212 Comments

Comments

Alan Root says ...
Mr. Mackey's perspectives seem shackled by the dictates of his own brain chemistry. He dead ends on optimizing health care reform for all. He dead ends on the sustainability of the present corporate food monopoly. He dead ends on the imbalance between uncontrolled human reproduction and the earth's environmental capacity to provide adequate food and shelter. Most of us are not socialists even though we accept socialized public education, socialized electrical utilities, socialized water delivery systems, socialized public transportation, and so on. Yes, we can create a workable health care system for all within affordable, sustainable and predictable channels of operation. Some first steps might include broad new levels of medical personnel such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners working within teams of physicians. Much of our world is drowning in its own excesses of consumption. We have yet to discover the wisdom of having enough but not too much!
08/22/2009 4:22:52 PM CDT
Patricia says ...
Bravo to John I will be shopping more at Whole Foods to try to make up for the small percentage of people who are trying to boycott. As a free market capitalist I am not for Governement intervention and the real Crisis is Obama. He is a Socialist and I admire anyone who has spine to take him on. He is a devious puppet and a Liar. Go John there are more people who Disagree with BO than Agree and they know it.
08/23/2009 12:01:32 PM CDT
Pat Mullarkey says ...
By the way, why can't I leave a response under an online moniker, such as John Mackey did when discussing his company on a forum?
08/23/2009 5:51:58 PM CDT
George Taylor says ...
I have read your article in the Wall Street Journal regarding 'Obamacare'. As a result I will stop shopping at your stores.
08/23/2009 8:15:42 PM CDT
Richard Wassen says ...
What a surprise to read about John Mackey's comments on the health care issue, and kind of a disappointment. I thought his values were more consistent with those I perceived in how Whole Foods came about and is managed. I agree with some of Mr. Mackey's comments, and not with others. I'm mostly angry that he thought he chose to express his comments in a way that's confusing; not matter what, he can't say he's just expressing himself as an individual. That seems disingenuous. He's the CEO of a company and therefore reflecting, it seems, a company position. His statements seems simplistic and incendiary, and it's sad that he would do so at a time when a better example would be a more thoughtful statement of his concerns without the hyper rhetoric. As a regular customer of WF this puts me in a bind, since I'm saddened and disappointed by the tone and arrogance of the statements he makes, and it's a hard for me to want to support a company whose CEO says the kinds of things he does. Again, it's mostly about the way he chooses to be so absolute and simplistic in his approach to a very complex issue. This isn't going to bring people of different minds together to solve the problems in the health care industry. Just reading the blog I can tell that Mr. Mackey’s comments seem to have given support to the side of this debate that doesn’t seem interested in civil discussion. He would have done better to state his views more gently, and reach out to find common ground and create solutions with those who disagree, given the kind of authority his position allows him. My reluctance to patronize WF isn't going to be about having a different opinion; I'm sad that Mr. Mackey represents the kind of people who use scare tactics and don't seem interested in working things out. The "my way or the highway approach" has become far too prevalent as a way of working out issues in our country.
08/23/2009 8:38:57 PM CDT
Jeremy Dalton says ...
I do NOT shop at Whole foods, however because of this threatened boycott and Mr Mackeys personal courage to speak out (rather mildly} on behave of FREEDOM; my family and I will be moving ALL of our buisness to YOUR STORE. We are sending out a personal message on Facebook and twitter and encouraging our friends to do the same! We do not normally involve ourselves in these sorts of issues, and we are not at all interested in oraganic foods. We are interested in the freedom to speak without fear of reprisal from the "Thought police."
08/24/2009 2:38:05 AM CDT
winona says ...
