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We know politics makes strange bedfellows--but the new Whole Foods/Teabagger alliance is beyond bizarre. The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition has announced a series of events in defense of Whole Foods CEO's far right agenda.

As you’ve no doubt heard, in a recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey argued that health care is not a right all Americans are entitled to, relying on scare tactics to mislead Americans about Obama's efforts to fix our nation's health care system. The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition then announced "buycotts" of Whole Foods stores in St. Louis, MO, and Dallas, TX, to show their support for the CEO and his green grocery chain.

Our thought: this new-found alliance brings up some interesting questions about the progressive  values Whole Foods claims to espouse. You can tell a lot about people by the company they keep, right?

That's why we at the UFCW believe that Whole Foods should come forward and clearly articulate if it supports or rejects the politics and the policies of its allies. For example:

• The Teabaggers regularly attack Medicare and Social Security, two of the most popular and successful government programs in American history.  Do John Mackey and Whole Foods agree with former House Majority Leader Dick Armey that Medicare is "tyranny"?Does Mr. Mackey agree with Mr. Armey that Social Security is going to need to be phased out?

• Many Teabaggers have aligned themselves with the "Birther" movement, which raises unfounded questions about President Obama’s citizenship. Does Mr. Mackey agree with the "birthers"about our President? Will he denounce the position of his new allies?      

• Teabaggers have asked Texas Governor Rick Perry to follow through on his threat to secede from the United States. As a native Texan, does Mr. Mackey think that Texas should be an independent nation and does Whole Foods support that idea?

Until Whole Foods clarifies their position on these issues, we have to wonder—what kind of values does the grocery chain stand for? What are customers really paying for when they shop Whole Foods?

cross-posted at MyUFCW

Originally posted to 4workers on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:59 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Notion of Whole Foods as a Progressive (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, nextstep, Larsstephens, Elana Levin

    ...entity was always kind of silly.  Whole Foods is a for profit corporation.  The only reason anybody ever considered them progressive allies is that they carry a large selection of organic produce that hippies love.

    That's not to say they don't make a lot of money off of us, but I still don't see Mackey's paper as some sort of "betrayal."

    I don't shop at the place anyway (we don't have one around here).  But I mean... read their values from the page you linked:

    Early on, we adopted a set of core values to guide our purpose:

    Selling the highest quality natural and organic products available
    Satisfying and delighting our customers
    Supporting team member happiness and excellence
    Creating wealth through profits & growth
    Caring about our communities & our environment
    Creating ongoing win-win partnerships with our suppliers
    Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education

    There isn't anything "progressive" in there.  If you take out the word "Organic," that could be Monsanto's mission statement.

    ---- Don't mind me, I'm just here trolling for James Inhofe. [Note to Complete Idiots: I'm Not Really Trolling for James Inhofe]

    by TooFolkGR on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:04:53 AM PDT

  •  Anyone who was paying attention to Whole Foods (6+ / 0-)

    has known for a while now that the company is run by anti-union, anti-tax, libertarian nuts. I'm just happy that liberals have finally noticed.

  •  Here's what I don't get: (6+ / 0-)

    Let's say a high profile gun manufacturer had a very outspoken progressive CEO, but who generally flew under the radar of its customers.  Let's say this company completely catered to the cultural keynotes of the conservative agenda.  

    Camouflage styled rifles? Check.  
    Easily modified Semi automatic weapons? Check.  
    Military styled assault weapons? Check.  
    Vigorous rhetoric supporting the second amendment? Check.

    Let's say that this (strangely) progressive CEO then writes an editorial in the Huffington Post excoriating congressional Republicans for their Healthcare stance, and strongly advocated for a Universal single payer, government owned healthcare system, where doctors are employees of the government and hospitals are owned by the government.

    The RW customers would rightly be offended, and would call for a boycott.

    Would the left (us) then proceed to try and support this manufacturer?  Would we get in line for our assault rifles?  Would we take up hunting?  Would we donate money to a corporation that is culturally antithetical to us?

    I don't think we would, and that is one reason why the left is different to the right.  Their ideology trumps everything, including their reason.

  •  Oh, Lordy! why don't you just waterboard (0+ / 0-)

    Mackey, and get it over with? lol

    "He's like any other president -- he's a politician and he's got to do what politicians do." Rev. Jeremiah Wright

    by PhillyGal on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:13:15 AM PDT

  •  i'm so glad we have an earth fare (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dirkster42, 4workers, Larsstephens

    i guess you can debate what are and are not 'progressive values'

    but i agree with Earth Fare's mission and I'm liberal or progressive or whatever...

    Sustainability is a progressive value
    Environmental responsibility is a progressive value
    Supporting the local economy is a progressive value
    Fair Trade is a progressive value

    i used to like going to Whole Foods because of their selection, but now I am abstaining from Whole Foods to reflect on whether that organization's values are congruent with my own

    I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. Charles DeGaulle

    by LibrErica on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:15:11 AM PDT

  •  They can do what they want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    I've stepped into whole foods for the last time in my life.  I have a choice and I choose to drive by Whole Foods. I'll either be shopping at my local coop or Trader Vics.  

  •  The cultural dissonance of seeing (0+ / 0-)

    racist fundamentalists and
    suburban republican SUV owners
    flocking to the overpriced home
    of faux progressive global compassion
    is not a sustainable business plan.

    Unless WFM plans to start stocking
    ammo, camo, and survival supplies.
    Then they could destroy the redstate
    owners of similar local stores like
    they did the co-ops and other local OGs.

    Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

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