I think the difference is probably that I live in an area that was utterly eviscerated by American Capitalism in the '80s and '90s -- squeeze every cent you can out of the workers and then kiss them off with two weeks notice when you can break the union by going overseas -- and still bears the scars of that experience. And yet those businessmen were hailed and praised as great men, successful men, pillars of the community while they were here. Rob us blind, good sirs, and let us thank you for the privilege of being your vassals. That said, in the Era, nobody called small-time mom-and-pop operators "capitalists," or equated them with "capitalism." They had personal contact with their customers and if they had employees, they worked right along side them with little or no class differentiation. They functioned at a subsistance level, and were not involved in the accumulation of monopoly capital. These small operators -- the petty bourgeoisie, if you will -- had no more in common with monopoly capitalists than a biplane has in common with a Saturn V, and the distinction, in the Era, was well-recognized. It's only since the fifties, and a public relations campaign carefully orchestrated by the big-business-oriented Sloan Foundation, that such small operators have assumed themselves to be "capitalists." "Capitalist," in the thirties, was generally a term of opprobrium, and was generally preceeded in everyday conversation by "dirty" and followed by "SOB." The rehabilitation of the word into its current meaning of "someone who supports baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet," was one of the early triumphs of the Boys From Marketing.