42 Comments

Comments

Ray Paradise says ...
John, Thanks for all your hard work! I was wondering if you've read Thomas Szasz at all? If not, I recommend you check out his Libertarian work, especially "The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement:" Thanks, Ray raymondjparadise@hotmail.com
08/23/2006 2:52:27 PM CDT
shredder says ...
Becoming an entrepreneur or simply a business man completely changed my life. Everything I believed about business was proven to be wrong.Being like this we all can do this battle.
08/26/2006 12:22:07 AM CDT
Sean McGuire says ...
I agree with many of your points, however I do not agree that environmental destruction has been exaggerated. I've seen noticeable environment change just in the last 33 years, to the point that UV exposure is worse than ever (thanks ozone hole!), air quality is noticably worse, especially thanks to pollution from Mexico and largely unregulated industry everywhere, and rampant, not sensible, environmentally sustainable, development is destroying quality of life in Austin and elsewhere. I know that you are not advocating complete disregard for the environment, but too many times greed is the primary consideration when it comes to real estate development. Economic pressures overshadow environmental concerns until it's too late. Can industry actually be good for the environment? The social environment yes, the actual environment, rarely. Only if the product and every part of the process of manufacturing it lessens rather than increases pollution. Organic food and farmed goods are one of the best products- now if we can just reduce packaging waste and run all of our trucks on biodiesel or pure vegetable oil. Check out ovonics.com for more environmentally friendly ideas. Thank you, and keep up the good fight. Sincerely, Sean McGuire
09/29/2006 2:07:44 PM CDT
Angela T says ...
I totally agree with the idea that the way to freedom is through economics. Therefore, it greatly disappoints me that Whole Foods removed Lake Victoria Perch from the seafood counter, based on what I understand to be misguided attempt to keep the region from moving to a cash economy. The reports I have read indicate that an overwhelming majority of the natives in that region believe the commercial fisheries and the economic development they bring to be positive. Plus, to be totally honest here - I really like the fish. :) Please reconsider the decision.
10/10/2006 2:01:33 PM CDT
smartboard says ...
Angela! you are right regarding the point "Economics" as a source of freedom but commercial fisheries are indeed adding much mess to the ecosystem of surroundings so I would ask you to reconsider your love for commericial fisheries.
10/16/2006 2:18:55 AM CDT
Larry Morse says ...
Hi John. My name is Larry Morse, and I work for WFM in Ft. Lauderdale. I read your "World View" and I agree with what you`re saying. I just don`t think everyone who works with us feels the same. I think most are caught up in the "Corporate Way" because of how big the company is. I run my day to day life similar to what you describe, and am wondering if our philosophy can actually work on the level I believe could change everything. Thank you sincerely,a very happy Team Member. PS: please open more stores in Charleston, S.C.
10/25/2006 7:22:00 PM CDT
steven millard says ...
I would like to comment that the privatization of the school system, lofty an ideal as it is, is a flawed ideal. The public school system was founded so that all children might receive an education regardless of economic background. Sadly, some parents are not in a position to make just or sound decisions when it comes to their economic well being and for the education of their children. A privatized school system would do nothing more than ensure that the children with the most affluent parents will get the best education. We would all like to drive the safest car on the road, but not all of us are in a position to afford that safety. Does that make us any less a parent than the parent that can afford the safest car on the road?
11/08/2006 2:25:58 PM CST
Tacker says ...
As the slavery example illustrates, freedom – economic, political and civil – is an end in itself, not a means to an end. We would abhor slavery even if it were a more productive economic system. But economic freedom is also an indispensable means of achieving other freedoms. Milton Friedman cites the case of British citizens who could not spend a vacation in the United States after World War II because of exchange controls. Their freedom was no less restricted than that of US citizens unable to visit the Soviet Union because of their political views. While the first restriction was ostensibly an economic limitation on freedom and the other a political limitation, the practical results were essentially the same.
11/22/2006 4:33:45 AM CST
Jo says ...
I have just one thing to say: No matter what philosophy you ascribe to this is one basic truth: THE MORE YOU HAVE, THE LESS YOU ARE. Wisdom never came from a rich man.
12/06/2006 3:30:33 PM CST
Ken Dryden says ...
I want to know more about the freedom movement. I have called myself a libertarian for some time to distance myself from the Republican and Democratic parties and because from what little I understood, it is closest to the original ideas in the Constitution.
12/07/2006 8:24:31 AM CST
Scott Brison says ...
