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The Organic Capitalism Of Whole Foods

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I&I Editorial

Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey didn’t endear himself to a good portion of his customer base when last week he spoke the truth about socialism and called capitalism “the greatest thing humanity’s ever done.” But he is right. We owe our prosperity to free-market capitalism. If ours was instead a “progressive” system of government preferred by many of Mackey’s patrons, we’d be much worse off.

Speaking via video to American Enterprise Institute President Robert Doar about his new book “Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business,” Mackey said “we can’t throw out capitalism and replace it with socialism, that will be a disaster. … It doesn’t work.”

Who would know this better than a successful businessman? A member of The Squad, that hard-left group of congresswomen who truly have nothing of worth or decency to offer? Joe Biden, who’s lived off a government paycheck (and likely the ill-gotten gains of corruption) all but a few years of his adult life? Sen. Bernie Sanders, “the enemy of every entrepreneur” who “has made a public career out of vilifying corporations, free markets, and the wealthy”?

Not all Whole Foods customers are wealthy, woke, granola-crunching political progressives who have posted “We Believe” signs in their yards and vote Democrat. But that’s the stereotype and there’s a reason stereotypes exist: They are quite often accurate.

Our experiences tell us the typical customer at one of Mackey’s stores is more likely to support Biden, Sanders, Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez than President Donald Trump or even a Sen. Rand Paul or Sen. Ted Cruz. So they probably won’t notice the yawning gap between Mackey, who through capitalism has developed a stimulating and often rewarding shopping experience, as well as created immense wealth and nearly 100,000 jobs, and Biden, Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, Warren and others of the left who have created nothing of value and are forever busy scheming to limit choices, redistribute the wealth of others, and tear down free markets.

This is both a shame and a failure of our culture that has come to be dominated by the left. Rather than credit capitalism for the growing abundance we have around us, the Democratic Party and the media, and about half of America which blindly follows them, tell us capitalism is broken, exploitive, unjust, racist, an environmental toxin, a failure that is in need of repair. And only they know how to fix it. They rant, rail and roar while enjoying opulent lives that the kings and queens of even a century ago could not imagine.

When Mackey tells Doar that “business has to make money,” and if it doesn’t, “it will fail,” he is stating what is obvious to most of us. But much of today’s political class sees businesses as sources of funds to be drained to serve leftist purposes. This is plainly unsustainable. As British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously said, “the trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” because no wealth is produced, only transferred.

Without capitalism, the American economic pie would stop growing, forcing our advanced society to return to a primitive state in which we fight over the pieces rather than expand the pie. The left knows this and rather than destroy capitalism, a fantasy working its way inward from the fringe, it would rather capture it. This is exactly what the Great Reset, which we wrote about Tuesday, seeks to achieve.

Though the World Economic Forum is exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to advance its “reset,” it’s been actively trying to saddle break and then ride capitalism for some time. Three years ago, it predicted that by 2030, “You’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy.” That “You’ll eat much less meat” since it will be an “occasional treat and not a staple,” because doing so is good for “the environment and our health.” That fossil fuels will be “history” and “Western values will have been tested to the breaking point.”

We’re not being cynical to point out that these are less “predictions” than they are goals for an organization that has visions of centrally planning the global economy.

Goals, we might add, for the rest of us. Because those who are resetting the world will own things, including the lives of the governed. And the “resetters” will eventually come after those Whole Foods customers who performed perfectly their roles as useful idiots to an agenda that’s hostile to free markets and liberty.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

3 comments

  • The quest for power is the quest for theft, be it money, property, labor, or Liberty. Power is jealous of anything it does not possess and control, and is therefore antithetical to general prosperity. The belief that prosperity can arise from power is a mental disorder.

  • Politics in our fair land ain’t beanbag, my friends, it is a contact sport, and Democrats have contacted today’s bogeyman or, if you are lazing about a faculty lounge somewhere, today’s bete noire, as capitalism. The corporation is camouflage for capitalism, a useful scarecrow for political graspers of woke bent who cannot acknowledge that President Trump’s economic policies of lower corporate taxes and loosening Barack Obama’s regime of economic strangulation by regulation jumpstarted a truly historic few years of prosperity. So, in a miasma of fantastical reasoning, Democrats have focused on the little engine that could as their enemy. But instead of proposing changes that might strengthen the most productive economic system ever devised, they intend to transform production of wealth into redistribution, and thereby garner votes.

    Now, to be sure, capitalists often do not divide profits in a fashion which keeps income and wealth gaps at tolerable levels, insures real wage growth and economic mobility, and maintains public services so that the poor of today will climb higher tomorrow. The fastest capitalists, chasing ever greater profits, have rendered our society off-kilter. This is not illegal nor unethical, but prudent vision is required to recognize that very serious irregularities have evolved. The best manner of rebalancing our economy in order to preserve its manifold benefits is to reform capitalism, to make it and the society it serves hum more smoothly. If we do not enlighten capitalism, woke revolutionaries will devise remedies far more destructive than we can yet imagine.

    • That sounds lovely except for two small flaws. First, such a goal is, like perfect Socialism or Communism – utterly impossible to attain, because they are in fact utterly contrary to human nature. Second, the leftist power seekers who have worked so hard to get the rank and file worked up over these “perceived injustices” have no intention whatsoever of ever actually SOLVING any of the alleged problems they have created in the minds of the dissatisfied- in fact, that very dissatisfaction was their goal all along, while their policies act always to exacerbate said injustices.

      The actual answers lie in owning up to the fact that a civil society cannot exist unless we accept the fact that we must enshrine in law education policies disabusing young minds of all of the Ponzi scheme notions of leftist idiotology, teaching them how to recognize that their promises are all lies geared to preclude equality and foment dissatisfaction. The inheritance laws must be changed such that nobody is born a Prince or other sort of creature entitled to power simply by dint of the lucky sperm club. And, our laws must be MUCH stricter with respect to financial juggernauts and MUCH kinder to small businesses and those who would be freelancers vs new-feudal serfs (otherwise known as “employees).

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