Whole Foods' John Mackey: Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism

They're jealous, he says, they side with rulers, and they don't understand how markets work.

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"Intellectuals have always disdained commerce" says Whole Foods Market co-founder John Mackey. They "have always sided…with the aristocrats to maintain a society where the businesspeople were kind of kept down."

More than any other outlet, Whole Foods has reconfigured what and how America eats and the chain's commitment to high-quality meats, produce, cheeses, and wines is legendary. Since opening his first store in Austin, Texas in 1980, Mackey now oversees operations around the globe and continues to set the pace for what's expected in organic and sustainably raised and harvested food.

Because of Whole Foods' trendy customer base and because Mackey is himself a vegan and champions collaboration between management and workers, it's easy to mistake Mackey for a progressive left-winger. Indeed, an early version of Jonah Goldberg's best-selling 2008 book Liberal Fascism even bore the subtitle "The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton and The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods."

Yet nothing could be further from the truth—and more distorting of the radical vision of capitalism at the heart of Mackey's thought. A high-profile critic of the minimum wage, Obamacare, and the regulatory state, Mackey believes that free markets are the best way not only to raise living standards but also to explore new ways of building community and creating meaning for individuals and society. At the same time, he challenges all sorts of libertarian dogma, including the notion that publicly traded companies should always seek to exclusively maximize shareholder value (go here to read a 2005 Reason debate about the social responsibility of business featuring Mackey, Milton Friedman, and Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers). Conscious Capitalism, the book he co-authored with Rajendra Sisodia, lays out a detailed case for Mackey's vision of a post-industrial capitalism that addresses spiritual desire as much as physial need.

Reason TV's Nick Gillespie talked with Mackey earlier this summer at FreedomFest, where among other things, Mackey debated billionaire Peter Thiel on the role of monopoly and competition in business.

Runs about 16 minutes.

Produced by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Zach Weissmueller and Paul Detrick.

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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. CHECK ANY QUOTES AGAINST THE VIDEO FOR ACCURACY.

reason: Hi, I'm Nick Gillespie with ReasonTV, and today we're talking with John Mackey. He's the co-founder of Whole Foods Market and the co-author of Conscious Capitalism. John, thanks for talking to us.

John Mackey: Glad to be here, Nick.

reason: What I'm especially interested in talking with you about is the attacks that you see capitalism under, systematically. I know that, from reading your book, and from talking with you, you believe that capitalism is not only the greatest wealth creator, it helps poor people get rich, it helps everybody along the way. But you see it as constantly being misrepresented, even by its champions. Why is capitalism under attack?

Mackey: Intellectuals have always disdained commerce. That is something that tradesmen did; people that were in a lower class. And so you had minorities, oftentimes did it, like you had the Jews in the West. And when they became wealthy and successful and rose, then they were envied, then they were persecuted and their wealth confiscated, and many times they were run out of country after country. Same thing happened with the Chinese in the East. They were great businesspeople as well. So the intellectuals have always sided kind of with the aristocrats to maintain a society where the businesspeople were kind of kept down. You might say that capitalism was the first time that businesspeople kinda caught a break, because of Adam Smith and the philosophy that came along with that, and the industrial revolution began this huge upwards surge of prosperity.

reason: Is it a misunderstanding of what business does? Is it envy? Is it a lack of capacity to understand that what entrepreneurs do, or what innovators do, is take a bunch of things that might not be worth much separately and then they transform it? What is the root of the antagonism towards commerce?

Mackey: It's sort of where people stand in the social hierarchy, and if you live in a more business-oriented society, like the United States has been, then you have these businesspeople, who they don't judge to be very intelligent or well-educated, having lots of money, and they begin to buy political power with it, and they rise in the social hierarchy, whereas the really intelligent people, the intellectuals, are less important. And I don't think they like that. And I think that's one of the main reasons why the intellectuals have usually disdained commerce: they haven't seen it, the dynamic, creative force, because they measure themselves against these people, and they think they're superior, and yet in the social hierarchy they're not seen as more important. And I think that drives them crazy.

reason: What happens to a business person, I mean, because a lot of the times they are plucky upstarts; they're innovators, they're disruptive, and they're fighting against the power. And then what happens that once they get to a certain point of influence or power, then they start to try and rig the market or freeze the market in their favor?

Mackey: I don't know if it's a psychological switch so much as that they weren't necessarily grounded in the philosophy of capitalism. They weren't necessarily advocates of the free market. They were just advocates of their own advancement, their own personal enrichment. And so I think oftentimes, they don't make a distinction between when they're entrepreneurs on the way up versus when they've arrived, and they're attempting to not fall, so they try to rig the game, and we have crony capitalism that way.

reason: We live in an age now, and you've talked about this a lot, where there are just an unbelievable amount of government mandates that restrict the ability of business owners and employees to really negotiate about stuff. There's things as obvious as the minimum wage, where it says, "Under no circumstances, a business cannot offer somebody less than this amount." How do these affect your ability to run a business that is in an extremely competitive market?

Mackey: The impetus behind so many of these type of regulations in the workplace is, in a sense, to shackle business again; to get it back under the control of the intellectuals. Just like commerce, if you study the history of business, you will see that most of the time in our history, commerce was controlled by the aristocrats. The merchants were kept under their thumb, and now they've escaped, and we had this free-market ideology that said the market should determine all these things, and now they're systematically undermining that marketplace to get business back, get the genie back in the bottle. Of course, that will stifle innovation, it'll stifle the dynamic nature, the dynamic creative destruction of capitalism.

But I don't think they're thinking about it that way. They just see business as this, you know, selfish—they're very concerned about the motives of business, and they see it as this selfish, greedy, and exploitative thing: businesspeople can't be trusted, markets aren't just, they're not fair, so we need to intervene; we need to control this situation. And they fear markets. They fear the dynamic nature of it, and they don't like businesspeople, so they feel perfectly justified in setting up all these regulations that restrict the freedom of business. Let's take the minimum wage, for example. It's a great example, because if you think about it for a minute, let's say Tom wants to go work for Whole Foods Market, and Tom is willing to work for Whole Foods for, you know, $10 an hour, and we want to hire Tom, and we think Tom is worth about $10 an hour, so we come together, and Tom's winning. We're not forcing him to work there, and he's getting benefits, he's getting opportunities to advance, learn new skills, and make more money in the future. We're gaining from it because we think he's going to be a good employee, and we think $10 is a fair wage. However, the government may not let us do that. They may say, "You can't pay Tom $10 an hour, because we're going to set a minimum wage of $15 an hour." So the government's basically saying, "We know better what's for Tom, and we know better what's for you, and we're not gonna let you guys freely come together and do voluntary exchange."

reason: Well, though, the argument is that especially in an era where there's high unemployment and low labor-force participation, it's a buyer's market. You could probably get Tom—he might be willing—he wants to work for $10, you could probably get him for $5 or $6. So the argument is that somebody's got to look out for Tom.

Mackey: Well, first of all, I think Tom can look out for himself. But B) that's basically a myth. Wages in a marketplace are determined by productivity. Why should we pay Tom even $10 an hour? If we can control the wages, then why don't we just pay him $0.10 an hour? Why not? Because Tom could go get a job someplace else that would pay him better. Wages are determined through competitive marketplace dynamics. And wages will settle at the marginal level of productivity, meaning we might like to pay Tom less, but Tom's not willing to work for less, and he can get a job down the street that pays him what he thinks he's worth. So the competition between employers sets wages.

When the government sets it, it's inevitably going to screw it up, it's gonna set them too high, and so a company like Whole Foods Market—let's say they say the minimum wage is $15, but Tom's only worth $10 to us, well, what we'll do is we'll restructure our marketplace so that we'll provide less service. We're actually a very high-service supermarket, but if they make service too expensive, so our customers aren't willing to pay for it, then the rational, logical thing to do would be to cut back, do less service, do more self-service, make people queue up in lines longer, so we can keep our labor costs under control so we can be competitive in the marketplace.

reason: What are some of the other, less obvious regulations that really hinder the ability of business and individuals to come together, or to be flexible and innovative?

Mackey: There's hundreds of them and most of them, as you say, are hidden. One, perhaps, that's not so hidden is Obamacare. Again, it's determining, rather than letting the marketplace determine, healthcare in a competitive format. They're basically saying, "You must cover this." Let's say that they mandate that you must cover in vitro fertilization, which as far as I know is not really an illness or a health condition, but some lobbyist somewhere can jam that through. When they jammed that through in Massachusetts and forced us to cover that, we were paying an extra $750 a person for health insurance, and there's no free lunch. So if we're paying an extra $750 to cover everybody in the workplace so they can get in vitro fertilization, so someone, sometime can get it, well the result is they're going to get $750 less in compensation. And I think this is what people don't understand: if you mandate certain benefits then the cash compensation's going to be less. Oftentimes, you'll see studies that show that "real wages" are stuck. Well, but real wages and benefits aren't stuck, but you don't necessarily see that. 

reason: So it might be that the pay is stuck, but the overall compensation, the fringe benefits, etc.

Mackey: Exactly. They're forcing us to cover more things. If you're forced to give paid time off, if you're forced to give maternity leave, then you're forced to give paternity leave, you must give this many vacation days—well those are all costs to the business. They sound good, but there's no free lunch there. So if they're raising our costs through benefits, then necessarily, total cash compensation must be reduced. Then they say, "You're going to have to pay this much in cash compensation." Again, there's no free lunch. So we'll either have to cut back in labor, or we'll raise prices to our customers. And they think, incorrectly, that you can somehow or another take it out of profits. But the profit fund is too small. In a business like Whole Foods Market, we pay seven to eight times more in wages than we actually make in profits.

reason: Some of the hardest people to convince of your vision of capitalism are libertarians or conservatives who believe what Milton Friedman, one of your "intellectual heroes," used to talk about is that the only responsibility of a business is to increase its shareholder values. Talk a little bit about what kind of resistance you get from people who are rock-ribbed free-marketeers who find your discussion of capitalism being more broadly inclusive of not just shareholders, but also other types of stakeholders. What kind of resistance do you get there?

Mackey: Well I get quite a bit of resistance. And it's a shame, because if you think about what really empowers the left to put high living-wage compensation, minimum wages, or mandates, a bunch of benefits, or puts additional regulations on the business—it's because they don't think business is good. They think that business exists simply to maximize shareholder value and make profits, so if that's really the motivations for business, if it's not a more inclusive philosophy, then they feel quite justified in hamstringing business, because they're basically a bunch of psychopaths running around trying to line their own pockets—"We can't trust them to do the right thing, so we're going to have to do it for them." So, in a more inclusive view, that business has these responsibilities to all its stakeholders, its customers, employees, investors, suppliers, and the larger community, if business behaved like that, the impulse to regulate and control would be lessened.

reason: Do you think we're shifting into a mode of capitalism where the idea of "doing good by doing well" is really starting to come into focus and will start energizing the way people think about business, and for-profits and non-profits, and how the two may not be so diametrically opposed?

Mackey: I really do. When you asked me the previous question, "Do I feel resistance from traditional free-marketeers and libertarians?" Yeah. Old ones. And, as they say, social progress is made one funeral at a time. But young people are eager for these ideas. I've oftentimes gone to business school and talk about this, and I see the professors with their arms crossed, saying, "This is about shareholder value." But the students, the MBA students, they're lapping it up, because this is exactly what they want to believe. "Yes, I can get rich, and I can do good." That seems like a win-win strategy to them and to me.

reason: What's the next big launch that you're going to be doing?