I know that you are not advocating complete disregard for the environment, but too many times greed is the primary consideration when it comes to real estate development. Economic pressures overshadow environmental concerns until it's too late. Can industry actually be good for the environment? The social environment yes, the actual environment, rarely.
12/13/2006 4:02:10 AM CST
poorboy says ...
I was very impressed with your monolouge (not speech), or more like a whimsical political diatribe. I do not shop at WFM because as you said it yourself..." exploiting our customers with high prices and our employees with lower wages. The investors weren't making a profit and we had no money to donate". Did you take a page from the Walmart playbook? The more things change the more they stay the same. Live left live free.
03/04/2007 3:07:53 PM CST
li an says ...
I reprint John Mackey's concluding paragraph in the section on environmental sustainability here: "Maintaining environmental sustainability is in the collective best interest of everyone. No one will argue that premise. The real question is, "What are the best ways to do it?" What are the trade-offs we need to make? When the freedom movement ignores the issue of environmental sustainability, the Left will dominate the discussion of the issues. Remember that the Left's goal remains to either destroy or cripple capitalism. The freedom movement must embrace the ideal of environmental sustainability, but must bring to the debate its commitment to property rights, markets and proper incentives to effectively resist the inevitable Leftist arguments for more bureaucratic controls and regulations." May I paraphrase? Here he is saying: The environment is in trouble, it is deteriorating, hence capitalist economic activity needs to change such that the environment stops deteriorating (further) and can still be maintained and sustained at a static homeostasis at least as regards it getting worse. Sustainability has this meaning. His opening paragraph on this topic posits that the ongoing deterioration of the environment is not as bad as some people say it is, and though this would have to be a value judgment, and he anticipates an audience that would be convinced by him because he tells them of someone wrote a book to that effect, though we (the audience members) know there are a lot of scientific studies which consistently provide the information Mackey- paid for by industries which pollute- call 'doom and gloom' as if to pooh-pooh it. But contrary to this not so bad idea of the prospects for the earth's environment, Mackey finds his (so-called?) "freedom movement" to be remiss if it does not jump on the bandwagon and make the cause of "environmental sustainability" its own with its own placards, which would read: NO to regulations that prohibit pollution and environmental degradation! NO to environmental protection regulations telling private enterprises what they can and cannot do to the environment! NO to these things because they aim to cripple or destroy capitalism! NO to the Left, they only want to destroy or cripple capitalism; they use environmental regulations and environmental issues for this ulterior motive! REJECT ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION THAT IS BASED ON DOOM AND GLOOM PROJECTIONS, IT IS THE ENEMIES OF CAPITALISM WHO ARE AT WORK! So, we see that the freedom movement, which wants free enterprise, free markets and free trade wants to be free from governmental regulations designed for the purpose of environmental protection. The freedom movement is so-called to be a movement, like a popular movement, but in essence it is a defensive movement by those members of the business world who are sensitive to that they lose money, essentially, due to environmental regulations. So, as they are capitalist, in that they generate capital which they can access to create more wealth, by investment in expanding their business, cornering more resources, etc., they see anything that hampers opportunities that is man-made, to be men against capitalism (men/women whatever). But this is because they are against being hampered, not that protection of the environment is against capitalism or business! Quite to the contrary, sustainable alternatives are seen by those who are the best educated and infromed on environmental issues to be hopeful in that clearly they represent a whole new area for business development just begging for support and capital investment. Why is that those who have that capital resist making these kinds of choices as they invest and reinvest profit for the purpose of creating future wealth producing economic pipelines? They recuse themselves, saying that market forces are their God, and the demand is too small. The profit margins remain good on the polluting pipelines, so they want them to continue, and say it is that force beyond their power and control which demands that these polluting ways must continue on some more and that date projected for doom is farther away than the doom and gloomers say, so therefore we can trade off and be UN-sustainable for a longer period of time, be far less proactive than those regulations would enforce us to be. For what, John Mackey, do you mean beyond the vague question taking it all back to the drawing board as if that is where we are at this juncture in time, just arriving NOW at the drawing board? What trade offs (in other words, where shall a profit taking opportunity be forsaken in the interest of envirnmental preservation, and where shall preservation of a habitat or an ecosystem, or the control of the human generated carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere be forsaken in the interest of allowing the generation of profits for certain companies and industries (at the expense, as well, of the profitability and growth of the clean-alternatives