What Is the Moral Distinction Between Investing in Modern China and Investing in Nazi Germany?

Ray Dalio speaks during the Skybridge Capital SALT New York 2021 conference in New York City, September 15, 2021. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

There is nothing in Ray Dalio’s defense of investing in China that would not also apply to U.S. investments in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Then, as now, not every U.S. investor can “be an expert in those types of things.”

Then, as now, the United States had its own controversies and flaws and failures to live up to its own professed values; Dalio asked, “should I not invest in the United States because our own human rights issues and other things?”

Then, as now, it was legal for Americans to invest in Nazi Germany — until 1941, in fact — and so businessmen could “leave it to the government to make those decisions.”

No doubt the Nazis also saw the state as “an extension of the family” and “as a top-down country, what they are doing is they behave like a strict parent.” Indeed, a strict abusive parent.

I realize comparisons to Nazi Germany can often be overwrought and inappropriate, but it does seem to fit, since that was the last time a genocide-minded government hosted the Olympics.

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