To: John MacKey Your ideas for reform clearly shows that you are out of touch with middle America's needs. This isn't surprising. What is more surprising is that the average Joe, i.e. anyone not in top 1% earning bracket, is against any reform that would benefit him/herself and their families. For example, you suggest removing legal obstacles which slow the creation of high deductible health insurance plans and Health Savings Accounts. What you clearly do not realize is that these high-deductible plans are cost prohibitive for the average worker. $2,500 is a drop in the bucket for CEOs but not for the average family. You suggest that our skyrocketing healthcare costs is due to government mandates and ruinous lawsuits. While ruinous lawsuits can be a problem, healthcare costs are outrageous due to the greed of our pharmaceutical company, insurers and hospitals that benefit from high prices. When everyone operates to make a profit, the consumer (us) pay the price. You suggest making costs transparent. Comparing costs about cable bills is one thing; comparing these costs during stressful and possibly life-threatening situations is another. If you're single and need to undergo surgery, how much energy do you have to compare the cost of surgery, in-patient hospital stays and the various aspirins and bandages that the hospital will inevitably lump into your final bill? And of course you bring up countries with universal healthcare like Canada and the U.K. because bashing the Canada and the U.K. healthcare system has become a favorite game for the U.S. However, ask any Canadian or European citizen, preferably one who has lived in our country, if they would abolish their own system and you'll hear a resounding "No." Invariably they are shocked by our country's health care system -- a profit-making entity that favors the wealthy and healthy. You may not benefit from reform but most people will. Very few can count on on pensions or life-long employment or any sort of job security. Most people will be in-between jobs at some point in their lives. Many will strike out on their own and not have employer-paid health insurance. Many more people will be deemed to have pre-existing conditions that make insurance insanely expensive (if they can get insurance at all). Without any real reform, you will likely pay for insurance for years and then be denied tests and treatment just when you really need it. Reform isn't only about helping the uninsured; it is also helping those who currently have jobs and health insurance. Now I do think that some people should be against reform. Take this quiz and find out where you belong. 1 ) Do you like hearing "how are you going to pay for this" before seeing the doctor or receiving treatment? Yes or No 2 ) Are you in the top 1% earning bracket? Yes or No 3 ) Is your last name Trump, Hilton or MacKey? Yes or No 4 ) Are you the CEO of a major corporation? Yes or No If you answer Yes, go ahead and kill any chance of reform. Be sure to celebrate with your fellow CEOs in grand style. If you answer No, you should write to your representative and make yourself heard in this debate.
08/24/2009 5:13:02 PM CDT
gmkemman says ...
Mr. Mackey, Thank you for your sane and honest proposal for health care reform. Thank you for having the courage to propose an alternative plan that is ultimately the kindest and most just, one which relies upon individual autonomy and empowerment, i.e.,--dare I use this "naughty" word--Liberty! Thank you for your excellent work. I hope you will open more Whole Foods Markets, including one near me! I would gladly pay more to shop at Whole Foods, not only for the better product, but also to help support you and your employees. Individuals such as Mr. W., who also commented on this blog, have fallen for the widespread attempt by certain members of Congress and the media (such as many commenting on NPR -- I've been listening)to write-off legitimate dissent as "scare tactics." If only Mr. W. would take the time to learn more about you and your good and charitable works or to actually read your opinion piece, he could never accuse you of not being interested in "working things out." What he, and others who have been frightened into an intellectual rut, fail(s)to understand is that you and others like you are the sort of leaders who actually do want to "work things out," in a way that is just and that preserves the "inalienable rights" of the individual, rather than simply serving the political needs of powerful figures in government or of corporations in corrupt liaisons with government or both. Thank you again, Mr. Mackey.
08/25/2009 1:01:01 AM CDT
Geri says ...
I appreciated the "voice of reason" you presented concerning healthcare. A basic understanding of economics tells us that this country cannot continue to spend money we do not have. The economy,and unemployment continues to decline. Buisnesses do not have unlimited resorces, and cannot shoulder the burden for more government spending. We are seeing many buisnesses close their doors, or move overseas. Under the Medicare system, my mother (who also pays for supplemental insurance) pays a co-pay for insulin of $65. a vial. That is more than the price without insurance. People need to understand that although they might be covered under a new healthcare policy, they aren't going to like the coverage. I have been to third world countries, and have seen first hand the effects of socialism and socialized medicine. If more Americans could see the effects of it they would be a lot more interested in protecting their freedoms. They would be interested in keeping buisness alive in this country.
