During an interview with the libertarian Reason magazine, Mackey described himself as a “capitalist at heart” and said he’s disturbed that basic rights such as the right to bear arms and freedom of speech are “under threat” from leftists.
“They’re marching through the institutions,” he said. “They’re … taking 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.”
Mackey said his “twin values” are “liberty and capitalism.”
“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,” he explained.
The leftist sentiment in the country is especially noticeable in the younger generation, Mackey said, pointing out that many of his company’s younger employees “don’t seem to want to work.”
He blamed the federal government for bolstering unemployment benefits during the pandemic, and argued the employment system hasn’t been the same since.
“A lot of people were making as much money, if not more money, not working at all. And so guess what? They chose not to come back to work. They got used to it,” he said.
Mackey also weighed in on the abortion debate, saying he supports the Supreme Court’s decision returning the issue back to state legislatures.
“Where I stand on it is kinda woman’s right to choose until we have a viable fetus that can live,” he said.
“At some point it becomes murder, but not in the first trimester because that’s not viable,” he added. “This is the perfect example of something that democracy should decide, not the Supreme Court. They acted as legislators.”
The longtime CEO plans to step down from the company at the end of August to focus on a new company, Health America LLC. He quipped that leaving Whole Foods will allow him to weigh in on political issues more regularly.
“Pretty soon, you’re gonna hear about ‘Crazy John’ who’s no longer muzzled,” he said.