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Does the Whole Foods boycott stand a chance?

Poor old Whole Foods Market. As if that "Whole Paycheck" joke wasn't mean enough, now there are lots of shoppers who say they won't go there to buy things anymore.

To recap: On Aug. 11,  the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece by the company's chief executive, John Mackey, in which he spoke against deeper government involvement in the nation's healthcare. mericans, he said, should be responsible for their own health. Like, for example, by eating healthy food (of the kind Whole Foods sells). 

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

That editorial led to a call for a Whole Foods boycott by a group called (aptly enough) Boycott Whole Foods. It says its membership now stands at more than 20,000. Read more here.

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Yes, he has a point, but there is more than just his views on healthcare. He supports limiting the constitution by denying workers the right to form unions. His view is not only unconstitutional but not too smart. If he were, he would support unions and employee free choice to join unions. Too bad like all of us when we are good at one thing we are not necessarily good at another, in his case understanding the constitution.

As healthcare is now in the hands of trusts (HMO's) they need to be busted, regulated, and/or limited by the public option. The chief CEO clown of Whole foods also does not remember some heath problems are beyond food, such as created by pollution or accidents which one cannot completely eat their way out of. Heathcare costs are inflated, period. The price of healthcare needs to come down and if HMO's are part of the cause, something needs to be done.

In Albuquerque NM and Santa Fe Sunflower Market and the local COOP, find John Mackey their best advertisement. Whole Foods may be bigger elsewhere, but not here.

I was at a whole foods today and a customer was hassling an employee how he is boycotting whole foods....while he was buying a cart full of groceries....seems like the boycott is an OVERWHELMING success.....

I won't shop at Whole Foods now, but for a different reason aside from the CEO's opinions on health care.

After reading these comments, I fear I'll run into a GOP talking points robot in the checkout line. Is there nothing worse? Have fun Republicans getting ripped off at Whole Foods! I guess you are used to getting ripped off by insurance companies, so you won't mind.

This makes a lot of sense blame this market because the owner believes in free speech. How would anybody like it if any time they made a comment the rest of the people decided they did not want any part of them because of what they said? Wholefoods is only guilty of asking just a little bit more for products because the products are grown with health concerns in mind. I have only shopped there 3 times only because I don't have enough money all the time, so that is not the reason for defending their status.

Our closest Whole Foods is a 25 minute drive, so I've never shopped there. I'll be making that drive from now on to show my support for Free Speech and Mr. Mackey.

So what is the "code" meaning of ACORN and SEIU that anti-healthcare people are so afraid of? C'mon, let's be honest.

And yeah... healthy, organic food has been there long before Whole Foods... and will be there long after Whole Foods is GONE. How can (and why are) the anti-healthcare folks equating "healthy living" with "Whole Foods" now? Let's cut through the bull.

And P.S. to yuppie closet-right-wingers who love and defend their status-membership as WF shoppers: don't assume blue-collar folks don't know how to live. And don't even begin to tell us what's "best" for us. You don't know ANYTHING about us. And you're being taken for a ride.

Has Whole Foods started to carry ammos yet?

Well, congratulations America! It seems we are now more involved in politics than ever. Now whose idea was this?
Its all good because we will now know first hand if it is really true that people can change the government. If after so many people with so much conviction fail in this great attempt to sway the president of the United States to cease and desist from the health care reform plan, then all is lost. Should the people prevail (and they should) the government would need to seek elsewhere to cut costs. Perhaps that should be what Mr. Obama ought to be doing right now!

I will START shopping at Whole Foods now -- I haven't been there but a few times before this but now I WILL begin going every week.

This type of liberal thinking is fascist.
So much for freedom of thought, speech, and actions. These ridiculous people demonstrate their lack of rational thought. Their emotional approach to economics and politics exposes their inability to think clearly. It will be their end. America is waking up and asking questions and these lefties are looking more and more foolish. I hope they keep it up until 2010.

Mr. Mackey's millions have clouded his view of the real world. His suggestion to cover the uninsured with voluntary donations show how ridiculous his arguments are. There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?page_id=588

Yep, I'm going to Whole Foods for sure now.

