Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on ending poverty, being libertarian, and more (full video)

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on ending poverty, being libertarian, and more (full video)


John Mackey: Of course there is the old saying. I forget who said it, but I think it was true
in my life, which is: “if at the age of 21 you’re not a socialist then you don’t
have any heart and if by the age 30 you still are then you don’t have any brains.” So that was kind of my experience. I started out young and idealistic and social
justice and fair distribution of resources and we were… I didn’t understand why everybody couldn’t
be equally prosperous. And starting my own business was kind of a
wakeup call in a number of different ways. I had to meet a payroll every week and we
had to satisfy customers and we had competitors that we had to compete with in order to have
those customers come into our stores. And we had to compete with other employers
for our employees. We had to… The wages were under competitive pressures,
so there was all this competition on us that of course made operating the business successfully
difficult. And it’s kind of like having to meet a payroll
and having to meet the demands of our customers is a great destroyer of utopian fantasies
and utopian ideologies. You’re in the real world and you have to
meet the market test every day and every week. And I just found that the belief system that
I had going into operating that business was inadequate to explain the experiences that
I was having in business and I began to look around and read other books and other philosophies
to try to make sense out of my life and out of my business experience and it was really
through encountering the free market capitalist philosophies of Milton Friedman and Friedrich
Hayek and Ludwig von Mises and many other free market philosophers that I came to realize
that this explanation made a lot more sense in my business experience and made more sense
in terms of how the world really operated and so that is when my worldview began to
shift and I began to let go of being sort of a democratic socialist. John Mackey: Any type of political ideology
is going to have a lot of different variants of it, a lot of different…. Libertarians are constantly arguing with each
other who is the most pure libertarian and who is most ideologically pure. I have no real interest in those types of
discussions or arguments. And what I resist… one of the strains of
libertarianism and that I reject: I reject the idea that human kind is essentially selfish,
not only as an observation that we frequently are selfish, but there is a strain of belief,
particularly in the Ayn Rand part of the movement that believes people ought to be selfish,
that that is a virtue, that humans are always self interested and altruism is evil and love
is something that makes us weak. And so I reject that aspect of libertarianism. I’m a caring, compassionate person and I believe
that free markets and free minds leads to the greatest human flourishing, so I really
want humans to flourish and I believe liberty and market economies and capitalism are the
best strategies for full human flourishing. So I don’t identify with that strain of
libertarianism that is sort of uncaring and kind of a social Darwinian variant of it. I’m very uncomfortable with that. I’m not that way myself. John Mackey: I do believe that many libertarians
are animated by human flourishing. They… we sincerely believe that human flourishing… That we need to be free and that we need to
be creative, and that through human freedom entrepreneurship that humans are creative;
they create new ways of creating value for each other that expresses the self through
the economic system and leads to greater prosperity, not for a few, but for most people and eventually
all people. So there is a strain of deep idealism in the
libertarian movement. It’s again sometimes masked over by that
ideology of selfishness, but the human flourishing element is definitely a big aspect of I think
of the motivational structure of many libertarians. Certainly it is for me. John Mackey: I think the zero-sum worldview
is the predominate one. I think it’s something we’ve evolved with
this idea that there is a limited fixed pie and we have to distribute that pie in an equal
fair way, that no one should get unfair large pieces of that pie and if someone is getting
a bigger piece, necessarily someone else may be getting a smaller piece since there is
a finite amount of pie to go around. I also think it comes from our competitive
sports, in that in competitive sports there is a winner and there is a loser. And so we play games, we play sports all our
lives, so we’ve come to believe that in the zero-sum worldview that some are winners
and some are losers and then we… in a just society then there should be no losers. There should be… so we need to limit the
pieces of the pie anyone gets, so that everyone can have a fair and just piece of the pie. So I reject that. I don’t think there is a necessarily a fixed
pie. The beauty of capitalism, the beauty of “conscious
capitalism” is the realization that the pie can grow, that through voluntary exchange
and through the value creation that happens when the stakeholders voluntarily cooperate
and voluntarily exchange with each other is that the pie grows larger. And so there is more to distribute and that
distribution takes place through the market processes, through the exchange process as
each of the traders of course wants to get a bigger piece for themselves and competition
sort of ultimately determines the percentages that each of the different constituencies
