Mormon views of wealth, welfare and the economy

David Neeleman launched JetBlue in February 1999 with his Mormon missionary experience in Brazil still vivid in his mind. Having seen the extreme poverty and rigid class distinctions in that country, Neeleman built his business model instead on what he viewed as Mormon egalitarianism. No executive parking places or dining rooms. No first-class section on his planes. A strong ethos of managers and employees working side by side.

“I abhor people who think they’re better because they have more money,” he says in a phone interview from his home in Connecticut. “That’s despicable.”

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