Sunday, August 16, 2009

Defending Whole Foods from John Mackey and a boycott

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote a shallow and unaware Wall Street Journal Op-Ed (are there any other kinds?) attacking real health care reform and proposing nonsolutions like shopping at Whole Foods. The outraged liberal customer base of Whole Foods is now proposing a boycott.

I don't agree with a boycott. Mackey may be like the evil denialist Lee Raymond who funded anti-global warming astroturf groups when he ran Exxon, but the difference here is that Whole Foods isn't being used by Mackey to fight health care. I don't object to a corporation having a prominent officer espousing stupid beliefs on his own time.

Mackey did go slightly further, putting the unedited version of his op-ed on his part of the Whole Foods blog, but he says he did it to distinguish between his words and the edits by the Journal that made it expressly critical of Obama. IMO he shouldn't have posted it, but simply said that his views are only his own, and at most given a link to some personal blog he could set up independently of Whole Foods and rant to his heart's content.

That's a relatively minor sin, though, and I don't think it should be a requirement that corporations I use have every officer share my views.

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