And while he certainly is that, people are certainly capable of recognizing Trump’s numerous flaws.

    • Submitted by Steve Timmer on 09/06/2019 - 05:33 pm.

      I don’t recall reading in the professor’s piece that Donald Trump was a smart capitalist.

      Capitalists in general are not fond of competition, in spite of mouthing the word. Conflicts of interest and inside deals are the currency of capitalism.

      And it seems that conservatives may recognize that he is a racist but are willing to live with it.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 09/09/2019 - 01:34 pm.

        It depends on whether you think words have actual meanings.

        I was using the actual meaning of the word capitalist, and not as a substitute for “wealthy” or “greedy.” And there are people who have made their fortunes as true capitalists, beating the competition by selling better and/or cheaper products and services. That is not who Donald Trump is at all. He’s not a dumb capitalist. He’s never beaten the competition in business. He’s slowly squandered his inherited fortune while repeatedly failing.

        This article is just ignorant nonsense.

    • Submitted by Tom Crain on 09/13/2019 - 09:27 am.

      Adam Smith would disagree with you regarding tariffs. He would assert that the government must take on the role of protector, establishing certain legal rules and structures that ensure fairness. Among those actions is the ability to create retaliatory tariffs, which are used to force open competing markets and ensure a level playing ground among merchants of different nations.

      That said, I agree with your general sentiment. I see Trump as more of a successful grifter than an actual businessman concerned with market fairness. He outsources his laissez-faire economic policies to the real capitalists like Ross, Mnuchin and Navarro.

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 09/06/2019 - 03:23 pm.

    Nothing is more essential to capitalism than what its cheerleaders politely call self-interest, or what the rest of us term selfishness — the “I-got-mine-you-get-yours” ethic.

    Innovation comes in a close second.

  4. Submitted by Sonja Dahl on 09/06/2019 - 05:00 pm.

    Capitalism has one great feature — it creates tremendous wealth. Capitalism has one huge flaw — it concentrates that wealth at the very top. This false dichotomy that we can have either capitalism or “socialism” is tearing this country apart. I want to hear candidates talk about how to have capitalism, but also keep a growing middle class. It means taxing the very wealthy a lot. It means spending that revenue on opportunities which improve the lives of all Americans AND actually helps the economy to grow. Education is the best investment. Infrastructure, healthcare, childcare, environment, research, technology, and the safety net all contribute to growing the middle class. The investor class, the big winners in capitalism, need a large middle class of consumers, educated, healthy employees, robust infrastructure, plus more research and innovation.

    • Submitted by David Lundeen on 09/06/2019 - 09:10 pm.

      We don’t have capitalism. Rather, we have socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. If this was truly a capitalistic country, we would be receiving dividends from Apple because taxpayer funded research is responsible for every single component in that phone.

    • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 09/07/2019 - 06:21 am.

      I don’t think capitalism has to create vast income disparities, that just seems to be the way we do it in the United States.

      • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 09/09/2019 - 08:55 pm.

        I think that’s probably a good observation Hiram.
        I am thinking our ‘board of directors’ way in our major corporations of overseeing company management and general direction may be part of the problem. I think there’s a bit of an old boy’s club in play often, where these huge salaries, options, etc are given to the very top executives whether they deserve it or not, and often there is little or no representation on the board from employees or unions.
        In Germany, the employees collectively vote on and appoint 50% of the board, so they probably aren’t inclined to give a huge percentage of the companies revenue to a few top-placed managers, even if the company is struggling to even stay in business, as we have seen over and over here in the US.
        It’s not that capitalism is ‘bad’, but I think you’re right, we’re often not implementing it in a very constructive way here in the US, and the poor decisions and oversight of the typical board of directors is part of the reason I think.
        According to the article below, the ratio in pay between the highest paid worker in a company and the lowest, was 20 to 1 in 1950, and over the ensuing decades has risen to a current level averaging a staggering 300 to 1!
        Are today’s CEO’s that much better than the 1950 CEO?

