Mackey, whose estimated worth lands around $75 million, made his comments last week to the American Enterprise Institute while talking about the culture of business leadership and how he thinks it needs an overhaul to help lift up humanity through business enterprises.
“It needs to evolve,” Mackey remarked on the business culture. “Otherwise, the socialists are going to take over — that’s how I see it, and that’s the path of poverty. They talk about trickle-down wealth, but socialism is trickle-up poverty. It just impoverishes everything. That’s my fear, that the Marxists and socialists, the academic community is generally hostile to business. It always has been. This is not new.”
Mackey contended that the objective of business is to develop value for others and blasted colleges and progressives for circulating the negative view of capitalism.
“That’s why we’re seeing this move toward socialism — because capitalism they see as inherently corrupt,” Mackey commented.
“That is wrong. Capitalism is the greatest thing humanity’s ever done,” he added. “We’ve told a bad narrative, and we’ve let the enemies of business and the enemies of capitalism put out a narrative about us that’s wrong. It’s inaccurate and doing tremendous damage to the minds of young people.”
While Mackey advocated against the principles of absolute socialism, he did say there are a few progressive concepts that are decent and should be implemented.
“Socialism has been tried 42 times in the last 100 years, and 42 failures, it doesn’t work, it’s the wrong way,” he noted. “We have to keep capitalism, I would argue, we need conscious capitalism.”
“We have to recognize that some of the progressive insights are important and they shouldn’t go away,” Mackey added, “but we can’t throw out capitalism and replace it with socialism. That will be a disaster.”
Mackey co-founded the gourmet grocery giant in 1980 and mentioned that Whole Foods employs nearly 100,000 people. The supermarket chain was bought by Amazon in 2017 and is now under the dominion of Jeff Bezos.
“Initially [Whole Foods supplier] UNFI was providing these supplies but then it fell by the wayside this summer and the drivers have been cleaning their own trucks and buying their own equipment,” Martin Perry, a driver for UNFI for over six years, told the Post.
In a statement a spokesman for UNFI, Jeff Swanson, charged the union with “disseminating falsehoods and shamelessly exploiting the pandemic in an effort to try gaining negotiating leverage.” The grocery chain has “robust contingency plans” with third-party distributors in the event of a strike, he indicated.
“We’ve also made it known that UNFI will continue adhering to CDC guidelines, as we always have, and investing in what has been recognized as an industry-leading safety effort to protect associates amidst the pandemic,” Swanson stated.
The strike would have come at an awful time for supermarket chains, which have had to meet the challenge of supplying food and goods since the outbreak began. Grocery stores are now preparing for a second spike in COVID-19 cases.
With more shutdowns possibly on the horizon, the non-unionized general workers in Whole Foods stores are already feeling overworked, as their hours continue to get longer before the holidays.
“We are trying to reduce the hours they work,” Local 445 president, Dan Maldonado said to The Post.