Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Whole Bunch of Crap.

So John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, does not agree with the Obama administration’s healthcare plan. So what. Neither do I. Though we both have concerns about the president’s agenda, we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. The sweet sweet irony in Mr. Mackey’s economic opinions is that his business caters to people who are probably more to the left than he apparently is. This isn’t uncommon. Who makes the “environmentally friendly” Toyota Prius? A car company known as Toyota, who is not in the ecology business, but the auto business, and they are in the auto business to make money. It’s the same with Whole Foods. Whole Foods exists to make money. It’s a business. The fact that it’s a business is evident in Whole Foods recent merger with Wild Oats Market and the legal back and forth Whole Foods has gone through with the Federal Trade Commission to finish the deal.

What’s the point? The point is that it should not come as a surprise that the CEO of a big corporation personally supports other big corporate entities. In this case, John Mackey supporting big insurance companies. Is Mackey off the hook then? Nope. Make no mistake, John Mackey’s health care opinions are wrong. His anti-health care opinions are pretty standard. (Don’t take my word for it. click here ) But the real reason why John Mackey is such a dumb ass is that he alienated his consumers. What was this guy thinking!?! You are the CEO of a posh organic grocery store chain. Why piss off the hipsters?

So the fallout is that many people who disagree with Mr. Mackey’s views are calling for a boycott of Whole Foods. Oh no! We’re looking at a full blown hipster civil war. How will they be able to stick it to the man and still buy organic sorghum from the cool corporate chain store? What are the hippies to do?

And did you hear about the fallout from the fallout? You are not going to believe this. Looney tune right wingers are now calling for a Whole Foods “buycott.” I’ll say that again. Right wing groups are urging people to shop at Whole Foods Market in opposition to the boycott. Talk about weird political activism. In St. Louis, this “buycott” is being coordinated by… THE TEABAGGERS! Who could forget about those lovable patriots that think they don’t have to pay their fare share in taxes. They have returned in the form of anti-health care reform jokers that are no longer dumping tea into the Mississippi, but feasting on overpriced health foods despite the left.

Honestly, it’s freaking genius. Because, like I said before, Whole Foods is not in the change the world/ do good things for the environment business. They are in the selling food business and they are selling food to make money. It’s good old fashioned capitalism. The words “whole”, and “organic”, and “natural” are descriptors used to move product. This isn’t exactly a criticism of Whole Foods. It’s just how it is. They market themselves as a health food store and they do a fantastic job of delivering on what they are advertising. It’s a wonderful business model and they do great things for local growers. But it’s still a corporation. They still use predatory tactics like opening stores next to small market vendors and drive down prices to put them out of business. What I’m trying to hammer away at is the bottom line is NOT a healthier lifestyle, it’s robust profits.

So, the “buycotters” are doing what comes naturally to them. They are supporting big business. Only this time, it’s not a big box store that’s sells junk; it’s a specialty foods store that sells high quality food. But it’s such a show of disgusting, middle school bullshit. These people don’t believe in anything. Most of these buycotters have never set foot in a Whole Foods, and now they’re urging people to go there. Why? For the better quality products that Whole Foods sells? Nope. It’s because they heard on television that the CEO opposes Obama’s health care plan. These people have no life. They have no moral or ethical standards whatsoever. It’s truly sickening.

Like I said, I’m not criticizing Whole Foods for being an efficient corporate business model. I don’t think you should boycott Whole Foods because of the personal opinions of the CEO. That’s ridiculous. If you are really serious about ethical food purchases, join a food co-op, shop at independent markets, or buy direct from the farmer. If this isn’t practical, then go ahead and shop at the damn Whole Foods Market. You’re the consumer. How can you possibly be blamed for what is presented to you? This “buycott” won’t last long and these idiot right wingers will move on to the next outrageous stunt. And don’t worry about this jack ass, John Mackey. He is just expressing his beliefs as a business man. Though, perhaps it was bad business to piss off his customers.

"Whole Foods Caught in the Crossfire."
By Georgina Gustin

"The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare
Eight things we can do to improve health care without adding to the deficit."

By John Mackey
Wall Street Journal

"Michael Pollan Weighs in on Whole Foods Boycott."
By Andrew Price