So, I’m feeling a little torn.
Recently, the CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey, wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that criticized President Obama’s health-care initiatives. In it, he insists that Americans don’t have an intrinsic right to health care, and in a bit of self-service, he suggested that if we all just ate wholesome, organically grown food, we could keep the costs of health care down without involving the government. Progressive action groups and bloggers were pretty much up-in-arms over the piece, which the Whole Foods company quickly disavowed as being purely the opinion of one man, who happens to be their CEO, and not representative of the organization.
Nevertheless, the leftwing bloggers will not be dissuaded. They’ve called for a boycott of the store, to let Mackey know that it’s not very smart to intentionally alienate a large percentage of your target audience.
As I said, I’m on the fence. While I personally tend to identify with those who want health care reforms, I’m not really willing to boycott the store, mostly because I feel that the guy is entitled to his opinion, but also I’m not too keen on the idea of possibly depriving the people who work for the store of their livelihood just because their boss might be a total butt-head.
As it is, it’s debatable whether or not the boycott is really working. Despite protesters picketing outside branches of the store in Washington DC, Maryland, New York and Austin, Texas last week, this past Friday, August 21st, Whole Food posted a record high stock price for the year. (Confidentially, I think that people might be inclined to boycott, but they just can’t bear to buy their rice cakes anywhere else.)
What do you think?
1 thought on “Boycott Whole Foods?”
I’ve already boycotted them, but only because their prices are too high for me. A friend recently told me about Trader Joe’s and it was goodbye, Whole Foods, hello Trader Joe’s! Although as you’ve pointed out elsewhere, TJ’s has their own problems.
As for the particulars of Mackey’s comments and the wisdom in expressing them, I wouldn’t expect much from the head of a huge company like that in the first place – nobody should be surprised that it isn’t being run by an average Joe who has the same concerns and priorities as you and me.
(As for potentially depriving his employees of their livelihood, I doubt a boycott could really be effective enough to cost anyone their job. Besides, shoppping at another store may just help THOSE good folks hang onto THEIR jobs!)
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