Retail Politics

First off, don’t know why, but Pinky’s Gravalicious post consistently generates the most comment spam for this site.  It must be linked somewhere out there on the edge of the internets where the spambots run wild and free, but hell if I can find it.

What’s that you say, gentle reader?  “Who gives a hot shit?”

That’s fine, I have more.  Turns out that the CEO of Whole Foods, the upscale grocery chain that You’re Not Good Enough to shop in, is a major league libertarian douche bag.  His offense?  Penning an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal deriding the health care reform bills that are moving through Congress.

While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment.

So this guy, John Mackey, goes on to list several eminently reasonable-sounding steps that should be taken instead.  Some are actually good (repeal state laws that forbid competition across state lines – though I don’t even want to know how wildly difficult that would be to achieve), others just plain suck (high deductible plans that force employees to pay the first $2500 of all annual medical bills out of pocket – so it will be spent more carefully!  How much do his baggers make anyway?).  I won’t bother breaking it all down.  Here are the salient points to take away:

  • Though he doesn’t spell it out explicitly in the article, dude opposes employee mandates and the public option.  Without either one of those, there is no real healthcare reform.
  • Where was this piece six months ago?  The healthcare reform bills are already written (save for one). This article should be regarded as the proverbial turd in the punchbowl.  He’s trying to scuttle reform, for which we only get one chance every 20 years.
  • Whole Foods Market, for all its organic over-priced pretension, presumably benefits from some perceived hippie chic among progressives, with whom Mackey is no-doubt trying to leverage his obstructionist arguments.  Man, fuck your arugula!
  • The Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page is a cesspool of rabid right-wing corporate opportunism.  You better write something special if you want to overcome that shame.
  • This is not the first time Mackey has dabbled in right-wing politics.  He’s a major opponent of the pending Employee Free Choice Act legislation, and is a notorious opponent of unions, having compared them to herpes.

Getting back to the article, Mackey lures in the reader with his alterna-plan, then goes on a rant about our basic “rights” as Americans:

Many promoters of health-care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care—to equal access to doctors, medicines and hospitals. While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?

Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges. A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That’s because there isn’t any. This “right” has never existed in America.

Put him in the pork products and mark it for sale, because this swine is starting to stink!  And it smells like… BOYCOTT!  (7200 Facebook members when I last checked, how bout it, Jimmy?)  We spend a fair amount of money at Whole Foods, if only because it’s so close to our house, but honestly, they can suck it for all I care.  Just STFU and sell your fish oils for crying out loud!

For those like me who’ll need a new source for the elusive bag of organic potatoestristero provides links to an organic store locator, as well as the Eat Well Guide, where you can look up farmer’s markets, restaurants, etc.

On a related note, here’s Stephen Colbert on the power of the American consumer.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Glenn-Harried Glenn-Lost
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Meryl Streep

UPDATE: Dueling Op-Eds!  Here’s Obama with the pro-reform argument in the NY Times.

  • M.Uila

    More on corporate sponsors… this is interesting

  • Madman

    What a difference reading/hearing Obama on healtcare, one of his principal issues, instead of trying to mop up the shitpiles left by Cheney/Bush.


  • Jimmy Reefercake

    whole foods is a hangout for elitists aholes. friggin mahi mahi eating motherfers!!

  • Pinko

    Yeah if you think this guy Mackey is the jolly green giant bringing bountiful, organic harvest to the masses, think again. He’s a ruthless, unapologetic, capitalist. I remember a couple of years ago he was involved in a controversy in their takeover bid for Wild Oats for I believe trying to bash Wild Oats and bring down their stock price. Here is the article. I’m sure Bush’s FTC didn’t do much to get in the way though. I must plead guilty to supporting their bottom line….the meats and produce are just to hard to resist. But for many people the cost is prohibitive….just like our health care system. So it makes sense that Mackey would write that OpEd. But to their credit, they treat their employees well and have phased out the plastic bags. And to see the downtrodden workers (those that haven’t been replaced by the self checkout robots) at the local supah-wicked-friggin’-huge-mart makes me appreciate how Whole Foods treat their own.

    I think Trader Joes is a far cooler store though and I try to do more and more of my shopping there instead. They have some great prepared AFFORDABLE foods. You can get non-petroleum based soaps and detergents for reasonable prices too (unlike WF). Trader Joes is big on the hemp as well (which reminds me, I think we need a post on the reefer’s cousin). Their hemp protein shake is full of Omegas and the hemp soap smells great! Which means that I smell great!

    We bought a share the past two summers at our local organic farm and I highly recommend it to others. We also have to contribute a total of 6 hrs of gardening. Excellent produce and those living in a warmer climate could reap the benefits year round.

  • Pinko

    Oops, didn’t see the link to the Daily Kos post. I guess currently the employees seem happy and the stores don’t seem understaffed.

  • M.Uila

    I have no beef with WF employees. They generally manage to salvage the shopping experience. The customers on the other hand are some rude, miserable bitches.

    We did the farm share a couple years ago. It’s a good deal, but we just couldn’t eat that many vegetables, every week they just kept coming, piles of food rotting in the fridge, dear god MAKE IT STOP

  • M.Uila

    Nice, Glenn Beck continues to feel the pinch

    Eight more Glenn Beck advertisers, including Wal-Mart – the world’s largest retailer – have confirmed to that they pulled their ads from the controversial Fox News Channel broadcaster’s eponymous show. Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank (a unit of GMAC Financial Services), Best Buy, Broadview Security, CVS, Re-Bath, Travelocity and Wal-Mart join the dozen other companies who previously distanced themselves from Beck.

    Shit, Walmart is the target demographic too.