'Papa' John Schnatter Writes About Big Government Assault on Free Enterprise in New Book

Last week we saw how the Chili’s restaurant chain alienated a lot of conservative customers by publicly supporting Planned Parenthood and donating a portion of every sale to the abortion provider. This week, the founder of Papa John’s pizza will probably get cheers from many of the same people who jeered Chili’s.


John Schnatter (aka Papa John) in his newly released book Papa expresses some concerns about big government that a lot of conservatives share. He compares America today to Germany in 1867.

“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 US 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 US is headed in the same direction.

That sounds about right. Trump’s election may have slowed it down but we are still a long way from reining in big regulatory bureaucracy.

“[F]ree enterprise is increasingly under assault by a government that grows bigger with every passing day,” he writes.

Speaking with Business Insider, Schnatter emphasized that he believes that regulation in the US 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.


Schnatter donated to the Trump campaign but says that he tries not to be too political, probably because of what he learned when criticizing Obamacare.

In 2012, Schnatter came under fire for saying the Affordable Care Act could be “lose-lose” for Papa John’s franchisees and employees, and said that the law would raise pizza prices. Papa John’s shares slumped about 4.2% during the controversy, Forbes reported.

Schnatter says “we ought to give the new administration at least a chance to either do better things or to botch it.”


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