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This is my mom's account that I am writing in. I am thirteen years old, and this is my first diary and so PLEASE don't be mean in your comments! I would really appreciate some thoughtful responses and I am open to changing my views, but this is where I stand today.

My mom shared with me tremayne's diary about how he believes that a boycott of Whole Foods would be a good thing that might help spur real health care reform. I am also a big supporter of the public option, but I do not support a boycott of Whole Foods.

We have two Whole Foods near us, maybe with in a twenty minute drive from one to the other. Our family are not regular Whole Food's customers because of their EXTREMELY high prices, but we do stop into their store occasionally to buy some of their nice produce, and because I am a vegetarian, to try some of their interesting vegetarian options. I like their store, and I think they do a good job supplying our community with good produce, and I support their green options.

I was very surprised to hear that the CEO of Whole Food does not support the public option and had fairly conservative, though not loony, views on health care. Whole Foods seems like the type of place progressive people would run, not a libertarian. However I support Mr. John Mackey in putting his views out there, even if it might not have been a very good business move. People seemed to react very strongly to Mr. Mackey's Op Ed, and were immediately ready to get down to business and boycott Whole Foods Market because of Mr. Mackey's views.

What I think people have not stopped to think about is that Mr. Macky is the co-founder of Whole Foods and has helped bring you the grocery store that so many people love. To me, it does not seem right try to get him to resign because of his views on health care, rather than his views on the groceries he brings you. My mom agrees with the boycott and tells me that his way of thinking will have a big effect on the store, and so it does. Well then how come so many progressives love his stores?

It does not seem right to "fire" the CEO of a GROCERY store because of his views on health care. If I worked hard and became the CEO of a company with mostly republican customers, and I expressed my views, it would not seem right to give me the boot, or try to cut down on my business.

Most progressives would agree that religion should not be a part of politics. You could also say that politics should not be a part of business to a point. It is true if someone is treating their employees badly, or is not an Eco-friendly company, then it is not a good idea to support that company. But what if you were perfectly happy with the company until you found out the CEO's views on health care? I don't think its right to turn your back on the store because of something unrelated to the store itself. We would not agree with a Christian owner firing a Jewish employee because they have different views on religion,when he was a perfectly good employee. I think the same thing applies when it comes to politics. My Mom's point of view was that because we do not share his views, why should we support his store? But the Christian manager could say the same thing about his Jewish employee.

A boycott of Whole Foods market will also effect negatively on the many Whole Foods employees, not just Mr. Mackey!!!

Mr. Mackey has a right to share his opinion and we should not punish him for doing so.

Again, I know many of you will not agree with me on this, but I am open to friendly comments opposing me. I was also wondering if anyone knew if Whole Foods treated their employees well?

Thanks for reading and tell me what you think!!!

In future posts (after one week) I will have my own account and will be dayzee.

Originally posted to jzilliac on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:35 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mackey chose to advocate against (39+ / 0-)

    the rights of working people.  He's not gonna get any love from most of us.  As long as he kept his trap shut nobody really cared about his opinions, but when he took it public he crossed the line.

    You write beautifully for a 13 year old (not that everything's always what it says it is on the tubes).

  •  Nice Diary (27+ / 0-)

    Good for you. Your diary is thoughtful and well-written. It may be your first, but make sure it's not your last.

    "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

    by Kestrel on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:42:50 PM PDT

  •  Mr. Mackey should have limited his commentary in (9+ / 0-)

    the WSJ to that concerning the retail grocery business rathering than using that influential forum to share his views on healthcare.  

    "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin

    by duckhunter on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:43:23 PM PDT

  •  I rarely shopped at Whole Foods (5+ / 4-)

    but I will certainly never shop there.

    John Mackey is a true piece of shit who in a just world should go to the deepest depths of hell.

  •  Your's is a well thought out and intelligent post (21+ / 0-)

    I look forward to many more such from you. However, what is galling many of us is that Mackey is essentially a liar and a hypocrite. That he holds right-wing views is not really my problem, it's that he paints his company as a progressive and ethical alternative to more conventional stores. He's essentially spitting in the face of his mostly left-wing clientele. I think another poster put it as "Wal-Mart with a hippier face".

    You want weapons? We're in a LIBRARY. Books - the best weapons in the world! Arm yourselves. - The (10th) Doctor, Doctor Who, "Tooth And Claw"

    by The YENTA Of The Opera on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:44:39 PM PDT

    •  I hope the diarist and his/her mother will (7+ / 0-)

      read this

      also, who knows if the folks defending Whole Foods on this sad issue are paid hacks or mr. Mackey? He has shown that he is not above doing this that way....

    •  I believe that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boadicea, Tonedevil, Larsstephens

      many conservatives with a strong eco sense are called "crunchy cons."  

      I don't believe Mackey is one of those, though he might be.  IMO, it's more likely that Mackey  just did the straight business model thing and decided that there was a whole lot of money to be made by selling "natural" foods and stuff to a particular segment of the population who are willing to spend good money on them.  

      He gets an "A" in marketing, but depending on the fallout from this imbroglio, I'd give him no better than a "D" in business 101.  His OpEd was not a well thought out business decision.  It's not generally considered to be good business sense to publically flaunt an ideology almost diametrically opposed to that of what I can only assume is the majority of his customer base.  That sort of stuff tends to have a distinctly negative result.

      The apocalypse will require substantial revision of all zoning ordinances. - Zashvill Political compass -7.88 -7.03.

      by Heiuan on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:54:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well said, young one. (6+ / 0-)

    Very well said. You've made me think and I always appreciate writers who do that. I'm not a Whole Foods customer (it's out of my budget and there isn't a store in my town) so I wouldn't be boycotting the business, but had I been planning to you would have made me reconsider.

    Keep writing!

    "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." Anne Lamott

    by MsWings on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:44:47 PM PDT

  •  OK, I'll tell you what I think . . .. (0+ / 0-)

    Considering that Pol Pot, Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, Genghis Kahn, and myself (most of the time) were/are vegetarians (link), I'm pretty much disposed to dislike from the getgo anyone who has a store with "interesting vegetarian options"

  •  not sure I agree (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, SadieB, Heiuan, Tonedevil, lgmcp

    but I can see where you're coming from. We don't have a Whole Foods anywhere close, so I won't be taking part in any boycott, but if I could, I probably would. Is this the same guy I heard was extremely anti-union as well? For me, it just smacks of hypocrisy to promote yourself as a lefty/progressive store and then hold views like this. I can't remember where I read it quite awhile ago about Whole Foods and their anti-union stance, which put them right about in the same league as Walmart.

  •  Perspective of someone older. (10+ / 0-)

    When you start working and supporting yourself, the thought of giving your hard earned to a company that has a CEO like John Mackey is repulsive.

  •  Is this even real?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, gloryous1

    "Please don't be mean in your comments" is not a good sign.

    I eat very regularly at my neighborhood Whole Foods and have several friends who owe their livelihood to it.  This is sort of a tough call for me.
    I don't really feel that I should dare start leafleting about how they're being exploited.
    On the other hand, the adjacent business is a
    bookstore that often hosts political authors.
    IF THERE IS A BOOK doing any sort of expose of Whole
    Foods, then we might be able to tie a protest to a book signing.

    The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

    by ge0rge on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:45:46 PM PDT

  •  Many of Mackey's arguments (15+ / 0-)

    have been discredited. They are just false talking points. Such as, the one that tort reform will lower medical costs. It's simply not true. I suggest you take each one of his points and look up the facts pertaining to what he says.

    It also sounds like he is somewhat exploitative of his work force, similar to Walmart. Only full time employees are 'entitled' to insurance, so they have directives to insure new stores have a minnimum of 30% part timers who don't qualify. He is also anti-union.

    And it is not so much about kicking him out individually as the CEO, as it is about not supporting his store and paying the premiums for his high priced food.

  •  Not that I'm aware of (0+ / 0-)

    Although I think Mother Jones had an article on them.

    You want weapons? We're in a LIBRARY. Books - the best weapons in the world! Arm yourselves. - The (10th) Doctor, Doctor Who, "Tooth And Claw"

    by The YENTA Of The Opera on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:47:26 PM PDT

  •  He has a right to his opinion... (17+ / 0-)

    But he is not forced to promote his opinion in the WSJ (or anywhere else).

