Saturday, November 21, 2009

Whole Foods Founder's Economics Reading List

During a Reason TV interview Whole Foods entrepreneur John Mackey, when asked to list his libertarian influences, includes Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises.

Interviewer Gillespie then asks, “How did you come across Mises? Because he’s, even today, among a lot of libertarians, he’s fairly obscure. Do you remember how you kind of stumbled across him?

Mackey: “In a lot of ways I think he’s the one that had the biggest impact on me. I loved his work. I just thought he was brilliant when I read him.”

Mackey then says his “awakening” came from reading a lot of libertarian books “voraciously.” He singles out Mises' books Socialism and Human Action as excellent, and credits Mises for explaining how markets work. He goes on:

“Also, I don’t think von Mises and Hayek and the other Austrian economists have gotten enough credit for…their theory of the business cycle. I really do think we are experiencing…what Austrian business cycle predicts. If you print a lot of money and you send it through the economy you’ll have certain bubbles and those create market distortions and if the bubble’s big enough and it goes on long enough when it pops, it creates great harm in the society. I think that’s what we’re living through right now. That kind of bubble in the stock market and the real estate market.”


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