Skip to comments.Whole Foods Has Guts
Posted on 09/03/2009 11:37:18 PM PDT by FromLori
There is nothing unusual about Chief Executives Officers of large companies expressing their political opinions in The Wall Street Journal. But recently John Mackey, a founder of Whole Foods Market, made a big splash with his column "The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare." Mr. Mackey said he has a problem with socialism, that our country does not need "a government takeover of our health-care system," and that he favors "moving in the opposite direction - toward less government control and more individual empowerment." He proposed eight reforms which could have come from the free marketer's playbook and pointed out that, while health care is a need, it is not a right.
On cue, left-leaning savants reacted with shock and outrage. How could the leader of a retailer favored by affluent activists for "social justice" and collectivism come out against the communitarian ideal of government-directed health care? And they expressed their displeasure by calling for a boycott of Whole Foods.
Of course, it makes sense that Mr. Mackey's support for self-responsibility and attack on statist meddling would be a stunning insult to "progressive" customers. Look at his track record. For a long time Whole Foods has kowtowed to radical collectivist causes. The company boasts that it sells items certified by Trans Fair USA and Rainforest Alliance as being"Fair Trade" - that is, foods that "politically aware" consumers are willing to pay more for because they are made by Third World workers controlled by leftist organizations.
Does The Wall Street Journal article mean that Mr. Mackey and Whole Foods Market management have seen the light? Are they finished with left wing activism? Will they consistently support the politics of individualism and free markets? Don't bet on it. While that would be a wonderful outcome, it is probably too much to expect. Still, Mr. Mackey's article is sure to have at least three positive effects.
First, it will inspire other business professionals and ordinary citizens to take a stand against ObamaCare - and the philosophy it represents. For too long the left has had a monopoly on "business ethics." Executives who push the communitarian vision, or who are intimidated by progressive pundits, allow "social justice" activists to set the agenda and do all the talking. Those who do not agree are often cowed into silence. Business leaders who are turned off by leftist politics are likely to remain uninvolved and avoid getting into controversies. The Mackey article is a visible, concrete example that it is possible to be courageous, to stand up for principle, and to survive the disfavor of statist partisans. If Mr. Mackey can publicly defy those who want a government take over, so can you. There is something satisfying about putting leftist commentators on notice that they no longer control the discussion.
Second, the fact that the article has generated so much attention will induce some ObamaCare supporters, who have not thought their position through, to think again. Mr. Mackey might have a point; perhaps the government approach is flawed. Maybe the socialized medicine model that consistently works poorly all over the world will likewise be a disaster here. If so, a privately owned and managed health care system is the way to go. People who read the article and reconsider will probably favor the free market. The Wall Street Journal column is not likely to have the opposite effect and coax people into the ObamaCare camp.
Third, and most significant, Mr. Mackey's article comes out on the right side of a fundamental issue. The ObamaCare controversy is not a trivial political disagreement - like Gulliver deciding whether it is better to break an egg at the large end or the small end. It is about the proper role of government - which is to protect individual rights, not to direct people's lives. If you understand the principle you know what government should do in the health care arena - prevent the use of force and fraud. Even if no one is persuaded - even if most people are against you - taking a stand for justice is correct. Mr. Mackey's column shows that Whole Foods has guts.
Time to go shopping at Whole Foods.
Thanks to John Mackey, a real man and the type of business leader this country desperately needs. Bravo!
I have shopped at Whole Foods and before that Wild Oats even though both are the same injun country to a conservative that a Mac store is.
they have great cheeses and meats and their Allegro coffee label is top notch
but...this CEO who is a decent man to his workers ..like I aspire to be...is getting sh!tted on by our enemies therefore our large family have increased our purchaes there markedly.
they’ll be getting at least a hundred a week from us in addition to our usual Kroger-Publix forays
and I tell the freaks that work there that this former hippie-libertarian turned hard right militia sort is helping save their bacon
Spent a ton there Monday night.
But I have to as my wife is gluten intolerant and they have a whole section devoted to that.
It is clean and well organized as a supermarket should be.
And they have pretty darn good food.... Now where's my car keys?
Last week... we drove over 11 miles to find a Whole Foods market. We spent our entire months food budget there.
we made it a point to let the manager know why we were there and offer our support. It turned out that we and about four employees had a huge discussion about who was calling for the boycott, why and how much they appreciated our support. The manager told us that she found our kind words as welcome as out $$$.
Need to start a B-U-Y-cott.
I stepped into Whole Foods for the first time in 2 years last week and shopped.
I amde an effort to go over to the service desk and compliment the company’s CEO.
I told the employee is was the only reason I was in there and will return.
The guy looked amazed when I left the counter. Guess he thought people like me were just mean and evil and would never step foot into a liberal grocery store.
The employee base is heavily tattooed, alternative, and "punk".
I don't like that folks like that around my food. The guy bagging my groceries had a thing in his ear reminiscent of an amazonian lip disc, and I could have fit my hand through the hole. Another yellow flag was that he was a white guy with dredlocks, and in my experience growing up in CA, nothing good can ever come from that. It was just a bit too alternative for me. The customers are also rude flaming liberal tools.
That said, their bin aisle is awesome!
Need to start a B-U-Y-cott.
Last Tues. was supposed to be the Buycott.
We went and had a similar experience with management. They were very appreciative.
Their goods are first rate...and more expensive. The seafood is wild caught, didn't see any 'Farm-raised in China' shrimp.
The parking lot and store was packed.
Not the one I recently patronized. I found the employees to be a range of ages and styles, and the common denominator was that they were ALL very polite and very helpful.
Ditto on the bin aisle, though - BF said he wished he had a camera to capture the look on my face when we turned the corner to that section of the store, LOL...