    Publicly promoting one's opinion, especially when given as a representative of a company, can have consequences.

    Mackey has put his customers into the position of supporting the propagation his political ideas, or no longer being his customers.

    If his job is in jeopardy because of this, it is his own doing.

    It's called consequences.

    "...this nation is more than the sum of its parts ..." Barack Obama-18 March,2008

    by Inventor on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:47:55 PM PDT

    •  he only draws a salary of $1 (0+ / 0-)

      so I doubt he's in much fear of losing his job.

      http://money.cnn.com/...

      •  His stock options are millions (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Citizen, Larsstephens

        Obfuscating executive compensation. Forbes magazine says, "Media reports frequently tout Whole Foods' pay policy, which caps the chief executive's salary and bonus at 14 times the average worker's pay. The Wall Street Journal, Slate.com, Harvard Business Review and BusinessWeek have all mentioned the pay cap, generally in favorable terms. But they all omitted one thing: stock options." When you count stock options, Mackey really made close to $3 million, or eighty-two times the average workers' salary. Forbes

        See you in Guantanamo

        by Ismay on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 05:54:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your quotes (0+ / 0-)

          aren't linkable, again.

          It's hard to tell, but I think this refers to the time period before 2007(?) when Mackey cut his salary to a buck and donated his stock options to charitable foundations.

          And, by the way, $3 million for a CEO of a billion dollar company is peanuts, comparated to other corporations.

          •  WAIT A MINUTE.. I figured you OUT!! (0+ / 0-)

            YOU ARE MACKEY AREN"T YOU!!!??

            This isn't the first time you've done this...posed on the internet as someone else:  

            For seven years, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey posted on the Yahoo Finance board about his company and its competitors while pretending to be someone else. By trashing rival Wild Oats, their stock price could drop and he could buy them out for less money. Mackey also had the gall to anonymously praise himself. ("I like Mackey's haircut. I think he looks cute!") (6)  He didn't stop there: He also criticized specific employees, under the cover of anonymity. Daily Kos said of this, "The very idea of the founder and CEO of a major national corporation hiding behind a pseudonym to lambaste one of his own hourly wage earners on an online message board says something about the personal moral integrity of union-busting executives." (7)  After being discovered, he was unrepentant, trying to justify his behavior in a long blog post, and making a point to say specifically that his actions weren't unethical. (8, 9)

            and here's the link, concern troll mackey:  http://www.nytimes.com/...

            See you in Guantanamo

            by Ismay on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 06:54:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It's a good point, though I believe that the (9+ / 0-)

    concern with his health care stance belies an undercurrent of what may motivate their business: perhaps it's more window-dressing than a relatively progressive market chain.

    And, in fact, there has been a growing list of grievances made against Whole Foods and its less-than-obvious business practices.

    So, do we support a business model and political will to oppose health care reform - in addition to the potential anti-union, co-op consuming, not-really-"wholesome"-food, etc. postures that Whole Foods seems to take . . . due to their paying some otherwise well-minded employees?

    Perhaps on this issue we can make a difference to their Board and influence how they support health care options going forward.  And, if so, maybe that will add momentum to other changes that they truly need to consider.

    If Whole Foods goes out of business, you'd think that others - e.g., Trader Joe's - may begin to pick up the slack.  Unlike our boycotting trade with another country, losing a store may not be the end of the world for employees, but I am worried about that effect on real people who did not ask for the Whole Foods CEO to be such an uncaring lout in representing this company.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:47:56 PM PDT

  •  We the People... (12+ / 0-)

    have very little power in the face of corporations.  One bit of power we do have, that has been effective again and again, is the boycott.  Hitting people like Mackey in the wallet is the only thing that works.  Mackey is in a position to help bring about change or to be greedy and use his power against us.  His third option is to stay out of it.

    Since he decided to come out against the people, we fight back.

    ...just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government. -the opposition

    by gooners on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:48:56 PM PDT

    •  Very important argument. (9+ / 0-)

      The question of whether boycotts are ethical, in that they punish others for their views, has often been canvassed.  And my conclusion is invariably that boycotts are justified.

      I'm gay.  I think it's fine and dandy for Focus on the Family to try to boycott Disney for Disney's perceived support of gay issues.  I'm delighted they failed and gave up, after ten years of trying.  But every single person has the right to vote with their feet.  Mackey has the right to express himself, free from goverment or legal censorship -- but that's NOT the same thing as it being wise or advisable or safe to one's employement, to express oneself.  

      And we have the right to respond.  It's that simple.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:00:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  right. because... (7+ / 0-)

        a boycott, or a strike, is not meant to destroy a company. It is meant to make them change.

        ...just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government. -the opposition

        by gooners on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:03:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but this boycott (0+ / 0-)

          seems aimed at making it costly for anyone associated with a business to express their personal political opinion on a matter not directly related to that business. Surely you aren't imagining that a boycott will make Mackey change his opinion.

          A boycott aimed at supressing speech is a boycott I'm uncomfortable with.

          •  NEWFLASH--it doesnt' have to be a BOYCOTT (0+ / 0-)

            everytime you don't shop somewhere, it isn't a boycott.

            If you run in to buy something at Walgreens instead of the CVS down the street...are you BOYCOTTING CVS?

            No, you made a decision to spend money elsewhere.

            Why is it so wrong to ask people to spend their money elsewhere for a little while--especially considering that the CEO has actually given you a reason to?

            See you in Guantanamo

            by Ismay on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 05:49:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  But it is directly related to that business. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bob Love

            Show me the business that does not have to address, at multiple levels, the issue of its employees in relation to their health care.

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 09:06:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Health care reform (0+ / 0-)

            will directly impact Mackey's business, so your notion that his political opposition to health care reform is unrelated to his business is simply counterfactual.

            Further, as has been explained here and elsewhere numerous times, the boycott is not directed at free speech, as you continue to falsely claim, but at a business whose CEO is opposed to the wishes of a likely majority of its customers. No one here has at any time suggested that Mackey should not be able to express his views however he likes. As I've mentioned before, the difference is not subtle.

            Your insistent misrepresentation of this debate is inexcusably trollish, as is your refusal to respond to your critics when they dismantle your bullshit.

            Moreover your incomprehension and mockery of the simplest principles of collective action mark you as something other than a progressive.  If you don't like health care reform, have the decency to admit it rather than play progressive while you carp at those who are taking action.

            John Galt is the new Walter Mitty.

            by Bob Love on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 12:24:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're the one ascribing secret, evil motives (0+ / 0-)

              to me simply because I don't agree with you.

              You seem to be unable to deal with disagreement. Of course you support this boycott. I wouldn't be surprised if you'd be one of those people yelling down speakers at a town hall.

              And, by the way, the connection between the speech and the business that matters is not the connection of the writer (Mackey), it's the connection between the speech and the consumer (the grocery shopper). When I go grocery shopping, I'm not concerned about whether the CEO supports a woman's right to choose. Are you?

              •  Incorrect at every turn. (0+ / 0-)

                Your second paragraph is a puerile fantasy that has no connection to reality (speaking of non sequiturs - and sequitur doesn't have any "o"s in it, fyi).

                And yes, if the CEO of my supermarket writes an anti-choice editorial, I will be concerned. You must think politics is separate from life, which is freakish, pathetic and perverse.

                John Galt is the new Walter Mitty.

                by Bob Love on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:04:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ooh (0+ / 0-)

                  got out the dictionary, did you? When someone resorts to correcting spelling, it's usually an indication that they're scraping the bottom of the barrel, idea wise.

                  And from the looks of it, you got out the thesaurus, too. Well, good for you, it's always good to improve your vocabulary.

                  •  Perfect case in point. (0+ / 0-)

                    No  content, just an attack.

                    Address this point: you've written "When I go grocery shopping, I'm not concerned about whether the CEO supports a woman's right to choose. Are you?"

                    I replied that I was, and indicated that the  separation of life from politics that you demonstrate in your statement is aberrant - choose any similar term you like. What was your response?

                    Your response merely attacks me as a good speller, pleads that my thinking must be incorrect because I corrected your spelling, and pretends that I'm too dim to think of the words "freakish, pathetic and perverse" without a thesaurus (NB: these are not synonyms).

                    You fled from addressing the point I made and instead made your entire comment a pointless and childish nasty-gram. Is it any wonder that I've become increasingly derisive of your comments?  Is there a single word in your comment that's defensible or even meaningful?

