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Hey, John Mackey: Open a Whole Foods in Ashland!

2003: Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks makes disparaging comments about George W. Bush while onstage during a concert in London. Country music fans respond by demanding that the band's songs be pulled from the airwaves, and by boycotting the band's concerts. The Left cries foul. The boycott is "an issue of free speech"; an example of "demonizing dissenters." Martin Sheen calls Bush "a bully" for not coming to their defense.

2009: John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of the grocery-store chain Whole Foods, writes an op-ed criticizing the Obama/Pelosi health care reform, and suggesting alternatives. Left-wing groups express their disagreement, but respect his right to offer his opinions in a public forum.

Nah, just kidding. They're organizing a boycott of Whole Foods.

Categories > Health Care

Discussions - 17 Comments

I take it you're not surprised by this John. I certainly wasn't.

Whole Foods suprised analysts this quater with some good numbers. John Mackey isn't an idiot, his apperances on CNBC are always solid and his piece in the Wal-Street Journal is nothing new. While Whole Foods might break down as a progressive grocery store, a whole lot of democrats shop at Wal-Mart and think those wealthy enough to shop at Whole Foods must be republicans. So I think there is a considerable disconect between the categories that the analysts are assuming and the reality. The wealthier clients of Whole Foods while perhaps progressive aren't necessarily partisan democrats, and even here these are capable of understanding that criticism of particulars is important, especially when one party is in power. After all you don't shop at Whole Foods if you think the best is the ennemy of the good.

Someone is certainly organizing a boycot of Whole Foods, but it is unclear that this "they" are whole foods shoppers anymore than the wal-mart boycotters are wal-mart customers.

In many ways the high prices at Whole Foods would be much higher if there was a right to food and it was provided by food insurance.

You pay a 10c a lbs co-pay so you might as well get the super large and very delicious looking tommatoes at whole foods for $4.00 a lbs, rather than the hit or miss somewhat spotty and potentially mushy .99c Wal-Mart Tomatoes.

Because there isn't food insurance(albeit it might be fun to create) more people buy the tomatoes at Wal-Mart, price rations. Insurance by providing a co-pay blinds the system and price rationing. Demand for the $4 a lbs tommatoe sky rockets, assuming such high quality tommatoes are in limited supply a shortage will ensue and either Wal-Mart will raise its prices and sell all its tommatoes at $4 with (customer still only "pays" 10 cents)...in this case the price of the good increased 300%....but this does not mean the customer is stupid(in the short run he is only responsible for 10 cents...in the long run food insurance costs increase.) Given a long enough run for capital to be redistributed to high quality tommatoe cultivation, Whole Foods increases quantity and quality perhaps with an increase in price over the Wal-Mart $4...now they are selling a premium tommatoe for $10...

It is flat out insane what would happen to food insurnace... but eventually even Whole Foods would increase its quality of steak beyound the $25 level and only serve Kobe Beef. The Japanese Economy would skyrocket and four year degrees in cattle massage therapy would show great salary returns, as entire heards of Angus are only consumed in the short run, waiting for the lag in Kobe production to pick up steam.

If only I was jokeing about the 4 year degree being usefull for massaging cattle, a true master can handle about 50 cattle a day, and fetch a salary in yen equivalent to about 60k, plus these Kobe prefer to drink imported dark ale from Holland, but might settle for for a bud light on account of the fact that it was consumed with fan-fare by a US president. In any case some Kobe retails at around $22 an ounce...so a 16 ounce steak $352(but with food insurance only 10 cents a lbs co-pay)

Food is a right! Universal Food Insurnace for all...but while food or medical care might or not might be rights does not change the fact that they are limited resources, and this is why the bulk of Mackey's suggestions were spot on.

With no pricing mechanism available the consumer does not ration, and the consequences of not rationing lead to an escalation in prices, which are then passed on in the form of higher insurance costs.

Increasing co-pays makes the consumer more price conscious. In the food example a $2.50 a lbs co-pay on tomatoes would make the Whole Foods example more attractive on a relative basis(vs. $4) but would have drastically less impact on Wal-Mart sales at 99 cents a lbs.

On a theoretical level Mackey is right about HSA's...and everything about his eight point plan sounds good to me.

I will probably stick with wal-mart tomatoes that have a lower price tag, but I grant that there is more quality if less value in Whole Foods.

Technically speaking I am not sure that shopping at Whole Foods and Wal-Mart are opposed. Wal-Mart is ideal for a wide range at a decent price level, and actually doesn't compete that much or well with higher end specialty stores(or even niche bottom end hit or miss Aldi's, Dollar Store, odd-lots). Also for some people cooking a serious meal is a labor and event that might call for higher end ingredients.