Mackey: Well the thing we're really excited about is we're going to be launching a new brand, and a new format store, which is based on our "365 Everyday Value" private label, and we're going to be naming the stores "365 by Whole Foods Market." That will be the full name of the store. And these stores, first they're going to have a curated product selection that'll only be lower-priced goods. So you can find lots of inexpensive wine there, but if you want to get a $500 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, you better go to Whole Foods, because you're not going to get it at 365. And that'll be—you're not going to find $40 bries there either. Whole Foods has always prided itself on selling the very best, highest quality we can find. We're still going to have great quality for 365, but we're going to curate it.

reason: People talk about Whole Foods as "Whole Paycheck," and I know that there are various price points in the store, but does that get to you after a while that people are—do you think they're mischaracterizing the store?

Mackey: First of all, it's a cliché now. So people that kind of laugh, and are smug about it, it's like, "Hello… people have been saying that, it's a completely old joke." So I barely can ever read an article about Whole Foods that doesn't say it. So yeah, of course I don't like it.

reason: So when are the 365 stores rolling out?

Mackey: They'll start rolling out early 2016, and I don't know, we'll probably open 10 or 15 or something like that the first year.

reason: Well, I think we will leave it there, then.

Mackey: OK, sounds good.

reason: Thank you John Mackey, the co-founder of Whole Foods Markets, as well as the co-author of Conscious Capitalism, for talking to ReasonTV. 

NEXT: Virginia Wesleyan College Demands Sexual History of Student Rape Victim. Don't Get Outraged Just Yet...

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  1. Why can’t he run for president? Someone who has a vision and doesn’t just dwell on fighting other candidates. I will see Rand Paul at lunch today at a diner even in Peterborough, NH, and tell him to talk to this guy.

    1. Rand Paul picks fights with other candidates because that’s the only way he’s going to get any press.

      1. If he just wanted to get press, he could engage a discussion about how the 1964 Civil Rights Act abridged the freedom of association and the freedom of contract. However, no matter how many caveats he made regarding the topic, there’s no way he’d be portrayed as anything other than a vile racist.

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  2. “The impetus behind so many of these type of regulations in the workplace is, in a sense, to shackle business again; to get it back under the control of the intellectuals.”

    Sounds like a cult. You mean smart people doubt the wisdom of an economic system that rewards “innovators” who devise 28 different ways you can send dick pictures on the internet? I must be one of these dang intelletualz then. I wouldn’t buy the Kool-Aid at this guy’s store.

    Everyone knows the produce is better at The Nugget anyway so I shop there. I don’t know if the owner there is an evidence-free advocate of laissez-faire capitalism though.

    1. You mean smart people doubt the wisdom of an economic system that rewards “innovators” who devise 28 different ways you can send dick pictures on the internet?

      Morons like you see the world as systems instead of what it actually is – the aggregate choices of individuals. The technology used to send dick pics has a large number of other productive uses that have fundamentally changed how people communicate, work, and even live. I love the condescending tone proggie yuppies such as yourself use to refer to recent technological innovations. Meanwhile, you all own smart phones, you all have computers and you all waste a shit ton of time on it. Like right now you sit here and troll an internet site where everyone finds you disgusting.

      Smart people such as yourself (yes, that IS complete sarcasm) also seem to completely ignore the reality that capitalism and capitalism alone is responsible for the incredible advancement in living standards over the last two centuries. You rail against a system that has made you the most privileged group of people ever to walk the planet.

      The modern left are like pigs in shit rolling around in their own ignorance.

      1. “Smart people such as yourself (yes, that IS complete sarcasm)”

        i think s/he is smart (decent IQ) but wrong. happens a lot. 120 years ago there were a lot of smart people — well above aver. IQ and educated in the best schools — who all agreed Newtonian Physics was flawless.

        that someone is wrong about something, even something important, does not prove said person = stupid.

        1. Are we comparing physics to history and basic economic literacy?

        2. Are we comparing physics to history and basic economic literacy?

          1. Nope, no comparison to be had there and hes functionally brain dead if he believes in socialism as a path to anything except equal poverty and destitution for all.

          2. I would hope not. Physics can be, on some level, reduced to math. Complicated math, but math. History is a damn sight more complicated, and I personally doubt that “basic economic literacy” has ever existed, anywhere, for any length of time.

        3. …and they were better than today’s mystical stoner physicists, who tell us that time travel is possible and that the universe doesn’t actually exist lol

        4. There is a big group of people, I’ll include Tony and AmSoc in this group, that are good with words, memorize well, and fit well into the system. Hence, they got good grades in school. They think because they can regurgitate the garbage they are required to regurgitate they’re smart. They’re not. These people fill the universities, and teach in all the high schools. They become doctors and lawyers and nurses and bureaucrats and they’re basically useless.

    2. american socialist|8.12.15 @ 9:53AM|#
      “…I wouldn’t buy the Kool-Aid at this guy’s store…”

      I’ll let him know a lefty ignoramus doesn’t want to shop there.
      Any other worthless messages?

    3. american socialist|8.12.15 @ 9:53AM|#
      “…Everyone knows the produce is better at The Nugget anyway so I shop there….”

      BTW, shitbag, why not go shop in Venezuela? I understand the selection of toilet tissue won’t confuse you or Bernie.

      1. I’m not sure if American Socialist is a real account, but that blatant contradiction was priceless. Sock puppet or not. The American progressive who complains about capitalism and buys the Bernie logic hook, line, and sinker are so privileged because of the ‘system’ they curse that they can choose to pay more for food. People in this world (third world hell holes usually advised by leftists) starve, and they can choose to shop at The Nugget or whatever because they don’t like the political beliefs of the guy who started Whole Foods.

        1. There is only one officially approved outfit that sends dick pix. They do a perfectly satisfactory job. Why do you think you need 28 other companies to help you send those dick pix?

          1. If your dick is within one standard deviation in size, and the file is correctly formatted.

            Also, remember to include your 27b/6 form (notarized) with each upload.

          2. I don’t think you necessarily need 28 dick pic choices when children are starving in this country.

      2. Damn I need to refresh

    4. Why don’t you go shop at a grocery store in Venezuela?

    5. Your entire contribution to the John Mackay discussion is that a) capitalism is a cult, b) you don’t think devising 28 different ways to send dick pictures on the Internet qualifies as innovation, and c) that some hipster-douchebag grocery store has better melons than Whole Foods? Are you for real? That level of vapidity just has to be an intentional joke.

      OT: Can you guys remind me of how to block certain commenters? This guy’s posts make me want to take up sniffing glue.

      1. Certain people don’t seem to realize that the technology that allows 28 different ways to send dick pictures will also allow 28 ways to talk to a physician, take online classes, trade stocks and bonds, etc.

        *sigh*

        1. Because they’re too busy sending dick pics. Not great at thinking outside the box, are socialists.

      2. Reasonable extension for chrome.

    6. Under central committee, there would not even be The Nugget, only the potato line

      1. With no potatoes

    7. …blah blah dick pics…

      Says the guy throwing poo in a comment section.

      Sounds like you’re not very fond of the people that you claim to be saving from vicious capitalism. Maybe because you don’t trust them to make their own decisions? Sounds a little totalitarian to me. Then again, you are the guy who thinks Stalin was essentially on the right track.

      You could of course try using the incredible power of free, instantaneous, broadcasted communication to do something worthwhile. I eagerly await your inspired usage of the technologies at your disposal.

    8. “I wouldn’t buy the Kool-Aid at this guy’s store.”

      Oh, american socialist, you totally missed your chance to scream “You’re a lackey, Mackey!”

    9. ” You mean smart people doubt the wisdom of an economic system that rewards “innovators” who devise 28 different ways you can send dick pictures on the internet?”

      In Soviet Russia, you send picks of internet’s dick!

    10. Im sorry the dick pictures make you feel inadequate.

    11. “I wouldn’t buy the Kool-Aid at this guy’s store.”

      Yet I’m reasonably sure you approve of the government forcing individuals to purchase a product from an insurance company under threat of financial penalty.

    12. You truly belong face down in a landfill. With all your proggy friends.

  3. Mackey a strong freedom and liberty guy? I ain’t buying it….yet.

    There’s too much veiled “progressive” crap in his tone.

    1. So, he’s just going out there and saying things he knows his customer base doesn’t support for the hell of it? The guy can have beliefs in line with progressives, but he seems to be against the use of government force. There’s no benefit in him saying these things if he doesn’t believe them.

    2. I didn’t hear any progressive crap in what he said. If it was veiled, he’s quite good at burying it.

      I think he hit the nail on the head when he said, “I think Tom can look out for himself.” That’s the issue in a nutshell of freedom and liberty vs. statist paternalism.

      Progressives think that the government needs to act as the protective parent to adults, and they also trust that the government not only can do that with any degree of competence and that the government’s motives for doing so are all about selfless parental love and not about power. That is at the heart of all their crap.

      1. We just believe that government should do at least as much to buoy workers and poor people as it does wealthy CEOs.

        What John Mackey is not saying is that government has helped create the conditions necessary for him to open a grocery store chain and get rich. He doesn’t have to worry about policing the neighborhoods his stores are in–taxpayers take care of that. He doesn’t even have to worry about his labor pool being illiterate–taxpayers take care of that too.

        He is just bitching at the prospect of having to be one of those taxpayers contributing to a civilization that makes his business remotely possible. He’s a whiner and a mooch.

        1. Who pays the bulk of taxes that provide for public education, roadz, and education? The Mackey’s of the world. Not the Tony’s. Wealthy CEO’s aren’t born wealthy CEO’s. Generational wealth diminishes much more than leftists like you will ever admit.

          The difference in what I said about capitalism generating the wealth you redistribute is fact. The welfare, regulatory, and police state is only possible thanks to the wealth generated by capitalism. It’s indisputable.

          Capitalism has pulled people out of poverty. Economic growth did that. All of the wealth redistribution of the 20th century, and you and the government top men you support have left us stuck with broken inner cities and perpetual poverty in neighborhoods in which businesses have been driven out of by your intervention.

          Conversely, you cannot in good faith argue that roads or anything else are impossible without massive, all powerful government.

          1. We could go back and forth all day about how a, b, and c government programs are pure and good because you can’t think of a way to do society without them, but since government is inherently evil, you’ll speculate that we can probably do without x, y, and z government programs.

            Inevitably the former will be programs that largely benefit the wealthy, i.e., people with property to protect, and the latter will be programs that benefit the poor, i.e., people who need to eat and not die of dysentery.

            1. Only, if any person or any individual doesn’t want to participate, your government gets to lock them in a cage!

              Because you think in a libertarian society, everyone would just be living in a shack in the woods with their rifle protecting their land or something, and there’s no possible way people could pool their own resources together to produce and maintain these things voluntarily.

            2. Tony|8.12.15 @ 10:59AM|#
              “Inevitably the former will be programs that largely benefit the wealthy, i.e., people with property to protect, and the latter will be programs that benefit the poor, i.e., people who need to eat and not die of dysentery.”

              Do lefty ignoramuses ALWAYS revert to dishonesty? Is that the only lefty mode of discussion?

              1. “Do lefty ignoramuses ALWAYS revert to dishonesty? Is that the only lefty mode of discussion?”

                That’s a rhetorical question, right?