08/25/2009 9:57:06 AM CDT
Lynne Tippens says ...
Thank you Mr. Mackey for your honest and open assessment of healthcare. I have had to pay for my own healthcare (yes, people, out of my own pocket) and never got a tax break for it, but did it because I was too afraid of the cost if something happened to me. There are many areas that healthcare needs reform and you have hit the nail on the head with your assessment. Thank you for being a voice for those of us who know you can't get SOMETHING for NOTHING and are therefore TERRIFIED of the current plan trying to go thru. And, you have earned a new customer out of it too!
08/25/2009 11:43:31 AM CDT
Peggy Murray says ...
Thank you John Mackey. The people who have condemned you have obviously not read any part of the health care bills for themselves. All I can say to them is, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
08/25/2009 1:24:47 PM CDT
David Roberts says ...
Sir I am sorry that you have angered the "unions". When there is no place work because of a trillion dollar deficit who will be able to pay their dues?
08/25/2009 2:09:23 PM CDT
Jerry Robb says ...
I have never shopped at Whole Foods before, though one is just up from my home in Duluth, GA. At least i hadn't until today. I will now start shopping at Whole Foods on a regular basis, because I like your stance on Obama's Health Care plan. If we don't contain the lawyers, nothing is going to work.
08/25/2009 2:13:24 PM CDT
Peg L says ...
Why is it ok for those who agree with every word the messiah says to have freedom of speech but, let anyone with a differing opinion say a word and they are against America? I have never shopped at a Whole Foods Market, but I will make it a point to drive 30 miles to one. Your article Mr. Mackey makes a lot of sense. Thank you.
08/25/2009 2:30:10 PM CDT
RICHARD WRIGHT says ...
Bring a store to Columbus Ga. All my family and I will buy all our groceries from Whole Foods. You made a lot of sense in your op-ed; to bad our politicians are not listening.
08/25/2009 2:56:13 PM CDT
Joe Buck says ...
I will make sure all of my friends boycott your products. A suggestion, stop drinking the Kool-Aid!!!
08/26/2009 12:12:41 PM CDT
K A Beck says ...
I URGE everyone who reads this and sides with Mr Mackey, to GO SHOPPING at Whole Foods!! Shop til you drop!! Show the libs that we won't be intimidated by their threats. Don't let a few left wing liberals terrorize a man and his company for speaking freely! (I thought we were all entitled to "freedom of speech") We can show the libs that we are mad as hell and won't take this anymore by rallying against their boycott! Liberals are NOT the majority, they are just loud and annoying! Stand up America! Many generations have sacrificed their lives to allow us to be FREE. Wake up Americans, or freedom will only be a subject in history books, unless that is censored, too!
08/25/2009 4:46:10 PM CDT
Jean says ...
I have been working at Whole Foods for 5 years and am proud and happy with our core values and our CEO. Does anyone out there realize all the good that Whole Foods does for the WORLD? From mico-loans to the Whole Planet Foundation to enlightenment about how our food was literally killing us and to the little known fact that Mr, Mackey is paid ONE DOLLAR a year so the money can go back in to the company and the pockets of his employees. Everyone is allowed their opinion, isn't that was George Bush sent our troops to war for, Democracy??? And, personally, I do not want Whole Foods to unionize, that way I can make my own decisions.
08/25/2009 8:21:14 PM CDT
john civello says ...
I am very impressed that John Mackey had the courage to be not only critical of Obama's and the government's health care proposal, but to make positive recommendations. It would be nice if our government would take the time to study what needs to be done, then come up with ideas, rather than put forth a plan just to say they are doing something that could be a disaster for us all. I am not a customer of Whole Foods, but I plan making some purchases, just as a way to show my appreciation for Mr. Mackey doing what we should all be doing by speaking his mind regardless of criticisms.
