4,666 Comments

Comments

globalcitizen says ...
<p>I'm joining the thousands and thousands of others who will never again set foot in a WF store until the folks who run and profit from the business are demonstrably compassionate and supportive of, in Ronald Reagan's words 'a hand UP' by supporting REAL reform in health care. I can now finally ethically and morally justify using more gas to drive to my Organic Market, much farther away, to benefit from not only a much better selection and far lower prices but from the knowledge that my $500+ a week food tab is enhancing the lives of the truly decent folks who own and run the company.</p>
08/14/2009 9:07:00 PM CDT
Ben says ...
<p>The opening quote from Thatcher. Awesome. Leading with that accusation and then making a limp attempt at making the WSJ editors look like minor villains for retitling the piece and antagonizing certain people? Hah. While there are some really good points and directions outlined in the piece, submitting work to the WSJ and expecting it to become anything other than fuel for right wing paranoia is either incredibly naive or a completely disingenuous statement. It reinforces that the Whole Foods corporate culture's lack of awareness of families not making six-figure incomes starts at the top. There's apparently more than one good reason the 'Whole Paycheck' nickname sticks. </p> <p>FWIW ' the socialism is already here, it has been in place for nearly a century, it is just being misappropriated toward the top earners and is a malfunctioning old -ism. </p> <p>disclosure ' WF stores are really great and mostly set a fantastic example. I wish there was an equivalent option for people who cannot afford the premium prices. WalMart isn't cutting it. Lets see some action out in the places beyond the Hybrid populated parking lots instead of paying them lip service.</p>
08/14/2009 9:08:00 PM CDT
Jim says ...
<p>I do appreciate your honesty in how you and the company feel about health care reform. However, I do not agree with your way of thinking and do not beleive that the majority of your customers agree with these right wing talking points. You have lost my business and I encourage others to also shop elsewhere. Obviously you do not understand your customer base or comprehend how they think.</p>
08/14/2009 9:08:00 PM CDT
yobaby says ...
<p>having come from cuba'¦hmmm'¦mr. mackey, Bravo! you will see me @ whole foods a whole lot more!!!!</p> <p>don't even get me started on the utopian universal jargon out there!! so many of the 'enlightened' folks boycotting your stores don't have a clue'¦they live in the most exceptional country this world has ever known'¦being able to shop where they please'¦they reject what the founding fathers risked to preserve for them'¦they are slowly giving up their lives and freedom to the government as if they still need a parent to make their decisions'¦WE the people help our communities'¦NOT the government'¦that is not their job'¦quit shrugging your responsibilities on to them'¦have you noticed how eagerly they take power from you, always wrapped in bleeding heart/sensible motives'¦as the government grows bigger, so does their lust for more'¦insatiable desire for power. they seldom live by the rules/laws they set for you'¦no, they do not want boundaries set on them'¦they are the demi-gods worthy of praise and honor'¦they are the privileged elites and will utter the words, 'let them eat cake''¦then, just try to take their freedom/power'¦you wouldn't last long.</p> <p>please listen &amp; wake up before it is too late'¦the short term may seem dandy'¦but the long term is the problem'¦i really have a difficult time believing the politicians pushing this insane 1000+ page piece of legislation are being altruistic'¦call me a cynic, but then again'¦i've lived and have watched my family live through the horrors of 5 decades of big government in the once beautiful island of cuba. don't think yourselves better than the people of cuba when they, too, believed in hope and change as offered by a talented young provocative and exceptional lawyer/community organizer/speaker, fidel castro.</p> <p>in the words of dylan thomas:<br> 'Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,<br> And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,<br> Do not go gentle into that good night'¦<br> '¦Rage, rage against the dying of the light.'</p>
08/14/2009 9:09:00 PM CDT
Teresa T. says ...
<p>You have a new customer. I've never shopped at your store because it's WAY on the other side of town. But you can be sure I'll be making the drive to your store now. THANK YOU for such a fantastic Op Ed, and for not being intimidated by our rogue media or this rogue Administration.</p>
08/14/2009 9:10:00 PM CDT
Grant Higginson, MD, MPH says ...
