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Thomas Hanson, Published January 18 2012

Those ‘brain-washed’ capitalists pay for the professor’s soap box

Professor Shelton Gunaratne in his Forum op-ed piece of Jan. 15 on his condemnation of capitalism was certainly a thought-provoking dissertation. I am one of the lost lambs “brainwashed by an educational system preaching self-determination to arrogate a share of our country’s wealth.” His words.

While I am not privy to Gunaratne’s propensity to preach and propagate his personal beliefs to his students in his classrooms, there are other extenuating circumstances. Having graduated from Moorhead State University with a degree in public address and political science in 1968, I am thankful I wasn’t exposed to his vitriol.

The number of successful entrepreneurs donating millions to the local colleges would seem to counter the tenor of his column. Gunaratne should contact these generous benefactors who willingly share their success by donating millions to the colleges of Fargo-Moorhead. It’s a bit disconcerting to me to think the institution I graduated from has a member of the Mass Communications Department proselytizing his indictment of “unadulterated capitalism” and define our “democracy as hypocrisy.”

One can only posit the thought that these businessmen would think twice about their generous donations. When someone condemns the very principles we live by while glibly branding capitalism bad is inherently destructive and disingenuous, not to mention hypocritical.

I wonder how potential donors would respond to his assassination of the principles we believe in – free enterprise and individual initiative. To quote Gunaratne: “the rich to arrogate the lion’s share of the nation’s wealth” from my perspective are the same people who are the benefactors of every institution of higher learning in the country.

Yes, the “pitfalls of our Constitution” have allowed so many to succeed in the free-market system and concomitantly share it with the same university he uses as a platform to indict it.

Thankfully it is a free country and we who are fortunate enough to share our success can evaluate where we would prefer donating it. I for one would doubt I would donate my “arrogated” (Webster’s definition: “to claim for oneself improperly”) funds to the university he represents.

While he is free to pontificate all his musings directed at anyone who has acquired wealth, I am free to speak with my checkbook.


Hanson, Detroit Lakes, Minn., is founder of Zorbaz.