or stakeholders gets in the exchanges. But that is a growing pie and it’s a win,
win, win, win, win game and that turns me on. I’m very fired up and excited about that because
it means human flourishing isn’t trapped in some type of a limited set of constraints. It means we can innovate and create our ways
out of any of these traps, any of these sort of… I can’t remember or think of the phrase
right now. I’m trying to recall, but…. this idea that
we’re in some type of trap of limited resources and the only limitations we have are the limitations
of human creativity, human imagination and intellectual capital that has been accumulated. As we continue to gain intellectual capital
and as human creativity is unleashed and human entrepreneurship is unleashed then the new
innovations, the new creativity that expresses itself through the marketplace, through capitalism
allows us to solve problems that previously were thought to be unsolvable and humans continue
on the upward spiral. I mean, a great example of this is people
are very focused oftentimes on the fact that there is still a billion people on this planet
that, say, live on less than a dollar a day. And that is certainly is a terrible tragedy,
but if you put that in historical context that is about 15% of the people, 15, 16. 17, less than 20% of the people alive on the
planet live on less than a dollar a day whereas 200 years ago 85% of the people alive on the
planet earth lived on less than a dollar a day and that is in today’s dollars adjusted
for inflation, so poverty has always been the default condition of the human race. What is unprecedented is not poverty—what
is unprecedented is wealth. Wealth for not a few, but prosperity for literally
billions of people. Every year now we see hundreds of millions
of people escape from poverty just in two countries, China and India. It is the greatest revolution in human prosperity
in all of human history. It’s all occurred in the last 20 years and
it’s a fact that you almost never see reported in the media. Instead we tend to focus still on the remaining
people that are poor and we’re back on our zero-sum game that somehow or another that
is because other people are greedy and selfish and they’re keeping these poor people down. Rather than seeing poverty lessen through
capitalism and through free market expansion, we tend to condemn the very thing that is
allowing people to escape from poverty as the cause of the poverty. And it’s ridiculous. Capitalism and free markets are what is going
to allow us to escape from poverty. Mohammad Yunus likes to say that by the end
of the 21st century poverty will be something that we only see in museums, that it will
be something people look back and say, “Gosh we used to have poor people, how is that even
possible?” And I do think that is the future of humanity
if we don’t totally mess it up. That we are going to continue to learn, we’re
going to have our intellectual capital spread, we’re going to unleash the human creativity—because
I do believe humans have limitless creativity—and we’re going to solve a lot of these problems
that are holding us back now and humanity is going to continue its upwards spiral and
we are going to eliminate poverty. I think there are people alive today—I perhaps
will not live to see the end of it—but there are young people alive today that will probably
see the virtual end of poverty in the human race in the 21st century. John Mackey: From a macro perspective conscious
capitalism is becoming conscious of the framework that capitalism has to exist in, in order
to be successful, in order to flourish. There are certain key principles that have
to be in place and we have to nurture those principles or we won’t have a capitalistic
order. It’s not something that automatically exists. It has to have principles. It has to be grounded in those principles. And some of those principles include property
rights: that we have to have the right for people to be able own property. At the same time there needs to be the freedom
to exchange property. We need to be able to trade it. We need to be able to create something and
then trade it or sell it to someone else. We need a rule of law. There needs to be laws that are just and laws
that are predictable and laws that apply to everyone in the society, including the government. A rule of law is essential. You cannot have a capitalistic order without
the rule of law. And whenever that comes into doubt or if there
are not stable property rights you don’t really have the basis for the capitalistic
order. And finally you need a freedom to trade. Usually the greater the… the fewer restrictions
on the freedom to trade across the… between people, but also between people in different
states, people in different countries, the greater value creation that occurs. So anytime you see a society that is beginning
to restrict the ability to trade, you see a society that is going to lessen its prosperity. It tends to happen when people get preoccupied
with the loss of jobs, not understanding that you may lose some jobs to a foreign country
if you allow freedom to trade, but you’re gaining jobs at the same time. You gain more net jobs because the people
won’t give you their goods for free. They want to trade with you as well and so
those jobs and the goods that they want to trade for are the goods and services they
want. That will create greater employment at home. But that is very hard for the average person
to understand. But anyway, conscious capitalism is understanding
these basic core economic values and becoming more conscious of them. Conscious business, there are certain principles
behind that and one principle is that business has the potential for higher purpose, that