<p>I was planning on going to Whole Foods tomorrow to purchase a whole salmon and other dishes for a family barbeque. My plans have changed. I can not support a store whose owner has such an uninformed and repressive view on important social issues. Anyone who has listened to the anguish of low-income people, average citizens and successful professionals who have experienced first-hand the denial of benefits we all should have access to is someone who I can not pratonize in good conscience. My next step on the net is to 'search' for the nearest New Seasons store.</p>
08/14/2009 9:12:00 PM CDT
Stephen Nielsen says ...
<p>Hello Mr. Mackey '</p> <p>Thank you for telling us all exactly where you stand on this issue of health care. Thank you for telling us in a Murdoch-owned newspaper ' great company you're keeping. And: thank you for trying ' so gracelessly, so dishonestly ' to back-step now that it's clear that you've set off something larger than you imagined; this smarmy back-stepping enables us to see into the character of your organization, regardless its stated lofty ideals.</p> <p>I wonder how many of these glowing comments here on this site are yours, or your employees. Yes, John, many of us do know that you ' personally ' posted anonymously on other internet boards to get your way in an unethical fashion, so we have to assume you're doing so again.</p> <p>Too bad for me, this whole thing ' I did love to shop in your stores. Though expensive, I felt it a good use of my money, I love that your organization does take care to choose mostly good food, has mostly ethical practices with regard to animals. But I won't shop in your stores again. And, like others, I am absolutely passing the word on, both online and in person.</p> <p>I will come back into the store to say goodbye to your employees, many of whom I've known for years, who I really like, and who I will miss. I will of course tell them why I am leaving. And, given what I've learned in these past two days about your employee relations / business practices, I will wish for them a different job, with a better employer, one who will perhaps stand behind those who help them earn their money.</p> <p>I won't spend a dime while I'm in your store saying my goodbyes.</p> <p>Smooth move on taking down the comments from earlier today ' now that is corporate clarity there. You take a public stand on an extremely important issue, many of your shoppers come to your forums to take issue with your stand, and you delete their comments. Sweet.</p> <p>I shopped another store last night, began to find my way around it ' where is this, where is that? Sadly, I could not find the eggs I've bought from you these past years, I'll have to settle for less. I did. I will. I vote with my dollars. You've lost my vote.</p> <p>Thanks for the great food all these years.</p> <p>I wish you peace.</p> <p>Stephen Nielsen<br> Austin Texas</p>
08/14/2009 9:13:00 PM CDT
Todd says ...
<p>Thanks for your (group) reply. I understand that Mr. Mackey was expressing his own opinion and not the official position of WFM, but he was offering up your market as a model and solution, as you mentioned. Therefore, it is fair game for criticism. If he (and you, as you also mention below) feel that it is important for all of your employees to have proper health insurance (and I applaud that ethic), why does he not wish the same for all Americans through some sort of public option? I'd be fine with a WFM model or many of the other ideas if a third of the country didn't have to depend on people's underwhelming charitable sense while paying taxes each April. To be for taking care of your employees on the corporate level but against extending benefits to all in need on a government level creates a double standard and against your company's own goals of stressing community.</p> <p>Also, when your CEO starts off his Op-ED with a zombie lie (sorry, but what else can it be? Either Mr. Mackey is ill informed or not telling the truth and I'd be interested to know which it is) that Social Security is an unfunded entitlement program, it reflects badly on you the company. As does his understanding of NHS or the Canadian system. Where did he get his information? The myths, fears and hysteria are simply untrue ' listen to the people writing in these comments who live there! While I would normally pay little attention to the political activities and opinions of any of the CEOs of the businesses I patronize (it's normally none of my business), what to do about a company that has a CEO that publicly advocates the throwing of pennies to the poor for their mammograms while admonishing them to make better choices about their eating as he clears his throat and points to his unaffordable (for many) food?</p> <p>We have a real chance to get every citizen insured and backstopped against medical and financial ruin in the event of health problem. This costs a lot but is worth every cent for real and tangible reasons. WFM should be supporting this as, to put it in the most base terms, people with reasonable premiums and not in medical bankruptcies are more likely to buy organic an shop in your stores. Unless you plan on selling fewer Americans more food (running counter to Mr. Mackey's philosophy), I'd think you would go with expanding your base group of customers. While your apology is a step in the right direction, Mr. Mackey seems to be driving potential and current (at least me) customers from you.</p> <p>I urge you to look at the bigger picture.</p>
08/14/2009 9:13:00 PM CDT
kathy says ...
