John Mackey is co-founder of Whole Foods, which is all about locally sourced this and organic that and fair-trade whatever. The grocery chain started in 1980, and as CEO he carefully studies core customers – snobs willing to pay higher prices (hence the chain’s nickname, “Whole Paycheck.”)

Most of the world assumes Mr. Mackey would also be a progressive, but the record disagrees. He has been quoted as opposing Obamacare, a higher minimum wage and oppressive regulation by the government.

In an interview with Nick Gillespie of Reason magazine, Mr. Mackey aired his pro-capitalism views. His explanation of what’s oozing from college faculties rings true.

“Intellectuals have always disdained commerce. That is something that tradesmen did – people that were in a lower class. Minorities oftentimes did it, like you had the Jews in the West. And when they became wealthy and successful and rose, then they were envied, they were persecuted and their wealth confiscated, and many times they were run out of country after country. Same thing happened with the Chinese in the East. They were great businesspeople as well.”

Later Mr. Mackey took on the contempt that academia seems to have for capitalism.

“If you live in a more business-oriented society, like the United States has been, then you have these businesspeople, who [the intellectuals] don’t judge to be very intelligent or well-educated, having lots of money – and they begin to buy political power with it, and they rise in the social hierarchy. … I don’t think [the intellectuals] like that.”

Mr. Mackey’s observations can’t be expected to penetrate the calcified brains of business school professors. Students are another story.

As he puts it: “Social progress is made one funeral at a time. Young people are eager for these ideas.”

The whole interview: http://tinyurl.com/ouf2axo

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