            3. NO Tony, you cannot go back and forth with anyone on this, you lack an argument, facts, or any rational conception of history or economics. you regurgitate tired old talking points from the collapsed soviet union that were written by a perpetually un-employed, free riding aristocrat (Karl Marx) and proven to be patently false by the collapse of all communist nations because of bankruptcy and the subsequent destitution and rot of their nations as a DIRECT result of implementing socialist and communist policies.

            4. “We could go back and forth all day”

              Or IOW, “you can throw logic and reason at me all day but you can’t force me to learn anything. I’ll be every bit as obtuse at the end of the day.”

          2. “The welfare, regulatory, and police state is only possible thanks to the wealth generated by capitalism.”

            It shouldn’t take an intellectual to see the problem here. With Capitalism comes the welfare state, more and more rules and regulations, and a host of other negatives.

            1. As opposed to a socialist utopia where those things are baked right in from the start!

              1. “As opposed to a socialist utopia…”

                If Capitalism and Socialism both lead to the same thing, they can hardly be said to be in opposition to each other.

                1. Hence the need for eternal vigilance. At least with Capitalism there’s hope that it need not be the end result. Liberty can either be taken by forces coming in the front door or chipped away a small piece at a time by well meaning people who don’t understand unintended consequences.

        2. “We just believe that government should do at least as much to buoy workers and poor people as it does wealthy CEOs.”

          Well, we actually have some agreement there, as I believe government should do NOTHING to buoy wealthy CEOs. I am firmly against corporate welfare of any kind. “Too big to fail” was a ridiculous and dishonest policy. Likewise the distorted regulatory environment wherein cronies get the pols to pass regulations that favor a small insider group of competitors and shut out any small businesses and new entrants. That is not a free marketplace, although they try to pass it off as one. That’s where I part company with people on the right. While I do favor business over government, I don’t favor the use of regulations to rig the game.

          1. THIS.

            You’d think it would be the great compromise that would satisfy everyone.

            Nope.

            In fact, proggies may claim they want to help the poor, but I suspect they also want to “help” their corporate friends as much as any Republican.

          2. Inigo:

            I think you miss Tony’s point. When he says, “We just believe that government should do at least as much to buoy workers and poor people as it does wealthy CEOs,” he means that government should seize the earnings of wealthy CEOs for distribution in one way or another to workers and poor people. In no way does he imply that cronies in the green energy scam, the myriads of bogus housing, military, and infrastructure scams, or the banking and mortgage scams should lose the bouyancy provided by government rent-seeking.

          3. “Well, we actually have some agreement there, as I believe government should do NOTHING to buoy wealthy CEOs. I am firmly against corporate welfare of any kind.”

            I was just about to post something similar to this. Glad I kept reading the comments first!

          4. I don’t know that it’s a thing with “people on the right”. I only speak for myself but I think that neither the CEO nor the poor should get preferential treatment.
            What government does owe each is the obligation to stand aside so all are allowed to succeed and prosper according to their talents and efforts.

        3. Tony|8.12.15 @ 10:41AM|#
          “We just believe that government should do at least as much to buoy workers and poor people as it does wealthy CEOs.”

          We do, too. Zero.

        4. I used to shop at Whole Foods back when it was scrappy organic foods grocery popular with hippies in 1974. It has since grown to one of the largest grocery chains in the US.

          Thanks, Tony, for reminding us all that Mackey didn’t build that.

          1. Oops … it was in 1980, when I was a graduate student at UT-Austin.

          2. It’s a pretty good shoppe. And I haven’t noticed it being particularly overpriced except in a few small areas, such as seaweed. There’s a lot of expensiver thing, but it’s thing that is usually priced appropriately to what it is. And some of the stuff is cheap or cheaper as ordering it online, something untrue about almost everything at almost every other shoppe around. Soap, particularly, and salt oftentimes, and many herb. A lot of good wine appropriately priced as well. The cheese is kind of strange, though. It just can’t compete with the little Mexican market down the road for most things. And after shopping in a throng of Hispanic customers, entering the bowls of Whole Foods is like getting thrown into a snake pit full of sociopathic jerks.

        5. As long as kids have to have permits and visits from the health department for their lemonade stand, Tony is happy.

          1. Yeah kid, I’m going to need to see some ID and your occupational license.

        6. Because all the people from the lowly stocker to the cashier to the butcher to the Store Manager to the General Manager to the District Manager all the way up to the CEO don’t pay taxes?

          Jesus christ you are one dumb motherfucker.

        7. Here’s a compromise I think we can both live with then: what if the government stopped buoying wealthy CEOs? Can we at least agree that a good step in any direction would be for the government to not enact laws and regulations that favor one industry or lobbying group over another?

        8. This “you didn’t build that” trope seems to forget that government outlaws competition in the services that it provides. If a mafia sets up a protection racket in the neighborhood, do they get to take credit for everything because they protected the neighborhood without the consent of the neighborhood residents?

          I think that Whole Foods would do a much better job policing the neighborhoods than the government. Are you in favor of letting them do that, if the residents want to pay for that in lieu of taxes? Just think about how much cheaper that would be. No money being wasted for the pursuit of victimless crimes, accountability to subscribers, fast response times….I bet a Whole Foods neighborhood policing services would blow the local cops away.

        9. Tony look at Baltimore. The police don’t do shit to protect businesses. If anything, the government is least competent in its core functions.

          1. Baltimore, in an inverse way, proves the old adage”the government that governs least, governs best”. And Martin O’Malley is actually running on his record as Mayor and governor there.

        10. What John Mackey is not saying is that government has helped create the conditions necessary for him to open a grocery store chain and get rich. He doesn’t have to worry about policing the neighborhoods his stores are in–taxpayers take care of that. He doesn’t even have to worry about his labor pool being illiterate–taxpayers take care of that too.

          And what you are not saying is that those conditions were created just as much for everyone else as well – but that few others chose to take advantage of them. No, you and they would rather sit around on your lazy, chicken shit asses and complain that he owes everyone something because he had the balls to work hard and take a risk, and the rest of you did not. Your basic complaint is that he managed to succeed, whereas the rest of you would not even try.

    3. I don’t think Mackey himself is a prog but he has to cater to a prog audience and extol the benefits of buying his products using progressive terms. Sure GMOs might be completely safe but that won’t sell at the cool, urban Whole Foods stores he owns. He may be a capitalist but he is doing it at the expense of science and rational thought.

      1. Capitalism has nothing to do with science or rational thought as a rule. It exists to create desirable markets for consumers. It’s the consumers who deny science and rational thought in opposing GMO’s whole cloth, it’s Capitalism that says someone can make a ton of money serving that market, regardless of whether GMO’s are actually harmful.

      2. Um, if the customers don’t want to buy GMOs, why the fuck should he stock them?

    4. “There’s too much veiled “progressive” crap in his tone.”

      Please elaborate.

    5. “There’s too much veiled “progressive” crap in his tone.”

      That’s the thing. You can be both a strong freedom and liberty guy and also believe a bunch of progressive “crap”. It is completely possible that people could choose to set up hippie communes in a libertarian world instead of setting up corporations and I am fine with that. The only other choice is I demand people use their freedom the way I prefer which means we are right back to your version of proggie totalitarianism.

  4. The thing is, if you have an issue with a business for ANY reason — you don’t like their ethics, their products or services suck, they charge too much, or you think their logo is ugly — you can turn your back on them and not give them a dime.

    Does anyone who dislikes capitalism think they can refuse to recognize the government the way they can boycott a business they dislike?

    1. The problem is your insistence on all-or-nothing. Look at the comment above: “capitalism alone” is responsible for all the good in the world. Bullshit. Just plain obvious culty bullshit. As much as you want to, you don’t get to hand-wave away all the things government does, at taxpayer expense, to make capitalism even possible. “But but roads and scientific research and education and limited liability would all be better if government just got out of the way!” Uh huh.

      And you can boycott your government. There are like 200 others to choose from. More choices than you get in grocery stores, for sure.

      1. More pearls of wisdom from Tony. Government sets itself up a monopoly in building roads, and then you get to point to them as the be all end all of society and why government is grand. Of course, you ignore the nasty consequences of public roads like increased interaction with state thugs who use you as a source of revenue to pay for their overtime. The mass incarceration of people of color is largely possible because of public roads.

        What has produced more harm – government or unchecked capitalism? It’s not even close. So, you’re right. Government has at times contributed to society in positive ways. Of course, there is no telling how much growth and advancement it has stifled. Regulations in this country probably cost in excess of a trillion in economic growth every year. Many of them absolutely pointless.

        In a market, there aren’t a fixed number of choices unless government steps in. You might want to ponder that and how it relates to the ability of libertarians to pick the government they like.

        1. Don’t tell him that most roads in “socialist” Europe are privately built and operated. It might blow his precious little mind.

        2. Shocking. Government spends 4 trillion a year at the federal level alone and manages to produce something of value. I would wager even somebody competent would have a hard time pulling a Brewster’s millions and spend 4 trillion dollars without anything at all to show for it.

          1. Are you challenging us to a ‘Brewster’s Millions’? If so, then game on!

      2. I don’t know why I bother, but what the hell.
        Every modern country builds roads. And the people who piss their money away have the same access to roads that the successful business person does. And how the fuck do you think the government gets the tax revenue to build these “awesome” roads? From successful capitalist enterprise. Scientific research? Please, private industry does the majority of R&D that creates wealth. While gov’t grants go to seeing how many times monkeys can masturbate before they fall over dead. And what is your point about limited liability? Are you arguing that corporations are good? (Oh my!) And government schools? Please, that is why poor black folks are supporting the school choice movement.

        It was capitalism that allowed all the great innovators the freedom to develop their ideas, and to get people to invest in them. When businesses fail, the market can learn from the mistake. Gov’t doesn’t learn, except in the sense that politicians learn to try to increase their own political survival.

        1. A leftist cherry picks examples of the good of government while ignoring the gross inefficiencies necessary to create that good. Sure, government R&D has done good. Then again, it’s money they forcibly stole and the bulk of what they give out results in nothing of value.

        2. I just heard about a study that determined that eating and drinking excess calories is not the reason people gain weight, it’s all about exercise. Finally, case closed. The study, of course, was funded by Coca Cola. You’re doing the hand waving I said you’d do.

          How about John Mackey provide and clean his own water supply and build his own plumbing in addition to his own roads. And then educate his own workforce and then of course build an international transport infrastructure so he can get his products shipped in. Phew. That’s a lot of investment just to open one store. I bet even John Mackey would rather just mooch off all the work that had already been done at others’ expense.

          1. And then educate his own workforce and then of course build an international transport infrastructure so he can get his products shipped in. Phew. That’s a lot of investment just to open one store

            Because only the government does those things, and Mackey would have to do them all himself without government. Not like people could pool their own resources willingly to make those things happen. Or already do in some of those cases where government allows it.

            Of course, you completely ignored the fact that without capitalism and the accumulation of private wealth, and the proceeding growth that resulted…everything you just mentioned would be impossible.

            1. There would be no private accumulation of wealth without a thousand years of trial and error and feudalism and monarchy and slavery. Chicken and egg, who gives a shit. The point is being an absolutist. I’m saying both contribute to a decent society, you’re ignoring half of the equation.
              Government is the means by which large populations willingly pool their resources. Jesus, that’s what I’m trying to say.

              1. Tony, how the fuck do you willingly pool your resources when you have no choice over whether you pay or not?

                There would be no private accumulation of wealth without a thousand years of trial and error and feudalism and monarchy and slavery.

