Whole Foods CEO John Mackey claimed capitalism cannot be replaced by socialism, stating it is ‘the path to poverty’.
Speaking to Robert Doar from the American Enterprise Institute via Zoom last week, the multimillionaire, 67, said capitalism is the ‘greatest thing humanity has ever done’ while claiming socialism ‘impoverishes everything’.
The libertarian grocery store boss, whose business is said to ‘lead with love’, spoke passionately about leadership and criticized those who slam capitalism.
‘Socialism has been tried 42 times in the last 100 years, and 42 failures,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t work. It’s the wrong way. We have to keep capitalism. I would argue we need conscious capitalism.’
‘We’ve told a bad narrative, and we’ve let the enemies of business and the enemies of capitalism put out a narrative about us that’s wrong.
‘It’s inaccurate and doing tremendous damage to the minds of young people,’ he said. Until we get this corrected, capitalism is always going to be disdained and criticized and attacked.
‘It’ll be attacked for its motivations, because its motivations are seen as somehow impure. Yes, of course, business has to make money.
‘If a business doesn’t make money, it will fail, but that doesn’t mean that its purpose is to make money.’
Instead he suggests business culture needs to evolve, to avoid the socialists ‘taking over’, which he describes the ‘path to poverty’.
‘They talk about trickle-down wealth, but socialism is trickle-up poverty. It just impoverishes everything. That’s my fear, that the Marxists and socialists, the academic community is generally hostile to business. It always has been. This is not new.’
The supporter of a free market economy suggests professors are more upset than the students and proposed there should be more ‘business people’ teaching.