In some sense Wal-Mart eating in is probably heavy on ramen noodles and mac and cheese(decent lasagna for the lazy), but in fast-food nation, eating out isn't what it used to be, so McDonalds and Burger King, even subway certainly belong with Wal-Mart(as the non-event eating in of eating out).

While Whole Foods is trying to be the "eating out" of eating in.

I see that they sell natural and organic foods, and at least they warn customers if the food is GMO. I thought Monsanto and friends had lobbied congress to make doing that illegal. I suppose that the scope of big government authority and controll is more important than eating well. It's ironic they would boycott healthy foods and then want free healthcare at the same time. I guess the bussiness of American politics is irony....that and answering questions with statements about you oponents shortcomings.

Funny study in contrasts. For more then-vs-now laughs consider these gems.

I especially like the contrast between the days of Pres. Bush's public appearances, where the wrong t-shirt, sign, or bumper sticker would get one booted from an event - into a "free speech zone" if you were lucky - and today, when far less civilized protests are politely accommodated, and wackaloons can carry semi-automatic rifles to Obama speaking events.

The "contrast" is that liberals and progressives demand that you be on the right side of reason and obviously agree with them. You have the right to free speech and opinions as long as you agree with them. They're very open-minded and tolerant towards people who agree with them.

Some of the people getting kicked out of the bush events are the same people having the same thing happen now. I think what the gentlemen with the AR15 did was good. It brought the reality of the law to light. I will grant that being for gun control is a legitimate idea (I don't agree with it), so he is bringing about the fact that their is no control in the four states with open carry laws. It is shining light either on a good law or a bad one depending on what you think. It is an overreation by people that is the most shocking. Like an assassin is going to walk in with gun out in the open. Assassins shoot people with magic bullets from school book depositories. They don't walk around and mingle. That is why concealed guns were never allowed and open carry is our common law right at least in a few states till this day. The public thinks they live in a hollywood script where gun means bad man, I suppose if gun control was enacted it would be reality.

Oh, come on, Brutus. As if only Muslim terrorists would consider suicide terrorism. Consider the guys who recently killed the abortion doctor, the guard at the Holocaust museum, and the Unitarians in Tennessee (during their service). All three of them were obviously willing to go out in a blaze of glory and die as martyrs. If one thinks that Obama is a Kenyan Nazi terrorist-sympathizer and is destroying America, then such extreme measures would certainly be considered by some. There'd be a poster of whoever did it in the basement of every right-wing loon in the country. It would be bold move, and one that many people wouldn't expect, but it's entirely possible.

"Some of the people getting kicked out of the bush events are the same people having the same thing happen now."

Huh? Huh???!!? The same people? Can you offer any evidence of that? Why weren't these "same people" bringing their guns to Bush events back then? Really, Brutus, that defies all credulity.

"I think what the gentlemen with the AR15 did was good. It brought the reality of the law to light. I will grant that being for gun control is a legitimate idea (I don't agree with it), so he is bringing about the fact that their is no control in the four states with open carry laws. It is shining light either on a good law or a bad one depending on what you think. It is an overreation by people that is the most shocking."

What overreaction? People are talking about it, and some people are objecting to it, but nobody, to my knowledge, has gone over the edge about it. Could it be that the people bringing the guns to the Obama events are overreacting - to largely imaginary threats (primarily the imminent loss of their gun rights, specifically the right to carry an AR-15 to a Presidential speaking event)? Others have already said it, but it's obvious that if some protestor of Bush's policies showed up at one of his speaking events with a gun (or hell, even a nail file), that person would be tased, beaten, hauled away, and kept in a windowless dungeon at an undisclosed location for an indefinite time period. And I'd bet that most gun-rights people would not object (remember this would be a LIBERAL or leftist in custody!), as it would be seen as simply stopping a terrorist who surely must've had plans to take out the Prez. People were thrown out of events, and in some cases even arrested, for dangerous t-shirts and bumper stickers, during the GWB years.

Conservatives shouldn't forget that it was their demi-god darling, then-Gov. Reagan who, in 1967, signed the Mulford Act, "prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street." Of course that law was directed at stopping the Black Panthers, but it still affected all gun owners.

Reagan was still endorsing gun control in a March 28, 1991 speech. "I support the Brady Bill, and I urge the Congress to enact it without further delay."

As for this latest business, with the schizo "patriots," armed like assassins at the Obama events, well, Jon Stewart & Co. say it best.

If the Obama administration is allowing people to show up at the president's speaking engagements with firearms, that is not a good reflection on the administration. I'm shocked that the Secret Service would tolerate it.

