Whole Foods CEO offers reasoned, constructive criticism of ObamaCare; leftists boycott. Way to foster dialog, guys. http://ping.fm/ctjkM

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  1. If only that also meant that more Right Wingers would start shopping there and get into organic and natural living. They might add an air of patrician sophistication to the trend, making the rest of us look less like dirty hippies 😉

    1. Ya know, the funny thing is, at least half of the people I know who are seriously into organic, natural, sustainable living would be considered “right-wingers” by a lot of progressives. Not that they think of themselves that way, and they differ a lot from the Republican stereotype.

      I know a lot of cosmopolitan liberals with good intentions; but the people I know who get their hands dirty, have adjusted their whole lives to be sustainable, and who would persevere if the grid went away tomorrow? A good half or more are “conservative” by American standards on issues such as religion, gun control, healthcare, and immigration.

    2. Oh and they don’t shop at Whole Foods; paying those kind of premiums for sustainable food isn’t generally compatible with a holistic sustainable lifestyle.

      P.S. I love that store; I’m just glad I don’t live near one because I’d spend too much money there.

    3. I don’t need to shop there. I grow my own!

  2. One Thing

    I just want to know one thing: where can I get carrot soda?

  3. Well…

    .. I went and read his WSJ piece and found it rather light on the “reasoned, constructive criticism” and rather heavy on some unsubstantiated talking points. For example–in the article he states:
    Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments.
    ( http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html )

    Um.. if I’m not mistaken, the private health care system in the united states forces its citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments also–(see HMO’s)–and we ration health care also.. we just leave that decision up to private corporations who’s incentives are to pay out less money to you than you put in–thus.. they don’t actually want to give you health care…

    This was just one example of his reasoning that I found to be more propaganda than “reasoning”… but there were others.. so I could see how it might upset people…

    I don’t shop at Whole Foods anyway… since I think their general labor policies are rather atrocious.. (http://michaelbluejay.com/misc/wholefoods.html).

    On a more general score, haven’t you always supported the ability of people to exercise their voice through their wallet? Aren’t boycotts generally one of the very libertarian type ways of enacting change? Corporations don’t do the things you like.. don’t buy their products?

    1. Re: Well…

      I thought he made some important points. In particular his experience with Canadian and British employees voting for flexible medical spending accounts is something I haven’t seen brought up anywhere else.

      Yeah, I support boycotts; and people can boycott whatever they want and it’s definitely one important way of exercising our freedom of speech. You’ll note I didn’t accuse anyone of violating anyone else’s rights.

      But I reserve the right to judge some boycotts dumber than others.

      Specifically, I personally think it makes sense to boycott companies who materially support causes I find reprehensible. The recent calls for a Nokia boycott made sense to me because, as far as I understand, they gave the Iranian government help in tracking down dissidents.

      On the other hand, while people have every right to boycott a company because they disagree with something it’s CEO says, I think it’s a stupid and kind of anti-intellectual thing to do.

      And that’s what I was really reacting to – a distinctly anti-intellectual tone in the call to action which I felt was every bit as ignorant as the silly town-hall stunts the GOP has been orchestrating. Particularly the comments that said, in effect, Mackey disagrees with the the party line, therefore he is just another rich enemy of the people who wants the poor to suffer without health insurance.

      If it had been someone else maybe I wouldn’t have cared as much. The thing is, I’ve read thing’s Mackey has written before. I’ve read with particular interest his debate with Milton Friedman, in which he argues for the social and environmental responsibility of big business. As far as I can tell Mackey is one of a rare breed of “elites” that this country needs more of: a genuinely conscientious capitalist who believes that with power comes responsibility, and who is doing his level best to do the right thing with the resources he wields. People can hate on the Dick Cheneys and Sarah Palins of the world all you want, more power to them. But when they counter someone like Mackey, who is pretty clearly doing his best to be part of the solution, with boycotts instead of rational arguments – that’s when I lose all sympathy.

      1. good points…

        .. and I think part of where I come from the whole experience of the Whole Foods in Madison, where workers tried to unionize, and Mackey–who personally came here to fight it–used every tactic in the book–including firing people who he thought might have been instigators–to try and prevent it.

        Thus.. I’m not a big fan of him in that regard. Thus, while Mackey’s column may not be all that incindiary–I noted that he actually had policy points rather than just pure demagogery–I think that there are probably a number of leftists who would look at those comments and not just think: “Oh, these are just some comments of a ceo that we disagree with–no big deal…” but instead see them as yet another example of the worldview of the leader of a particular corporation that has described unions as being the equivalent to “herpes” and who has demonstrated and worked against leftist groups and goals in strongly material ways for many years.

        Is he Cheney?
        Hell no. But just because he is not Darth Vader, doesn’t mean you still don’t want to take action against him when you see him doing stuff that works against your policy goals.

        Thus.. while you see him as a good guy.. a bunch of people probably don’t see him that way..

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