I don't tend to shop at Whole Foods because they offer a value proposition that does not appeal to me. Their prices are too high for products that generally don't seem noticeably better than ones I can get in other stores. To some extent the placebo effect of having "all natural" on the package does not really work for me, though I do buy most of my fish and meat there (and not just because I like the irony of buying only meat products from a store populated by vegans).
That said, I like having the choice in stores. I even drop by a farmers market once in a while, though generally the hassle is not worth it for me. The same is true in beers -- I am seldom in the mood for something as dark and rich as a Belhaven, I love the explosion of choices in beer we have seen since the dark days of the late 70's/early 80's. Other people will make different choices. Cool.
Which makes it all the more ironic that those who benefit from the explosion in retail choice in the free marketplace are using that choice to protest the CEO of Whole Foods for advocating similar levels of choice in health care. Anyway, I would write more but Radley Balko did a much better job here.
You see, he shared his ideas on health care reform, thinking that you, being so famously open-minded and all, might take to a few of them, or that it at least might start a conversation. I guess he felt he'd built up some cache with you, and wanted to introduce you to some new ideas. His mistake wasn't in intentionally offending his customers. He's a businessman who has built a huge company up from the ground. I'm sure he knows you don't deliberately offend your customers. His mistake was assuming you all were open-minded enough consider these ideas without taking offense"”that you wouldn't throw a tantrum merely because he suggested some reforms that didn't fall in direct line with those endorsed by your exalted Democratic leaders in Washington. In retrospect? Yeah, it was a bad move. Turns out that many of you weren't nearly mature enough to handle it.
Its hard even to understate the how absolutely nuts self-styled "progressives" have gone over this pretty tame and sober editorial in the IBD. Here is just one example -- this is a mainstream green blogger and not some weird comment to a Kos post. I honestly thought this was satire at first:
I agree with CEO John Mackey that it's okay to make money by making your green business big. But Mackey crossed the line with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this weekend, whose very publication put him in the company of the lunatic right-wing fringe who edit the paper's opinion section.
The op-ed reads like a page from the Republican playbook, touting individual responsibility for one's health. What a load of unorganic crap!
Holy brothers-keeper Batman - He's advocating individual responsibility!! Here, since I have not reproduced it before, are the "lunatic" ideas of Mr. Mackey:
"¢"‰Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).
"¢"‰Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.
"¢"‰Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.
"¢"‰Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.
"¢"‰Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
"¢"‰Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost.
"¢"‰Enact Medicare reform.
"¢"‰Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren't covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
The tort reform area is one where Obama is particularly disingenuous. It is just amazing that anyone could write about the cost of medicine being driven by too many useless procedures without once mentioning the words malpractice or defensive medicine. I wonder if this might explain Obama's silence on tort reform (via maggies farm)