<p>Thank you John.<br> I can't conceive of what is repulsive and non- progressive regarding your point of view. You believe in the intrinsic power and dignity of the individual and in individual choice. I didn't know you subscribed to libertarian beliefs. Your thinking is in line with what I read at the Cato Institute. I'm new to that system of thought, but I like it. Thank you.</p>
08/14/2009 9:14:00 PM CDT
Doug W. says ...
<p>I am deeply saddened to learn Mackey's views on health care. Others above have stated very capably how wrongheaded your approach is, and how disingenuous your cover 'they edited me' was. I won't cover that ground again.<br> I am especially saddened because I have been a faithful shopper at Whole Foods for fifteen years. I'm in our local store 3-4 times a week, dropping, at a minimum, between $200-$300 per week on our family's needs. Now I will, regretfully, no longer shop at Whole Foods. It'll be a huge lifestyle change, actually, but I can't support the company with my money after this Op-Ed. Perhaps if Mackey were to step down in the future (though I'm sure he won't do so over this one article) i would consider returning, depending on who replaces him.</p>
08/14/2009 9:17:00 PM CDT
David McDowell says ...
<p>I was extremely disappointed to see your Op/Ed piece that was published in the Wall Street Journal. As someone that works in a low income minority community in Chicago, I find that the positions that you have taken (and tied to your company) to be cruel, unrealistic and offensive. This model of health care does not address the very real problems of deniability by insurance companies, portability with job change or loss, cancellation with serious illness or protection for the under or underinsured. In addition, asking for the insurance companies to be released from mandated coverages will return us to the time (just a couple of years ago) when companies routinely did things like denying women coverage for birth control, while offering viagra for their male clients. </p> <p>But perhaps worst of all I also found the constitutional lecture to be highly insulting. The 9th amendment (ratified in 1791) clearly states: 'The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people'. Our founding fathers were clear that no one should ever think that because something is not specifically spelled out in the Document that it did not exist. They left that up for later generations to decide. Your statement that 'A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That's because there isn't any. This 'right' has never existed in America,' shows an blatant disregard for the truth about our most important civic document. As a representative of a company that claims to value education and a free exchange of ideas by an informed citizenry, you should make sure that you actually read the US Constitution before you choose to twist it to fit political viewpoints. This critical debate deserves much better that the shoddy superficial logic shown in the Op/Ed piece.</p> <p>I accept that many of those that I do business with hold different views than I do. However I can not accept this kind of glib, condescending, simplistic manipulation of the debate. I am sad to say that I will be spending my food dollars elsewhere now.</p>
08/14/2009 9:17:00 PM CDT
Pentex says ...
<p>I agree with many others comments, well the one's that WERE posted when I started to write this!!! I see now that the posts I saw one hour ago (VERY negative)have either been removed or moved to the VERY bottom of the barrel and I also see the posts are now mostly favorably OR have been changed to YOUR benefit now.. I also wonder if I'll even see mine post: GOOD TRY!! </p> <p>You've lost me too as a LOYAL customer. My husband and I were once a week customer's and gladly bragged to everyone about how awesome your store WAS'¦ It's SO obvious that what you're most concerned about is YOUR bottom line..and YOUR MONEY'¦ not other's well-being, no matter what.. What if a person can't get health care because of a pre-existing condition, what about them? Let them get insurance on their own? Yea, like anyone would cover or accept them? That's horrendously creepy to think that anyone could conveniently forget about the less fortunate and or what's worse, a person that has a true health problem, such as M.S., Cancer, Diabetes, etc.I believe what you're most concerned about it is, paying the least amount of money for your employees health care policies, by choosing the $2500.00 deductible plan'¦ THEN trying to convey it's set up that way so your employees will 'watch how they choose or make their appointments to get to that $2500.00'¦ which they most likely won't ever get to (unless, of course, there are major health problems)'¦ hence, saving your company money'¦ Yea, that's good for them isn't it? NOT!!!!!!!!!<br> In your 2nd attempt to correct or overturn the damage done, you say you're in favor of Obama's Health Care Reform Plan'¦<br> This country has NEVER taken care of it's own and Obama (with the help of other courageous American's) strived to become President so he CAN help the middle of the road American's achieve the most basic rights a human being has'¦ which is a FAIR health care system (with government option welcomed, forcing the HUGE insurance companies to play fair) and to live their lives with the dignity and respect EVERY human being deserves'¦.<br> I've never been afraid of the shape our country is in and it's because of people thinking that WE all aren't in this world together'¦<br> We've been LONG time Whole Foods customer's as I said and with the horrible economy, we stopped going once a week for just a few months.. BUT as soon as things started getting better, we were ecstatic to be going back to our Whole Foods store once a week again.. until now, our heart's and conscience will NOT ALLOW us to walk into your store again.. You should learn that you shouldn't post your view's as you did, especially when you're one of the one's that are IN the top percentile of people that make the most money are AFRAID that some of your pennies might go to help people that aren't as fortunate as you'¦. I also see that you've changed your posts, as well as other people's post and they're most, quite suspiciously, in your favor now..hhhmmmnnn, another spin, maybe?</p>
08/14/2009 9:17:00 PM CDT
Florence Jennings says ...
