The Top Libertarians in Business Today
Although the Libertarian Party never seems to climb out of the single digits in the polls, libertarians have a surprising influence in the business world and are well represented in a variety of sectors.
Believe it or not, there's much more to libertarians besides Ayn Rand and Ron Paul. Benzinga took a look at the top libertarians in business today:
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
The Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) head, notable for his $2.5 million contribution to defend Washington state's gay marriage law in 2012, calls himself a libertarian. (Photo: Flickr // jervetson).
Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com
The Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) head revealed his support for Occupy Wall Street back in 2011, a surprise for some, as Byrne described himself as a libertarian who was high on the ideas of Milton Friedman. "I think there's a difference between Wall Street and capitalism,” Byrne said. “I'm good with capitalism. I have a lot of trouble with Wall Street." He went on by noting that Wall Street was not allowing the government to properly regulate the financial sector. (Photo: The Young Turks).
Marc Faber, Head of Marc Faber Limited
The Swiss investor, known for his contrarian investing views, frequently preaches a free market ideology and is known for his faith in hard money. In 2008, he supported Ron Paul for president. (Photo: from The Bubble // YouTube).
David and Charles Koch, Executive Vice President and CEO of Koch Industries
Although the Koch's energy interests most often align with conservative causes, some may be surprised to know that there are quite socially liberal. They have endorsed same-sex marriage, supported causes to legalize marijuana and want an end to the Patriot Act, as well as military overreach. For several years, the Koch brothers sat on the board of directors for the libertarian Cato Institute, co-founded by Charles. (Photo: YouTube).
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Inc.
Mackey may have founded liberals' favorite destination for fresh and organic foods, but he's also sparked their ire with his vehement opposition to President Obama's health care overhaul. On several occasions, the founder of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) has labeled himself a libertarian. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist
In 2009, the Craigslist founder labeled himself a "libertarian pragmatist." (Photo: YouTube).
Erik Prince, CEO of Academi (formerly known as Xe, Blackwater)
The head of the largest private military force in the world told told Vanity Fair he was a libertarian in 2010. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor
The Silicon Valley head of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: CY) is an adamant defender of free market capitalism, calling himself a libertarian. (Photo: YouTube)
Jim Rogers, CEO of Rogers Holdings Inc.
Rogers made his fortune co-founding the Quantum Fund with another billionaire -- known progressive George Soros. Now the head of Rogers Holdings, he is an adherent of the Austrian School of Economics and is a self-described libertarian. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital
Schiff is a renowned libertarian investor, known for predicting the housing market crash of 2007 years in advance. He supported Ron Paul's 2008 and 2012 runs for president. (Photo: YouTube).
PayPal founder and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) angel investor Peter Thiel is a hard-line libertarian, even investing in the ultimate libertarian fantasy -- a project consisting of a little self-governing nations in the middle of the sea outside US jurisdiction, headed up by the Seasteading Institute. (Photo: Flickr // david.orban)
Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
Wales cites libertarian icon Friedrich Hayek's "The Use of Knowledge in Society" as his blueprint for the creation of Wikipedia. In separate interviews, Wales has referred to himself a libertarian with a few objections. The Wikipedia founder's world view resides in the objectivist wing of libertarianism, a philosophy based off the works of Ayn Rand. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
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