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  • Frank Byrd, CFA

Conscious Capitalism

Amen of the Week

“Before I cofounded Whole Foods Market, I attended two universities … I only took classes I was interested in … I never took a single business class … (T)he progressive political philosophy I believed in had taught me that both business and capitalism were fundamentally based on greed, selfishness, and exploitation … of consumers, workers, society, and the environment for the goal of maximizing profits… In contrast to evil corporations, I believed that nonprofit organizations and government were “good,” because they altruistically worked for the public interest, not for profit….

Becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business completely changed my life. Almost everything I had believed about business was proven to be wrong. The most important thing I learned in my first year … was that business isn’t based on exploitation or coercion at all. Instead, I discovered that business is based on cooperation and voluntary exchange. People trade voluntarily for mutual gain. No one is forced to trade with a business. Customers have competitive alternatives in the marketplace, team members have competitive alternatives for their labor, investors have numerous alternatives to invest their capital, and suppliers have plenty of alternative customers for their products and services. Investors, labor, management, suppliers – they all need to cooperate to create value for customers. If they do, … business is not a zero-sum game with a winner and loser. It is a win, win, win, win game ...”

- John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods Conscious Capitalism (2013)

Yours in the Field,

Frank Byrd, CFA


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