<p>As soon as you recommend improving diets and reducing obesity and its attending illnesses in order to bring down health care costs for everyone, liberals will complain (and they have in the forums), 'Bu-bu-but, I knew a vegan once who got cancer!!1!'</p> <p>Liberals don't want to give you or the facts a fair shake, John.</p> <p>They just want the gov't to subsidize their self-abuse.</p> <p>Thanks for your recently stated commitment to going back to Whole Food's healthy food beginnings and getting out of the gourmet junk food biz.</p>
08/14/2009 9:17:00 PM CDT
Michael T. says ...
<p>Your op ed and your response to it have inspired me to no longer shop at your store. If Whole Foods ever gets rid of you, I will happily return.</p>
08/14/2009 9:18:00 PM CDT
Florence Jennings says ...
<p>As soon as you recommend improving diets and reducing obesity and its attending illnesses in order to bring down health care costs for everyone, liberals will complain (and they have in the forums), 'Bu-bu-but, I knew a vegan once who got cancer!!1!'</p> <p>Liberals don't want to give you or the facts a fair shake, John.</p> <p>They simply want the gov't to subsidize their self-abuse.</p> <p>Thanks for your recently stated commitment to going back to Whole Food's healthy food beginnings and getting out of the gourmet junk food biz.</p>
08/14/2009 9:20:00 PM CDT
Elise O. says ...
<p>Dear John,</p> <p>I appreciate your direct posting, while I disagree with your opinion. I have shopped at WF since 1990, driving from Arlington to the Greenville Ave. store. Then, while getting my graduate degree, shopping exclusively at the Arlington Store when it opened even weathering a rough tornado day in the back room by the walk-in. Today, I am considering whether to shop at the 97th Street store due open just a few days from now a mere five blocks from my house in Manhattan. I do not feel comfortable continuing to spend my money there. I have other options..I have easily spent high 5 figures over 18 years ' I know and respect that you are entitled to your opinion, and think that using your founders status to WF to sway others really disappoints me. If Steve Jobs did something as this I would feel the same about an iphone. If the Bancrofts still owned the WSJ..well, you know, things change. You aren't a little grocer in an old Safeway store anymore either. Also, please work harder to utilize local NY State Farmers, I have heard they have a hard time working with you guys from an upstate livestock producer. He said he felt WF was insincere. Perhaps, sadly he was correct.</p>
08/14/2009 9:20:00 PM CDT
Milt Fisher says ...
<p>John, thank you for having the guts to stand up and be counted in this ongoing debate. As the CEO of a major company, you understand the necessity of seeing the complete picture, especially when you sign the 'front' of the check. I have been a regular customer of Whole Foods for several years and will continue to be, despite the protestations of those who obviously do not understand the importance of how this type of government intervention can destroy this nation.Thanks for providing an outlet for all of us to be able to purchase quality foods.By the way ' I am in management and have a copy of your business 'Virtuous Circle' posted in my office for all to read and follow.</p>
08/14/2009 9:21:00 PM CDT
Brian S says ...
<p>I've been shopping at Whole Foods for many years and continue to do so. After seeing the WSJ editorial, and the full version above, I am heartened by the CEO's stance and vow to shop at Whole Foods even more.<br> I began managing health food stores 37 years ago and subscribe to a healthy lifestyle. I refuse to subscribe to any pre-packaged set of political/social/economic views just so I can think of myself as 'progressive-minded.'</p>
08/14/2009 9:23:00 PM CDT
Derek Jones says ...