                Bullshit. Government limited the accumulation of wealth through force for a very long time. The elites granted themselves privileges and used force to keep things static. Government acted as a barrier that slowed advancement more often than not.

                Government force does have its uses and can be one method to allow a market to operate free from violence. More often than not, government crushes and controls the market that already exists to steal wealth for itself and the class who controls it.

                1. Tony, one only has to look at the Gilded Age in U.S. history to see the collusion of elites and government controlling wealth and economic mobility. It’s individuals breaking out of this fixed system that led to an incredible growth prosperity, but government pooling our resources together like some damn commune.

                2. There would be no private accumulation of wealth without a thousand years of trial and error and feudalism and monarchy and slavery.

                  And then, suddenly, after *thousands* of years, everything just fell together to give us the wonderful life we all have. Nothing *specifically* that happened in the 18th-20th centuries made any difference. It was just time for the poor to become thousands of times wealthier. All these modern conveniences — cars, computers, air travel… just happened to pop up. No specific political/philosophical system enabled such rapid progress. Do I have that right Tony?

              2. You are being intentionally disingenuous Tony, Government does nothing good for society, its is known at best as being a formerly necessary evil (since the dawn of the digital age government is now completely useless) and at worst as being murderous and tyrannical. Real capitalism has never once existed, it never could have up until this point in human history where we have developed the technology to cast off the stifling chains of government that prevent advancement of us as a species.
                Fuck off slaver, your kind is dying out, the technocratic revolution is already happening and thats why ALL governments are all failing so spectacularly right now, thats why the world feels like its on the brink of WW3.
                I dont have to vote for anyone, the system has failed and now its being cast off like a bloated corpse.

                1. Government could be a force for good, but only if every legislator and bureaucrat came with a random person to stand over him with a pistol and complete immunity to take appropriate action when said government employee acts outside constitutional authority. Otherwise, any government WILL abuse any authority it gets EVERY time it gets it.

                2. I wish you where correct when you write, “Fuck off slaver, your kind is dying out.” Unfortunately, the statists want their feudalism back. The technology that can liberate is being perverted to enslave. The Toni’s are winning.

              3. feudalism, monarchy and slavery weren’t some experimentation you disingenuous hack.

              4. Government is the means by which large populations willingly pool their resources.

                “Willingly”. You don’t know what that word means, do you rent-boy?

                -jcr

                1. Especially barfworthy is the premise that the government should exist in order to “pool resources” (iow, loot). But it is a stale, tired staple of leftoidism.

              5. Sometimes government does things that aren’t terrible, generally by accident. There’s nothing that the government does that couldn’t be done at least as well by free, willing individuals cooperating with each other.

                Government does the things nobody wants, with money that doesn’t belong to it, at the point of a gun.

              6. It isn’t ‘willingly’ if it’s at at the business end of a gun. And that’s what government is, force.

            2. Because only the government does those things, and Mackey would have to do them all himself without government. Not like people could pool their own resources willingly to make those things happen. Or already do in some of those cases where government allows it.

              The government doesn’t have to do those things. In fact, in a lot of cases, it’s private companies providing those services either on lobbied contract basis or a government protected monopoly.

          2. Remind me what the EPA did yesterday, Tony.

            And who do you think paid for those roads and schhols and waterworks? It sure wasn’t you socialists.

          3. I don’t know what I’d do without government roads. Here in PA, we have the nation’s largest gas tax. You know what we get for it? The 3rd worst road system in the country. A good percentage of our bridges are ready to collapse.

            I know, I know, Tony. Just charge the rich to fix them. The problem with government failings is never the government, it’s always the rich.

            1. Fuck, now i dont want to drive through PA for work anymore, maybe you should vote for someone to do something for you so you dont have to figure out how to yourself

          4. Tony:
            “I just heard about a study that determined that eating and drinking excess calories is not the reason people gain weight, it’s all about exercise. Finally, case closed. The study, of course, was funded by Coca Cola.”

            Yeah, the way the study worked was, they did meta-studies of studies of relatively small changes to caloric intake for some groups of people, observed no measurable change in body weight relative to some other control group with roughly the same diet, and concluded that caloric intake has no effect on body weight.

            You know: the same standard of reason and evidence that declares unemployment to be immune to minimum wage laws.

        3. “While gov’t grants go to seeing how many times monkeys can masturbate before they fall over dead.”

          So how many times is it? I…er…a friend of mine would like to know.

          1. Maybe it’s like ‘how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?’

            one….to-hoo-hoo-hoooo…. three *thump*

          2. And to fund that cowboy poetry festival that Harry Reid defended on the Senate floor. I’m so glad I get to work harder and pay more interest on the national debt for bullshit like that.

            “Nothing left to cut!”

      3. you don’t get to hand-wave away all the things government does, at taxpayer expense, to make capitalism even possible

        Punishing violations of NAP? Heck, I’ve read 3 articles in last few weeks here that don’t just show how it’s possible the market can do that but actually show history of it being done. I know you read the articles here too, so you ought to know that.

        1. The NAP is immoral and stupid and unworkable.

          1. Stop fisting kittens, Tony.

            1. I thought it was ducks…

          2. The NAP is immoral and stupid and unworkable.

            One at a time then.

            “NAP is immoral.”

            So it’s OK to aggress sometimes? Not only that, it’s immoral to not aggress? So under what circumstances may I aggress against you? Do pray tell.

            “NAP is stupid.”

            To those who only live based on others’ hard work, I’m sure that’s true. But you know darn well it’s smart to not aggress against you. Personally, not aggressing upon others saves me a lot of time and cognitive dissonance, so I’ve got that going for me.

            “NAP is unworkable.”

            Only to those who really want “us” to “get something done”. Of course, you ignore all the times it has been tried and worked as that gets in the way of your precious worldview.

            The most dangerous word in the English language is “necessary” (as in “we know it’s wrong, but it’s necessary to protect society”).

            1. The common scenario is that the NAP would forbid taxing a billionaire to feed 3 million starving children. It would require that we let 3 million children die so that a billionaire can keep a little cash. It is immoral and stupid and unworkable.

              1. The common scenario is that the NAP would forbid taxing a billionaire to feed 3 million starving children.

                Yes. So what? Would taking 1 million from him, losing half of it to admin, and giving the other half to the warlords of those children help somehow? (US involvement in Somalia).

                But the Utilitarianism will never be persuasive. It is wrong to steal. You know that when others steal from you.

                It would require that we let 3 million children die so that a billionaire can keep a little cash.

                No, it wouldn’t. Not only do you not like the market, you ignore its very existence. I will feed the 3 million starving children or die trying. For someone who thinks I’m so very selfish, I’m actually quite the opposite. (Literally, thank God!)

                It is immoral and stupid and unworkable.

                Other than stealing, what are you willing to do to feed the starving children? Put your gosh-darned money/time where your mouth is!

                Also, this ignores that the billionaire in this story earned his money without violating NAP (or people like me would have stopped him). Therefore, he made something that the market demands, which makes us all a little more wealthy. This means that we have more food to give to the starving children. If you take his money away, he will stop inventing or stop being an entrepreneur, which makes us all less wealthy and that will lead to more starving children.

                1st class logical failure.

                1. Letting people starve is worse than stealing. Not that taxing = stealing. The NAP requires starvation in order not to tax. It’s stupid and immoral.

                  1. Letting people starve is worse than stealing.

                    By that logic, as long as you are better than Stalin you are OK (Being Stalin is worse than being me therefore I’m OK). Here’s a hint, don’t let them starve without stealing! Use your own money/time! This is called “charity”.

                    Not that taxing = stealing.

                    Taking without asking and not giving it back. It’s not “borrowing”…

                    The NAP requires starvation in order not to tax.

                    False dichotomy. Try again.

                    It’s stupid and immoral.

                    False dichotomies are stupid. Theft is immoral. Projection much?

                    I really can’t believe that you will not give of your own time and money to help those starving children. I mean think of the children!

                    Are you disabled or incredibly poor? What’s your excuse for doing nothing other than ranting for theft?

                  2. Letting people starve is worse than stealing.

                    Theft is immoral. A person with plenty who ignores the suffering of others is forgoing the opportunity to good, but a person who steals, for any reason, is actively doing something immoral. Never mind that this is the falsest of false choices.

                    Not that taxing = stealing.

                    Interesting that you feel the need to make that exception. Explain how taking something that doesn’t belong to you isn’t theft.

                  3. Anyone who thinks Peter Singer style utilitarianism is more “practical” than the NAP is delusional. By your premise, you commit murder every time you spend a dollar on non-essential goods when you could have spent it saving a Somali kid from dying.

                  4. So the only way poor kids get fed is through government? Bullshit. Plenty of charitable organizations take care of that. It’s pretty much impossible to starve in this country unless you’re on a hunger strike, anorexic/bulimic, crazy, or trapped somewhere without food.

                    In fact, if Marxist garbage like your friend Obama got the fuck out of the way, there would be p,entry more money. But that commie cunt is choking everyone with more taxes and strangling our energy supply. Just like you cocksuckimg cunt pieces of shit take plenty and make scarcity out of it.

                    Tony, I would say it’s a mortal lock that if you could press a big red button and convert our civilization to Marxism in one shot at the expense of starving TEN million kids, you wouldn’t hesitate. Not for one fucking second. Because at your core, victim hood is just a delivery system for the tyranny you and your evil friends are so desperate to impose.

                2. He assumes a direct path from taxation to the feeding of the starving children. Rather, some sort of bureaucracy for the assessment of taxes must be supported, and then some sort of armed gang to enforce submission, and, at the very least, finally, an administrative organisation for transmuting the stolen treasure into unhungriness in the targetted children. In the ideallest of scenarioes, there will be at least a loss of greater than twenty percent of the value of the stolen treasure before it gets turned into unstarving children. And since the state agents aren’t a bunch of altruistic samurai but rather a gang of authoritarian dopes, they will invariably conspire in motivated misdirection of another portion of the treasure. All this in mind, there’s no way to say that taxes the rich man in this scenario is good or even excusable. In contrast, while it would be wrong for free men to steal some of the rich man’s treasure and use it to get food to the hungry, it would certainly be excusable; but there’s no way that a state imposing “taxes” under the pretense of doing the same is anything but pure evil. You know, when people took care of themselves and didn’t act like a bunch of slaves, astonishingly there weren’t so many folks who “needed” some state authority to take care of them.

              2. The logic of slavery.

              3. Socialism has let more than 3 million people die of starvation, too.

                You example is only hypothetical, whereas the socialist examples of letting people die of starvation often for mere political power, are real.

              4. Tony|8.12.15 @ 11:30AM|#

                The common scenario is that the NAP would forbid taxing a billionaire to feed 3 million starving children. It would require that we let 3 million children die so that a billionaire can keep a little cash. It is immoral and stupid and unworkable.

                No, actually what is immoral is producing three million children that one cannot feed.

                1. Exactly.

              5. The common scenario is that the NAP would forbid taxing a billionaire to feed 3 million starving children. It would require that we let 3 million children die so that a billionaire can keep a little cash. It is immoral and stupid and unworkable.

                You know damn well, Tony, that that would never happen.

                The billionaire would provide campaign donations to “soak the rich” and feed the 3 million starving children. Congress would then soak the “rich”, that is, the 51-99% in the middle to feed the 3 million starving children and provide corporate welfare to the billionaire.