maximizing profits… If you ask people what the purpose of business
is they usually say… if you go to a cocktail party and ask that question they’ll generally
say “Well, everybody knows that, the purpose of business is to maximize profits, it’s
to maximize shareholder value.” But that is a very odd answer because that
is not the answer we would give is you ask what the purpose of a doctor is—it would
be to heal the sick. Or what the purpose of a teacher is, to educate
people. Or what the purpose of a lawyer is or what
the purpose of an architect is or what the purpose of an engineer is, so why is that
we would come to this odd answer that the purpose of business is to maximize profits
when I have known literally hundreds of entrepreneurs in my life and with very few exceptions very
few of them actually created their businesses to try to maximize profits. Of course they need to make money, but that
is I need to eat in order to live. I need to breathe in order to live. I need to create red blood cells in order
to live, but that is not the purpose of my life to eat, to breathe, to create red blood
cells. I have a much more transcendent purpose in
my life that gives my life meaning and value to it. Business is no different. A business has the potential for a higher
and deeper purpose and that is the first principle of a conscious business. The second principle is that there is a variety
of stakeholders that are interdependent, that are connected together, customers, employees,
suppliers, investors, communities—both local and larger communities—and then the larger
environment that we’re part of. Those are the most important stakeholders. There are other stakeholders that form a wider
circle such as the government, labor unions, the media, activists of various kinds, but
the idea being that these stakeholders are interdependent on one another and that the
conscious business attempts to create value simultaneously for all of these interdependent
stakeholders. It seeks the win, win, win business strategy
that… Maybe a way to explain that in a simple model
version is a retail business—which Whole Foods is—is that management’s job is to
help our… is to hire good people, train them well and help them to be happy and fulfilled
in their workplace, in their work, in their jobs. And then the team member’s job is to satisfy
our customers, help the customers to be happy in their exchanges with the business. So happy team members leads to happy customers
and happy customers do more business with the company and that leads to happy investors. So you have a virtuous circle of happy team
members, happy customers, happy investors. That reflects in a simplified version this
idea of the interdependent nature of the stakeholders and why you can’t just focus on creating
value for the investors alone because you must create value for the team members who
then create value for the customers who then create value for the investors, so the conscious
business recognizes this, is conscious of it and works to optimize value for all of
the key interdependent stakeholders. The third principle of the conscious business
is what we call a conscious leadership, or you might also think of it as servant leadership. That the leaders of the organization they’re
not there to line their pockets and try to maximize their own personal gain. Instead, their job is to fulfill the higher
purpose of the business, recognize and fulfill the interdependent stakeholder model, and,
in a sense, to serve the organization, to sublimate their own ego and their own ambitions
for the good of the organization. And again, it’s not self-sacrificial or
I’m not talking about altruism. I’m talking about recognizing that in the
long term they will also gain the most through the flourishing of the business and through
the flourishing of all the stakeholders. They too will flourish. That their identity is linked and their own
gain is linked to the gain of all these other stakeholders. And then the fourth principle is that to realize
these first three principles you have to create a culture, a conscious culture that has strategies,
structures and processes that create a culture that optimizes the stakeholder model, fulfills
the purpose and allows the conscious leadership to do their jobs. So the culture provides that background and
the processes and structures that the conscious business needs in order to achieve its highest
potential. So when you add those four principles together
you have a conscious business. When you add the conscious business with the
key principles of conscious capitalism you truly have the larger ecosystem of the conscious
capitalistic society, one with conscious businesses that are exchanging in a consciously capitalistic
way. John Mackey: You’ve just articulated what
I call the trade off myth. The belief that all this sounds very good,
very idealistic, but it won’t compete well in the marketplace and when it runs up against
a business that is not handicapped with this idealism then it will be in trouble. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s the exact opposite… that in fact
the conscious business has competitive advantage. When you work from a higher purpose you unleash
greater degrees of commitment, greater degrees of loyalty and greater creativity in the workplace
and that gives competitive advantage. When you work from the stakeholder model,
you understand that you’re trying to optimize the entire system. You are able to do that in such a way as when
you optimize the entire system you also optimize the value that you’re creating for the investors
as well. The business tends to flourish at a higher