                    Of course not. Conclusion: you're not interested in discussion, period. I'm sure it's difficult for you to accept this, but the evidence of your comment history is pure and intact. Read it and cringe.

                    John Galt is the new Walter Mitty.

                    by Bob Love on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 04:07:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  hmm (0+ / 0-)

                      you wrote:

                      Your second paragraph is a puerile fantasy that has no connection to reality (speaking of non sequiturs - and sequitur doesn't have any "o"s in it, fyi).

                      And yes, if the CEO of my supermarket writes an anti-choice editorial, I will be concerned. You must think politics is separate from life, which is freakish, pathetic and perverse.

                      And then complain that my response was an attack on you?

                      Ha! That's a good one.

      •  LOL (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aimeeinkc, Heiuan, Tonedevil, lgmcp

        my family has spent untold thousands on Disney merchandise and at Disney theme parks since my oldest was born.  

      •  Thanks for the thoughtful reply (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elmo, Heiuan, lgmcp

        I do think boycotts are sometimes ethical, I just think it might not be right to boycott Mr. Mackey's stores for his view on health care. To me, health care and groceries don't seem related. but I am rethinking my views. I am in the middle right now.

        •  You are absoutly right... (4+ / 0-)

          health care and groceries don't mix.  So I don't understand why Mr. Mackey, as a CEO of a grocery store chain, inserted himself into the discussion on health care.  His right to an opinion is not the right to no consequences.

          This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

          by Tonedevil on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:27:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's rich and famous (0+ / 0-)

            so he got space for his views as an editorial. Would you be calling for a boycott if he merely wrote a letter to the editor? What's the real difference?

            •  The difference is one (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elmo

              of the size of the megaphone.  And yes, you are correct that there exists a continuum in this and other such matters.

              Nonetheless I contend that part of what is company sells is a "lifestyle brand".  It's NOT just yummy fresh food, it's yummy fresh food and very expensive food with just the right 'attidude'.  

              So. When your brand involves catering to a certain demographic, and you can earn on that, it's fair to profit, right?  And when suddenly you alienate that same demographic who has been your gravy train, through representing (with your big old megaphone) the WRONG values ...  why, oh tell me why, is it not then perfectly fair and just that you should suddenly cease to profit quite so much??

              "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

              by lgmcp on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 09:10:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'll tell you why (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lgmcp

                I think it is not fair, just or right.

                I believe passionately in the marketplace of ideas. Of course this has nothing to do here with the First Amendment (this is all private, there's no government action), but it does have to do with what kind of public discourse we are going to have in this country.

                During the Bush years, that public discourse was stifled and debased. Anyone who didn't agree with the Republican groupthink got hammered down hard. Many people were simply afraid to speak up and give alternate views. I think that is one reason why we slid so easily down the path to the invasion of Iraq. Far too many people were afraid to say "WTF?! This is crazy."

                I don't want to see anything go on like this from the left. Boycotting isn't answering, and Mackey's op ed is ripe for being refuted. We have better ideas, we are more thoughtful, we are more articulate than our opposition. We should use those strengths instead of trying to discourage people from expressing opinions we don't agree with.

                •  But this isn't JUST about ideas (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elmo

                  It's also about money.  He feels the current system favors his finances more than the proposed system would.  Meanwhile, he is using his money to oppose our views.  It just makes sense to give him less money to do that with.

                  "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

                  by lgmcp on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 03:17:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't think so (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lgmcp

                    I took some time researching the guy, and he doesn't seem to be motivated (any more) by money. It's the ideas for him, I would venture to guess.

                    He's kind of a nutty libertarian type, but then you'd have to be to start up a company like Whole Foods in Austin back in the '80's.

        •  Good for you! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boadicea, Bonsai66

          Critical thinking is a necessary skill to survive in our world.  Part of that skill is to be able to adjust your thinking in response to new information.

          ::says the mother of a 12-year old girl.::

          Good job on the diary, soon-to-be Dayzee.

          The apocalypse will require substantial revision of all zoning ordinances. - Zashvill Political compass -7.88 -7.03.

          by Heiuan on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 03:01:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  OK, dayzee, let's put it this way. (29+ / 0-)

    Mr. Mackey does indeed have a right to share his opinion.  But, do you really think that the Wall Street Journal would have printed his opinions if he were simply the manager of one of your two local Whole Foods?  Not really.  His opinion was published because he is the CEO of publicly traded corporation.  By publishing this piece, he has identified his company with his oen political views.  Is that fair to the shareholders? The other employees?

    Directors and officers of publicly traded corporations have fiduciary duties to their shareholders to not take actions which will harm shareholder value.  By publicly associating Whole Foods with his own personal views, Mr. Mackey has potentially violated those fiduciary duties.  Why?  Well, because a large part of the client base of Whole Foods are progressives who strongly support health care.  He should have recognized that taking this position as the CEO of Whole Foods
    would have potential economic consequences for the company.  By going ahead, he put his own personal interests ahead of those of the shareholders.  That is not only selfish, it is a violation of trust, and could subject him and the company to shareholder derivative lawsuits.

    A boycott to show the Company that Mr. Mackey does not represent the interests of their customer base is a reasonable action.  Whole Foods does NOT provide good medical care for their employees.  They are not a good corporate citizen.  Yet, their customer base demands that of other companies with whom we deal.  Making similar demands of Whole Foods is only fair, given that.  

  •  It's not like people will stop buying food, it is (7+ / 0-)

    Just that employees of local, co-op type stores will "benefit" from Mackey's views by seeing people returning to local options.

    Dogs have so many friends because they wag their tails instead of their tongues. -Anonymous

    by gloryous1 on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:50:38 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for jumping in at such a young age (11+ / 0-)

    You are to be commended for your interest in the discussion of health care which will arguably have greater long-term implications for you than me - I am 5 yrs away from Medicare.

    But to your question about Whole Foods business and the personal views of John Mackey.

    All of us are free to spend money and patronize businesses as we see fit.

    We need to use that power of the purse/wallet and not reward philosophies that are inconsistent with our own.

    In a way, I respect Mr. Mackey for being upfront with his views.  It's probably better than being stealthy about ones philosophy while taking another person's money.

    Having said that, Mackey's endorsement of a failed system (there are no radical changes, just tinkering around the edges) and failure to acknowledge that the root cause of the current miserable state of health care is the profit motive of insurers and the exclusionary system directed against the aged, ill and poor is inconsistent with the image that Whole Foods has cultivated:  green and by extension, progressive.

    Instead he has shown himself to be anti-worker, anti-social responsibility and in the end, anti-humanity.

    That sounds strong, but anyone who would fail to see the basic humanity of directing a rich country's resources toward making human's lives better through medical care sounds less than humanitarian.  He apparently has not written any op-eds decrying the wasteful military spending and empire building that is unrestrained and a major cause of the financial problems this country is enduring.

    The CEO is the face of his company, fair or not.  When he speaks in a public venue with the conviction and rectitude against something that the majority of this country believes essential, then he should man-up and take his medicine.

  •  What Mr. Mackey did today (12+ / 0-)

    was basically pee all over the views of that segment of our population that most likely makes up the bulk of his customer base.

    He had a right to express his opinion. So do they have a right to dislike it and take their business elsewhere, if that's how they feel.

  •  The point is not to "fire" Mackey (8+ / 0-)

    but to get him to rethink his approach, and maybe to get him to support his customers instead of taking their money and laughing at their politics behind their backs.

    John Galt is the new Walter Mitty.

    by Bob Love on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:51:36 PM PDT

    •  I could be wrong (0+ / 0-)

      but I don't think you can change anyone's opinion by economic blackmail. No, you change someone's opinion by debate ideas.

      •  You can usually change a company's behavior (0+ / 0-)

        by economic blackmail. It's called the profit motive.

        John Galt is the new Walter Mitty.

        by Bob Love on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 06:20:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but what behavior is being targeted here? (0+ / 0-)

          The "behavior" of writing an op ed for publication.

          I'd be happy to boycott Whole Foods if they were selling eggs from caged hens. For their CEO expressing an opinion on a matter of public debate, not so much.

          •  Wrong. I wrote "company's behavior" (0+ / 0-)

            to make that very distinction.

