Whole Foods Craziness

Read BBC: Customers call for Whole Foods boycott

There’s been some over-politicizing in the news about something that John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods said in an editorial about health care for the Wall Street Journal. Here’s an article from the BBC about customers boycotting at Whole Foods stores:

BBC: Customers call for Whole Foods boycott

After reading that story I was expecting a real foot-in-mouth/Fox News sort of message about some poorly-considered free market solution to our health care problems. These customers are obviously very upset. But I didn’t want to take this article at face value, so I searched around to find the Wall Street Journal article in question (would have been nice for the BBC to provide a link). Now take a look:

Wall Street Journal: The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare

I might not agree with everything he says in the editorial, but knowing that he has a history of Libertarian perspectives (less/no government is good) and that he is a wealthy CEO, nothing he says there comes as much of a surprise. He actually points out that a lot of our health care problems are due to

  1. Expensive health insurance due to expensive doctors due to expensive malpractice insurance due to people pursuing a pile of money in exchange for medical mistakes and oversights
  2. Unhealthy lifestyles that we don’t hold ourselves accountable for

And I think these two points are inarguable. Addressing these two issues would drastically lower our health care costs, making our health care problem that much easier to manage.

He suggests that independent insurance options should get the same tax benefits as employer-based insurance and wants to get rid of state-line limitations for insurance options. Basically, he is suggesting to remove the government control and lobbyist influences from our current quasi-free market insurance situation. Thus having an actual free market where competition would keep our health care costs low rather than artificially high.

Where he really gets himself in trouble is talking about whether or not we have a right to health care. His perspective: we don’t. Not a surprise since, as mentioned above, he leans Libertarian. This subject is philosophical and probably why so many people are boycotting his stores. The boycotters probably don’t even understand any of the smart things that he said that aren’t philisophical. I wonder if they know what ‘Libertarian’ means.

The Whole Foods store boycotts, based on the above articles, look a bit ridiculous. This is a smart, successful businessman with real-world experience in working out health care solutions for his employees. It would be interesting to hear what his employees have to say, on average, about how their health care is managed. But you probably won’t see a news company do that because they are focused on publishing scandal, not helpful, informative articles.

I think it’s refreshing for a man in his position to publish his perspective and explain why it applies to our current health care debate. It is unfortunate that he is being attacked as though he were suggesting something unjust and unrealistic.

Even with misinformation being spread on both political sides and situations like these being created all over, I am still hopeful that our federal government will take this opportunity to improve our health care situation by making health care more available to those U.S. citizens that need it most. Right now health insurance is a huge burden for many of us that overshadows any plans that we have for our lives.

If our politicians would stop wasting their energy on battling for power and wealth and start doing the jobs we elected them to, a lot of good, intelligent solutions could be developed to improve the lives of U.S. citizens.