        No, I don’t think so, my guess is that they’re worse, and they’ve just gotten better at padding their own pockets, thanks to boards of director’s that seem to think that a company’s success or failure hinges on a few people at the very top, which I think is totally wrong.

        In my personal experience, often times the person at the very top is so far removed from things that they don’t even really know what is going on inside the company, and often are acting more as public spokespeople or PR agents than anything else, and if they left suddenly, it would impact the operation of the company very little in many cases.

        It’s the whole team of people from top-to-bottom that make or break a company IMO, but wall street and the boards of directors don”t get that.

        The company would thrive and prosper more if they spread a great deal of the money they waste for those massive CEO compensation packages, on compensation and incentives for the whole staff !

        There are a few exceptions I’m sure, like a Steve Jobs for example, but I bet 95% don’t deserve more than a fraction of their hugely bloated salaries.

        What is especially annoying is when under their ‘leadership’, a company is in a death spiral and perhaps on it’s way towards eventual dissolution, and yet they are drawing a huge salary and huge bonuses as if they were doing a great job, and while many rank and file workers working for a tiny fraction of their salaries are being laid-off!.

    • Submitted by Gene Hanf on 09/07/2019 - 02:51 pm.

      Excellent perspective. “Socialism” is the next dog whistle. Already in us against Angie Craig.

  5. Submitted by Joe Musich on 09/06/2019 - 10:40 pm.

    How refreshing to see a piece calling capitalism or rather hyper capitalism for what it is…the most destructive force the planet has ever seen. Or maybe those are my words. Everything is a commodity including people or maybe better especially people. Is the displacement of people around the planet, destruction of the very Earth itself an advancement ? One needs to ponder this.

  6. Submitted by Roy Everson on 09/07/2019 - 02:59 am.

    While racism and religious bigotry are odious enough, so is class warfare practiced by capitalists, but there is very little blowback by centrist Democrats, perhaps for reasons described by Nimtz. This is the price we’ve paid for not having a multi-party system where democratic socialists have a voice in the mix and make relevant economic issues part of the conversation. The limits of a two-party system make it necessary to forge coalitions within the party. Moderate and liberal Democrats should understand the wisdom of aligning with progressives and social democrats rather than carping about “socialism” with the same invective that righties use. And vice versa.

  7. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 09/07/2019 - 08:16 am.

    Trump makes money not by offering great products and services that give value, but by illegal methods. Best current example – ordering Mike Pence to go out of his way to use Trump’s Irish resort, paid for by taxpayers. His approach is cheat to win and bankrupt those foolish enough to do business with him. Capitalists also let markets operate. He insists on picking winners and losers.

  8. Submitted by mary mcleod on 09/07/2019 - 10:57 am.

    When Trump became president, he agreed to put the people’s interests ahead of his own, to avoid conflicts, and to put his assets in a blind trust. He has done none of those things, so his presidency is a failure.

    Furthermore, he will likely end up in prison, if he lives long enough.

  9. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/07/2019 - 04:18 pm.

    In other news, CNBC reported yesterday that the unemployment rate among blacks dropped to 5.5 percent and “is now at the lowest level on record.” The only people not cheering this are democrats. Why is that?

    • Submitted by Eric Snyder on 09/07/2019 - 07:13 pm.

      Surely lower unemployment is better than higher. However, employment numbers don’t tell you much. After all, many jobs being created are low wage and many lack benefits. Housing affordability is a growing problem. Everyone is being unnecessarily financially burdened by a health care system that can’t decide if its primary objective should be to shovel profits into the hands of investors and executives or to maximize public health at the lowest possible cost.

      What if we expanded the discussion to how well society is doing across myriad measures of human well-being?