            The phrase "company's behavior" was designed to prevent your question "what behavior is being targeted here?" from arising. Just because you raised the question after the answer was given doesn't change the answer, or make the question pertinent.

            At any rate I'm not punishing him for "expressing an opinion", I'm punishing his opinion. The difference is not subtle.

            Moreover, his opinion about national health care is not unrelated to the business he runs; it's integral to it. It's not like Stephen Hawking commenting on hip-hop.   He's opposed to unionization for the same reason he opposes health care reform: it doesn't conform to his business model, and it might cost him money.

            John Galt is the new Walter Mitty.

            by Bob Love on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 08:00:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and what behavior (0+ / 0-)

              of the Whole Foods company are you bothered by?

              •  Allowing its CEO to use his company's prominence (0+ / 0-)

                to attack health care reform. Mackey is given space in the WSJ because he's the CEO of Whole Foods - no other reason.

                You're having trouble grasping the basics, aren't you.

                John Galt is the new Walter Mitty.

                by Bob Love on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 01:35:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're assuming (0+ / 0-)

                  they knew he was going to publish the editorial, what was in the editorial, and that they have a legal right to prevent him from publicly expressing his opinion. Those are a lot of assumptions.

                  Just curious. How would someone who is a CEO of a publicly held company write an op ed for a newspaper without "using his company's prominence?"

                  Would he use a pen name, or something? Would it be OK if he wrote a letter to the editor, and just left out who he works for? Or do all CEOs give up the right to express their opinions publicly when they take corporate jobs?

    •  Some here argue to do nothing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, Larsstephens

      and that is most disturbing...

      See you in Guantanamo

      by Ismay on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 05:51:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thoughtful and well-argued, but (13+ / 0-)

    I still disagree.  

    The meat of what I take issue with, is here:

    You could also say that politics should not be a part of business to a point. It is true if someone is treating their employees badly, or is not an Eco-friendly company, then it is not a good idea to support that company. But what if you were perfectly happy with the company until you found out the CEO's views on health care?

    Business, my young friend, is money.  And money is power.  And power is politics.  There is no meaningful place to draw the line on this continuum.   An employer of low-wage workers, who sounds off about his belief that the nation should not move towards assisting them out of a well-known crappy situtation with respect to the affordability of health insurance ... is acting as an employer, not as a private person.  He is espousing views that will harm, and DO harm, his own worker.  It will help his workers, not hurt them, in the long run, for us to punish this company in the short run.

    And most of us have NOT been that happy with Whole Foods employement practices.  We just weren't paying enough attention.  Now he has volunteered to be in the spotlight, and guess what? We don't like what we see.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:51:53 PM PDT

  •  you are right that mr. mackey has a right to (11+ / 0-)

    his opinion.  of course.  no one here thinks otherwise.  

    but if his opinions regarding health care reform were implemented, it would adversely affect millions of americans.  we, the consumers, can make him reevaluate his opinions.  one of the tools open to consumers is to choose to spend our limited dollars at companies that practice good corporate citizenship.

    whole foods does have its good points, and the price of changing peoples' minds can be high.  but i, for one, feel like i must do something to voice my dissatisfaction.

    Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once.

    by st minutia on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:52:01 PM PDT

  •  Whole Foods Lobbying Against Health Care Reform (13+ / 0-)

    The CEO's editorial pice in the Wall Street Journal is just tip of the anti-worker and anti-health care for all Americans efforts of Whole Foods.  Whole Foods is using the dollars it earns from shoppers to fund efforts against health care reforms and the Employee Free Choice Act.  Again, this CEO is using corporate resources to amplify his own views and to work against the interests of the American people and his own customers.

    Believe or not Wal-Mart in the health care debate is more progressive than Whole Foods.

  •  Agreed...except: I have a right to also express (11+ / 0-)

    my views.  Part of my view is that CEO's of companies that oppose helping sick people get the healthcare the need to live, do not deserve my dollars.  Therefore, I will shop elsewhere.

    Mr. Mackay was trying to influence people in his op-ed to oppose a public option healthcare decision.  I, by trying to convince others to not shop at his stores, am also trying to influence people to support a public option.

    Therefore, each of us is engaged in a freedom of speech action that and should be supported by those who support civil liberties.

    Finally, regarding your concerns about the employees of Whole Foods.  While admirable, they are misplaced.  Allowing this concern to trump opposition to a corporate policy would only empower corporations to use their employees as hostages against criticism or censure.

    However, I do agree that demanding Mackay be forced to step down as CEO is extreme and mistaken.  Only the board of directors and stock holders have a right to make that decision.  Non-holders of company stock have no right to make this demand.

    All evils are equal when they are extreme. - Pierre Corneille

    by LiberalCanuck on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:52:32 PM PDT

  •  As you say (10+ / 0-)

    Mr Mackey is entitled to his opinion as we are entitled to react to it. For me and many others when his opinion is the anti-thesis of his customers, his customers have a right to walk away. When a store professes progressive values, but it turns out to be strictly a marketing ploy it going to anger people.

    I believe this is one of those cases where Mr Mackey should have said nothing. He has created a PR disaster for himself, his company and his stockholders. Frankly if I was on his board of directors I would be searching for a 2X4 to smack John Mackey upside the head for speaking before thinking.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:53:04 PM PDT

  •  If Mackey didn't want to be taken to task (8+ / 0-)

    for expressing his political views, then he shouldn't have broadcast them in the WSJ.  He is trying to stop meaningful healthcare reform, and it is the duty of every progressive who values reform to stop putting money in his pocket.

    I finally put in a signature!

    by Boris Godunov on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:53:11 PM PDT

  •  For me it comes down to false pretenses (16+ / 0-)

    and dishonesty. Whole Foods has portrayed itself in alignment with things that progressives and liberals tend to support. They have sold themselves as community and environmentally minded and committed to building a better planet. They offered products that were in accordance with these things; fair trade, green, organic etc.

    I didn't mind paying more for these things because of the greater good that I believed was being served.

    However, the CEO has now basically said to the people who have made him and his company successful, that he is not committed to the same ideals that we thought he was or that his company appears to advocate. The packaging didn't match the content so to speak. He now looks like a fake and a snake oil salesman.

    I do not oppose his right to think as he wishes and say what he thinks. But I have rights too, and choices about where I spend my money. I've worked hard and been fortunate to earn an income that gives me those choices. If he chooses to use his position to advocate against something that benefits others; that is, to me, in opposition to the ideals they've appeared to support... I have every right to choose to no longer contribute to the profits that have put him in a position of power.

    Birthers and Deathers and Town Hallers...oh my! Where's a flying monkey when you need one?

    by Vita Brevis on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:53:14 PM PDT

  •  He's no friend of mine... (8+ / 0-)

    When I spend my allowance I try to spend it on things I like and I need and if possible from stores and companies that are most attuned to  my values.  I have held my nose and kept shopping despite a lot of things I don't like about Whole Foods like high prices, the CEO's lying about a competitor that he  was trying to buy out,  the anti-union bias, etc.  But this is the straw that broke the camel's back.  This is the most important issue of our time and I am passionate about it.  As a matter of conscience I can't give my money to a corporation headed by such a man.  If the class bully stole your luch money yesterday would you give him a birthday gift today?  I am a 57 yr old man, unemployed right now and need affordable health care.  He is harming the chances of it happening.  I believe in Barack Obama and my dollars will go to people who are on my team and are with the Prez.   I hope you will reconsider your position.  Danny

  •  military (6+ / 0-)

    A boycott of Whole Foods market will also effect negatively on the many Whole Foods employees, not just Mr. Mackey!!!

    I respect your opinion, but I have to strongly disagree with the above statement. If we were to use your logic, we could never reduce our military spending. After all, it would hurt employment in the military sector.

    Sometimes in life when you have to make decisions that benefits society in general, someone else may get hurt. Does that mean we shouldn't do it? Of course not. Same thing in this situation. Whole Foods are asking for a boycott.

  •  "Obamacare" (15+ / 0-)

    there is nothing reasoned or thought-out about a CEO of a major corproation referring to healthcare reform using the limbaugh-speak "Obamacare"

    Mackey is a hack. Nothing more.

    •  True . . . . but the alleged "health care reform" (0+ / 0-)

      we're getting is a really bad joke.  When the absurd public option tanks it'll set back chances fro real health care reform, i.e., single payer universal, another decade or more.