industries? The question is phrased because it says as its premise that regulations are rejected by the "freedom" movement, and the (said)"movement" of these profiteering top echelon big business capitalists (exclusive of younger capitalists who want to grow alternative products and services industries to compete with the older dirtier and hence outdated but well financed ones)creates a brand new premise based on its ad campaign to roll back the dialog and make it so that in the conversation of environmental protection the level we'll ultimately be willing to sustain will be much more deteriorated than now before WE think its called for, hence the new premise that NOW you can introduce the idea that forsaking, in a trade off, environmental protection is OK! And yet, I agree, there is no reason at all why the environment should be associated only with the Left. Conservative Christians seeing the horrific degradation of the environment already here before us on our earth, have made the environment their issue, as a duty as Christians and devout followers of the Bible. I doubt they think, however that trading off is the thing to do. As for What to do or How to do it, as John asks in the cited paragraph of his, WHAT to do is fully researched. The question is WHO will do it. Will business regulate itself? Will it do things that cost it money or convenience? Will it invest in things that need to sait a few fiscal quarterly reports before they pay off? The answer is NO they won't! You are really very unconvincing, John Mackey, as a source of helpful answers to our environmental OR food safety problems. Its rather scary that you use the issues to make enemies of those who are active on behalf of these issues, and weaken their voice, accuse it of being against capitalism even if big business and large above-the-law corporations continue to try to write themselves in AS the government controlling our future and obliterating the democratically elected and sanctioned government powers on behalf of the common good, not the good of the few. Your idea, for example that education should be privatized is absurd, for this means it is those with large capital who can get into a whole new industry (they and only they)as to be big is requisite to success (just as Whole Foods vs. the old struggling Safer Way grocery store showed and convinced you)but when you make it for profit, it cost more than just its cost, to the consumer, who needs to pay over and above so you'll have your profit, and as market forces will operate, you'll get what you pay for (actually a problem we have already as local districts pay for their own schools) so the rich will get the best and the poor will get a very bad education "product". Their children will not be equal to rich children who were able to get a top education. So why would you want to do such a thing? To make MONEY!! You guys are so transparent! But WHY are you so married to this idea of privatizing absolutley everything, and hamstringing government, and calling it freedom, when democracy is what freedom is because we have a VOTE, but we cannot vote for YOU businessmen, you do what you want! I am forced to buy from among your monopolies or go without (my only vote is my wallet's "ballots"). I really wish John Mackey would address every point and do so meticulously, with no tangents, follow MY thought on this one paragraph, and I do not want to be referred to any books others wrote, he's got to stand and be counted on all these points alone by himself, and leave nothing out of all the analysis I have made.
03/06/2007 8:11:14 PM CST
Interested Reader says ...
Li An ~ If it were possible to follow your point in this long and rambling rant, perhaps Mr. Mackey would address it. However, you just come across as someone who likes to hear themself talk. I think you need to re-read his points and perhaps broaden your horizon.
04/05/2007 5:43:05 PM CDT
Jan Rapoport says ...
I agree with your philosophy and ideals. I am working towards the same end. I will go to flow and find out all the wonderful possibilities there. Thank you John Mackey for all you are and all you do. I am greatly inspired by your committment to everyone in the world...where everyone can be happy and free. Rave on!
05/23/2007 6:36:59 PM CDT
Anne Chai says ...
As a fellow Libertarian, I wholeheartedly agree. It's a shame that many colleges don't make Hayek, Milton, Strauss and Rand required reading at the undergrad level. I've discovered that an open-exchange of ideas (ALL ideas)and healthy debates are sadly lacking in our so-called institutions of higher learning. Thanks again for sharing.
06/12/2007 1:48:54 PM CDT
Rick Gaber says ...
Consider the possibility that you've been trapped in the same strait-jacket of the "definition of selfishness" package deal. To heal this sore I have proposed it be pointed out that THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF SELFISHNESS: THE GOOD KIND AND THE BAD KIND. The bad kind, of course, is taking advantage of unwilling others. THE GOOD KIND IS TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FIRST, FOREMOST, AND TO THE DEGREE YOU YOURSELF DEEM PROPER -- AS WELL AS THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Once people consider that, I've found the term "selfish" has lost its pejorative connotations forever for them. "The meaning ascribed in popular usage to the word 'selfishness' is not merely wrong: it represents a devastating intellectual 'package-deal,' which is responsible, more than any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind." -- Ayn Rand, here: http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201/modules/texts/text%201/rand.html The BEST way to meet this challenge is to FACE IT HEAD ON -- NOT to run away from it, Mr. Mackey.
06/12/2007 8:34:26 PM CDT

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