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The CEO of Papa John’s Says the United States Is Becoming 19th Century Germany

January 30, 2017, 3:09 PM UTC

The CEO of Papa John’s Pizza John Schnatter took an opportunity to slam regulation on businesses and executive greed in his new book, Papa: The Story of Papa John’s Pizza, saying the U.S. is on track to become 19th century Germany.

“America in 2016 is on the path to becoming what Germany was in 1867,” Schnatter writes in his new book, Business Insider reports. Schnatter was reportedly referencing the year his great-grandfather immigrated to the United States. In a passage from the book, he says the land of his ancestors was “profoundly not a land of opportunity.”

“If you believed the wrong thing, the government attacked you. If you became successful, the government took your money,” he continues. “And if you dared go against the whims and will of society’s rulers, the government beheaded you.”

Schnatter said 2016 America reminded him of that time because of regulations placed on business.

“You’ve got to have free markets with limited government, with the proper amount of regulation where you don’t jam entrepreneurship,” the CEO told Business Insider.

Schnatter has been in the news before for criticizing government policy. In 2012, the CEO blasted the Affordable Care Act, saying it would be tough on franchise owners and employees at Papa John’s. Schnatter also donated to President Donald Trump’s campaign. He told Business Insider he believes the Trump administration should be given a chance.


“As far as the politics, I have no idea,” he said. “I do think we ought to give the new administration at least a chance to either do better things or to botch it.”