John Mackey, the CEO and founder of Whole Foods, warned that “socialists are taking over” during a Thursday podcast appearance with Reason Magazine.
Mackey is an outspoken critic of policies that weaken the U.S. market — decrying what he calls socialist policies.
The Whole Foods CEO is known for advocating Trump-like economic views and for adopting the term “conscious capitalism“ to describe what he believes is the best economic plan for America.
Mackey notes that “conscious capitalism” is a way of maintaining American business culture while focusing on more than just profit.”
During a debate with Nobel laureate Milton Friedman and former Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers in 2005, Mackey said:
“From an investor’s perspective, the purpose of the business is to maximize profits. But that’s not the purpose for other stakeholders—for customers, employees, suppliers, and the community. Each of those groups will define the purpose of the business in terms of its own needs and desires, and each perspective is valid and legitimate.”
Mackey expressed his concerns to Reason Magazine podcast host Nick Gillespie:
“My concern is that I feel like socialists are taking over. They’re marching through the institutions. They’re … taking over education. It looks like they’ve taken over a lot of the corporations. It looks like they’ve taken over the military. And it’s just continuing.
“You know, I’m a capitalist at heart, and I believe in liberty and capitalism. Those are my twin values. And I feel like, you know, with the way freedom of speech is today, the movement on gun control, a lot of the liberties that I’ve taken for granted most of my life, I think, are under threat,” Mackey warned.
Fox News noted that Mackey is sounding the alarm as America approaches the midterms and the early stages of the 2024 presidential campaign. He is especially concerned by the increased acceptance of socialistic values among government leaders in recent years.
The CEO is scheduled to retire from his position at Whole Foods at the end of August and has stated his intention to be “much more vocal” about his views once he leaves.
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