I think that any group boycotting a company simply because they oppose or support a political cause is ridiculous. Since when in America was being successful a bad thing? Since when did we start discrediting and ripping apart people who didn't agree with us..what have we become? I agree that the big CEO's on Wall Street who were not providing any kind of service and sucking up our money is a bad thing, and they needed to be disciplined. However, trying to destroy someone's business because they expressed their opinion is another.

If you want to boycott something, boycott the NFL for allowing a dog killer to come back and play. That would be a worthy cause.

The opinions by so many people about this sad incident is a portion of the curve that indicates the dangerous way this country is taking. How could so many people side with a vicious soul such as that of John Mackey? Do these people not care about the well fare of America? Yes have some intrepidity and BOYCOTT Whole Foods.

Both the right and left have plenty of morons who do nothing to try to figure out some real-world solutions to our health care situation in this country. Mr. Mackey has some very compelling ideas that over time would have a tremendous effect. He correctly posits that we cannot afford another massive deficit program. How many of you realize that many doctors will be paying the higher taxes to pay for the care that they provide? Stupidity.

For those of you who are thinking that our wars overseas are too expensive and want to bash the previous administration, ask yourselves this: What has THIS administration done to end the wars? Fat-load of NOTHING.

I work in the coffee industry, and some of the most important trends are organics and fair-trade certified coffees. The USDA certifies coffees as organic, but mostly through an audit process. The Fair Trade movement gained momentum largely through the efforts of companies like Starbucks and Whole Foods...NOT THE GOVERNMENT, and FT helps thousands worldwide. Proof that the market works.

I made a point of stopping at Whole Foods yesterday, because of the boycott.

I'm 59 years old, self-employed, and don't have health insurance. I still won't have health insurance if the House of Representative plan passes . . . because I can't afford to spend 12% of my income on health insurance, as it would require me to; instead I'll pay the 2.5% fine, which will leave me with even less to spend on health care. I'm not impressed with what I see on the House of Representatives Web site. To me it looks like a plan to give the insurance companies 45 million new customers who aren't allowed to say "No, I can't afford it" no matter what hardship it inflicts on them . . . with government subsidies that don't cut in until they're out a painfully large part of their income.

On the other hand, Mackey's plan looks very appealing to me. It would result in less health care spending being channeled through insurance companies in the first place; it would eliminate many regulations enacted by special interest groups that make insurance and health care costlier; and if it still didn't make insurance affordable, at least it wouldn't punish me for not getting any. Why am I supposed to dislike this again?

Sure, yah, a boycott. Where they are going to shop instead? Safeway? CEO John Burd of Safeway has an even BETTER idea for health care reform, which involves providing financial incentives for people to become healthy, (as opposed to sedentary obese lard butts).

How do you like THEM apples?

The sad thing is that this country seems to be increasing in population on both extremes of the irrational, crazy, looney, ill-informed, over reactionary, self-defeating fringe...and the rest of us are left paying the price for those willing to devote their lives to acting out like petulent, adolescents.

With so much more to life - endless beautiful possibilities that most moderates with a wide range of interests prefer to enjoy...those with so little imagination and obviously too much time on their hands are playing a major role in the overall decline in the American Empire. And while they are really not the majority of Americans - they are the loudest because this seems to be all they pursue.

We were once a great country (never without the problems that mire us today - greed, deceit, fraud, etc) but now the excess of greed and pursuit of self-interest and the manipulation of the masses and media to reinforce the positions of the most powerful and yes, most rich has been elevated to levels never pursued before. And the Pavlovian response of so many is confounding to someone like me who questions everything. Why is the truth, whether it favor the "left" or the "right" not worth pursuing if it doesn't suit your position?

