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Whole Foods CEO: "Socialists are taking over"

Whole Foods co-founder and CEO John Mackey fears that socialism is on the rise in the U.S.

"My concern is that I feel like socialists are taking over," Mackey, who is set to retire from the Amazon-owned grocery chain at the end of the month after 44 years at the company, said in a podcast this week with Reason Magazine. "They're marching through the institutions."

Socialists have "taken over education. 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 — so I'm deeply concerned," he added.

Mackey, who espouses the idea of "conscious capitalism" — which he describes as a management philosophy focused on ethical ways of doing business — also questioned the work ethic of younger Americans.

"I feel like I've become my father. I don't understand the younger generation — they don't seem to want to work," Mackey, 68, told Reason, saying that the enhanced unemployment benefits offered to people who lost jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic had make it hard for Whole Foods to find workers. 

Extra federal jobless aid ended in September 2021. 

Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion. 

After winding up his career at Whole Foods, Mackey plans to launch a chain of restaurants specializing in plant-based foods, along with medical wellness centers, according to Bloomberg

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