Friday, August 14, 2009

A CEO's Marie Antoinette moment 

So, a CEO of a public company writes an op-ed objecting to Obamacare. Bad idea, if you are the CEO of Whole Foods. Outraged lefty customers are up in arms:

"I will no longer be shopping at Whole Foods," Taylor told ABCNews.com. "I think a CEO should take care that if he speaks about politics, that his beliefs reflect at least the majority of his clients."

Countless Whole Foods shoppers have taken their gripes with Mackey's op-ed to the Internet, where people on the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are calling for a boycott of the store.

A commenter on the Whole Foods forum, identified only by his handle, "PracticePreach," wrote, "It is an absolute slap in the face to the millions of progressive-minded consumers that have made [Whole Foods] what it is today."

Live by the limousine liberal, die by the limousine liberal. I always say that.

In any case, how does Whole Foods CEO John Mackay not know that a huge proportion of his customers are Obama supporters? He did not notice the sea of be-stickered Volvos in his parking lots? How out of touch is he?

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Aug 14, 04:22:00 PM:

A leading Daily Kos diarist went so far as to bitterly refer to this Op-Ed as a complete betrayal. Given the high prices I guess I'd be surprised if many young people shopped at WF, and I think even lefties among the older demographic would agree with a lot of what he said, so I don't know this will provoke a big pushback. Of course, bad publicity can kill so WF is probably in crisis PR mode right now so they don't become the next Wal-Mart focus of hatred.  

By Anonymous Director Mitch, at Fri Aug 14, 04:24:00 PM:

I don't think they will see any long term financial impact from this. Boycotts generally don't work - Pepsi's CEO stuck her mouth in it, forgotten after a few weeks. Absolut Vodka pissed off the entire state of Texas and most of the Southwest with an offensive ad. Forgotten. Several companies promote pro-homosexual agenda and have tens of thousands of people (mainly from Chistian organizations) boycotting them - but they still support the gay agenda and they even they admit that they lose more business than they gain with the support (there are lots more Christians than gays in this country).

The other things is that maybe the CEO figures that he will lose more money under Obama care than what he will lose from trying to stop it and angering a few customers. This was probably a good financial decision.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Aug 14, 04:43:00 PM:

Via Don Surber, I found this CEO with a whole different attitude towards govment give-aways. Great stuff.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Fri Aug 14, 05:20:00 PM:

This is a refreshing article, it goes to show that you can run a company, provide a high-quality product that makes you a lot of money, care about your customers and your employees, provide good quality health care for your employees at a reasonable price, and do it all without having the government come crashing in to take over control.

Naturally this kind of threat can not stand, and must be destroyed by the very people who claim to truly care.  

By Anonymous vicki pasadena ca, at Fri Aug 14, 05:20:00 PM:

WE have 2 whole foods in town and it is mostly young people who shop there. Too expensive for me without the perceived value added. Could care less what their CEO says. Remember he was the one that was sending damning letters to people concerning the economic status of Wild Oats, the company he was buying. He got his hand slapped, and not much more for trying to spin himself a better deal when he bought the store chain out. Jerk.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Fri Aug 14, 05:42:00 PM:

Oh, and please note that the focus of the ABC story is *not* “Here we have a company with a working health care plan” or even “Can this type of plan actually work for other companies?” No, the focus is “Customers of company are angry at company, will shop elsewhere”. They even go so far as to put “reform” in scare quotes. It is not until Page 2 and after four anti-quotes (half of which are online aliases) before we even get a single token positive quote, and exactly zero analysis of how well the Whole Foods health program is actually working.

ABC used to be a news company.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Fri Aug 14, 05:54:00 PM:

I stopped shopping at Whole Foods when they stopped stocking soy flour in bulk while they had an estimated twenty different kinds of Granola. Ditto their stopping stocking generic cheap soy milk powder in favor of the flavored soy milk powder that costs three-four times more. Wal-Mart's soy flour in package is half the price of soy flour in package at Whole Foods.

While Mackey was a sleaze for his sockpuppet comments about Whole Oats, his health plan has some points worth considering.

I doubt the boycott will have any lasting value. My boycott of Whole Foods over soy products has a trivial effect on their bottom line.  