      What is the poverty rate – especially for seniors and children? What are both parties doing to directly reduce it?
      How well is the economy addressing the problem of overwork?
      Why is anyone paying more than, say, 15-20% of their income for rental apartments?
      Is education more or less affordable?
      How quickly are we reducing the public’s exposure to contaminated drinking water?
      What is the rate of environmental degradation due to economic activity and how we reduce it?
      How quickly is the economy moving to zero carbon emissions?
      What about the rate of consumer debt? How can this be reduced?
      What is the rate of wealth inequality and what are we doing to reduce it?
      What is the current rate of life expectancy and what are we doing to improve it?
      Is adult literacy across multiple measures improving or otherwise?
      What is the rate of maternal mortality and what are we doing to reduce it?
      What is the ecological footprint of households, businesses and the economy overall? How much should we reduce it?
      What is the level of gender discrimination and what is being done to reduce it?

      A comprehensive set of measures of human well-being and environmental sustainability would be a much more meaningful benchmark than employment.

      • Submitted by Bob Petersen on 09/09/2019 - 12:26 pm.

        Being in the hiring business, there have been tremendous numbers of jobs in the private sector that are high paying that have been created during Trump’s presidency. Millions of jobs were created under Obama, but were very low pay or more jobs within the ever expanding government.
        It’s much harder to enact policies that create tons of well paying jobs when unemployment is low than high.
        Going outside the simple numbers as you say, the labor participation rate is the highest it’s been in a long, long time. We are near to record lows of people on government assistance, whereas the previous administration had record amount of people on government help and a majority of people receiving more money from the government than paying in.
        No one says you have to like Trump. But you have to give credit where it should be.

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 09/09/2019 - 01:38 pm.

          Putting aside that much of what you are claiming is outright false, the idea that the economy now is significantly different than under Obama is nonsense. Trump inherited Obama’s economy, and despite growth-killing trade policies and ineffective tax cuts, he hasn’t managed to kill it yet.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 09/08/2019 - 09:26 am.

      Every Trump action is tailored to appealing to his base. He has backed away from every action that he fears would alienate his base: See the last government shutdown for evidence of this: The deal was done and Trump ran away from it when Fox told his base he was deserting them.

      Given that, tell me again how Trump cares so much for African American unemployment and worked so hard to improve it?

      This is essentially Trump taking credit for the Sun rising each morning. The continued upward slope of the Obama economy from 2009 to today has lasted through Trump’s ill advised tariffs, a tax cut that achieved nothing and soaring deficits that Clinton and Obama reduced during good economic times like now..

      Thank you President Obama for building such a strong economy that even Trump can’t ruin it.

  10. Submitted by joe smith on 09/07/2019 - 06:24 pm.

    Wages rising, more folks off of welfare and working, finally a President fighting China over their preferred nation, stealing our technology, unfair trade policies, black unemployment at record lows…. That is called capitalism and putting America first… Hopefully the past 30 years of unfettered Globalism can be reversed…

    • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 09/08/2019 - 06:17 am.

      Capitalism doesn’t put America first. That’s Trump’s objection to it. It’s why he is allocating a role to himself and to government to stop capitalism from doing what he and many of his supporters what is not in the American interest.

    • Submitted by Eric Snyder on 09/08/2019 - 10:50 am.

      If you’re against “big government” then you must largely be in support of globalization, since globalization is what capitalism inherently does as it searches for new markets, resources and cheaper labor. If you’re against globalization then you must be for strong government intervention in the economy – “big government,” to use the tired cliché of many conservatives – in order to constrain capital flows.

      The more accurate analysis of the problems you might be perceiving in the economy lies not with globalization, but with capitalism.

      • Submitted by joe smith on 09/08/2019 - 05:35 pm.

        Completely false, globalists believe a mining job in China is the same as a mining job in Chisholm MN. Nationalists believe a job in America is more important than a job in South Vietnam. America has entered into terrible trade deals (for American manufacturing jobs) that use cheap labor in 3rd world companies for 30 years. Bringing those jobs back with more fair trade practices helps Americans. Count me in on America First.

        • Submitted by Eric Snyder on 09/08/2019 - 06:37 pm.

          You didn’t actually specify what was “completely false.” A main point of my comment was that capitalism doesn’t respect national borders as fas as jobs go.