                That’s the system you favor, Tony ? tax the middle class so feed the poor so that the nobility can feel good about themselves while taking the next tax credit.

        2. Tony doesn’t need an argument. He just has to shout some stuff about hand waving and government roadz.

          1. One of the commenters here coined the phrase “fallacy from roads” to describe this phenomenon. It is the basis for almost all government worship.

            1. Where I grew up, most roads were built and maintained by the people in communities that used them. Quality was variable, depending upon the quality of neighbours, but they were pretty much universally serviceable. The only roads that were regularly fucked up and unserviceable were the roads maintained by the state.

              On the other hand, one didn’t find all the roads running in neat perpendixes, with predictable alphabetic, numerologic, or chronologic names, like one does in areas where all the roads are laid out by the government. For a long time, folks did fine without numeric addresses. Finally resistance was broke down, and the local authorities got to force an address on everybody. But they could never stick to a plan. Every few years, they decided the numbering system needed some kind of revising (despite there being very little increment in the number of domicils), and end up changing everyone’s address. Mine was changed four, at least, five, possibly, times in sixteen years (10, 6, 16, 106, and 108 are four different numbers assigned to my property that I can recall easily offhand), and much of that time mine was the only house on that street.

              1. There is an example in John C. Scott’s ‘Two Cheers for Anarchism,’ of communal/public property being produced in a stateless society. Say there is a village near a lake, and many people travel to the lake to fish. What starts as a ill defined path takes on more definition as people walk it, some people clear brush, maybe some pave sections that get muddy, and eventually there is a road. It would be wrong for someone to seize control of the road and charge a toll to the fishermen, since the value was added through the labor of the entire community, and the community that uses it has an interest in maintaining it. Public road, created and maintained sans government violence. Roadz.

              2. Quality was variable, depending upon the quality of neighbours, but they were pretty much universally serviceable. The only roads that were regularly fucked up and unserviceable were the roads maintained by the state.

                Sounds like southern California. Road quality is very variable here.

                About the only thing predictable is if in your a Republican-leaning area, the roads are smooth while if you’re a Democratic stronghold, the roads are Swiss cheese.

          2. He just looks up what to say from his master’s at Media Matters.

      4. Uh, yeah, just try to boycott government. Refuse to pay any taxes, refuse to recognize their regulations and laws. Tell the cop that comes after you that you do not believe he has any legitimate authority so you don’t need to follow his orders. Good luck with that, Tony.

        The only private business I know of that operates that way — where they will kidnap and/or kill you for refusing to go along with their demands — is organized crime.

      5. “But but roads and scientific research and education and limited liability would all be better if government just got out of the way!” Uh huh.

        How can I argue with such persuasive rhetoric as a sarcastic “uh-huh”? This has changed my entire worldview. I now realize that big government is the key to prosperity and that capitalism is the root of all evil. Forget it guys: the libertarian moment is over. Tony has won.

      6. You are so stupid I doubt you can tie your own shoes, Tonykins.

        1. Due to the wonders of capitalism, he doesn’t have to. He can buy sandals, slippers, those weird slip on shoes they sell at REI, loafers, etc.

          As a committed communist, he’s most likely a loafer lover.

          1. As a committed communist, he’s most likely a loafer lover.

            NOYCE

      7. ‘ … you can boycott your government. There are like 200 others to choose from.’

        Actually, that would help a lot if people could actually do that. Unfortunately, the governments themselves make this very difficult. By imposing very strict limits on who can enter, and even stricter limits on how or where they can live and work, governments have made certain that very few people are truly able to choose which government they most prefer to live under.

        Absolute freedom of movement is one of the most important rights for a free society, ranking alongside the biggies like free speech and religion, and it’s one that no regime that I’m aware of recognises.

        I don’t understand why so many of the regular commenters can’t seem to comprehend that.

      8. The roadz, the roadz, who would build the roadZ????
        Straining oh so hard, Tony’s mind explodes.
        Those orange-clad workers, all those trucks and cones,
        Wherefore cometh the magic? Tony strains and groans.
        It’s something we all need, yet would not pay to build,
        it’s a public good you see, that needs a public guild.
        Think of the post office, the angels clad in blue,
        the parcels that arrive, in weeks or months so few.
        There’s just no other way, if people have a need,
        a coercive monopoly is how we must proceed.

        1. That gave me a stiffy.

        2. *starts slow clap*

  5. This guy shouldn’t be the poster child for capitalism. Two words: asparagus water.

    1. If people want to buy it, who cares?

      The fact is that some people have too much money.

      They buy artisan ice cubes or iceberg water or build model railroads.

      Let them.

    2. Actually the opposite. The asparagus water was a failed experiment. The market expressed it’s displeasure, the CEO admitted it was a bad idea, and will find other ways to make money.

      Government would have mandated asparagus water purchases, fined people for not buying it or provided taxpayer subsidies to the asparagus lobby, and of course demanded more taxpayer money because the only reason government programs ever fail is lack of funding as all good proggies tell me.

    3. I just filled my toilet with some asparagus water.

  6. To Tony,

    Gov’t produces no revenue, not a single cent. It must take that money from the capital raised by other people. Could these evil businessmen not then just pool their resources to build your coveted roads? Again with schools, could the capitalists not just pool their resources to build those schools? I mean we all pay a tax on public schools, so could I not just pay the same fee to a school from my own pocket and to the school that I choose for my children? Right now the vaunted public school system is shit and even with ever growing taxes, all school supplies have to be bought by the parents because the gov’t has decided that schools need 10,000 admins, diversity officers (what the fuck do these people really do?), etc.

    So what you are saying is that people are smart enough to create new machines, philosophy, go to the moon, etc but they can’t figure out how to pool their resources and they need special gov’t people to do it for them or risk staring down the barrel of a gun? That’s some amazing thought.

    You’re so fucking scared that it’s pathetic. In addition to being afraid of freedom, you’re a power hungry, boot licking twit.

    1. And Tony acts like all of those things were just forced on the rich as if there weren’t rich people who supported them. There were no rich philanthropists and progressives who were part of those things. And social changes that placed higher premiums on them had nothing to do with government action. No sir-ee. Benevolent government in its wisdom just granted those things because it knew they were good.

    2. What have you ever been right about? People here and other places have said that regulation kills business and hurts the poor. You say no, but then the White House recently admitted that things like licensing laws do hurt people. You said that there could be no negative repercussions to grand and glorious CRA, but there are negative repercussions. You said that gov’t money for school would not cause schools to keep milking the system but evidence keeps mounting against you. Your side derides GMO products that could actually do something to help world hunger but you have the gaul to denounce others as “anti-science”.

      You accuse businessmen of mooching and needing the system but it’s fucktards on your side that rail against the non-existent “patriarchy” and The Warz on Womynz even though all evidence is against you and all you have is hyperbole and a single 40 year old study. t.

      What the fuck have you ever been right about?

    3. Could these evil businessmen not then just pool their resources to build your coveted roads?

      Not if we wanted roads that benefited humans instead of just the invested businessmen.

      You tell me how 300 million people pool resources and accomplish collective goals without something resembling government. There’s always gonna be whiny mooches like John Mackey who’d free ride on the system.

      1. Your entire welfare state is predicated on free riding.

        Stop fisting kittens, Tony.

      2. Not if we wanted roads that benefited humans instead of just the invested businessmen.

        Because there’s no way the people who built the roads would realize they could make money off setting reasonable prices that people could afford, or that a collective group who built them would realize that they need customers and would benefit from their freedom of movement. I mean, there’s no incentive at all for them to open up roads to the lower folk…It would be like the King’s forest!

        You tell me how 300 million people pool resources and accomplish collective goals without something resembling government.

        It doesn’t take 300m people to pool together to build roads.

        1. Again, let’s just appreciate how Tony regards toll roads — which were uniquitous here until the twentieth century and are still common elsewhere — as hypotheticals.

      3. Not if we wanted roads cars that benefited humans instead of just the invested businessmen.

        What’s the difference between the car and the road? Both can be owned and used only by their owners…

        1. If they can only be used by their owner, why do we allow a rich owner to buy many more cars than a poor owner, thus driving up the price of cars? Capitalism doesn’t make any fucking sense. It says if I have more money then I should have more of life’s necessities than some poor asshole that I probably made poor buy offering minimum wage for my jobs instead of better wages, so I can keep more of my billions.

          1. Wow, just wow. A total lack of understanding of what property rights look like. I have no say in how many [x] you buy. Also, buying more cars drives down their price in the long term.

            It’s not “capitalism”, it’s NAP. You have the right to do with yourself and your property everything except aggress against another live human being.

            If you make something better or more efficiently than your neighbor, consumers will exchange their private property for yours. That’s why some are more rich than others. And quit whining about the poor in America. The poor here have better stuff than the rich of 100 years ago… due to property rights and production.

          2. Apt handle. You read like a religious zealot. Fuck off.

      4. I’m not an anarchist, just to clear that up. I understand that at the current time there must be a gov’t. What I am mad about is your boot-licking. Anyone with any brains has always stated that gov’t was an evil compromise. It’s not a good thing but right now it’s a necessary evil. There is very little good to be found in it and it is rightly to be feared for obvious reasons.

        You on the other hand think that everything great has come from the gov’t, yet the complete opposite is true. It is single most evil thing ever devised and it is the perpetrator of the most heinous acts ever committed.

        It has its uses however. Am I saying that businessmen are always right and the only thing important in life is capital and economic growth? The answer to that is a resounding no. Is the gov’t currently fucking things up worse than they should be and even when meaning well, hurting the people that it’s trying to help, absolutely yes. Is our gov’t abusing its power and going off the rails, yes.

        How can you not see this?

        1. Because I don’t see government as an alien entity here to impose its alien will. I see power as power. Government has it, corporations have it. Both can be corrupt, both can abuse people, and both can do good.

          The non-anarchist libertarian without fail believes in using government to protect the rich from the poor but not the other way around. It’s a fraud. I never said government is always good. I think its specific abilities can and should be channeled to useful social ends. That even includes the goodies it gives to people who want to run businesses.

          1. Oh it is an alien entity. If you think our current gov’t derives its power from the people and that the people are the gov’t then I have a unicorn to sell you. The aristocrats of today are as foreign to their own people as the aristocrats of yesteryear.

            No one is championing the rich over the poor. You think there’s only one way to raise the poor out of poverty but your model has failed. 2 trillion dollars have been given to minority, mainly black people, in the last 50 years and it has accomplished exactly dick. What we’re saying is hey, let’s try a different way, but you keep saying, “No, if we only pursued my model a little harder, I know it would work this time!”

            Any we’re the crazy ones? Riiiiiight.

            1. My model has succeeded wildly, you just don’t acknowledge any of that success. The poor in this country have never returned to their pre?Great Society levels of poverty, despite regular recessions. Not that utopia has been achieved, but that is one of the great achievements of humankind, and there is no credible reason to think capitalism alone could have done that. It’s just your anti-government obsession that forces you to believe such absurdities.

              What are aristocrats? Not the Koch brothers? If not them, who?

              1. One google search Tony and I find that your assertion is bullshit. From Mother Jones: Poverty has stayed static for working families for 40 years as well as the percentage of people in abject poverty (below 11 grand a year). I will say that the piece does show that poverty overall fell after the “Great Society” reforms.

