Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who is not one to hold his tongue, recently let the world know what he thinks about the rising popularity of socialism. While speaking at an American Enterprise Institute event, Mackey declared, “They talk about trickle-down wealth, but socialism is trickle-up poverty. It just impoverishes everything”
He added, “Socialism has been tried 42 times in the last hundred years and 42 failures. It doesn’t work.”
When describing what would happen if the United States were to go down the socialism road, Mackey warned, “We’ll begin to regress. I’m not saying the whole technological civilization will collapse, but it will not progress and it will begin to stagnate.”
Mackey is right, of course. However, he failed to mention that the stagnation he’s concerned about often disproportionately harms the poor, workers, and middle class families. Those at the top and those in government always make out just fine.
Turning his attention to defending free-market capitalism, which has been maligned more than ever by many on the far-left, Mackey said capitalism is “the greatest thing that humanity’s ever created.”
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 it’s doing tremendous damage to the minds of young people. We have to counter that.”
Yet, Mackey also said that the American business model is far from perfect. “It needs to evolve. Otherwise the socialists are going to take over, that’s how I see it. And that’s the path of poverty.”
Once again, Mackey is spot on. Crony capitalism has caused Americans to lose confidence in free-market economics, but it shouldn’t. There’s are major differences between free-market economics and the cronyism that has run rampant throughout the U.S. economy.
Mackey is absolutely right that the solution to America’s problems is not socialism. The answer is a return to the fundamental principles of free-market capitalism that has made the United States to the most prosperous and freest nation that the world has ever seen.