Around New England

Peter Lucas: Joe Kennedy III’s Criticism of Capitalism A Little Rich

December 4, 2018

U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III made a speech in Boston recently criticizing President Donald Trump’s vision of capitalism and saying it leads young people to embrace socialism. He called for what he called “moral capitalism.”

Yet columnist Peter Lucas points out that the Brookline Democratic congressman’s political career and indeed way of life was made possible by the traditional form of capitalism practiced by his great-grandfather and namesake, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. (1888-1969), who made the family vastly wealthy through shrewd investments, excellent timing, and ruthless business decisions.

“Old Joe Kennedy, son of Irish immigrants and father of President John F. Kennedy, was not only a businessman and a capitalist, he was a ferocious one at that, becoming one of the richest men in America,” Lucas writes in his column, which appears in the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise. “… Old Joe Kennedy was not only an unabashed capitalist, he was a no holds barred financial buccaneer.”

The Kennedy trust funds offer a respite from the workaday world, Lucas notes.

“Joe Kennedy III is one of his fortunate descendants who, thanks to the patriarch of the family, grew to manhood in quite comfortable financial surroundings,” Lucas writes. “In other words, he never had to work for a living.”

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