CEO Capitalism Caveats Competition Continues


Remember Bill Gates' "creative capitalism" brainstorm? It's going to be the new system "where governments, businesses, and non-profits work together to stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit or gain recognition doing work that eases the world's inequities."

At the time, I fretted that creative capitalism would be subject to the same problem as compassionate conservatism—we could wind up with a collage of the worst bits of the state and the market, rather than the best. For much more discussion on this topic from smart people, go here.

Not to be outdone in the alliteration wars, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, a self-identified libertarian and a supporter of the nonprofit that publishes this website, offered his response yesterday at FreedomFest, an annual conference in Vegas "where free minds meet": Conscious capitalism

Conscious capitalism doesn't include much of what Gates called "a direct role for governments." Mackey views himself as something of a libertarian—he candidly admits that "I'm not a big fan of government"—and says that "economic freedom is what results in poverty reduction," and "big government aid projects" don't. 

For the beginnings of this line of thinking, check out Mackey's contribution to the Greatest reason Feature Ever, a debate between Mackey, Milton Friedman, and Cypress Semiconductors founder T.J. Rodgers on corporate social responsibility. (Question: Is corporate social responsibility now an outdated term, what with all these newfangled competitors?)