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Nov. 30, 2020, 3:24 p.m. EST

Capitalism is ‘the greatest thing humanity’s ever done,’ says the multimillionaire running Whole Foods

Shawn Langlois

That’s John Mackey, CEO of Amazon (NAS:AMZN) -owned Whole Foods, talking with the American Enterprise Institute in a recent interview about what he sees as a troubling move toward socialism that’s putting the United States on “the path to poverty.”

Mackey, who is worth an estimated $75 million, places the blame squarely on colleges and progressives for pushing the idea that capitalism is inherently corrupt.

A recent survey from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation backs his claim by showing that support for capitalism among millennials dropped from 50% a year ago to 43%. What’s more, 35% of millennials and 31% of Gen Z support the gradual elimination of the capitalist system in favor of a move toward socialism, according to the VOC figures.

“That is wrong. Capitalism is the greatest thing humanity’s ever done,” Mackey said. “Socialism has been tried 42 times in the last 100 years, and 42 failures, it doesn’t work, it’s the wrong way.”

He said it’s time for business culture to evolve, otherwise the socialists will ultimately take over.

“They talk about trickle-down wealth, but socialism is trickle-up poverty. It just impoverishes everything,” he said. “That’s my fear, that the Marxists and socialists, the academic community is generally hostile to business. It always has been. This is not new.”

He acknowledged, however, that there are useful progressive ideas that should be implemented in order to achieve “conscious” capitalism. “We have to recognize that some of the progressive insights are important and they shouldn’t go away,” Mackey said. “But we can’t throw out capitalism and replace it with socialism. That will be a disaster.”

Watch the full discussion:

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.