level, so in fact, the conscious business will win in most instances, all other things
being equal. It will win in competition against less conscious
businesses and that is why I’m confident that over the long term conscious capitalism is
going to triumph. I believe it will become the new paradigm
in the 21st century, not because it’s more idealistic or it sounds better—it will become
the dominate paradigm simple because it will win. It will win in the marketplace. And nothing succeeds in capitalism more than
success itself, so good ideas that work spread. And the competitive nature of the marketplace
is going to lead to these competitions between conscious businesses and less-conscious businesses
and the conscious businesses, all other things being equal are going to win most of those
battles and so fairly quickly meaning when I say quickly I mean 25, 30, 35 years we’re
going to see more and more and more conscious businesses and we’ll make this shift towards
conscious capitalistic society. John Mackey: My first instinct is to tell
you that I do think retail is one of the first areas to shift possibly because they’re
dealing with their customers on a day-to-day basis and they’ve got… they’re more
labor intensive as well. They tend to hire and employ more people like
Whole Foods Market employs 57,000 people, and we have millions of customers. So, in a sense… and we’re in an extremely
competitive marketplace food retailing and we don’t have any patents. We don’t have any… and the government
is not protecting us in some way from competition, so… and we have formidable competitors are
much larger than us, so like Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, companies like that, so retail is
one of the first areas to shift and many of the conscious businesses that I know tend
to be either retailers or service businesses, companies like the Container Store or Costco
or Starbucks or the Southwest Airlines. These are businesses that… Trader Joe’s, these are businesses that are
retailers or service oriented. So I don’t think maybe the conscious business
revolution, conscious capitalism revolution will see that take hold in a more large scale
way in the retail and service first. I can predict also possibly what will be last. I predict possibly Wall Street will be last
or the pure financial part of our economy, which to a greater extent it doesn’t have
as much of a stakeholder model. It does tend to be dominated by the profit
maximization model and shareholder return model to a greater degree than other segments
of our society, so I suspect retail and services will be first and the financial sector will
be last. John Mackey: I do think that the economy is
going to continue to evolve towards more service. Human beings are doing more things to serve
one another in terms of services, but the new things are… If you think about the whole technology area
so much of that didn’t even exist 10, 15 years ago. There was no Facebook. There was no Google. There was no iPods. There were no iPhones. Really, Blackberrys didn’t even exist 15
years ago. So, so many different things changed so rapidly
and new industries, whole industries can be created fairly quickly. I think it’s safe to say that we’re going
to see greater innovations in education that here is an area that needs radical innovation
that we don’t allow competition. We don’t allow… we haven’t unleashed
human creativity, so education potentially if we could un-monopolize education and truly
allow entrepreneurs to get going on that I can’t think of hardly… Health care and education are the two most
regulated areas in our society and they’re also the ones that are most… or least satisfactory
to people. Those are areas that we need to de-monopolize
and allow more competition to occur, so those are two huge areas. Education and health care are both service
areas so those are growth industries. I also think all types of leisure. Travel is a… as a society becomes more fluent
its desire to travel increases and to explore. The younger generation today, people that
are in their 20s for example they have traveled so much more than my generation had. I mean for me a big deal when I was in my
20s going down to Mexico and that was like the foreign country or maybe get up to Canada. But today people haven’t just gone to Europe,
but they’ve gone all over the world by the time they’re 30 years old if they’re young
and well-educated. World travel is going to be… continue to
be… and particularly as globalization continues to occur we’re going to continue to explore. I also think huge possibilities in entertainment. I mean look how much entertainment has evolved
and shifted. In a sense, something like Big Think: it’s
education, it’s entertainment and it is a synthesis of those two and it probably has
got lots of other things in it as well that I haven’t just picked up yet. I do see lots more creativity, lots more innovations,
lots more entrepreneurship around entertainment and humans educating one another, entertaining
one another, serving one another, new ways for humans to enjoy life, new ways for humans
to learn and grow. We’re going to continually try to figure out
ways to serve ourselves better and it’s amazing how even… Think about something like pilates. It didn’t exist on any kind of scale 25
years ago. Yoga existed, but hardly anybody did it. Now you see those are activities that are
also leading to greater human flourishing through helping humans to be more fit and
stronger and more flexible, so it’s fascinating watching the world and watching humans evolve
and watching our society evolve. It’s I love it. I’m so glad to be part of it and to have contributed
a little bit to it myself.