      "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

      by bobdevo on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:58:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes and no (5+ / 0-)

        i agree with you 100%, but if you read mackey's op-ed he wants it even worse- he wants to eliminate employer-based medical insurance AND preclude a public option. if you think it thru, you'll realize he's calling for the de facto end of health insurance, since nothing could force private insurers to take anyone who applied for insurance individually. if we lose insurance, we'll go to the doctor less and be worse off (the "good" side of even clstly insurance).

      •  Simplistic drivel...regulating insurance cos. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil, CKendall

        so they cannot exclude pre-existing conditions or drop people when they get sick is important. A strong public option will be yet another choice that I will make as a consumer. I used to support single-payer but realize how impossible that would be now, and why would you force everyone into one solution anyway?

        •  Why? Because as long as there are myriad plans (0+ / 0-)

          there is no way to cut administrative costs AND the insurance companies will find ways NOT to pay.

          That's how they make their money.

          And there are always ways for people with $$ to get better health care, even if they're forced into single payer.

          "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

          by bobdevo on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 04:04:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That was the headline (0+ / 0-)

      I do not think he wrote the headline.

  •  Thanks for the diary..however, I agree with (9+ / 0-)

    your mom. We "vote" with our dollars how we want businesses to operate. I won't buy at Wal-Mart because of their practices and how much they devastate the environment and don't allow labor to organize.

    Why should I support a store that pretends to be progressive (with good, whole food) but carries on with practices that are unhealthy for its employees and customers by supporting crappy insurance ideas like high-deductible HSA's.

    No, I reject your argument that we should only consider what they're selling us. We need to support progressive businesses with our spending. I will never shop Whole Foods. Never. My money will go to businesses that understand the bigger picture.

  •  Mr. Mackey (10+ / 0-)

    has a right to his opinion as a citizen.  However he was not acting as a citizen but the CEO of a large corporation. As the CEO of a company he has the responsibility to protect the fiscal interests.  When the company is patronized by a largely liberal and progressive group of people, they are not the people to offend or slander as a business owner.  He did not slander anyone.  He did misrepresent the health care bill as "Obamacare".  He brought politics into what could have simply been a company statement about how it approaches health care.  That would have been fine.  However, his political intent got in the way of a simple message and offended his base shopper.   He damaged the reputation of his business.  As a CEO, he should be reprimanded.  One way for that to happen is for the company to immediately see a dip in the finances.  

    As a citizen Mr. Mackey can say what he wishes.  He was not acting as a citizen but a CEO.   He crossed a line.

    Bewildered, Befuddled, Bedeviled.

    by Riterzbloc on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:59:28 PM PDT

  •  Respectfully Disagree (9+ / 0-)

    Mr. Mackey brought his employees into this by invoking his brand in the Op/Ed. A boycott is customer feedback.

  •  From the mouths of babes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, penguinsong

    You are right, and your Mom is wrong.  No matter  what anyone says to you on here, stick to your principles.  

    I happen to agree with you 100%, and you sum it up beautifully here:

    Mr. Mackey has a right to share his opinion and we should not punish him for doing so.

    This is a basic idea that you obviously know instinctively, that many have forgotten.

    Keep it up.

    I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places...arousing and persuading and reproaching you.-Socrates

    by The Navigator on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:01:19 PM PDT

    •  except (8+ / 0-)

      that he represents himself not as a citizen but as a CEO of a grocery chain.  Groceries have no political leaning.  

      as a CEO he is responsible to his business not his politics.

      Bewildered, Befuddled, Bedeviled.

      by Riterzbloc on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:03:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's a difference (10+ / 0-)

      between "punishing" someone for their views, which no one here (as far as I've seen) is recommending, and simply choosing not to support them. If I buy my tomatoes at a local unaffiliated market and not at Whole Foods I am not "punishing" anyone, I'm simply directing my expenditures where I feel more comfortable doing so.

    •  Wait So (10+ / 0-)

      He has the right to his free speech (lie and deceive about what's best for the country) but I don't have the right to my free speech? (boycott organizations when I feel their money is being spent disagreeably?)

      I'm sharing my opinion about Whole Foods by boycotting them.  My opinion is if I shopped there, they'd use my money to pay a jackhole.

      Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

      by TooFolkGR on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:15:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He has a right to say whatever he wants (7+ / 0-)

      I have a right to disagree with it and not spend my money with him.

      Birthers and Deathers and Town Hallers...oh my! Where's a flying monkey when you need one?

      by Vita Brevis on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:26:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nonesense (6+ / 0-)

      Freedom of speech implies no obligation to financially underwrite speech with which one disagrees. The man is free to say what he likes and his customers are free to respond by taking their business elsewhere.

      What you're advocating is privileging the opinion of a CEO above that of consumers. Free speech for corporate hacks, none for the customers.

      •  Straw Man (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elmo, greenmama

        I'm not saying you have to financially underwrite anyone you disagree with.  You don't want shop there, don't shop there. Please.

        What I object to is organizing a boycott of a company and punishing it because a bunch of bloggers disagree with the CEO's opinion.  I though we wanted a civil, national healthcare  debate.  And now, when someone enters into it, civilly, without signs and screaming, we yell "boycott!!!!"

        I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places...arousing and persuading and reproaching you.-Socrates

        by The Navigator on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:07:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you have the WSJ.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bonsai66, CKendall

          willing to print whatever you want to write, why would you scream or carry signs?  He still offers a hearty helping of F-U to those of us who disagree.

          This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

          by Tonedevil on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:22:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Boycotts ARE civil (6+ / 0-)

          Riots and death squads are not.

          Your view of the world is pretty rose-colored if you think organizing a boycott is in any way, shape or form uncivilized.

          I finally put in a signature!

          by Boris Godunov on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:25:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  (sigh) (0+ / 0-)

            Your view of the world is pretty rose-colored if you think organizing a boycott is in any way, shape or form uncivilized.

            Once again, straw man.  Where did I say boycotts were uncivil?

            I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places...arousing and persuading and reproaching you.-Socrates

            by The Navigator on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:34:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh really? (7+ / 0-)

              Then what is the point of this?

              What I object to is organizing a boycott of a company and punishing it because a bunch of bloggers disagree with the CEO's opinion.  I though we wanted a civil, national healthcare  debate.  And now, when someone enters into it, civilly, without signs and screaming, we yell "boycott!!!!"

              If you're not claiming that boycotts are uncivil then the above comment makes no sense whatever. If boycotts are indeed civil then it's not at all clear what your objection is. He expressed his opinion in a civil fashion and now his customers are responding in kind.

              Further, access to the WSJ Op-Ed page is clearly a function of his status as CEO. A status financed by consumer dollars. Consumers have every right to withhold such financial support if they choose and every right to organize for that purpose.

              Do you oppose boycotts on principle or just this boycott?

              •  Just this boycott (0+ / 0-)

                See above.

                I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places...arousing and persuading and reproaching you.-Socrates

                by The Navigator on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 03:11:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What part of the above? (3+ / 0-)

                  The parts where you attempt to dodge the implications of your own statements?

                •  So here you think just THIS boycott is uncivil (3+ / 0-)

                  ... why?  How is it different from any other in terms of civility?

                  Oh but wait, below you say:

                  I never said boycotts were "uncivil".  You inferred that.  For the record, I don't think they are uncivil, but in this case, unwarranted.

                  So there you say you don't think it's uncivil...

                  Well, which is it?

                  You're twisting yourself into knots here.  You complaint about the boycott did indeed infer that it was "uncivil" to do so.  Now you're saying... well, I don't know what you're saying honestly.  Seems like you're just making up what you meant based on who has responded.

                  The real strawman is actually this diary, which makes the utterly illogical leap that to refuse to shop at a store is someone how infringing on the store owner's right to free speech.  Now THAT is a genuine bit of stupid logic.

                  I finally put in a signature!

                  by Boris Godunov on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 03:26:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I read it... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Boris Godunov, mediaprisoner

              in your previous post:
              I though we wanted a civil, national healthcare  debate.  And now, when someone enters into it, civilly, without signs and screaming, we yell "boycott!!!!"
              That's you, right?  You are saying that the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey is being civil and those who are yelling boycott are not, aren't you?

