Thank You John Mackey!

Whole Foods MarketI am very happy with John Mackey. You may have heard that the Whole Foods CEO said that he was wrong when he said that Obamacare was socialistic; he meant to say that it is more fascistic. And here’s the thing: he’s right! And do you know why it is we’re stuck with a fascistic healthcare insurance system rather than a socialistic one? Because of assholes like Mackey.

Get below the surface of fascism—its violence and racism—and you are left with crony capitalism. This is one of the reasons that I call the Republican Party proto-fascistic: they want to destroy the socialistic aspects of our government as it is applied to individuals. But they are all for corporate socialism! (There are other reasons I call them proto-fascistic, of course; like the fact that they are a racist party that governs through fear.)

So I don’t think we should get all mad at John Mackey for calling Obamacare fascistic. He should be praised for being slightly better informed than most libertarian fucktards. But if I owned stock in Whole Foods Market, I’d be very mad Mackey. The main reason is that saying such things are not good for business. They are provocative without being useful. Keep your politics out of your business—especially when a lot of your customers disagree with your politics.

But there is another reason a stock owner might be mad about Mackey. Until recently, I always assumed that Whole Foods employees were payed like Costco employees. But now I know (and I’m sure I’m not alone), that they are paid only a bit more than minimum wage to start and generally don’t get much in terms of benefits. So I’ve decided to stop shopping there.

I’m not a big fan of Whole Foods anyway. But it is super convenient for me. In order to shop at the local organic grocery store, I have to go way out of my way. But I’ll do it now. This only takes a couple hundred dollars a year away from Whole Foods. But this money should have been going to the local store anyway. So it’s a lose/win: the bad company loses and the good company wins.

So thank you, John Mackey! If it weren’t for your libertarian ranting, I would be continuing to give money to your evil enterprise.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

5 thoughts on “Thank You John Mackey!

  1. This IS odd. Maybe Mackey just knows his customer demographic really well and decided, like the Chik-Fil-A people, to make political statements that would encourage customer identification with his company.

    But as you write, a lot of Whole Foods shoppers are not in alliance with his political views. The Whole Foods in St. Paul is in a very upscale, very Democratic area. Precisely the sort of Democrats who have a rather overzealous devotion to Obama (they don’t mind if Obama and the Dems aren’t tougher on the wealthy, because these people are wealthy themselves.) Mackey basically just delivered a steaming turd to these shoppers’ front porches along with the weekly advert mailing.

    (If Whole Foods HAS a weekly advert mailing — I live in a different neighborhood, and I get ads from Da Po’ grocery stores.)

    It wouldn’t surprise me if more than a few switched over to Trader Joe’s.

    On switching stores — it’s like switching banks, every little bit helps. When you make a decent business more profitable, you also make it more likely that other decent businesses can get startup funds. Which increases the possibility that eventually one might open in your neighborhood. Remember that, unless you use cash, just about everything you buy is tracked. So leave those electronic fingerprints all over the good store (and if you need a quick potato at Whole Foods, use those Luddite greenbacks.)

  2. @JMF – I’m not sure what Mackey is doing. When he called Obamacare socialism before it became law, there was much outrage. Of course, this time, he’s gone on an apology tour claiming that he was misunderstood.

    I shouldn’t be too surprised, however. In my experience, it is [i]not[/i] the smart or capable who succeed in business; it is the ruthless.

    But like I said: I don’t mind what he said. He was right, even if he is a dick for saying it. Actually, he’s right but his explanation is wrong. He doesn’t really have fascism quite right. But again, Mackey doesn’t seem to be that smart a guy.

  3. I’m not a big Thom Hartmann fan (he’s very versed in history, but like all Portlanders a wee bit loopy for my taste) yet he said something I caught on the radio once and enjoyed.

    In short, that CEO get such colossal salaries because they possess a very unusual skillset. They are essentially sociopathic, but unlike your average sociopath, they have years of education which give them A) a basic grasp of some simple business principles and, more importantly, B) a sense of obeisance to power which ideally will keep them from running the company into the ground on a whim (unless they make sure other powerful people get their fair share of the lucrative dismantling.)

    This is rather the kid-lit version of how CEOs are appointed but I suspect it has some truth to it.

    When I was a kid in college, a dormmate down the hall was the son of Burger King’s CEO. I learned that this gentleman was hired after years of cost-cutting at other companies, giving the lie to instructional videos one watched when working at Burger King (as I had), stating how "everyone in the company started out where you are today, changing fry batter!" The son and I had a laugh about this. It was also easy to sneak into his room through the courtyard window and steal one of his many Free Whopper coupons.

    Orwell wrote once that fascism was already just a generic negative term applied to political enemies even in his day. Obviously now it’s borderline meaningless, as many people who bandy it about actually support what the thing means in every real political/economic/propaganda sense.

    PS — I’m checking out "Philosophy Bites" now. It’s quite fun. Some of the interviews are pure navel-gazing, as would be expected from tenured individuals, but some have really unusual and challenging arguments. I always liked college for stuff like that — I just hated having to mimic it back to the instructor for a grade.

  4. @JMF – Horatio Alger is so key to American social control. It makes my father’s generation almost blind. I think more recent generations have been better. It isn’t that they don’t believe the myth, they just think it is more about luck than anything else. And that’s what the stories are. In fact, if you look at the stories, you will see how things actually are with successful businessmen: they worked very hard, but it was all based upon being born in the right place in the right way and all the things that go along with it.

    One thing is certain: being an iconoclast is not going to make you a success in this country. Being slightly ahead of the curve is great for profits. Being way ahead is not. In fact, it is more likely to get your put in jail.

    I’m glad to hear you’re reading [i]Philosophy Bites[/i]–it is an excellent book. It isn’t often you get to hear scholars talk about their work in an easy to follow way. The only part that I was disappointed in was the section of aesthetics. I didn’t feel that the work was well discussed in such a short space. I really liked Wendy Brown on tolerance. And I thought all the religious stuff was excellent. I think if you have any interest in the life of the mind, you can’t help but find it fun. It is like intellectual candy. It reminds me of something I heard Kurt Vonnegut say, "Reading allows us to meditate with the greatest minds of our culture." Exactly!

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