                From yourblackworld.net: the state of the black family in America is worse off today than it was in 1960. Drastic rises in single parent homes, children born to single mothers with no father in sight. That to me seems to be a pretty big elephant in the room as to a lot of the black communities woes, wouldn’t you agree. Rises have also been noted through all ethnicities just to be fair.

                Your assertion that your model has succeeded wildly seems a little off base when the poverty rate has remained flat for 40 years. I’ve seen other figures to suggest that black earnings were increasing faster prior to the Johnson reforms than after but I forgot where I saw that.

                1. Yes it has remained flat. That’s what I am saying. The programs stopped the prior history of large increases in poverty during recessions.

                  And spare me the “blacks had it better in the 60s” awfulness. The problems of the black community in this country are deeper than you’d ever acknowledge, so kindly stop trotting them out for your own ends. The 60s? Seriously?

                  1. I’m not trotting anything out, that’s from a website that is by black people, for black people. They have their data and it is interesting.

                    The problems of the black community stem from the Drug War, hatred from all sides, many shitty aspects of their culture, white man’s guilt, white saviors, gov’t over regulation, constant blaming of the white man for anything, “You need to bring harsher sentences and harsher policing to our criminals, you are being indifferent” to now “White America, your police are exterminating us.” Do you see a problem here?

                    You can keep spewing your sociology 101 bullshit or you can keep being a lying, two faced piece of shit.

                    Your original assertion was not that your programs only helped during recessions but that it helped 24/7, 365. You were proved wrong and then you attempted to move the goal post and make a new but related claim.

                    1. *stop being a lying piece of shit

                    2. Black people in this country were slaves longer than they weren’t slaves.

                    3. Tweeet! I’ll throw the bullshit flag. It was 88 years from the Declaration of Independence until the end of the Civil War, and it was only 76 years from the date of the ratification of the Constitution (1798). Since the CSA was destroyed, 150 years have passed. Or almost exactly double the time since the ratification of the US Constitution.

                      If you want to quibble, it is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the last of the major civil rights acts (VRA) and as shitty life was for large numbers of black citizens in 1965 conditions far exceeded slavery. The majority of US citizens were not alive in 1965-black, white, yellow, green or muave. According to the US Census ~46% of current US residents were alive in 1965. A reasonable extrapolation of that number because of shorter average life span for blacks brings that number down to the 41ish% range.

                      Conclusion: 0% of US blacks have any experience as a slave on US soil and 6 in 10 never experienced the “Jim Crow” era of legally mandated discrimination against blacks.

                    4. RACIST!!11!11

                    5. Wrong. You can’t even handle basic arithmetic.

                  2. If you stopped being so racist it might get better for them. That your racism is paternalistic instead of antagonistic doesn’t make it better. Not one little bit.

              2. If by succeeded wildly you mean no demonstrable movement in the number living at or below the poverty level in the past 60 years, well Congratulations!

                Now if you could just double that minimum wage, you’ll help the black youth by making sure they never get another entry level job again.

              3. An aristocrat must be someone who rules and has sanctioned power. The Koch brothers are just the lefty’s version of Soros. If you mean to tell me that these two dudes control everything on the right side of aisle then you’re as big a conspiracy theorists as Glen Beck.

                I would think the Clintons would be more appropriate. The Bushs, Kennedys, etc. Any senator that has been in power since the Revolution like ole Sanders and McConnell. People like that.

                The Kochs, Gates, and Buffetts of the world are akin to the merchant class.

              4. And again with the Alinsky tactics. Ridicule, ridicule, ridicule. Throw out wild accusations that no reasonable person could agree with to discredit your opponent.

                Anti-science replaces skepticism. Anti-gov’t means pointing out flaws and suggesting alternatives. Homophobe means not falling on your knees and worshiping gay people and everything they do. Racist means disagreeing with a minority and even hinting at doing nothing to “oppress” them.

                Redefining words and phrases is F-U-N, FUN I tell ya!

          2. Wrong. In physics power is the rate at which work is performed, where work is measured using units of energy. In politics, power is the rate at which harmful or deadly force can turn humans into cadavers. There are no exceptions to either generalization. Corporations may wheedle, bribe and lie, but they do not exercise political power in anything like the way governments do. Political power is measured in units of violent death, not units of voluntary exchange. The error is the fallacy of equivocation.

            1. “Political power is measured in units of violent death, not units of voluntary exchange”

              Political power is both more and less than that. Political power is also measured in the extent people buy into a system. Political power is at work when someone who wants to acquire something sells his labour on the market to get it rather than simply taking it. Political power is also manifested in the policeman inside your head.

          3. The elephant in the room is accountability. Gov bureaucrats are not accountable for their actions there is only one Federal Gov with no recourse for failures by the gov.

            Businesses get positive and negative feedback. They are punished for bad choices, rewarded for good choices. The Gov is not punished, especially the main implementers of policy – the bureaucrats. Even elected officials can be immune to failed policies because of time horizon issues…the guy is out of office before his bad policy choices are understood/take effect.

            One type of entity gets both positive and negative feedback, the other is almost entirely insulated (maybe not completely) from negative feedback. This is why governments generally never improve. QED.

            1. “The Gov is not punished…”

              I guess the problem is that intellectuals do well and see no reason to punish the government. The stupid and the business people want to punish the government yet lack the brain power or the gumption to figure out how to do it.

              1. mtrueman|8.12.15 @ 4:39PM|#
                “I guess the problem is that intellectuals do well and see no reason to punish the government. The stupid and the business people want to punish the government yet lack the brain power or the gumption to figure out how to do it.”

                mtrueman|5.4.15 @ 12:59AM|#
                “[?] What you haven’t fathomed is that I’m so morally depraved that my deserved rep here doesn’t bother me or interest me in the least. I post for myself; your feelings about me are of no concern.
                trueman posts only to see his name on the screen.

                1. My dearest Sevo, what you haven’t fathomed is that I’m so morally depraved that my deserved rep here doesn’t bother me or interest me in the least. I post for myself; your feelings about me are of no concern.
                  trueman posts only to see his name on the screen.

                  1. My dear lying asshole.
                    I simply desire everyone to know you are a lying asshole.

                    1. Wow. Just fucking wow.

                      Sevo – thank you once again. I’m still learning all of the identities here.

                      mtrueman – Do you have people tied up in your basement? Just curious. If so, please, let them go.

              2. It’s incorrect to label leftists as intellectuals. They are quite the opposite.

          4. The important difference between, say, Wal-Mart and the state of Maryland is that if I choose not to give money every year to Wal-Mart for things I don’t want or don’t use it won’t seize my home and throw me in prison. At the end of the day your benevolent state uses force to exact the collective will of technocrats and politicians without regard to the people it purports to serve. Even if it was filled with well-meaning philosopher kings with the best interests of everyone at heart it can never shed the original sin of being founded on aggressive, violent coercion.

      5. Take for instance, pushes for tolerance and acceptance of diversity. It is having the opposite effect and what you are thinking it’s having. The only way to have a multicultural society and make it work is to respect freedom of association and the right of people to discriminate.

        That makes no sense you will say. Sure it does, if people are allowed to be open with discrimination then they can be talked to. They can be challenged and in this system the gov’t respects everyone equally because it takes no sides.

        Now with your model, the gov’t does take sides. It dictates what can be said, who can say it, where it can be said and all it does is push these ideals into the dark, where they fester. Nothing goes away because the gov’t waves a wand and bans something. If that were the case, prostitution would have died out a long, long time ago.

        You’ll bring up Jim Crow, I know you will. That’s segregation enforced by the state and completely different from what I am speaking of.

        1. He openly advocates for slavery. I honestly don’t know why he has a problem with Jim Crow.

          1. I don’t understand people like him. When their ways fail and someone offers up an alternative, they can only scream, “DOOOOOOM! If we try your way all the puppies and kittens will DIE!”

            Yet their model just keeps on failing. Is there something that could go wrong with what I am proposing, absolutely yes. Everything we have is man made and therefore imperfect and subject to flaw. However, keeping on doing the same thing even when you see the flaws is just madness.

            It’s funny how proggies like him always talk about these bullshit “national conversations” and “gov’t is the people” yet when the “other people” propose something different then it’s HERESY! and must be burnt at the stake for the sake of the womynz, minorities, gays, and of course, the childrenz

            1. “It’s funny how proggies like him always talk about these bullshit “national conversations” and “gov’t is the people” yet when the “other people” propose something different then it’s HERESY! and must be burnt at the stake for the sake of the womynz, minorities, gays, and of course, the childrenz”

              It’s also funny how “government is the people” only applies when there’s a Democrat in office. I’m just waiting for a Republican to take office so that I can listen to them whine about his actions and then say, “but wait, the government IS the people! We ARE the government; isn’t that what you said? What’s the problem? WE elected this president together! Are you against the will of the people or something?!”

      6. Tony|8.12.15 @ 11:21AM|#
        “…Not if we wanted roads that benefited humans instead of just the invested businessmen….”

        You mean like those businessmen who make computers so that just they benefit?

        1. I remember my first apple 2, back when us aristocrats only had them to create spreadsheets for my orphans’ monocle-polishing schedules. Then some promethian hero of the proletariat, Tony, distracted me with his shit flinging and logical fallacies and stole my poor apple 2, right from under my monocle! He distributed it out to a poor homeless boy named Al Gore, and that, my friends, is how the internet was invented.

      7. Not if we wanted roads that benefited humans instead of just the invested businessmen.

        I need new vocabulary, because “retard” is no longer sufficient to describe this clown.

        -jcr

      8. You need to find a better windmill, Tony. Seriously, stop with the fucking roadz.

        http://v.i4031.net/StatistFall…..ldTheRoads

      9. Kickstarter requires no government Tony.

        1. Neither does Silk Road. And you can bet Tony cheered on the government shutting that down. Because well, it isn’t governed.

      10. Yeah, a minimalist system as designed by the founders. Not your commie bullshit. You people are the driving force behind mission creep.

  7. Um, getting back to the article’s topic . . . intellectuals/academia hate capitalism because they wouldn’t get away with the outrageous price tags of the current college education in a fully-capitalistic society. Their funds would be greatly reduced, or dry up completely, if the government subsidies to them ended (ie, student loans, grants, etc.), especially now with the “free” community college policies now being hyped by the white house. Government is their sugardaddy.

    1. And college professors would be paid what they’re worth. Which isn’t much.

  8. Using the enemy’s epithets to describe what we value is self-defeating. To be a “capitalist” requires only goods, yet impecunious squalor does not suffice to define a socialist. For that one must propound altruism and sacrifice and enforce them with harmful and deadly force. Yet forswearing the initiation of force, as explicitly suggested by Ayn Rand in 1947, is what defines libertarians. Until we trouble ourselves to use language carefully, intellectuals of the looter persuasion will point to us and holler “Trump!” “Mystical conservative!” “Prohibitionist!” in successful ploys to steer discussion away from the key issue: threatening people’s lives to impose conformity and confiscate values.

    1. You know, Sargon of Akkad, a Brit on YouTube has a video about Alinsky and the path to power for radicals. It is very interesting and you can see a lot of the tactics in use against various people all the time. Both shitty teams use them right now but I see more of it coming from the Left, though to be fair the current Right does suck complete donkey balls so they do make easy targets.

