Monday, August 17, 2009

John Mackey is my Hero - UDPATE

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, has created quite an uproar on the left with an editorial he wrote that was edited and published by the Wall Street Journal. He has been vilified and personally attacked by the left since his call for for free market reforms of health care, but what else would you expect from the left except the politics of personal destruction (see rule 12).

For those of you not familiar with Whole Foods, it operates a chain of natural and organic foods supermarkets. As you might guess the stereotypical shopper is an urban lefty who assuages his or her guilt over participating in industrial society by buying organic. From a DailyKook article:

A lot of progressives, vegetarians, professional and amateur athletes, and others who care so much about the environment and what they eat that they’re still willing to shell out three bucks for an organic orange, even in the midst of the worst recession in sixty years.
As you might imagine, these lefty types think that the power of their indignation will drive Whole Foods to either get Mackey to change his position or the board to fire him as CEO. Fat chance.

Here is a summary of what he said, which is as good a summary of the free market position on health care as I have seen. I am nominating for inclusion in the Freedom Coalition Agenda as our Health Care Plank:

  1. "Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts."
  2. "Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits."
  3. Allow competition across state lines.
  4. "Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover."
  5. "Enact tort reform."
  6. "Make costs transparent."
  7. "Enact medicare reform."
  8. Revise tax law to make it easier to donate to those without insurance.

So now that the left is calling for a boycott, I would love to see its long term effect. My bold prediction is that nothing will come of this, because recycled organic self-righteousness has its economic limits. The lefties and others may stay away for a short while, but will come back because Mr. Mackey provides them the product they want at competitive price.

I think the leftists know this in their hearts. This is why they love government and hate capitalism. They know they can't even themselves resist the allure of better products at lower prices, but it runs counter to their desire to tell everyone else what's good for them (like eating your organic veggies.) So they want government to protect them from their own choices and in the process they hamstring the choices of others.


I couldn't resist checking out one of the calls for a Whole Foods boycott at DailyKooks. I also couldn't resist leaving this comment:

Some people have suggested shopping at Trader Joe's, but don't they carry Israeli products? Wouldn't that contribute to Palestinian oppression? Another alternative is Henry's, but they are always being picketed by the Grocer's union. This makes it really difficult to eat with a clear social conscience. I'd plant a garden in my back yard for fresh vegetables, but my landscaping service would charge me too much extra and I can barely communicate with their employees. I am afraid they'd ruin a vegetable garden. Any suggestions?


  1. How does that make any sense at all. They will boycott Whole Foods, thus be complicit along with the rest of us unwashed in the destruction of the planet all because this guy does not share their views on healthcare reform.

    The L.A. Times resident socialist, Steve Lopez was also espousing similiar views to Mackey regarding healthcare. There's something strange going on.

  2. Whole Foods has no replacement in the marketplace. Good luck finding another place to buy your organic arugula, dummies.

  3. I think he missed one of simplest and easiest reforms. Simply lower our deductable for out of pocket medical expenses. Zero bereaucracy.

  4. eriehm,
    Thanks, that makes sense. Part of my salary doesn't get taxed and goes into a flexible spending account that I can only spend on health care. I have a pretty good plan, so I only spend it on vision, dental and over the counter drugs and the occasional non-covered medical device. Paying no taxes for those items is a big help, but I am still frugal with the money and look for bargains to stretch those dollars.

  5. *grin* KT said what I was thinking-- there isn't an equivalent of Whole Foods.

    Hehe...I wouldn't exactly cry a river if a bunch of organic farms had to start being responsible neighbors to make ends meet, rather than being havens for parasites and diseases while using way more sprays (don't care if they're "certified organic" sprays or not...and I don't want to think of the manpower and carbon-output from applying the ineffective sprays....)