100 Comments on "Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on ending poverty, being libertarian, and more (full video)"


  1. There's a HUGE difference between profit and plunder…and considering the abusive way Amazon treats it's employees I consider Amazon to be a company that plunders.

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  2. Looking through the comments, I can tell nobody listened to the whole thing. Or even half. Just virtually vomited 🤮 on their screen. Geezus, people have the most idealistic and utopian views about socialism and spew toxic ad hominem at anyone who opens a business it seems. If they don’t get their free stuff, they wine. Ughhhh. I get it, I’m not advocating crony capitalism because ppls’ first instinct is to mischaracterize your argument as being an advocate for crony capitalism. But I don’t like crony capitalism any more than I like socialism. I see socialism as bad as crony capitalism. Neither extreme is good.

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  3. The number of "likes" versus "dislikes" for this video will tell you how close this country is to the end.

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  4. This genius need to call-in to Majority Report ( https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOC5u3ZE5KnULSO292d3LrtIi5FPOmTgL ) and debate with Sam… maybe after that he will understand that he still doesn't have any brains, even in his 60s…

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  5. That's easy to say when you don't live In a third world country. Like I do. Brazil. Imagine that your country mostly sells grains. No transformation. And the politicians are all land owners. The oposite from the population Interest is low socialist politics. And the first world Interest, and politititians interests is exploration. Low salaries, no infrastructure, fucking miserable human development. How is libertarianism going to help a third world country?

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  6. That's the main point progressives just don't get, conservative arguments are based on long term consequences rather than immediate consequences. You get older your worldview grows more long term, you get more conservative. Conservatives may grow old but their ideas don't die off because progressives grow old and become the new conservatives.

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  7. How John Mackey went from socialist to libertarian: "I got rich and stopped giving a shit about everybody else"

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  8. You definitely can't expect to end poverty if you embrace a system that requires some form of hierarchy. Not everyone can be the CEO John. Someone has to be the bottom of the rung employee or the job that is only going to pay them enough to live paycheck to paycheck.

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  9. He's still okay running the anti-science marketing firm called Whole Foods that's causing so much starvation and misery in the developing world. (And I, too, am a Libertarian.)

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  10. Alarmingly optimistic, one may even term it sanguine. Now, I want to take on board what are ideas most foreign, this is however made more difficult by Mackey's thesis perhaps not one as concessive as the quintessential contrarian might like it to be. Interesting stuff.

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  11. If you are a libertarian at 16 you have no heart and if you're still a libertarian at age 17 you're probably a sociopath.

    Either that or you like the idea of failed state status.

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  12. Libertarianism. The delusion that monopolies and instability aren't necessarily inevitable under capitalism. A worldview usually held by the rich and those who desire riches.

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  13. I strongly disagree with him but it's nice to see different opinions on this channel as it can be a bit of an echo chamber. Tbh I think hard line libertarian-ism and socialism are equally idealistic and flawed. I think both ideologies try to claim moral purity but I think both are wrong. I can't really respond to a 28 minute video with a youtube comment but I thought I may as well make my opinion heard.

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  14. It's hilarious how intellectually insecure socialist and statist are. Just look at the dislikes and comments on any video with the word libertarian in it. These people reflexively lose their shit and go crazy. You can tell they don't even watch the video. Could you imagine if these morons were in charge? We'd all be sent to the gulag if we questioned them.

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  15. Tax are thief.
    Some people are just full of greed and are out to take other people money.

    Socialism is the embodiment of that idea. Take stuffs from those who work hard/clever/successful to those who dont have thoss stuffs.