      1. Anarchism is a looter persuasion. The idea that legalizing rape and murder leads away from coercion and towards freedom is so self-refuting that it can only be advanced through complete innocence of any rules of inference. Until rights are secured by force of law banning robbery and murder, there is no “agora” in which a market can be free of coercion. Dropping this context to conjure visions of a “free” market in the forcible restraint of men is nothing more complicated than stepping ankle-deep in the fallacy of affirming the consequent. Surely Reason is the wrong forum in which to advertise, as a means of persuasion, that one does not know bullshit from Shinola.

        1. I’m confused, are you thinking that I’m supporting anarchism. I was just pointing out what you were talking about with the name calling and distracting from actual discussion because your opponent left a wide open avenue of attack for you. You can make wild claims, say absolutely nothing, and people will buy into your crap because you so demonize the other side.

          1. “You can make wild claims, say absolutely nothing, and people will buy into your crap because you so demonize the other side.”

            That’s pretty normal with anti-intellectuals, I’ve found. Loyalty to a team trumps just about everything.

  9. I no longer feel like such a lefty for shopping at Whole Foods. I had guessed the ownership of Whole Foods at least put on an extreme socialist fa?ade. Kinda surprised that he would be somewhat open about his free market ideals….I would assume this would send the average Whole Foods shopper ballistic.

    1. Supposedly there was to be a boycott when he pointed out that O-care is a pile of shit. I think maybe one person stayed away.
      Lefties aren’t real good on principles or honesty; see our resident pile of crap, above.

  10. “More than any other outlet, Whole Foods has reconfigured what and how America eats and the chain’s commitment to high-quality meats, produce, cheeses, and wines is legendary. Since opening his first store in Austin, Texas in 1980…”

    Well Nick & Todd, I used to shop at that store but i stopped because I didn’t want the freak show idiots they hired touching my food. Those people didn’t look clean or even sane in some cases. Since that time WF’s stores are few and far between and overpriced – when I have found one and gone in to check it out. So I think you are laying it on a bit thick even though I do appreciate that John Mackey seems to have a brain in his head for a leftist.

    1. It was Austin (the city’s slogan is “Keep Austin Weird”) and Whole Foods did have a hippie clientele. Since its expansion, the stores have changed immensely.

      I used to think that Mackey had to be leftist, but I no longer think that’s the case.

  11. Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?
    by Robert Nozick

    From 1998. I think he said something about jealousy, too

    http://www.libertarianism.org/…..capitalism

  12. If your publication is called “Reason”, then you might want to give reasons and evidence. Or not. Here’s someone who’s not an intellectual telling us what intellectuals think (as though they all think the same thing, and Adam Smith was not an intellectual) about something. He doesn’t quote intellectuals saying why they think it. He knows without asking — smart man!

    But this could go the other way: why do store owners hate intellectuals? They’re jealous that intellectuals get respect without being rich. OK, maybe you think my theory is thin. But so is yours.

    1. “They’re jealous that intellectuals get respect without being rich”

      JG, so by your “reasoning”, being intellectual and rich are mutually exclusive? Yes, I do think you theory is thin.

    2. New troll alert….aaaaaaoooooooga.

    3. Gee, Mr. Pedantry, please tell us more!
      BTW, it’s an opinion piece, not a the result of a sociological study, but lefty twits like you hope no one notices you’re too fucking dumb to know that.

    4. People who hate capitalism are pseudo intellectuals. Like everyone on the left. Advanced degrees in bullshit disciplines and also me phony job in academia doesn’t make you a real intellectual. Leftists believe Paul Krugman is an intellectual. He isn’t. He’s an idiot. I don’t give a shit how many pieces of paper the fool has with letters on them. None of that makes him an intellectual.

      1. You’ve never read a book on economics.

      2. “People who hate capitalism are pseudo intellectuals. Like everyone on the left. Advanced degrees in bullshit disciplines and also me phony job in academia doesn’t make you a real intellectual.”

        Lol what the fuck makes you a “real intellectual”?

        Stupid faith in Fox news and the Republican Party?

        Boy you sure are dumb.

  13. “have always sided…with the aristocrats to maintain a society where the businesspeople were kind of kept down”

    It’s not enough to be a billionaire. To be a billionaire AND a victim. That’s living the American Dream.

    1. trueman is a lying pile of shit and nothing he posts has the least credibility. He posts here to see his name on the screen:

      mtrueman|5.4.15 @ 12:59AM|#
      “[?] What you haven’t fathomed is that I’m so morally depraved that my deserved rep here doesn’t bother me or interest me in the least. I post for myself; your feelings about me are of no concern.

      1. My dear Sevo, what you haven’t fathomed is that I’m so morally depraved that my deserved rep here doesn’t bother me or interest me in the least. I post for myself; your feelings about me are of no concern.

        1. My dear lying asshole.
          I simply desire everyone to know you are a lying asshole.

          1. My dear Sevo, what you haven’t fathomed is that I’m so morally depraved that my deserved rep here doesn’t bother me or interest me in the least. I post for myself; your feelings about me are of no concern.

            1. My dear lying asshole.
              I simply desire everyone to know you are a lying asshole.

              1. “I simply desire everyone to know you are a lying asshole.”

                My advice: Try huffpo. Much bigger following than this humble site.

                1. My dear lying asshole.
                  I simply desire everyone to know you are a lying asshole.

  14. It’s very simple. In the free market, consumers get what they want. In a controlled market, they get what the “experts” want them to have. Intellectuals see themselves as the experts making those decisions. They’re natural authoritarians.

    1. And John Mackey made some money and now he thinks he’s an expert at how everyone should live.

      1. And yet doesn’t call for force-of-arms to be used to make other people live that way.

        Which, of course, is completely unlike… someone… no, something… I just can’t remember what it’s called….

        1. It’s not force of arms to regulate labor. If it is, then you’re just as guilty, you just want the arms applied more forcefully against workers than employers, on balance.

          Not that the content of his worldview is relevant to the point that his status as CEO of Whole Foods doesn’t give him any more insight into how the world should work than your average “intellectual.” Intellectuals, see, are the people who actually study these things.

          1. Tony|8.12.15 @ 4:53PM|#
            “It’s not force of arms to regulate labor.”
            Which, of course, is an outright fucking lie.

            “If it is, then you’re just as guilty, you just want the arms applied more forcefully against workers than employers, on balance.”
            Which, of course, is one more outright fucking lie.
            Way to go!

          2. Try and pay someone less than the government wants and when they find out, you will learn all about force of arms.

            Try not implementing the employer mandate for Obamacare, tell the IRS to fuck themselves when they come to enforce it and see what you think about force of arms.

            Government is force of arms. That is why it should be limited in its mission and its funding.

            1. You do realize the US was built on the government telling capitalists what they cannot get away with, right? As early as 1800 Thomas Jefferson’s party began to tell companies what they could and could not do. The first Bank Bailout was in 1796.

              And the Republicans were practically communists who believed that Labor was more important than the desires of Capitalists.

              1. The Republican party literally stood like a wall between the Capitalist and the Laborer and did practically communist policies to enforce land redistribution to people who couldn’t afford it at fair market prices (by banning the sale of land to companies and banning more than 160 acres to any individual person).

                The Republicans encouraged the creation of the Labor Unions.

      2. Help, help, Tony is being forced to not murder his political opponents!

      3. You make no money, and in fact leech off the rest of us. And you are perfectly content to tell us how to live.

    2. In a free market the consumer doesn’t get what they want, they get what they can afford, and if some billionaire decides they want to buy all the houses as “rental properties” and out-bids the common “American Dreamer” then the American Dreamer gets to suck dog shit and fuck their own asshole with the many cocks of the proletariat.

      Take your 5th grade economics understanding, and shove it up your mother fucking ass.

      1. Nice evangelizing. I hope to God you’re not actually a member of the clergy.

        1. I believe there was another former religious student who went into progressive politics and made a name for himself. His nom de governing was something about steel. Stolin, Stalin, something like that.

          1. And then there is moonbeam, currently the failure of a governor in CA.
            Bleevers should keep their religion to themselves.

      2. Idiot. Then someone like me comes along and responds to the demands of those people and provides appropriate housing options. Now YOU take your KINDERGARTEN understanding of economics and shove it up YOUR fucking ass.

        M’kay bitch?

  15. I’ve read and seen other interviews with Mackey, but this one’s my favorite; the focus allowed him to really get into matters of philosophy that someone like CNBC wouldn’t. His talk about seeing change in business student’s view has a point. A decade ago, Whole Foods was a brand whose image was seen as this hippie thing, and you’ll still see a large part of the customer base (especially in certain markets) being from that. Yet, the appeal has branched out into one of a high-end supermarket. Myself, I’ll go the local Whole Foods here in suburban NJ about once/month to get certain things I can’t get at my usual supermarket and am impressed by the store, even if the price point is higher than I’d like (so the “365” news interests me) ?and that’s as a boring Republican (albeit of the “constitutional conservative” vibe ). In addition to the free-market focus, though, I think that Mackay’s ideas work just as well for someone from reading it in a more conservative mindset, though (where it wouldn’t for a progressive reading it): his talk of how you interact with the community as a job-creator is subsidiarian and very “middle spaces.”

    (And by the way, that part in the middle, where he discusses matters like health care costs and vacation care is one of most succinct overviews of how true Cost of Labor is confused when its constituent parts get bandied about separately ?I’ve Reading Listed this interviewed just so I can copy-paste that part as needed in the future!)

  16. I remember a couple months ago, Maureen Dowd went off on a bitchy rant about Uber, because hadn’t realized that drivers get to rate the customers too, and she got a rather low rating due to her self-absorbed, snotty leftard attitude.

    I think the main reason that pseudo-intellectuals hate the free market is that they can’t be bothered to actually produce anything of value to their fellow man, and earn the rewards that are given freely to successful businessmen.

    -jcr

    1. “she got a rather low rating due to her self-absorbed, snotty leftard attitude”

      I assure you the low rating came about because of the small tip she left with the driver. Wonderful as they are, all the rightist attitude in the world isn’t going to buy much in the free market.

      1. Yes, because you were there, right?
        Or is this just one more lie?

      2. I don’t tip Uber drivers, and I’m still five-star rated.

        -jcr

        1. Tall and handsome with a touch of class? Careful, you’ll get Sevo on your tail.

          1. My dear lying asshole.
            I simply desire everyone to know you are a lying asshole.

        2. A well executed handy can go a long way towards that five star rating.

  17. LOL, it is ironic that this article is completely debunked by http://agar.io

    Just play agar.io and see what capitalism is really like, 99% being eaten and destroyed before you ever get passed the entry-level. If you’re lucky enough to get to the top 10, you’re virtually indestructible.

    And it doesn’t matter how good you are, it only matters how much more massive (more capital) you have than the other guy. If you have more, then all the other guy can do is run away and lose.

    1. it doesn’t matter how good you are, it only matters how much more massive (more capital) you have than the other guy.

      And that’s why Apple was destroyed by Microsoft in 1996, right?

      You don’t know shit. Quit pretending that you do.

      -jcr

      1. You’re obviously too stupid to realize that Apple and Microsoft are not even in the same industries. Name one computer built by Microsoft.

        1. Kid, I’ve been in the computer industry since before your mom was raped by Bill Clinton.

          -jcr

    2. So you derive your knowledge of the world from children’s pastimes. Good to know.

    3. Actually, agar.io is a great illustration for how an aristocracy works. You just collect your sustenance out of the ether (think: taxes) and if you’re already fat and powerful, you get ever more of it.

      What’s missing is what makes *general* progress — via capitalism — possible: production and trade. Your amoeba can only eat and destroy. So in spite of the unlimited resources (taxes), the game itself is static and tiresome. Like any socialist state, really.