If you get your "news" from a source like Fox...and only Fox...you're being manipulated. Everyone - worldwide - knows that Fox News is a right wing spin machine only too happy to manipulate those willing to submit. You think they make you feel good about being a "proud" American and yet this is the media wing of a party and executive branch who took only eight years to bring us to the brink - it is their policies which encourged so much freedom in the marketplace that all the thieves and crooks could run amok and destablize our ecomomy while they robbed us blind. Why is it that those who support this side are never short of complaints or ridicule or derision for those they like to belittle in every way imaginable and blame for any and everything wrong without accepting an ounce of blame ever for anything themselves?

And yes on the left you have utterly whacked out loons with positions which no ordinary person can make sense of - but they are a minority in relation to the numbers on the right reinforcing the damage to us a nation attempting to be a civilized society which manages it's resources and cares for its citizens. For so many people who like to claim themselves as "Christian's" - it is astonishing to see the levels of vitriol, hatred, misplaced and dishonest attacks, violence, rage, nastiness, etc.

I am not religious but I do read alot - because my interests are many - and all I can say is that based on what I've read about Jesus and his teachings - he would be appalled by those who claim to be one of his followers while acting out the way they do. There are those who use religion to advance their own selfish interests...believers will follow and those who enjoy privilege are only to glad to use such manipulation to get their way.

Guess it's really most sad we've allowed our education system to degenerate so steeply that there so many ready to deliever themselves on behalf of their own demise.

We are on our way to Whole Foods. Mackey is right and these left sided kooks are always in other peoples pockets telling others what to do with their money. My whole neighborhood is shopping at Whole Foods this weekend.
Whole Foods Rocks

I think these liberal followers are nuts. This guy on Greta last night acted nuts and seems a bit crazy. I am sad that the people who would boykot WF after all the good this company does are selfish and self serving. It sure seems like it's their way or no way. I am tired of them trying to force their agenda down our throats. Why don't you liberals start a non profit to pay for the uninsured if that's what you choose to do, but don't tell us how to spend our dollars. You have been in our pockets for to long. We are done. Party is over. Go and collect donations and do the foot work, I just may donate but don't tell us what to do. Live and Let Live.

For those of you who keep talking about Mr. Mackey's "high salary" as CEO of Whole Foods, you should be aware that he was a co-founder of the company. He receives $1.00 per year as his salary and donates the dividends from his stock to charities.
You may have also failed to notice that he provides coverage above $2,500, AS WELL AS UP TO $1,800 PER EMPLOYEE IN INDIVIDUAL HEALTHCARE ACCOUNTS.
Most of those "boycotting" Whole Foods never shopped there in the first place. I myself probably shop there about 4 to 6 times a year. But I'll be there this week and next - and a lot more often.
And I'd be willing to bet that most of those I've seen on TV demonstrating have not even read his op-ed. If they had, they couldn't be saying the things they are and blatantly misrepresenting Mr. Mackey's article. Unless, of course, they're working for ACORN.

I plan to go out of my way this weekend to shop at Whole Foods - finally someone with some common sense!

Mackey's selfish evil opinions made me so sick to my stomach I have not entered Whole Foods since.

Whole Foods is a corporation. Corporations are, by law (!), required to pursue maximum profits via ANY means necessary. That even means breaking the law, if the profits gained outweigh the financial cost of possibly being persecuted by a government.

It should come as no surprise that this scumbag CEO of Whole Foods (who was already caught posting fake messages online to try and boost his share price) would put profits ahead of our country and basic human rights.

Boycotting is a great start. You might want to take it one step further and really hit into their lifeforce by buying something, eating some of it and then returning it. Save your receipt!

I live in Lake Grove, NY....Have been waiting for 2 years for the store to open here. Please make is happen asap.

This is so typical of modern American cynicism, attacking blindly perceived enemies while covering up liberally for any remotely supportive source. 95% of this guy's employees are insured!
What is the motivation with you folks, health care or governmental omniscience? Because you found yourselves in the preferred demographic, you then decided that individual rights were overrated. The tyranny of the unimpeachable majority seems pretty sweet eh?
Anticipating this kind of cloying pathology was not that difficult, even in the days before the constitution was signed. That is why we have reference to the rights of the individual specifically.
So now the only way to obviate that tripe is to have bureaucracy wag the dog for you, right? Get on to yourselves. You have a choke hold on creativity, the economy, and personal liberty and you are tightening out of sheer malice.
As a child I considered this kind of attack on liberty, but I dismissed it as fruitless, I guess I underestimated the human devotion to eluding personal responsibility.