<p>Very courageous stand in opposition to the heartfelt desire of many of your customers.<br> I may disagree with your opinion , but I will defend your right to cost you my business by publishing self serving conservative viewpoints in a national newspaper.</p> <p>I say Huzzah! to you, brave sir, and I eagerly await the vegetables from my new coop and the satisfaction of getting healthy organic foods from someone else.</p>
08/14/2009 9:23:00 PM CDT
Rob says ...
<p>My family has been weekly shoppers at Whole Foods from the beginning. Sad to say, never again. After reading the editorial, I did a little more research on Mr. Mackey and his policies. NOT FOR ME. Bye Bye!</p>
08/14/2009 9:25:00 PM CDT
ulitave says ...
<p>Your weak excuses do nothing to change the reprehensible policies you advocated in WSJ. I will not spend another dollar in Whole Foods.</p>
08/14/2009 9:29:00 PM CDT
Sadie says ...
<p>WOW!!! Very eye opening article. I'm sure Fresh Market and Trader Joes THANK YOU for the new customers.</p> <p>So let's see..socialism..o.k. guess that means we've been a socialist country since the age of Medicare and increased during the Reagan tax cut years'¦.time to burn those Medicare cards in protest'¦and people are responsible for what they eat and how they exercise..ok..I buy that'¦but NOT ONE WORD about the obscene profit margins of insurance companies and their devious methods to achieve such at the expense and DEATH of citizens? '¦Oh well'¦guess I just need to move on'¦.as others have stated, I certainly will not contribute another dollar in any of your stores.</p>
08/14/2009 9:32:00 PM CDT
M says ...
<p>This op-ed has made me embarrassed to work for Whole Foods, and angry that I answer (however distantly) to a man who has no concept of the word 'intrinsic.' How dare you even begin to suggest that the right to food, shelter, and clothing'in fact, the right to LIFE'doesn't exist because it's not outlined in some political document? </p> <p>It's interesting to me how you are so quick to speak out against government control of money, yet so willing to rely on government documents to support your shoddy ethics, as though the Constitution is the be all end all of human rights.</p> <p>It's my hope that customers approach me with complaints about your op-ed, so that I might high five them and agree: you are absurd, out of touch, and driven by greed.</p>
08/14/2009 9:36:00 PM CDT
Ann B says ...
<p>It is funny how many people play the 'socialism' card when they feel threatened, though I'll never understand why. As a previous poster pointed out, many of the things we take for granted from the highway system to libraries to 911 could easily be considered socialist. </p> <p>Honestly, I didn't realize it all came down to eating more fiber and leafy green vegetables.</p>
08/14/2009 9:36:00 PM CDT
curious US customer says ...
<p>Hi John,<br> While I disagree with your editorial, I wasn't surprised by your opinion: I have plenty of 20-something friends who work for Whole Foods (and partake in the high deductible + HSA insurance that is offered there, so I'm familiar with how it works in practice ' great if you want to see an acupuncturist a few times a year, and decidedly not great if you are struck with a high-cost chronic illness that suddenly wipes your account out).</p> <p>Anyways, I have a few questions, though I'm not sure if you even read these comments:<br> 1) What is your health insurance like?<br> 2) What are the millions of uninsured, people with pre-existing conditions that render them un-insurable through private companies, or the people who pay increasingly high private insurance rates because they are self-employed supposed to do??<br> 3) Have you ever looked at how much, per employee, Whole Foods spends on health care related costs for its UK and Canadian work force compared to the US work force? I'm assuming you'd have to take into account the HSA's set up for everyone employed overseas, and the percentage of everyone's tax dollars, approximately, that probably go towards the universal coverage in those countries. Then you'd have to compare that to the US employees: their HSA accounts, the premium prices paid (pre-tax), and then add their deductible (because, we're going for worst-case scenario, what someone may have to spend if they get very ill). I'm *really* curious as to which number is smaller. I'm also thinking there's a good chance that the UK and Canadian systems are far more efficient (covering whole countries at a lesser cost) than the system you currently offer your US employees. Why wouldn't you be pushing for some kind of basic universal coverage (maybe not 'socialized' in the UK sense, but a hybrid as-in-France) in the US? It would make far better business sense for your company.</p>
08/14/2009 9:37:00 PM CDT

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