    4. My our love all the comeraderie of Marxism so much? Move to Venezuela. Enjoy standing in line for hours just to get toilet paper you stupid bitch.

      1. Venezuela is suffering from a US illegally unilaterally imposed embargo. You’re a real dumbass.

  18. Interesting and maybe ironic that “Whole Foods” seem to locate their stores in college towns. We have one here with UNC and another in Durham that abuts the west campus of Duke U. There is also a WF in Cary which is next to Raleigh and the home of NC State.
    So it appears that Mr. Mackey appeals to the ‘intellectuals’ who make up a large portion of their customer base here in the ‘Triangle’. Good for him. Mr. Mackey makes a profit off of those that disdain capitalism.
    It also reminds me of Lewis Grizzards observation of “I know a lot of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence.”

  19. Remember when Whole Foods was fined for purposefully lying about the weights of their per pound sales?

    That’s the government telling capitalists what they can’t get away with.

  20. Capitalism makes no sense. Capitalism says a Capitalist, with billions of dollars, has the right to buy up ALL THE HOUSES that other people would otherwise own themselves. The Capitalist could out-bid the others by $thousands, thus denying them the ABILITY to afford a HOUSE.

    Then said Capitalist, in this world of capitalism, can turn around and RENT the houses to the people who would otherwise be able to buy their own fucking house, if it weren’t for a billionaire LORD-ARISTOCRAT who decided it would be wise to “invest” his “capital” in real estate.

    That is Capitalism.

    And it’s fucking garbage.

    1. There are 2 houses in the US for every US household, yet most people live in rentals/apartments because “Capitalism” allows “Capitalists” to buy more than they can fucking use.

      http://www.huduser.org/datasets/ahs/ahs_taskc.pdf

      1. Evangelical|8.12.15 @ 11:27PM|#
        “…Capitalism says a Capitalist, with billions of dollars, has the right to buy up ALL THE HOUSES that other people would otherwise own themselves.”

        I think this imbecile is SERIOUS!

        1. When. I envision the eventual uprising against the progtard filth, and depositing them face down in landfills. I am squarely thinking of trash like this cunt.

          1. If you two idiots are the best defenders of capitalism it’s no wonder there are 3x as many “progtards” as “libertarians”.

    2. I got news for you: if you think anyone in this country actually owns a house as opposed to paying “rent” on it in the form of property taxes for eternity, you are grossly mistaken.

    3. The common response to these enclosure movement type arguments is to point out that the federal government has arrogated title to the vast majority of land in many western states. Unlike the capitalist landlords, it faces no incentives to put the land to any kind of productive use.

    4. Capitalism says a Capitalist, with billions of dollars, has the right to buy up ALL THE HOUSES that other people would otherwise own themselves.

      No, you retard. Capitalism means people should buy and sell what they want on a voluntary basis, without government deciding what to produce and setting the prices. If anyone ever tried to corner the housing market, he’d lose his shirt when smarter people started building more houses just to sell to your hypothetical boogeyman.

      You’re even dumber than Bernie Sanders, and that takes some doing.

      -jcr

  21. It would be good to ask John Mackay why his Whole Foods stores in Austin have posted the 30.06 signs that ban citizens from carrying concealed guns legally. The store, its employee and customers are left defenseless against criminals.

    1. It could be the individual stores that have decided to post those signs. They get quite a bit of leeway personalizing the stores on a local level.

  22. “the industrial revolution began this huge upwards surge of prosperity.”
    Should we compare unemployment rates before and after the industrial revolution?

    1. Slaves had no unemployment. Were they better off than people living on public relief today?

      -jcr

  23. The reason why “Intellectuals Hate Capitalism” is, simply stated, because they can’t control outcomes. Intellectuals posit that people who are “intellectual,” by virtue of the their very intellect, should hold a more “valuable” (read that monetarily better compensated) position in society. It drives them nuts that someone like Mackey could build an empire and accumulate wealth superior to their own.

  24. I can’t afford to go to Whole Foods that often, but John Mackey is kind of awesome. I love when Reason interviews him.

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  26. The exquisite irony is that Mr Mackey’s views are a huge aberration within the totality of the whole health-food/ alternative medicine market.

    I was a supplement buyer a a major local health food store for 3 years – nearly every customer, and the entire staff, excepting myself, were big-government left wing statists who had zero comprehension of the market mechanisms Mackey talks about here.

    The husband and wife owners of the store I worked at were no different from the customers, the wife was practically a communist, and the husband an admirer of the alcoholic Trotskyite, Christopher Hitchens.

    I was “on the way out” there as soon as I pointed out that Social Security was a ponzi scheme.

    Mr Mackey is delusional if he really believes that a bunch of ex- hippy, elitist latte-leftists are ever going to come around to his view of markets- most customers of that type of store have views more similar to those expressed by “Evangelical” here, or Bernie Sanders, elsewhere.

    And so it goes…….:-)

    Regards, onebornfree
    The Freedom Network http://www.freedominunfreeworld.blogspot.com

  27. “Intellectuals” are from the Liberal land of universities who can’t survive without Porky Pig government,

    of course they are flaming Marxists……..

  28. I work at Whole Foods. It’s a good job.

    Initially, I thought that I was going to be choking on progressive culture, but I was surprised. The first thing I noticed that ran counter to my expectation was that a lot of compensation is in discount exchanges between Whole Foods and other companies. It struck me that that was beneficial for the employees, as it’s non-taxable compensation on our end. Clever.

    Next, each department in the store is empowered with it’s own mini-budget. They get to schedule their hours based off a labor budget that is determined as a percentage of sales. Money left over from the labor budget is distributed through department employees as “gainsharing,” and depending on the department you work in, I’ve heard of it being an extra $500 in a month for some people. Most of the time, it works out to roughly $0.75-$1.00/hour.

    There are tons of things that the company does, all on a voluntary basis, that ARE conscientious. And the reason is, I think, because Mackey wants to prove that you can be good without the law making you be. I have no complaints, it’s the best job I ever had. I think in the interview, Mackey deferred heavily from self promotion. He’s a good guy and I hope the company carries his ethics on into the future past him.

    The great principle of libertarianism is voluntary exchange. Most of whatever else people begin to assert is libertarian is a projection that they are placing onto it to make it more familiar for them.

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  30. Evangelical, you have me confused. These capitalists you mention. If they are bidding up and buying all these properties, who are they buying from, and where is the money going?
    Surely these prior working class folks (newly wealthy) can afford some new digs?

    1. Dude – don’t bother explaining to the Marxists such trivialities like facts or logical gaping wholes. These fucking people are just perfectly dishonest – and, of course, always smarter than everyone else. Amazingly, however, they’re always fucking wrong and their policies always end up with some people in a fucking gulag. Reminds me of that quote: “Often wrong, but never uncertain.”

      They simultaneously scream about being “for the poor” while they continually – and always – enact statist policies that inevitably result in second and third order effects that pass along the bulk cost of any tax, regulation, or their other incomprehensibly stupid policies to the consumer (see, e.g., the ACA). Their economic illiteracy is so great that they can’t stand to hear about people like Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, Henry Hazlitt, Gilder, etc. nor be bothered to even read what those folks have written.

      Because those guys are the worst of all – intellectuals who understand perfectly well why capitalism works and have betrayed their own – the intelligentsia. That’s also why they fucking deify Keynes and Krugman (without ever having read what either guy wrote): they’re TL;DR is that those guys were smart economists who support socialism. Ta-dah!!! That’s all they need.

      Fucking nitwits posing as intellectuals. God, how the fuck do I block someone on here again?

    2. Evangelical is the intellectual equivalent of a gibbering idiot flinging his own shit at the walls. All the while ranting inchorently in between shrieks of ‘capitalists!’ And ‘billionaires!. In between client masturbationsessions in which he furiously sacks it to Krugmans columns whilst simultaneously biting the head off a live chicken.

      Or maybe that is literally how he spends his time in between trips to cash his welfare checks.

    3. Semper, you’re missing the point.
      Capitalists only care about MONEY! Except when they don’t and they are willing to throw money away to harm poor ignoramuses like Evangelical, since they only care about Evangelical, since Evangelical is so special! Except then they don’t and they only care about MONEY!
      See? SEE?!

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  34. He talks a good game but here’s the reality. Whole foods did everything they could to drive down the stock price of Wild Oats (main competitor) (look it up it’s a fact). Once they were successful at that strategy they quickly bought them out and eliminated the completion. Then in the same stores the prices went through the roof. I spit in this guys face for that alone.

    People who catch on to the fact that GMO food chain is polluted with toxicity and death, now competition is taken away buy this guy who wants more and more money, and then complains that no matter what, he’s keeping profits at a set ratio. (whines they are “small”). What a complete douche bag this guy is. Fine, have your high priced store, but take away the competition as well? To that I say you sir are nothing but a greedy scumbag. Noting conscious about him.

    1. Warty, you got retarded troll right here!

      Whole_Paycheck|8.16.15 @ 1:21PM|#
      “He talks a good game but here’s the reality. Whole foods did everything they could to drive down the stock price of Wild Oats (main competitor) (look it up it’s a fact). Once they were successful at that strategy they quickly bought them out and eliminated the completion. Then in the same stores the prices went through the roof. I spit in this guys face for that alone.”
      No, you ‘look it up’, and please no links to conspiracy crap that you might favor.

      “…People who catch on to the fact that GMO food chain is polluted with toxicity and death, now competition is taken away…”
      Bullshit, luddite.

      “this guy who wants more and more money, and then complains that no matter what, he’s keeping profits at a set ratio. (whines they are “small”).”
      Amazing! Business man wants to make money!

      “What a complete douche bag this guy is. Fine, have your high priced store, but take away the competition as well? To that I say you sir are nothing but a greedy scumbag. Noting conscious about him.”
      Fuck off, idjit.

  35. Imagine my glee when I saw that this was spotlighted in Google News. “Self,” I says to myself, “Self, I bet there’ll be some good retarded trolls, Self.” And what do you know? Self was right.

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  37. Mackey mentions Adam Smith and he discusses his disdain for minimum wage laws. However, Adam Smith believed that the “Wealth of Nations” was its labor force not its business or merchant class and certainly not its aristocracy. He also believed that labor should share in the wealth receiving MORE than a living wage as part of their share of the wealth.

    Adam Smith wrote at length how capitalist should make sure labor received MORE than a living wage but he also knew they couldn’t be trusted to do so. Hence a big part of why we have minimum wage laws. Of course capitalists use their power and influence, As Adam Smith said they would, to keep those minimum wages as low as possible.

    The problem with “Free Market Capitalism” and all other economic and political theories is that to work their “magic” requires that everyone follow the theory’s guidelines or rules. However, human beings are incapable of doing that. Humans a capable of great things and also horrible things along with everything in between.

    I also might note that Adam Smith was most assuredly an intellectual. Capitalists like Mackey forget that they need intellectuals to open the doors to things the rest of us don’t know yet.

  38. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  42. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

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  43. He lives in a delusional world where he doesn’t realize that he IS the new breed of aristocracy. Every system becomes just as corrupt as the one it tries to replace, no matter how sincere people’s intentions are at the start. This is why I criticize capitalism (and other systems as well). I truly believe it’s necessary to have voices of criticism and dissent, and I’m tired of these horribly misguided anti-intellectual sentiments.

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