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  16. 253 people don't like the reality. They like socialist's fairytales not understanding that the socialism>communism is actually the ultimate form of tyranny of very tiny group puppeteers behind the scenes…

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  17. I'm guessing it was when you thought putting three sticks of asparagus into a jar of water and charging $8 a liter for it was "value product options for your customers". Get out of here Whole Paychecks noone can afford to shop at your price gouging stores.

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  18. How can the pie keep getting bigger, if the Earth has limited space and resources? We cannot all live like kings, the planet is already fucked by our industrial revolutions and some people are trying to salvage it, while the rest keep talking about exponential growth.

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  19. A pig masquerading as a socialist revealed himself to be a pig. Nothing to see here.

    Or alternatively, a pig made a half-assed attempt to become a socialist, only to find that the lure of greed was too strong.

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  20. Libertarians are just greedy scum that want the benefits of society but don't want to pay for the upkeep of that society.
    Their entire worldview can be broke with a single question: How do we decide who owns what property?.

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  21. I find the question captions troublesome. Rather than watch the whole video, I'll often listen to the video while I'm doing other things, and then every so often, there's a silent pause, and I realize a new question has been asked, and now I have to back up the video to see what I missed. Is there any way we can get a voice-over for those parts?

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  22. Libertarianism tends to attract a higher proportion than the average of people with egotistic, narcissistic and/or psychopathic traits. It fails to deal with the reality that many people are being left behind in a world where it is increasingly hard to keep pace with rapid social, economic and technological change. It also fails to acknowledge the considerable extent to which the wealthy owe their good fortune to luck, whether it's being born in the right location or into the right family.

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  23. Libertarian has throughout history, since the enlightenment, always meant anarchist. Only in bizarro america in the last few decades has the word "libertarian" meant supporter of total tyranny. Which is what believing in fucking bullshit ideas of the "free market" is. Power in private hands. Unaccountable private hands. Top down decision making. Tyranny. And spare the fucking bullshit comments about the power of the consumer to "regulate the free market". A fucking childish fantasy that can never solve the problem of greed, collusion, and corruption that even the slightest excess of wealth over another will bring.

    Just like american "liberals" aren't liberals, and american "conservatives" are not conservatives, you are not a libertarian. None of you who believe any of the bullshit myths about the free market are libertarian. You're authoritarians.

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  24. I'm all for capitalism, but I don't have much faith the 'free market' will remain the 'free market' if it isn't regulated properly. Which is why I don't think I'll be advocating for libertarianism anytime soon.

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  25. The thing that I don’t understand about the whole free market philosophy is how in the hell a fair minimum wage is opposing it. How the fuck am I socialist crazy lefty everytime I ask for fucking fair money to everyone? If you believe in the virtue of working hard to achieve something the way free market philosophists claim to do isn’t exploitation something you should be opposing? if you can’t afford to pay your employees a wage that makes a living in 40 hrs a week you are a lousy businessman, you can’t afford to have employees, please try again. Obviously not every work is worth the same money but that doesn’t justify the huuuuge wage gaps we still have in many companys between the lowest and highest in hoerachy, which are all equally necessary to keep the wagon going.
    I somewhat agree with this guy, don’t agree with too much of socialism, i just really don’t see how good worker protection laws, a fair minimum wage and decent healthcare oppose the idea of a free market that fuels economic growth and the advancement of human kind.

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  26. I got rich and decided fascism was great so I call myself libertarian!

    What a piece of shit, but then whole foods is a piece of shit.

    Time to go vegan, and stop letting ourselves be exploited by these middlemen.

    www.provegan.info

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  27. "In the real world" – In the existing Capitalist system in which we live and cannot imagine changing since it worked for me.

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  28. I believe that taking the profit of my employees and giving it to my investors who inherited their wealth is the best system, because that is Capitalism.

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  29. If you think NECESSARILY HAVING UNEMPLOYMENT and POVERTY increases productivity then you are a Capitalist, if you reject that you are a Socialist.

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  30. The only limitations are the inherited wealth that prevent people getting themselves out of poverty John you moron.

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  31. Until left wing people start shooting the rich like this asshole people will continue to die on the streets, people die of treatable health conditions because they don't have the right healthcare.

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  32. The thing the other countries may want to trade are natural resources that are controlled and benefiting just a tiny number of people John so you know shit about economics, when those jobs go there may be nothing to replace them.

