Capitalism involves voluntary exchanges.

Vendors don’t have to supply a company.

Employees don’t have to work for a particular store.

Customers don’t have to shop there.

Each of those people do so because it provides value to them. The business in turn creates value for everybody it deals with, not just investors.

From the book Morality of Capitalism, available free from Students for Liberty here , here is one of many great comments from John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods:

Putting it generally, successful businesses create value. The beautiful thing about capitalism is that it’s ultimately based on voluntary exchange for mutual benefit. Take a business like Whole Foods Market, for example: we create value for our customers through the goods and services we provide for them. They don’t have to trade with us; they do it because they want to, because they think it’s in their interest to do so. So we’re creating value for them. We create value for the people that work for us: our team members. None of them are slaves. They are all voluntarily working because they feel like it’s a job they want to do; the pay is satisfactory; they derive many benefits from working at Whole Foods, psychic as well as monetary. So we’re creating value for them. We’re creating value for our investors, because, well, our market cap’s over $10 billion dollars and we started at nothing! So we’ve created over $10 billion dollars’ worth of value for our investors over the past thirty-plus years. None of our stockholders are forced to own our stock. They all do so voluntarily because they believe we’re creating value for them. We’re creating value for our suppliers, who trade with our business. I’ve watched them over the years, watched their businesses grow, watched them flourish—and that’s all proceeded voluntarily. They help make Whole Foods better and we help make them better. (emphasis added).

Hat tip: Carpe Diem. Just started reading the book.  Think I’ll have a lot more comments from it.


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