          I agree that various trade deals have included harms to the country (and to labor and the environment). But, one doesn’t have to be a nationalist to see this. Indeed nationalism is a backwards ideology with a terrible history behind it.

          • Submitted by joe smith on 09/09/2019 - 07:43 am.

            The entire premise on capitalism, nationalism and America first is flawed. As I stated America first (every country does it) and nationalism means Americans working means more to Americans than Chinese working. Globalists do not believe this. Nationalism has been distorted by the Left into some resist BS. Again, a job in Chisholm means more to me than a job in China…. Nothing racist in that!!

            • Submitted by Pat Terry on 09/09/2019 - 01:40 pm.

              Except that Trump’s trade policies are killing the jobs in Chisholm. China isn’t hurting at all. Its Americans that are hurting. J

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/09/2019 - 02:17 pm.

              I don’t think you know very much about how business works.

              When a manufacture moves production overseas, it’s not because they think it’s cooler, or they think foreign jobs are somehow more important than American jobs (“Golly, gee, I sure want to make sure the people in Guangdong are working. The folks in Chisholm can just take a flying leap.”). Instead, production is moved to be more accessible to raw materials, more convenient to supply chains, and-perhaps most importantly-to take advantage of low-cost labor. Rather than pass the costs of higher wages on to customers (unlikely), or rather than chip away at their own profit margins (more likely), they will move their production somewhere cheaper.

              When the topic is raising the minimum wage, conservatives like to ask if liberals would be willing to pay $10 for a Big Mac (that goes against the presumption that liberals are all elitists who eat only organic, non-GMO vegan food, but whatever). Let’s try it on the conservative side: how much more would you have been willing to shell out for your MAGA hat to make sure that it was made in the USA, and not in China?

              • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 09/10/2019 - 11:48 am.

                Small addition if you are OK with it: Markets move, example in the 50-70’s Americans were buying lots of cars, in the late 80’s 90’s Korea, Japan, Taiwan, SE Asia etc. started buying cars in volumes, (the market moved).

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/11/2019 - 10:59 am.

                  A good point. Manufacturers aren’t making things just for the local market anymore. They’re selling their pins anywhere people want to buy them.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 09/09/2019 - 08:31 am.

          Let the straw dog run free:

          “Globalist – Urban Dictionary

          https://www.urbandictionary.com › define › term=Globalist
          A globalist is someone who believes that ultimately all borders and nations should be dissolved, resulting in one single world government.”

          Just as those on the left do not, by a wide margin, want one world government, Mr. Smith does not want that new PC board smelter opening up across the alley from his house. He likes it in China and likely supports the environmental regulations that makes it noncompetitive here.

          It’s east to stake out a position when you get to assign your opposite to the most extreme one imaginable.

  11. Submitted by John Evans on 09/08/2019 - 01:53 pm.

    Wow. Lotta confusion here.

  12. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 09/09/2019 - 09:33 am.

    It would appear that naked capitalism is a belief where moral and ethical behavior/standards do not exist, Machiavellian in nature, what ever it takes to win. Capitalism is equivalent to free market, (by definition) it appears lots of folks think that globalism is different than free markets, when in reality they are one in the same. So the difficulty with Trump as a capitalist is, why then with the tariffs, he and his followers evidently do not believe in a free market but a non-competitive control of the market, win at any cost Machiavellian behavior, creating your own definitions of what things are looks more akin to Erik Blacks article on “Need for Chaos” end result from this perspective is Trump is not a capitalist, he is a no holds barred Machiavellian/dictator want to be, he makes and plays by his rules no matter the topic/subject. Or has he re-written the definition of capitalism as well? Minimal government intervention.

  13. Submitted by Henry Johnson on 09/09/2019 - 10:41 am.

    I think this article is basically the attempt of an anti-capitalist to try to grab as a poster boy for capitalism someone who many perceive as being near 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 regarding many of the seven deadly sins of man, that is – pride, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth,

    I think that’s pure, and fairly dishonest politicking for his anti-capitalist cause to be honest.

