Ayn Rand and Whole Foods

Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey, takes his vision for reshaping (or returning to) capitalism from Ayn Rand and others. From Danielle Sacks at Fast Company:

Once Mackey started running his own company, he quickly found himself on the dark side: His customers thought his prices were too expensive; employees complained of being underpaid; and the government “was slapping us with endless fees, licenses, fines, and taxes.” “According to the perspective of the political left,” he wrote, “I had become a greedy and selfish businessman.” The identity crisis sent him into an existential tailspin. Then Mackey, the son of an accounting professor, discovered the writings of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand, the high priest and priestess of modern free-market capitalism. He slipped on the Libertarian mantle. “What I love most about the freedom movement, another name for the Libertarian platform,” writes Mackey, “are the ideas of voluntary cooperation and spontaneous order that, when channeled through free markets, lead to the continuous evolution and progress of humanity.” The beauty of Conscious Capitalism, says Mackey, is that self-interest and altruism can not only coexist, they can both thrive simultaneously without a lot of government meddling. 

Become a fan! Visit http://www.soulofatlas.com

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

3 thoughts on “Ayn Rand and Whole Foods

  1. True, but did he determine if he is looting or not? In other words, did he use Ayn Rand to justify being on the dark side, as so many businessmen who do not understand what they read often do? It takes a lot of courage to be an Objectivist; a courage I see sorely lacking in most executives today. Are his employees actually unfairly paid? Is he taking in any way instead of earning? That’s the narrow path that leads to economic salvation.

  2. I think it was Mackey who I once saw on a PBS special about Whole Foods. He said something to the effect that his customers are willing to pay higher prices because they want not only the products but also the “Whole Foods way” of operating (or something to that effect).

    The reporter asked him what would happen if/when customers decided that they were no longer willing to pay for that.

    The Whole Foods CEO responded with something I never thought I’d ever hear a corporate CEO admit in public, let alone on TV: “Then I guess Whole Foods will go out of business.”

    If he were a typical “force others to live the way I want them to” liberal he’d never say that (instead he’d probably insist that taxpayers be forced to prop up WF since it’s “good for them”)..

Comments are closed.