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  33. "team members" are just a nice way of saying "wage slaves" you can re-brand exploitation, but exploitation still continues.

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  34. Corporations ONLY exist to maximize profits, in fact if the don't they break the law.

    Ethics in Capitalism is ONLY A LIE AND TO CONVINCE YOU TO LET THEM CONTINUE.

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  35. Yeah right, capitalism solves poverty! This is one of those big lies, they point to the fact that people who've moved out of poverty officially now get a whopping $2 a day due to the wonders of globalization… wow, they've doubled the avg income!… whereas the relevant NGOs say that the poverty level is more like $10 a day or less. Just look it up. So double a pittance is still a pittance and still 20% of what they need, on average.

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  36. Socialism works!! Just ask anyone from Venezuela. (sarcasm) The free market has set more people 'free' than socialism.

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  37. Great video. 9:30. 200 years ago, 85% of the people lived in poverty. Today, it’s down to less than 20%. That’s a fact. With capitalism the quality of life has risen tremendously. Common sense.

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  38. "Nothing succeeds more in capitalism than success itself; good ideas that work spread". The contradiction in his statement right here is Pharmaceutical companies are making a killing in antidepressant's by buying the doctors off to prescribe them as kickbacks. For some reason this is a common practice for capitalism at the expense of the consumer known as the cost of doing business.

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  39. This thing they call Libertarianism is to feudalism what tadpoles are to frogs. I don’t buy he was ever a socialist nor any notion of where his motivation lies except on a big pile of 💵!

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  40. You can see he is not a specialist in what he is saying. Just a rich man our society treats as a god and thinks he's got a good point

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  41. Just who I want schooling me on how to end poverty, the guy who sold Whole Foods to Amazon.

    Next I want you to interview Amazon warehouse workers who try to live on $13/hour, with their every move electronically monitored, continuously pushed to be more and more productive, right up until they're replaced by robots.

    And then I want to you interview a Chinese factory worker who assembled the crap that people buy on Amazon. How they were forced from their village at gunpoint by the government, into the city, into the iphone factory to work 14 hour days.

    How so many workers were throwing themselves from the windows of these factories than they now have external suicide nets to catch jumpers, and put them back to work.

    But who cares about that, I'm a rich CEO and I got mine. Rest of humanity can fuck off.

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  42. A caste system incorporates people into its system so they can be exploited. This guy thinks he operates in a free market. lol

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  43. I think it will be interesting to see how the younger generations(millenial and younger) develop in their perspective in regards to being socialist and libertarian. Especially as it has become anecdotally evident that today's youth have much fewer favorable economic conditions than John Mackey's generation knew(Boomer generation)
    .
    As he describes it himself "if at the age of 21 and you're not a socialist then you dont have heart, and if by the age of 30 you still are then you dont have any brains."
    Thats a drastic shift in values to make in just under a decade.

    But as younger generations(like millenials) are strapped to pay for an evidently unsustainable social security system, are continously faced with much fewer lucrative job offering, higher student loan debts, rising home prices, all bunched together with an overarching theme of a global workforce now that forever favors cheap labor above all, it follows that younger people today will likely stay poorer for longer and perhaps retain their "fairness for all is the way to go" mindframe because they are still fighting for some things they may never have.

    It very well may take younger generations much longer than a decade to make this shift from socialism to libertarianism because they will be victims of their circumstances for much longer, and some of whom will never escape. But the future will tell how long this circumstance remains.

    Its important to take Mackey's advice in context of the opportunities available to him in his generation. The conditions of the current state of American economy are not what they were back in his day.

    p.s. As a millenial born in 1990, I came of age in 2008, right around the time one major economic event came to its fruition.

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  44. I had hoped he would have something truly insightful to share….this is total BS. He truly believes that capitalism is going to solve the problems of our Planet. Maybe this was recorded before tRump took office and gave Billions of dollars to his rich cronies….

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  45. I think ideology of selfishness he talks about is very misunderstood. It is not ideology of social Darwinism. It is the ideology that by focusing on the self interests you can benefit everyone more then by focusing on their interests.
    If you try to be the best you can be and try to fix yourself you will cause greater changes then if you try to implement changes that benefit people.

