Elon Green

Recent Articles

John Mackey and Corporate Responsibility

A year and a half ago, at the Iowa State Fair, Mitt Romney told a protester, "Corporations are people, my friend." This line, ferociously derided by Democrats and weakly defended by Republicans, will likely play a significant part in the historical lore of the most recent Presidential election. The line is, on a pretty basic level, nonsensical—x is not y—and imbues corporate behemoths with a far greater beneficence than they deserve. That said, it has acquired some resonance now as John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods, is essentially making an argument for Romney's position. While on tour for his tome, Conscious Capitalism , Mackey has done a spirited job of trying to put a human face on a brutally impersonal economic system. I'm not sure he succeeds. In Mackey's view, "conscious capitalism" creates value for "stakeholders," i.e., customers, employees, investors, the environment and so on. The stakeholders, which the company describes as "people who are interested and benefit...