The guy was nowhere near a place where he could get a shot off at the president. Don't try to pull me into a right left hypocrisry thing, I despise both. It really is a horrible way to try to win arguments, as if someone who did not protest Bush has no right to protest now not based on just the current regime but the accumulation of abuses of all the regimes of the past hundred years. We can't go back in time. The "right wing militia/white supremecist" movement is mostly a scheme of the FBI and the other alphabet soup to provacture. Look into the case of Hal Turner, an FBI informant/blogger/ trying to get people to say or do things they could be arrested for. An armed citizenry is the last defense against tyrants, it does not matter what side of the isle they come from. A lot of the people doing these forms of protest are coming out of the alternative media, we are change groups, ect; hardly a crowd in love with Bush. Some of the people are now more afraid and they are probably life long NRA types who think an R means everything when the NRA is hardly a pro second amendment group when you get past their rhetoric. It would be much more compelling argument about not protesting bush but now doing it to Obama if Obama had done what he promised during the campaign and reigned in the patriot act erosions of liberty, ended the "Bush wars," or not given big bussiness barrels of our money. I imagine that I am wasting my time, if you trust the government and think they will be there to protect and nuture you then you probably are a more happy and content person than I, more power to you.

"If the Obama administration is allowing people to show up at the president's speaking engagements with firearms, that is not a good reflection on the administration. I'm shocked that the Secret Service would tolerate it."

So, you want the Obama administration to unilaterally suspend state laws?

"The guy was nowhere near a place where he could get a shot off at the president. Don't try to pull me into a right left hypocrisry thing, I despise both."

The first problem with your objection is the implication that the Dems/Obama equal "the left" - they don't. But if we're talking Obama (a Dem) vs. Bush (a Repub) then yes, it's a hypocrisy thing. Extreme intolerance of non-violent dissent under Bush, with questionable tolerance of paranoid, delusional extremists under Obama.

Brutus, when you say that "The "right wing militia/white supremecist" movement is mostly a scheme of the FBI and the other alphabet soup to provacture [provoke?]" and cite a singular, bizarre (and questionable) example, I'm sorry but I feel compelled to strap on a tinfoil hat... and a sidearm.

It's real simple. Americans can bring guns to political rallies. Supporters of Arab terror can't. Any questions?

Scanlon, what exactly is your argument? Or are you just speaking to be heard again...

If you promise to review and read what I put up, I think in the past you do; I will put in the time to look up other cases where the government runs these groups. If you don't want to read it let me know and I won't waste my time. Ironic, that while typing away on a message board I worry about wasting time. Not trying to be a jerk on this, I really do like hearing your thoughts. The reports and articles I am thinking of are freedom of information act requests and various testimony in court cases with most of the conclusions can be easily dismissed as the stuff of conspiracy theories because a lot of the evidence came out because of the OKC building, Mcvey and the others who had cases concerning the events of that day.

Yes, Brutus, I'll look at what you've got - please, post away! I appreciate your civility, by the way...

A little off topic, but a good starting point. Operation Gladio

The points of interest in the whole Mcvey case center around his and the governments relations to Elohim City One of the residents there was BATF asset Carol Howe. The most interesting, who some claimed to be the mastermind was Andreas Strassmeir. Now is where it gets interesting. During the investigation the government picked up a suspect who matched a description and tortured him to death and called it a suicide. The problem is that his brother is a lawyer who is still actively pursuing the case. He filed for this Document which seems to be a request from one agency to find out if Strassmeir is or has been a CIA asset. The government won't release any reply but here is the document It is just a starting point on this case, there are tons of questions about the BATF and FBI reltion to Elohim city and somehow the Sothern Poverty Law Center fits in there too. The evidence in this case is thin so its not a great example. Like 911, there are a lot of theories and unexplained sort of things that the government is never going to clarify. I really only discussed this since it is being brought up so much as the poster child of "right" wing extremism. The gist of it is that there were informants and possibly agents in Elohim city and nothing was done to stop the bombing. Elohim city is till in business btw.

More proveable examples come from instances like this recent list of agent provocateur actions around the world. link I am sure there are better examples out there but I am running out of energy trying to digg this stuff up. My feelings on this are: The racist is a usefull moron who can be used to incite public outrage in a predictable manner. they always appear scary and radical, but is someone so hung up on race capable of the elaborate plots they get connected with. which brings us to the above post about hitler. hitler is the most overused and poor comparison going. its like just pointing and jumping saying bad man bad man. the realities of the nazi regime has been lost due to its overuse in popular culture. people call RA's nazis for enforcing strict noise rules. I think with all the focus though on the man, hitler, it is lost that one man a nazi regime and holocause did not make. It takes many like minded individuals to do that kind of evil. Calling someone hitler today is almost like some sort of pre emptive volley to shame them away from behavior that some believe is or will lead to hardcore evil.

One final thing, prosecutors have admited now that Hal Turner was working for the FBI. The extent and duration is now being disputed.

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