              This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

              by Tonedevil on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 03:06:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elmo

                I'm saying they are being civil, and that I think a boycott is an over reaction.

                I never said boycotts were "uncivil".  You inferred that.  For the record, I don't think they are uncivil, but in this case, unwarranted.

                I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places...arousing and persuading and reproaching you.-Socrates

                by The Navigator on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 03:11:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Funny (3+ / 0-)

                  you didn't say so in the first place.

                •  I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

                  boycotting isn't answering.

                  •  Exactly what (0+ / 0-)

                    are we supposed to be answering? When an individual makes opposition to government activism a first principle in the service of an ideological commitment to "free" markets, there can be no practical dialogue with those who don't share that fixation. How are we to have a productive discussion of the relative merits of various policy approaches with those who insist on no policy at all?

                    One of the great weaknesses of liberalism over the past thirty years has been its failure to recognize that all differences are not reconciliable or amenable to compromise. What sort of compromise can be fashioned between those opposed to any government intervention whatever and those who think it vital?

                    The short answer is none. In such circumstance one can only draw the distinction between conflicting views as starkly as possible and aggressively advance ones own position.

                    That is a lesson the right learned well and it has served them well. If the left, progressives and democrats aren't similarly resolved they may as well pack it in now.

                    Politics isn't all high ideals and soaring rhetoric. Sometimes it's a street fight.

                     

  •  Mr. Mackey is using the funds supplied (12+ / 0-)

    by his customers to undermine policies that are vital to them.

    He has a right to his opinion, but part of being a leader-including a business leader-is the awareness that your actions have consequences.

    Such as people deciding they don't want to patronize your business.

    I'm glad you're thinking about this issue. Keep it up.  

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:01:31 PM PDT

  •  Whole Foods closed up .68 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, Tonedevil

    so don't get too worried about the Dailykos boycott.

  •  Exceptionally well-written and articulate, (3+ / 0-)

    especially for a thirteen year old.  

    Correctly punctuated, too.  "Dayzee-In-Training", I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Our promises are made in proportion to our hopes, but kept in proportion to our fears.-LaRouchefoucauld

    by luvsathoroughbred on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:06:50 PM PDT

  •  Your opinion is just as valid as Mackays' (10+ / 0-)
    on healthcare so why isn't the Wall Street Journal letting you have editorial space instead of him? It's because they are likely of the same mind as Mr. Mackay and have no interest in healthcare reform going forward.

    When Mr. Mackay chooses to speak out on matters upon which he has no particular expertise and is handed a platform by a national newspaper,(even though he is an individual and entitled to his opinion), and he cites his company and his employees as examples in the article he pretty much deserves what comes his way.

    What if Mr. Mackay had stated in his editorial that he thinks all progressives should be shot on sight? He would be entitled to his opinion, right? But should he then be surprised if people stopped shopping at this stores? I know that is a ridiculous example but if people are going to stand up in public and exercise their rights to free speech then they know there could be unintended consequences for doing so. Moreso if they own a business anad individuals who disagree with them have an avenue to express their disagreement by not being a patron to their business.

  •  What a marvelous diary, dayzee! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    Kossacks have a long history of frustration is social matters - so much has been built up, especially during "the Bush years." You are just starting out. Your opinions may change with time.

    I teach and would be thrilled to have you in the classroom.

  •  Well, first of all, thanks for your contribution (6+ / 0-)

    I can't exactly boycott Whole Foods, because I can't afford to shop there.  

    I have been there, maybe, three times over the years, only to buy Satsuma oranges, because I love them, and WF seems to be their only local distributor, but Satsumas are a very small, once a year, thing to give up when human lives are at stake (no pats on the back for me).

    Whole Foods is a textbook example of a "greenwashed" industry.  Much of their "organic" food is of the imported, "trust us, it's organic" variety.  If I'm going to spread some extra cash, I'd much rather it be from a local farm, where I can actually meet the farmer.  Before I discovered www.localharvest.org, I had no idea that there were so many options within a short drive.  Massachusetts isn't exactly known as farm country anymore.

    Even in our short New England growing season, there are myriad choices for actual organic produce, meats, eggs and cheese.  Most of them more expensive than the local grocery, but still cheaper than Whole Foods.  Yes, it means we only get peaches for six weeks out of the year, and in winter have to rely on greenhouse grown lettuce and tomatoes for our salads, but eating seasonally is not bad at all.  Fresh, local produce, be it pumpkins or strawberries, hubbard squash or turnips, is always better tasting.  

  •  well done first diary (7+ / 0-)

    Even if I disagree with you, I think you write very well, and are brave to engage with a community with a minority opinion.

    I live in the city where Whole Foods started. WF contributes a lot to the community, for example donating lots of really nice food to the bike ride for AIDS I did last spring. I am grateful to them for that & for all their other donations, truly. However, I very rarely shop there & will be shopping there even less now. I don't want to spend my money with a company that is so vehemently anti-union, and this really awful op-ed is just the last straw. You should read what Mr. Mackey wrote - and yes, he certainly has a write to have such ill-informed opinions. But here is a diary that someone wrote refuting his points:

    http://www.texaskaos.com/...

    Welcome to Daily Kos & thanks for writing!

  •  Wish my colleagues with PhD's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevej, elmo, anotherdemocrat

    could write as clearly and thoughtfully as you do here.  Have you taken your PSAT's yet?

    Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

    by Fatherflot on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:14:30 PM PDT

  •  Kudos to you dayzee for thinking about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, CKendall

    issues of importance and for speaking up and speaking your mind.

    Welcome to DailyKos!

    We work in the dark. We do what we can. We give what we have. Our doubt is our passion. Our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.

    by cultural worker on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:20:17 PM PDT

  •  Jzilliac II (7+ / 0-)

    Mr. Mackey used expressed his political views on a topic that affects everyone in our country, not just the employees of his stores.  Trust me. I have also expressed my views on this topic.  The problem is the imbalance in the power of my voice compared to Mr. Mackey's voice.  His voice gets amplified by the Wall Street Journal.  Millions of Republizombies all over the country hear his voice and shamble off to the nearest Democratic townhall.  Well good for Mr. Mackey, except there is a way for me to amplify my voice as well.  I can stop spending my money in his stores.  Oh, by myself that is hardly even a drop in the ocean.  But collectively, the Kos community and progressives generally can amplify our voices to a deafening roar.  In fact, as a diehard libertarian, Mr. Mackey himself should applaud the fact that we are choosing to vote with our dollars.  It's the miracle of the free market working, no?  As far as hurting the employees of and suppliers to Whole Foods goes, well as they say politics ain't bean bag.  I wonder if Mackey shed any tears for the owners and employee and suppliers of the competitors that he drove out of business or fraudulently bought out after driving their stock prices down.  Now, it's Whole Food's turn to have its stock price driven down.  Karma is a bitch.

  •  What's the rating on DKos anyway, NC-17? (5+ / 0-)

    Props for a well written diary - I tipped your mom.

    Seriously, though - if you're 13, i hope you're a very mature 13, because some of the stuff here isn't suitable for kids. Or sometimes for adults, either.

    Mr. Mackey is entitled to his opinion. Expressing it in the way he did, though - beginning with the charged 'Obamacare' label and by employing distortions and scare tactics - leads me to believe his is not a genuine interest in solving our health care challenges and is instead more of a political exercise.

    They have some excellent tonic water (a mixer that goes great with gin) at Whole Foods and I'll miss drinking it, but I'm sure I'll enjoy my cocktails more knowing my money isn't supporting this man - or his company.

    "I know they're gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: So am I." - President Barack Obama

    by Pacific NW Mark on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:23:54 PM PDT

    •  re: tonic water (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil

      i'm thinking about trying out some recipes i've seen on the web to make your own tonic water.

      you get more of the good quinine compounds and way less sugar that way.

      l'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers

      by zeke L on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:31:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I will look for your posts, dayzee. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, Larsstephens, CKendall

    You're right that I disagree with much of what you're saying here -- but that doesn't mean that I think it's without merit.

    It isn't simply the CEO's opinions that I disagree with -- it's his Randian ethic. There are a number of actions that he's taken in the world beyond just expressing his opinion that are troublesome to me. Many of those appear in comment posts and diaries.