By Anonymous Moody Deep Thinker, at Fri Aug 14, 06:00:00 PM:

The core of Liberal beliefs is apparently that you must be in lock step with the herd. Tolerance has its own standard of intolerance of dissent. Pretty much puts the torch to the barn of Liberalism for me.

I read his stuff. It made a lot more sense than most. No wonder the crunchy chewies hate it. It doesn't require AGW to power it and it cuts government involvement. Their toes must be just all twisted up in their birkenstocks.  

By Blogger Trochilus, at Fri Aug 14, 06:57:00 PM:

The guy has courage. Good for him.

On their website . . . they have a very decentralized focus . . . here it is -- the closest store to me in New Jersey is located in Princeton.

Tigerhawk country.

I think I'll drop in tomorrow -- with some money in my pocket.  

By Blogger Trochilus, at Fri Aug 14, 07:12:00 PM:

Paul at Powerline has a good piece up about this as well.

And he has some interesting additional information about the guy, including the fact that he's made enough that he now only takes a $1.00 a year salary.

Here is an interesting graf:

"However, ABC says that other customers have rallied to Mackey's defense, vowing to increase their purchases. It is also possible that, if a lefty boycott takes off, some conservatives who do not currently shop at Whole Foods will start doing so. After all, there seems to be more intensity on our side when it comes to this issue. (Whether that's true among the sub-set of the population willing to pay extra money for healthier food, I do not know)."

See you in Princeton!  

By Blogger Stephen, at Fri Aug 14, 09:34:00 PM:

Maybe the unhappy Whole Food shoppers can buy their food at Walmart. I hear Walmart supports Obamacare.  

By Anonymous Richard, at Fri Aug 14, 10:14:00 PM:

I think you are painting with a broad brush here. I am a conservative and shop at Whole Foods--perhaps more so now (grinning)--and enjoy it. The average American grocery store, and indeed WalMart, are vile overpriced places full of processed non-eatables.

Regarding the limousine liberal comment, I assume that's just blogging hyperbole, because there are many people like me at our local Whole Foods. I would admit that the liberals with whom my wife and I are friends, or co-workers, are not moonbats nor are they ascerbic; they are good-natured people and they shop at Whole Foods or our local farmers market. But there are many, many immigrants shopping there who look at the store as not as alien and manufactured as the Food Lion, etc. Africans, Arabs, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Cambodians and such. Moreover, what liberals (if you can be stereotypical about what that means, as I can't "spot" a liberal) there don't seem to be limousine at all, but rather neo hippies and shopping young mothers.

Finally, the word at large is that Clintonista Lanie Davis helped Mackey pen the letter. There could be more afoot here like payback for Barack Obama's dismantling of their hegemony. We shall see.

Accordingly, I enjoy your posts in silence usually, but I had to speak up here. Keep up the good work, but please keep down the hyperbole. When I'm in the mood for that, I'll watch Hannity. I read the Net for deeper analysis.

Raleigh, NC  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Fri Aug 14, 10:57:00 PM:

Holy Shit! An actual thoughtful poster on Tigerhawk. I'm so used to bloody frigging cretins and wingnut racists--this is like a fresh breeze clearing out a fishmarket's stink on muggy afternoon!! Hahaha Thank you "Richard" for calling TH out!!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Aug 14, 11:10:00 PM:

To me the real scary part is that a man writes an article about health insurance and people want to boycott because its "political".

Does that mean every article now written in "Car and Driver" is political as well? Is there anything that can be written about that the government is far enough removed to not be considered political at this point?  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Fri Aug 14, 11:32:00 PM:

I'm so used to bloody frigging cretins and wingnut racists--

What does it say about YOU, CC, that you choose to associate online with such people ?  

By Anonymous koolau, at Sat Aug 15, 12:28:00 AM:

I don't think this is a case of a liberal biting his own hand.

The CEO is rich enough to not care about ensuring his income is steady. In fact, he doesn't draw an income from Whole Foods at all.

His op/ed was written without fear, meaning it is an opinion that should be considered honest and instructive to readers.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sat Aug 15, 10:39:00 AM:

Moody - that's because liberalism is a social, not an intellectual enterprise.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 16, 05:58:00 PM:

"I'm so used to bloody frigging cretins and racists"

Looking in the mirror?  

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By Blogger Aegon01, at Mon Aug 17, 05:58:00 PM:

Whole Foods will probably be improved without those customers.  

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