- Whole Foods Market founder and CEO John Mackey is a big fan of capitalism.
- “I will say capitalism is the greatest invention that humanity’s ever done,” Mackey said, speaking at the Federalist Society’s October 1 panel on “The Future of Our Food.”
- Mackey described capitalism as a “win-win-win game” that has uplifted humanity and driven innovation.
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Whole Foods Market founder and CEO John Mackey extolled the free market and proposed rebranding capitalism as “innovationism” at an October 1 Federalist Society panel.
“It’s capitalism that creates innovations that create the progress in the world,” Mackey said at the event. “And it’s lifting humanity literally out of the dirt.”
The Whole Foods founder has frequently espoused libertarian political views over the years, and those opinions have come under fire at times. In May, Democratic lawmakers demanded answers on Whole Foods alleged anti-union tactics.
Mackey’s latest comments on capitalism came about during a panel hosted by the right-wing Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project. The panel — “It Can Be Done Live: The Future of Our Food” — featured conversations with Sonny Perdue, the Secretary of Agriculture; Josh Tetrick, the founder of plant-based food startup Eat JUST; and Anastasia Boden, a lawyer with the libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation.
“Capitalism is fundamentally ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange for mutual gain,” Mackey said. “And it’s not a win-lose game. It’s a win-win-win game. All of these stakeholders are winning or they wouldn’t be exchanging with the business.”
Mackey cited a number of statistics regarding improvements in the quality of life for “billions of people” around the globe, including raised inflation-adjusted wages, a drop in illiteracy rates, and a spike in average life expectancy. The Whole Foods CEO acknowledged that business — like medicine, education, government, and other spheres — still has “unethical players.”
“Business is generally judged by its worst actors, and that’s unfair,” Mackey said. “It should be judged by overall what it’s creating in the world. I will say capitalism is the greatest invention that humanity’s ever done. It’s not even close. I love capitalism and I will defend it until I’m no longer on the planet,” Mackey said.
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