    How about the good-hearted and honest capitalists?, those who poured their hearts, souls, and money into creating a new product or service, benefiting society greatly in the process, and who in fact might have been fairly low in exhibiting those same seven deadly sins?

    (On the deadly sins, let’s face it, we all probably have at least a 1 or 2 on those sins ourselves, probably very, very few of us are really free of all of them)

    Is it really the ‘system’ (e.g. – capitalism, socialism, etc) that is to blame for our own character flaws as men and women?

    I don’t think so.

    Look at the former Soviet union – in principle, the communist ‘system’ was setup to benefit all the people, people supposedly working in harmony to create a happy, harmonious society where everyone was taken care of and everyone was contributing their talents and efforts for the good of the whole.

    In THEORY, that could have been a good thing right?

    But because of the poor character of the people leading the system and perhaps the character limits of the citizens themselves, it didn’t fulfill any of it’s objectives, and it led to misery and extensive poverty.

    And of course it created a one-percenters club of the leaders who WERE doing very well, while the majority suffered – which is EXACTLY WHAT THE AUTHOR CLAIMED IS WRONG WITH CAPITALISM!

    So in my mind, ANY system is only as good as, and is limited by, the character of it’s leaders and it’s citizens.

    To pretend that because we have a leader that has quite a few character flaws who happens to be working in a capitalist system, that capitalism is bad, I think is a flawed assumption.

    In my opinion, people who are an 8 to 10 on the seven deadly sins test will find a way to game ANY system to meet their personal seven deadly sin objectives!

    We should probably then be working on our own natures and our characters more than most of us, including me do.

    I think of Benjamin Franklin, who recommended in his auto-biography the practice he adopted as self-described hot-headed and impulsive young man, where he listed all his character flaws, and created a little spreadsheet of those flaws on the top of the page, and then at the end of each day, made a vertical mark to count each of the flaws in the appropriate column for each instance that day in which he believed he showed that flaw.

    By this practice, he claimed in the autobiography to have gradually transformed himself from a hot-head, who by his own admission rarely won a debate because he put others off so much, into in my opinion perhaps one of the greatest diplomats ever perhaps.

    Without his talking the King of France into backing our revolution with troops, military supplies and ships, I think most historians agree there probably be no USA!

  14. Submitted by James Baker on 09/09/2019 - 02:40 pm.

    The article theme and comments bring to mind that capitalism, like most things in nature, is practiced along a continuum—maybe more than one. Relevant here is an ethical continuum.

    The Malto-meal story might be a better example of constructive capitalism at the virtuous end of the continuum that also exemplifies ingenuity, industry, innovation to evolve a simple product that contains nutrients to meet a need at a low price without a variety of chemicals that might not be healthy. (Eventually the sugar industry would prove hard to ignore.)

    What we don’t know from the story, though, is how this very eager capitalist treated his employees—if compassionately, with fair pay, that would make him all the more virtuous!

    Now, in the hotly competitive breakfast cereal market, it’s reasonable to wonder how the new owner manages the labor that keeps John Campbell’s legacy ringing up sales. Times change.

    https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2019/09/for-almost-a-century-malt-o-meal-has-been-made-in-northfield/

  15. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 09/11/2019 - 05:09 pm.

    Well, nobody’s naked capitalism is very attractive but in future I’d avoid putting the words: “naked” and “Trump” in the same sentence.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/12/2019 - 11:08 am.

      The mental image conjured by your remark leads me to think that Stormy Daniels was underpaid. Bigly.

    • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 09/13/2019 - 11:35 am.

      I like capitalism. I think it works pretty well, on the whole.And certainly the other of this piece, who casually identifies capitalism with self interest doesn’t seem to understand capitalism or the nature of self interest.

  16. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 09/13/2019 - 11:33 am.

    I think it’s a mistake to think of Trump as a model of capitalism in the same way that it’s a mistake to think of Ponzi schemes as a model for investment.

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