Whole Foods founder John Mackey warned that socialists are “taking over” every facet of American society, and promised he’ll have much more to say when he steps down as CEO of the trailblazing supermarket chain.
Mackey, who founded the company in 1980 and stayed on to run it after selling it to Amazon for $13.7 billion in 2017, said freedom-hating fascists have seized control of companies, education, and even the military. The explosive comments came in an interview with Reason magazine.
“They’re marching through the institutions — they’re taking everything over,” said Mackey, who is stepping down at the end of September. “They’ve taken 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.”
"I feel like socialists are taking over," @WholeFoods CEO John Mackey tells @reason. "I believe in liberty and capitalism. Those are my twin values. And I feel like…a lot of the liberties that I've taken for granted most of my life…are under threat."https://t.co/M9VC9pOone
— Nick Gillespie (@nickgillespie) August 10, 2022
Although many consider Whole Foods and its parent company progressive, Mackey said he is a “capitalist at heart.” While building the company, Mackey espoused what he called “conscious capitalism,” and sought to “create financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical, and ecological wealth for all of [its] stakeholders.” The company promoted environmentally sound agriculture, paid living wages, and was a pioneer in providing health care to entry-level employees.
But incompetent Leftist governance, especially during the COVID pandemic, has made it difficult to champion those values while still making a profit, he said. He cited increased government unemployment benefits that made it more lucrative for prospective workers to stay jobless.
“A lot of people were making as much money, if not more money, not working at all,” he said. “And so guess what? They chose not to come back to work. They got used to it,” he said.
Even now, the younger generation that the supermarket industry relies on to unload trucks, stock shelves, and man the registers “don’t seem to want to work,” he said. The problem is most acute in Democrat-run big cities, he said.
“They only wanna work if it’s really purposeful, and [something] they feel aligned to,” he said. “You can’t hope to start with meaningful work. You’re going to have to earn it over time. Some of the younger generation doesn’t seem to be willing to pay that price, and I don’t know why.”
Mackey also lamented the Left’s ongoing assault on freedom of speech and other constitutional rights.
“I feel like 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,” he said.
The comments were apparently just a hint of what’s to come, when Mackey steps down and can speak even more freely.
“Pretty soon, you’re gonna hear about ‘Crazy John’ who’s no longer muzzled,” he said. “I’ve got six weeks. I can talk more about politics in six weeks than I can today.”