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John Mackey, the CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods Market, railed against Americans' growing interest in socialism on the Joe Rogan Experience.


"Capitalism is the greatest thing humanity has ever done," said Mackey, who is worth an estimated $100 million.

The episode launched as a Spotify exclusive Tuesday, as Rogan's podcast episodes are now exclusively available on the music platform.

Mackey attributed American's warming attitudes toward socialism to left-wing academics, whom he said have long been the enemies of entrepreneurs, stemming from a jealousy because "society doesn't value them" as much as business people.

Mackey has made similar statements about socialism and capitalism in other interviews in recent weeks, including with the American Enterprise Institute. He recently published the book "Conscious Leadership"—a follow-up to his previous title, "Conscious Capitalism"—that sparked the conversation on capitalism and socialism with Rogan.

Rogan offered a few thoughts about the topic himself.

"The problem a lot of people have with capitalism is that they attribute capitalism to greed," Rogan said. "I don't think there's anything wrong with contributing to a better community—making healthcare more affordable or free, making education more affordable or free. But human beings need incentives to perform."

A 2019 Pew Research Center survey found half of young adults under 30 expressed positive views of socialism — about an equal number to those who felt positively about capitalism. In another indication, the Democratic Socialists of America membership has jumped from 6,500 to 70,000 over the last six years.

Mackey co-founded Whole Foods Market from Austin in 1980. The grocery chain reportedly employs about 100,000 people, and was acquired by Amazon in 2017.

Whole Foods came under fire last year when Oxfam, an international nonprofit that focuses on global poverty, published a report that ranked Whole Foods as the worst on workers' rights issues among 10 major supermarkets, including Walmart.


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