    If you give away all your money you will not benefit society as much as if you invest all your money into your interest and build an empire that will give people products like iphones etc.

    That is the idea behind it and the idea holds true.
    If you truly focus on self development and doing what is best for you you are helping others more then if you just tried to help others.

    In fact the whole idea behind free markets means that if you try to get wealthy there is no way of you doing that without making others wealthy as well. And you cannot do that without helping everyone including the poorest.

    It might seem counter-intuitive if you do not understand the markets. As soon as you understand the markets it is extremely clear to see that this holds extremely true.

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  46. All the salty commies in the comments. Probably all have Iphones, go to starbucks, and own $300 shoes.

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  47. I use to be a libertarian, and I agree with many libertarian points, however there is 1 point that I cannot agree with, it is the neglect of those at the bottom in need of help. Socialism is the past, and it will be the future again, as it is the default of our Evolution.

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  48. John Mackey is a parasitic sellout bourgeois scumbag, along with all his little shareholders too. Being socialist and libertarian are not mutually exclusive ways of thinking.

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  49. Wow, can it be really true that Big Think has spotted a place in the market for a channel which is immune to filter bubbles by showing content with all kinds of view points??? To all the socialists in the comment section downvotig this video: there are plenty of left wing and right wing channels but few who get us all sorts of views. If you still haven't grasped that the real danger atm is polarisation, enjoy a second term of orange baffoonery at the WH.

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  50. The conscious business will eventually replace their conscious human work force with conscious automation and technology that will consciously drive down the cost of labor which will in turn consciously contribute to a growing profit margin much to the conscious delight of the profit conscious shareholders/investors.

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  51. I mean that’s a stupid argument- 1$ a day is dirt poor. But living in the US on 100$ a week is extremely poor too. This guy is pretty naive

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  52. He does believe in globalization, that would be interested to explore his views on that in relation to libertarianism especially.

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  53. "growing a pie" right out of a planet to live on…No one in poverty today CARES that the percentage used to be higher-useless and insulting argument. Also, apparently he has never heard of much happier healthier places in the world like Norway. And does he consider walmart "conscious capitalism"? In the ACTUAL world, ceos have become richer and richer while everyday people"s wages have been essentially stagnant the playing field is already highly rigged.
    I have children who are registered nurses at a large hospital and it is hard to think of a more important and valuable job than that- yet their compensation is a joke….
    This guy like so many these days lives in a bubble and can't see the rest of us.
    And about the whole "privatized is always better" idea- my water company went private with all those promises and our water bills literally TRIPLED almost instantly. There were months toward the end that the water bill was higher than the electric. We all finally fought and fought with the county until they took it back– and IT WENT BACK DOWN close to what is was before- go figure! I have decades of my water bills saved to show what bs people like this guy spews.

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  54. Ayn Rand doesn't say love makes you weak. She would say love is selfish. Helping people is selfish, it makes you feel good.

    There isn't anything "altruistic" in the sense that no one does anything without the perception they will get something out of it.

    I kinda pisses me off how few people speak about Ayn Rand in complete ignorance. She's very clear about her ideology. Wtf is with all the misrepresentation? If she's wrong you should be able to explain without misrepresentation.

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  55. Working for Whole Foods was one of the worst experiences in my life. The customers and managers are very very very very very toxic. No one I know enjoys or enjoyed working at Whole Foods. We are over worked, treated like slaves, and the pay isn’t worth the work we do. I lost a lot of respect for Whole Foods and I disagree with what this guy says.

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  56. 17:20, working at whole foods was a miserable experience. Me and almost everyone else there hated working at Whole Foods but did it because other jobs paid poorly. Eventually the work and toxic negativity from our asshole customer convinced me to quit and work at Abercrombie. I love everyone there and I am much happier there. Whole Foods is a very toxic environment.

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  57. He says «Poverty will disappear because capitalism is what will allows everyone to escape poverty. »

    Absolute non-sense, Capitalism is always heading towards a concentration of wealth. Time will prove him wrong, but he will be dead by then (2100) and that is why he thinks he can tell obvious lies.

    Furthermore, he is in adoration of China and India. What a dumbass.

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