Monday, July 11, 2011

A "Capitalist" By Trade

I've been going through many U.S. Census records and have frequently noticed "Capitalist" being listed as an occupation.
I started to wonder exactly what being a Capitalist was all about. My first guess was that it was simply someone who had their hands in many different institutions and did not derive a single income from a single occupation, but then I thought maybe that was too vague and confusing for old Uncle Sam.

A quick Google search led me to 200 Years of Census Taking: Population and Housing Questions, 1790-1990.
Fig. 1: Cover illustration for 200 Years...
Here was my answer: "Report a person who receives his income, or most of it, from money loaned at interest, or from stocks, bonds, or other securities, as a 'capitalist'."

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