Retiring Whole Foods Founder Says You’re All a Bunch of Lazy Socialists

After 44 years running your friendly, left-feeling grocery chain, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey says hardcore liberals will ruin everything

Whole Foods co-founder and CEO John Mackey may run a grocery empire that fits smugly into the most liberal American bastions with its green feelings and heirloom tomatoes, but the boss is retiring after 44 years—and has he’s got a lot of problems with you people.

“My concern is that I feel like socialists are taking over,” Mackey, 68, who’s getting out of the Amazon-owned business on September 1, said in a podcast this week with libertarian magazine Reason, CBS News reports. “They’re marching through the institutions.”

The organic produce tyrant continued, “They’re taking over everything. It looks like they’ve taken over a lot of the corporations. It looks like they’ve taken over the military. And it’s just continuing. You know, I’m a capitalist at heart, and I believe in liberty and capitalism.”

Liberty and capitalism, said the outgoing grocer, “are my twin values. And I feel like, you know, with the way freedom of speech is today, the movement on gun control, a lot of the liberties that I’ve taken for granted most of my life, I think, are under threat.”

Mackey also griped that all those unemployment benefits paid to keep the country sputtering along on at least one engine through a once-in-a-century pandemic really curtailed his ability to hire workers at garbage wages.

“A lot of people were making as much money, if not more money, not working at all,” he said, perhaps missing the message about the wages he offered during and following a national crisis. “And so guess what? They chose not to come back to work. They got used to it.”

Mackey was also not shy in laying the blame for this vast rejection of his company’s slightly-above-minimum-wage career paths.

“Younger people aren’t quick to work because they want meaningful work,” he told Reason. “You can’t expect to start with meaningful work. You’re going to have to earn it over time.”

The grocery mogul says he’s had these feeling weighing on him for a long, long time but explained, “I have muzzled myself ever since 2009,” referring to an op-ed he wrote for the Wall Street Journal 13 years ago in which he bashed Obamacare according to Insider. The interview sparked backlash and a boycott on Whole Foods.

“My board basically shut me down,” Mackey said. “It’s like a father. They started attacking the child, and I was intimidated enough to shut up.”

The grand green grocer seems to understand that his words don’t quite match his brand’s image. But, he explains, “I feel like I’ve become my father. I don’t understand the younger generation—they don’t seem to want to work.”

Mackey reiterated that he is intimidated no more. When his retirement goes into full effect, he promises that we’ll all be hearing from him again and again:

“I was telling my leadership team, ‘Pretty soon, you’re going to be hearing about ‘crazy John’ who’s no longer muzzled, and you’re going to have to say, ‘We can’t stop John from talking any longer.'”

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