08/26/2009 6:01:17 AM CDT
Nancy Bohos says ...
As soon as I heard, I stopped shopping at Whole Foods Markets. Previously, it was my preferred grocery store & I just loved the place. I have 2 (actually I think 3 now) Whole Foods Markets within about 10 miles. Wynnewood was my closest store, while Devon was preferred (Wynnewood's kind of a dumpy store). You lost my business. I'd like to shop at WFM again, but I think Trader Joe's and Genuardi's will pick up the slack (approx. $125 - $150 / week). You may have gained customers from the libertarians, but you lost me as a (very) liberal democrat who thinks there CANNOT BE healthcare reform without AT LEAST a public option. Actually, I'm for a single-payer or socialized plan. Good luck. I do plan to quickly check to see if there will be any pickets at Wynnewood or Devon - I'll consider being there, if so.
08/26/2009 7:33:49 AM CDT
Lynn Siewert says ...
Good for you Mr. Mackey, My whole family & all my employees will,subsequently, go out of our way to shop at Whole Foods. I support everyone's right to experss their opinions anywhere they choose! Whether I agree with them or not! I, however, DO agree with your assumptions. Big Government means BIG taxes, limits our choices, and discourages entrepreneurs from taking those risks that have made this Country GREAT! Big Government produces NOTHING and leaves HUGE deficits for future generations to pay off!!
08/26/2009 12:50:28 PM CDT
Holly Lou says ...
Thanks for your article in the Journal. I do not normally shop Whole Foods because of some of the companies liberal attitudes. But this kind of thinking at the top of the company changes my mind. If the administration is so concerned about the poor they should send Acorn out to find and register them for the free health care that is already available for the poor. Next, the administration can insure the remainder of the 47 millon and leave the rest of us ALONE. Thanks for your good sense. You will grain many new customers because of the article.
08/26/2009 4:27:52 PM CDT
Robert Zurawski says ...
As a 15-year Whole Foods shopper, I will spend even MORE money there as long as Mr. Mackey is in charge! Mr. Mackey, I admire your courage and your exercise of our First Amendment Right. I still can't find the Amendment that defines my Right to Health Care. I guess it's in the U.S. Constitution next to my Right to Own a Home and my Right to other American's Property($$). In closing, it's the American way to tolerate dissenting views, but Americans on the Left have forgotten this idea. Thanks Mr. Mackey, and keep expressing your views!
08/26/2009 4:32:43 PM CDT
Patricia Smith says ...
I am amazed that John Mackey has come out against Health Care Reform. I agree that natural foods and balanced diets free of processed foods would change our health dramatically..by the way, as a shopper, it looks to me like 80% or better of what Whole Foods sells doesn't meet this criteria and is making our health worse. At any rate, it will be easy for me to stop shopping at Whole Foods...I will not support a store whose CEO is actively campaigning against my best interests. Respectfully, Patricia Smith
08/26/2009 5:54:49 PM CDT
Linda Ballard says ...
Dear Mr. Mackey, We abhor the vitriolic attacks that have been made on you recently simply because you are courageous enough to express your opinion and offer alternative ideas. I read your op-ed piece, and I found it to be intellectually invigorating and rational. While I am not a "regular" customer at Whole Foods (I prefer Bristol Farms in my home area), I have shopped at two Whole Foods sites - Westwood (UCLA) and El Segundo, CA (a marvelous new store!) on several occasions. I found the experiences to be satifactory, and sometimes wonderful (at the holidays especially). In response to these attacks, I and many others in my circle will begin shopping at Whole Foods regularly, beginning during the "protest" this Friday in Westwood. A "reasonable" response is required, and we aim to make one.
08/26/2009 6:00:52 PM CDT

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