    But his WSJ is more than just expressing an opinion. He is attempting to turn the tide of Obama's healthcare reform -- he wants to act to stop it -- because he thinks it will cause problems for him with respect to the benefits he will have to provide for his employees. That is how it appears to me, anyway.

    Keep writing! I'll look forward to your upcoming diaries.

    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

    by rb137 on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:27:40 PM PDT

    •  And of course he's wrong, too (5+ / 0-)

      ultimately, healthcare reform will benefit Whole Foods. But CEOs in America are trained to only look at short term stock price fluctuations and short term compensation, so he isn't looking at the big picture.

      His customers need to force his company to see the big picture. Whole Foods needs to be saved from itself.

      •  I liked what Ezra Klein said: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        decembersue, Tonedevil, Larsstephens

        We have a variety of [government] programs meant to ensure that people have sufficient food. If you don't have much money, you rely on these programs. ... And that works. These programs, as every Whole Foods shopper knows, haven't grown to encompass the whole population or set prices in grocery stores. If you have more money, you shop for food on your own. And if you have a lot of money, you shop at Mackey's stores. That's pretty much the model we're looking at in this iteration of health-care reform.

        There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. --Rumi

        by rb137 on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:49:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I disagree (7+ / 0-)

    The only way to punish Mackey is by boycotting his stores.

    I do feel for the employees.  But when a WF closes, other places will open.  People have to eat.

    •  when a Whole Foods closes? (0+ / 0-)

      Dream on, dream on.

      •  Yesh coming shoon... (0+ / 0-)

        Whole apocryphal end of times
        all natural survival Foods
        and insurrection supplies.
        Hey, they are entitled to their
        opinions, right?

        The soccer moms will eat it up!

        Of course the camo decor and
        indoor firing range tends to
        depress their former part time
        vegan peace activist employees.

        Luckily, there are many un and underemployed
        red state refugees that are learning to appreciate
        the argula and imported gourmet chinese pork rinds.

  •  Hey Dayzee (8+ / 0-)

    one of the things you will learn as you get older is that many people who sound reasonable on the face of it like Mr. Mackey, are, in fact looney.  When I was a bit younger than you I thought Richard Nixon was a swell fellow, and my parents rightly educated me.

    What people like Mr. Mackey do, is they use reasonable terms to hide their own selfish interests. The effects of Mr. Mackey's ideas would be the vast expansion of people who cannot see a doctor if they are sick.  Many of the same employees you wish not to hurt.  Many of those employees would face not only bankruptcy, but would also be the very first people fired from Mr. Mackey's stores if they got sick and missed much time - which would happen much more often under Mr. Mackey's ideas.

    Further, Mr. Mackey is just plain stupid.  If he were to support a single payer plan, he as a business owner wouldn't have to spend the money he spends now to help his employees pay for medical care (and he could take that $2.38 and buy himself a...umm...broom handle to play with).

    People like Mr. Mackey also pay their workers very badly, while charging you very expensive prices - then he takes that money and uses it to pressure the government to take away even more of what he is legally obligated to pay his workers.

    In addition, Mr. Mackey is a dishonest liar - you probably have friends online, and you probably know what to think of a person who pretends to be someone else and then tries to cheat someone, or make them feel bad, or take advantage of other people?  That is Mr. Mackey.  He is a lying, thieving lunatic..looney.  Sometimes the worst of these people are the ones who sound the nicest.  A good way to tell is whether the things he says benefits himself personally and will cost his employees their wages, health or something else.  This is exactly what Mr. Mackey proposes.

    Mr. Mackey is the guy that, when he offers you a ride, you must refuse, even if it is a long walk home.  And if he insists, you scream and call for the police.

    "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by SteveP on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:29:24 PM PDT

  •  Thank You for Posting This (8+ / 0-)

    You make some very good arguments that are well worth considering and there is nothing about your writting that would have clued me in that you are not an adult if you had not told us.

    Mr. Mackey's situation is a bit different that a run of the mill employee speaking his or her mind. First of all is the Founder of Whole Foods and a great deal of Whole Food's profits end up in his pocket and provide his finacial ability to spread his extreme point of view. His contention that what we really need is to eliminate all government regulation so that insurance companys are legally able to run their company's as they wish even if that entails fraudently selling people worthless policies that cover nothing while at the same time stripping away the right to legal redress by making lawsuits against insurance companys illigal is nothing short of insane. It is not a Liberatarian position, as some would have you think, because according to Liberatine thinking government's main function if to provide for a society in which nobody is able to steal from another. In order for free markets to exist, there must be a way to peaceful settle disputes, and are court of laws provide that method. Without the ability to seek legal redress, a free market with no government oversight would be nothing more then sanctined theft by corporations. This is not Liberatarism but naked Corporatism.

    The other difference between Mr. Mackey and regular employees is that as the CEO he is responsible for the corporation's image. When Mr. Mackey inserts himself into the public sphere, he is dragging the reputation of his company along with it. Part of most CEO's job description is to not be controversial. If Mr. Mackey was not one of the founders of Whole Foods, he would probably have been warned against making public statement so at odds with the image of the company he runs and would be in danger of being removed from his position. A CEO of a major corporation doesn't have the luxery of speaking his mind openly when his views might effect the bottom line.

    The ironic thing about the boycutt is that even if succeeds in getting Mr. Mackey to step down as CEO it will not change the fact that he will still have a huge financial stake in the company. If progressives returned to shopping there, they will still be contributing to his abiity to further the political agenda that they object to.

    •  hmm (0+ / 0-)

      a great deal of Whole Food's profits end up in his pocket

      You do know he cut his own salary to $1, right?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      •  His HugProfits are through Stock He Owns (0+ / 0-)

        From Wikipedia

        While CEO of Whole Foods Market in 2008, he earned a total compensation of just $33,831, which included a base salary of $1, and a cash bonus of $33,830.[13]

        But he made $1.8 million exercising stock options, and received another $460,000 because of a company error that allowed stock options to expire unexercised. The grand total: $2.7 million. Another $4.4 million of options have vested, so he can exercise them if he wants.

  •  One thing you should think about is that freedom (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, Tonedevil, Larsstephens

    of speech does not mean a person is free from disagreement with their speech.

    So Mr. Mackay has a right to his opinion, and a right to voice it, but people who disagree with him have a right to speak - and to act in a nonviolent manner by boycotting. Boycotting is a form of speech.

    That's what makes America great.

    Ultimately, Mr. Mackay sought to make lots of money by selling his company with a progressive image. Now he's coming out and saying things progressives don't like and openly acting to defeat a major progressive policy. He made himself fair game.

    Think about it - if the manager of the Red Sox started running around telling everyone that baseball fans are stupid, how would that go over?

  •  Nicely done diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, Tonedevil

    Tipped and rec'd (though your mom gets the mojo) for noting that he appears to be a Libertarian, not a Republican; since many of the threads on the issue have wondered how a Republican got into his kind of business.

    I'm going to agree with many of the posters here, that being the CEO of a major company gives him a unique megaphone that a regular guy entitled to opinions doesn't get. In addition, as with many of the comment threads, there is an assumption that WF must be a liberal leaning sort of business - organic veggies, cloth bags, and all. So his opinion was probably viewed by many readers as an expresssion of opposition from our camp, since many would not recgonize him as being more of a Libertarian.

    tweetivism.comA cool tool to tweet your Congressmembers with Health Care Reform messages.

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:41:46 PM PDT

    •  I don't see much difference between Libertarianis (4+ / 0-)

      m and Republicanism vis a vis social responsibility.

      Especially as it is proffered by Mackey.

      Libertarianism sounds to me like a fancy name for laissez faire behavior, including economic behavior.

      Whatever you can get away with is OK.  No responsibility to anyone else but yourself.

      People like Mackey in the end want control - control over labor via union busting, control over employee mobility by calling the shots on how health insurance is provided.  That to me seems the only reason he provides (grudgingly) the junk insurance with high-deductibles and out-of-pocket.

      People should get regular physical examinations for FREE.  Just like the government provided polio vaccinations for FREE in the 1950s.  You do it to avoid catastrophic costs down the road due to undetected major illness or epidemic.

      Mackey may be (actually, I now even question this) a good businessman but everyone has his fatal flaw.

  •  The Critical Difference (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks, dayzee, and I look forward to future thought provoking posts from you!

    Here's the critical difference with Mr. Mackey, and while I don't think he needs to be replaced, I do think he needs to be put in his place.

