Guest post by Charles Johnson
The ire over Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey's WSJ op-ed on health care has entered a new phase, with union boycotters calling for him to be removed as CEO and chairman by the Whole Foods board. I quote,
"Mr. Mackey attempted to capitalize on the brand reputation of Whole Foods to champion his personal political views, but has instead deeply offended a key segment of Whole Foods consumer base," CtW Investment Group's Executive Director Bill Patterson said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which is part of Change to Win, said it will be giving out information to Whole Foods shoppers about health care reform. The group said Mackey's op-ed was an "attempt to undermine Obama's health-care reform."
First of all, the boycott is clearly failing. Whole Foods's stock hasn't fallen a bit since the boycott began. If anything, it's increased! (Which, incidentally, is welcome news to this Whole Foods admittedly extremely small scale stock owner.)
Second of all, why don't we want entrepreneurs injecting their politics into the national debate? If it is acceptable for entrepreneurs to inject their politics into the debate in favor of increasing marginal tax rate, increasing the gax tax, and removing subsidies on fossil fuels? Why isn’t it okay for one entrepreneur, who by all accounts has helped his employees get some of the best coverage available, to weigh in on the health care debate?
We should be thanking Mr. Mackey for bringing his expertise to bear on a problem of national import, particularly given his experience insuring his own work force!
(For those interested in greater detail, be sure to check out Megan McArdle's excellent post explaining why the Whole Foods boycott is really a non-starter.)