Papa John's CEO: American Free Enterprise Is 'Under Assault' From Big Government
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The founder of Papa John's isn't happy about where the U.S. is headed.
In his book Papa: The Story of Papa John's Pizza, CEO John Schnatter slams greedy executives and says regulations are steering the country in a dangerous direction -- away from the system of free enterprise he believes is crucial to the nation's success.
"America in 2016 is on the path to becoming what Germany was in 1867," Schnatter writes in "Papa."
1867 is the year that Schnatter's great-grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Germany, as a young craftsman seeking work.
"[Germany] was profoundly not a land of opportunity," Schnatter writes. "If you believed the wrong thing, the government attacked you. If you became successful, the government took your money. And if you dared go against the whims and will of society’s rulers, the government beheaded you."
Now, Schnatter believes the U.S. is headed in the same direction.
"[F]ree enterprise is increasingly under assault by a government that grows bigger with every passing day," he writes.
Speaking with Business Insider in January, Schnatter emphasized that he believes that regulation in the U.S. needs to be dialed back to help businesses thrive.
"You've got to have free markets with limited government, with the proper amount of regulation where you don't jam entrepreneurship," Schnatter said.
In 2012, Schnatter came under fire for saying the Affordable Care Act could be "lose-lose" for Papa John's franchisees and employees, and he said that the law would raise pizza prices. Papa John's shares slumped about 4.2 percent during the controversy, Forbes reported.
Schnatter donated $1,000 to President Donald Trump's campaign but is wary of getting too political these days.
"As far as the politics, I have no idea," he said prior to Trump's inauguration. "I do think we ought to give the new administration at least a chance to either do better things or to botch it."