    If Mr. Mackey had gone about his life with the libertarian health-care ideas that he has, and run Whole Foods as it has always been, I'd have no problem with that.  Employees are free to make up their own mind about to whether they want to work or not work at a place given the overall package of wages and benefits they receive.

    What I DO mind, and why I have decided to stop shopping there, is that because of his position with Whole Foods, he has decided to take the thoughts out of his head and use them to influence the health-care debate, something I care about deeply, in ways that I feel are damanging to the people of this country.

    If you are going to write editorials in newspapers, then you are no longer "just a businessperson" but are asking to be taken seriously in the public square of politics, and deserve to be judged there.

    When I go into a store, I don't normally go about asking the owners opinions about political issues.  But I'm sure you have noticed decals and other stickers businesses place on their windows to indicate the kinds of things they support.  Generally, to attract the customers who would support those things.  

    Being that kind of conscientious shopper not only provides satisfaction of knowing that you helped issues you believe in, but also support them in real ways, since businesses that take the time to publicize their support for certain issues are much more likely to support them financially. Similarly, making purchases in a store that you know takes a stand contrary to the things you support, you can assume that what you spend there is going be used to support that point of view.

    When individuals take strong public stands, as done with this Wall Street Journal opinion, it would be very difficult for me to support Whole Foods because I would feel that my money would be used for purposes that I feel would be used to work against things I believe in.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:45:04 PM PDT

  •  It's a privilege (6+ / 0-)

    My business is a privilege, not a right. Mr Mackey has a right to speak his mind, but he doesn't have a right to my money. Deciding where to spend my money is MY right, and it's one way I have of speaking my mind. And if I choose to give my money to Mr Mackey even though I know he's using my money to fight for policies that will hurt me, that's just foolish.

  •  Tipped and rec'd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, greenmama, CKendall

    For your thoughtfulness, and for your willingness to go against the grain of some folks here.

    Stick around; it's always good to have well-thought alternate opinions presented.

  •  I am singing off. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, elmo, CKendall

    Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments. It is exhausting for me to change my mind. (I wish at least one person agreed with me!!!) I am tired so I am singing off.

    Thanks!

    •  I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

      and although I'm 51 years old, and have a law degree, I couldn't have done a better job expressing this side of the issue than you have here.

      Very well done.

      •  And I would too, if John boy (0+ / 0-)

        would give me $1 more
        than the $um he got when he
        exercised his stock options.

        •  Do you realize (0+ / 0-)

          you've just called yourself a political whore? Geez.

          •  Thanks for admitting that! n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  You're thanking me for admitting (0+ / 0-)

              that you are a political whore? You're welcome, I guess.

              •  No, I am thanking you for confessing (0+ / 0-)

                openly and publicly that
                there may be other motivations
                besides "freedom of speech"
                that cause some to defend
                the undefenseable, or deride
                any attempts to address the same.

                How far does John boy have to go
                before you find his opinions and
                subsequent actions unacceptable?
                Your words, just like mine and
                a certain grocery CEOs, speak for themselves.

                Either admit you have a vested interest,
                or that you agree with his opinions and
                policies. Stop hiding behind free speech,
                while accusing others of political prostitution.

                Please, do keep us all posted
                on how well their stock price is performing.

                •  take a look at your own comment (0+ / 0-)

                  And I would too, if John boy (0+ / 0-)
                  would give me $1

                  You wrote that you'd change your opinion and support Whole Foods if you were paid $1.

                  I'd say that's pretty cheap as far as selling out goes. But if you'll send me your mailing address, I'll send you a nickel just to make you stop posting silly and boring responses to my comments. How does that sound?

                  •  I have never had the opportunity (0+ / 0-)

                    to quote myself here,
                    but seeing as you insisted by
                    deciding to incompletely quote
                    my comment after you insulted
                    the worlds oldest profession by
                    accusing me of affiliations for a fee,
                    at least get the amount correct:

                    "And I would too, if John boy (0+ / 0-)
                    would give me $1 more
                    than the $um he got when he
                    exercised his stock options".

                    A considerable difference, yes?

                    As 51 year old attorney,
                    I am hoping you are soon
                    hired to defend John on
                    stock manipulation  and
                    insider trading charges
                    after it is found that
                    these were the real motivations
                    behind this so called opinion.
                    Because he or some silent partners
                    hedge fund has shorted his positions.
                    And there has been a bit of this it seems.
                    So we really need to make an example out of
                    someone who has done this repeatedly.
                    This is the only logical and rational
                    explanation for his dubious punditry.

                    As we will all soon discover,
                    actions speak louder than op-eds,
                    and all the corporate spinning that
                    has lost its base value cannot return
                    to integrity where none was initially.

                    You may wish to brush up on your reading
                    comprehension skills a bit. I have heard
                    those securities attorneys can be real sharks.
                    Oh, you do know that your IP address is available
                    to site administrators on your posts? Everywhere?
                    I wonder if John understood that fully when
                    he posted at yahoo boards.
                    Reminds me of Deep Capture.

  •  Hi, I just spit in your face.Come shop my store (0+ / 0-)

    You are spineless progressives...that's what you do...

    See you in Guantanamo

    by Ismay on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 05:23:52 PM PDT

  •  What I think? (0+ / 0-)

    I think that if you are who you say you are [1], you are a bright young individual with a working mind, an interest in important things, and if you stay on the track of intellectual exploration, that a lot of opportunities will open up for you.

    [1] You'll have to forgive any implied skepticism, but it is, after all, the internet :)

    Co-op is a cop out. It is not an option, let alone a public one.

    by JRandomPoster on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 07:33:55 PM PDT

  •  good for you for (0+ / 0-)

    speaking your mind and being very brave here!  I agree with much of what you wrote above.  While I understand and respect the decision of many here to no longer shop at WF, I have a hard time getting behind an organized boycott of WF over healthcare.    

    First, it takes our focus off what we should be doing these next months in order to get healthcare reform passed - attending townhalls, organizing demonstrations or "sick-ins" across the country, stopping the outrageous lies - etc.  Second, I think we lose credibility if we have an organized and formal boycott of a store because we disagree with the opinion of its CEO on healthcare.  I think it makes us look like the other side  - i.e. shutting down debate and discourse and not being tolerant of dissenting views.  

    What I think might be more effective:  having other CEOs challenge Mackey to a healthcare debate or write counter op-eds to refute his points and state their support for reform.  Getting WF employees to speak out about healthcare and other labor practices of the company (if they are so bad).  Having all those who are unemployed and without healthcare write to mackey or line up outside his office asking for a donation (since  he wants to cover those who are uninsured through donations).  

  •  For anyone who is still here... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo

    This is dayzee's mom here. My daughter was shocked to get so many comments, and it was hard on her to have so many disagree. We just went through comment by comment counting agree/disagree and supportive/unsupportive. Realizing that the vast majority of the comments, while disagreeing with her position, were supportive of her, has helped her enormously. She's in much better spirits now! We suspect that Mr. Mackey may have been her number one fan here. But it was nice to have SOMEONE agree!!  

    Thanks so much to the vast majority of you for being supportive.

    "dayzee" is sitting here with me and says, "I have changed my mind, but only because I realize that people are not boycotting only because of this one Op Ed. Thanks for your support."

    It was darned hard for her to change her mind, I must say. I am very, very proud of her for having the guts and inclination to get on here and post her opinion, especially after I warned her that people were not going to agree with her. (She was pretty sure I was wrong about that. But she has conceded the point.)

    Have a great night!

  •  Here's the problem (0+ / 0-)

    While he has the right to say whatever I wish, I have the right to spend my money however I wish. To say that it is wrong to move my purchases from one store to another is to say that I am not free to make my own spending purchases.

    Shopping is a political and moral act. The purchases you make fund the causes that company supports. If you shop at a company that opposes unions, your money goes to fight unions. If you purchase from a company that opposes health care reform, your money goes to fighting health care reform.

    I can't decide where you should spent your money. Likewise, I'm free to take my business to the co-op or the farmers market.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 10:12:01 PM PDT

    •  true, all that (0+ / 0-)

      But what if the company that fights unions also does good things for animal welfare? fair trade? supports local producers? promotes organic standards? hires disabled workers?

      If you only shop at business that have a perfect record on everything, where will you shop?

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