So how do you suggest we join the rest of the industrialized nations and provide quality health care to the 50 million plus of Americans who don't have any right now?

I suppose you are more entitled to waste billions and billions on a religious two-front war in the Mideast....but you won't spend money providing health care to those in need?

When is the last time you've visited a clinic for the poor? When is the last time you had a family member die from a treatable condition because they didn't have insurance coverage.

Health care should be a right - not a privilege - in the richest nation in the world.

I have a job now. If i lost it then i could qualify for government assistance. And get alot of xbox time in. That sounds like a great idea. Free food, free money, subsidised housing and free education, but only if i dont have income. So why do the working get punished? While the fat and lazy can collect disability for being fat? This country is too tolerant.

for what its worth our family will not shop whole foods

Is it really so bad to share an alternative opinion that so-called liberal people will boycott a store that has supported green producers, fair trade, and organic farming. I favor a public option, but respect others who particpate in the debate in a reasonable and civil manner, even if I disagree with them. Everyone has the right to shop where they want, but how much do we want to control business owners in how they express their opinions?

Bravo for John Mackey!
He sounds like a man with convictions and a level head. Anyone who would simply lay down and expect the government to take care of them is pretty weak and lazy. Be responsible for yourself. If you need help, temporary help, then yes there should be a safety net. But to have the government become your health care mavins? Fuhgettdabouddit!

Brave to you Mr. Mackey and boo-hiss to those idealogues who claim to stand for the everyman, yet when someone espouses a contrary opinion, their tolerance just goes out the window. I just found a Whole Foods near me and while I've never shopped there before, Mr. Mackey gave me a reason to do so now.

Now he's on to something. This is the key......... individual responsibility, less government. A socialist government will not work, ask the people who have lived under one.

We need people to be more responsible: grow your own garden, eat more healthy, raise your own meat, have your own chickens. Or if these are not available for you, find someone who is willing to sell produce, eggs, meat and help them w/ the project. Ever tried a patio garden?

There are a lot of things a person can do to be more healthy instead of eating the fast foods that are so available and not even fit to eat. How do you pronounce those ingredient????

We need to quit depending on the government for EVERY LITTLE THING. Put the money in teaching people to live a healthy life style, being responsible for their life. We are such dependent society today. What a mess we are in now!!!
Thank you.

I agree Mr. Mackey. We need reform but I also think a lot of our citizens need to be accountable for the life choices they've made in terms of their health. The tax payer should not have to cover the bill because you've chosen to not take care of the one and only body you were given. There are exceptions of course and hopefully the reforms would cover those exceptions but in general, reform for those in need and healthy lifestyles should be the focus

Nearly every single developed nation other than the USA has some form of govt healthcare and nearly all statistics show that these systems perform better than our insane insurance company mess. There is no example on Earth of a healthcare system without govt assistance outperforming our current one. So how is it possible that so many Americans are against any form of govt system? Principles and platitudes are great, but they don't solve complex problems.

If you are in good health and your deductible is $2,500.00 then you basically do not benefit from this type of policy.

Oh good god, he has a right to express his opinion and it has nothing to do with the price of onions. If he believes as he does, let him. He can have an opinion and it may be self promoting or even selfish self interest. He still has a right to express his opinion. What are we becoming? To attack a person or a person's business because he does not meet your needs is ever so selfish too, in fact down right dangerous in the long run. We are a democracy people. Get a life. Jon

Haha. Makes me want to buy all my goods at whole foods. Good thing it's not just hippies that like to eat healthy or we might lose whole foods.

You can include me on the list of boycotters. Whole Foods has abandoned its mission anyway. They have converted from a conveyor of healthy food to pandering to the rich and famous. Going to whole foods has become a social status event. It is not surprising to see that the company has taken a position in favor of wealthy health insurance companies and the exclusion of the less fortunate from health coverage. This would seem to fall in line with their marketing strategies!

Does anyone reeeally pay any attention to what CEOs say? (Or celebrities? Or politicians?)

Having worked with too many CEOs, I find 99% of them a complete waste of protoplasm -- unless you use them as a projectile. As projectiles they're actually excellent, thopugh you have to flash-freeze them first.

(Note that I'm certainly NOT defending Whole Foods or the CEO's inhuman comments. Hardly. I AM suggesting that they be used as frozen projectiles, however.)


I'll bet he has health insurance.

What about the 37 million other Americans working everyday that can't afford it ?

So... we are to boycott Whole Foods because Mr. Mackey disagrees with deficit spending? Heck, we should elect the guy president! So what if he plugs his own company in the press release?

John Mackey--Just another RICH scumlord boasting about personal responsibility. Just put him in the projects for a day!! Let him walk in the poor's shoes and see how he feels waiting 4 hours in an emergency room--DONE!

This is ridiculous. I don't show at Whole Foods now because it is too far from my house. However, I'm going Saturday and I'll be buying a weeks worth of groceries. I support the man...and therefore the store. I hope others follow to the point their sales shoot through the roof. I'll be doing my part.

These boycotters are morons. Anyone who has a Community College level understanding of nutrition knows that he is right. Let them boycott, I say. Let the dumb bastards eat them selves into heart disease and diabetes. I will continue to shop at and consume Whole Foods products and live a healthy life.

A wise person once said that doctors would go bankrupt if everyone just exercised and ate vegetables. How about this market distortion: tax junk food and use it to subsidize healthy food. That way the poor could afford to eat healthy instead of eating unhealthy, processed, artificial ingredients.

MBAs are worthless to society. Why would we even care what this self-serving CEO says?

Gee, a corporation that wants less government oversight? Hmm, wonder why that would be. It worked so well for the banking industry.

Hey, John Mackey, guess what? The days of maximizing profit at the expense of your employees is over. CEOs make millions while reducing salaries and benefits of the people that work for the company.

Your job is not to exploit.

How can we argue with John Mackey. What we need is for the average person to take more personal responsibility for their own health. Surely we have learned by now that big government cannot do efficiently what we can do for ourselves. We need less government not more. I say shop more at Whole Foods. They have my support.

Since John Mackey is the Chief Executive of Whole Foods he probably makes a lot of money and has great healthcare.

Why should we listen to him?

I thought Mr. Mackey's statements were lucid and well considered. Doubtless those who are in favor of a "boycott" are grasping at any straw to justify "poor choices" they've made politically. This partisan Democrat extremism, lashing out at anything that doesn't cleve to the Obama ascendency is shrill, arrogant, and frankly not the least bit interesting or energizing. I live in Dallas, and the closest Whole Foods store is 30 minutes away. I used to visit the stores infrequently whenever I was in the neighborhood, but always found the liberal "creep factor" of many other shoppers a little disturbing. Now, I'll make a specific effort to shop at Whole Foods whenever I need anything. I'll just keep a list of items and buy a lot at once. It'll save me on gas and time in the long run by not making frequent trips to the local Tom Thumb, and bonus, I'll be helping a uniquely visionary American grown company thrive. Bravo Mr. Mackey!

Wow! He's 100% right. So whats the problem?

It's so typical of someone with a high-paying job who not only has a great health-care plan, but can afford to pay for health insurance to blatantly ignore the peril of many who don't have high-paying jobs and cannot afford even basic, high-deductible health insurance. Hell, most of us cannot afford to shop at Whole Foods. My dwindling budget has already created its own "boycott" of expensive, over-inflated grocery stores. How I dearly wish that those with lots of dough could live in the shoes of the masses for a few months. How quickly they would discover that our country desperately needs a government-run plan to provide equitable health care to all its citizens. Maybe these fat-cat executives would finally be willing to shave a few bucks off the top of their salaries to help out the millions who would love to shop at Whole Foods, if only they could.

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