Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

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james sanders says ...
Mr. Mackey, I applaud your efforts to educate people in general about the ACA and the long term damage it will do to our ability to choose not only our heath care provider but will also reduce the number and quality of choices we have now in every facet of daily life. I understand you walking back the use of the word Fascism, but if we let those who differ with us frame the debate in their terms and definitions, we will have lost before we began. FASCISM is what it is and it isn't the first time our elected govt has done such egregious acts against the people of our wonderful land of opportunity.
01/19/2013 6:26:08 AM CST
Jeanne says ...
I'm glad you are all boycotting. More food for me! He is totally right, by the way. Businesses simply can't afford Obamacare. Also, HEALTH INSURANCE is not a right. HEALTH CARE is not a right. Only the most downtrodden should receive free health care. Better yet, if everyone stopped eating so-called "health" foods (any processed crud, even that sold at WF) then we would have a lot less illness. Organic whole grains still break down to sugar in your body. Get your fiber from veggies and see how your health improves!
01/19/2013 6:47:39 AM CST
freedom says ...
I am going to shop now at Whole Foods. John has nothing to apologize for. Some of the comments in this area are proof of the idea that fascist beliefs are rampant among some residents of the United States. There is an eagerness to take the wealth that someone has earned, at the point of a government gun, and give it to someone else. Healthcare is an issue. But the destruction of business and the destruction of individual initiative will do nothing to solve that. If you want government health care, move to Cuba. The weather is better there too!
01/19/2013 7:35:55 AM CST
Mary Wilson says ...
I would love a free market to provide health insurance to the US citizens but it did not do it. How many years did you want it to NOT do it? In the meantime, the number of uninsured kept increasing and the US kept getting less and less health care for their dollars. I am not poor but I could not get health insurance because of what the free market insurance industry determined to be a pre-exisiting condition. The pre-existing condition was because of a medication that I tried to elevate menopausal hot flashes. I get my preventative health care outside of the US and pay directly for it - reasonably priced. I only shop at Whole Foods during the months every year that we live in the Chicago. Trader Joe's and a local meat market are not as convenient but I will take my food dollars to their stores. You may be more comfortable in a career as a health insurance lobbyist.
01/19/2013 7:54:14 AM CST
PTK says ...
While the choice of words may not be ideal, one must consider that John is speaking from a solid position. Whole Foods has provided affordable health care to its team members for quite some time; long before the current health debate became a lightning rod. In fact, many team members get free health insurance for themselves as well as their immediate family. I believe his aim is to show that it's possible without government intervention if there is an altruistic will to do so.
01/19/2013 8:00:44 AM CST
Thomas Yager-Madden says ...
Of *course* 'fascism' is a loaded word, John Mackey. Isn't that why you chose it in the first place? Pretending otherwise after folks got mad at you is unconvincing, to say the least.
01/19/2013 8:01:12 AM CST
John says ...
I have shopped EXCLUSIVELY at Whole Foods for years. EXCLUSIVELY! The majority of your shoppers support the Affordable Health Care legislation promoted by the current President--that's why he was voted in AGAIN. The statement that Mackey made was right inline with Romneys 47% statement. There is absolutely no clarification that that Mr. Mackey can make that will encourage me walk through the doors of Whole Foods again.
01/19/2013 8:03:49 AM CST
Tommy Harkins says ...
The truth hurts. Thanks Mr. Mackey for calling it like it is.
01/19/2013 8:11:50 AM CST
Fred Levick says ...
Dear Mr. Mackey, As a long term shopper and supporter of your company I must say that I was extremely disappointed in your comments regarding healthcare and find your "sorry I put my foot in my mouth" apology about misuse of the word "fascism" an even lamer display of your ignorance about the economics of health care. I'm all for free market capitalism, but the fallacy of your thinking is to presume that health care can operate in a free market model. In a free market consumers with information can exercise choice just as I now can choose, in reaction to your comments, whether I wish to continue shopping at Whole Foods or to spend my money elsewhere. When an individual is faced with a health care crisis, classical free market principles do not apply. When I'm having a heart attack, or have discovered I have cancer, I am not in a position to exercise consumer choice, unless of course your view would make one of my choices the choice to do nothing and die. There isn't enough time to make an informed consumer decision based on price and quality, nor can I be assured that I can afford the choice or will have access to a provider. You would be far better served, sir, by limiting your public commentary to those subjects you actually know something about, rather than display the shallowness of your understanding about a subject you obviously are not well versed in. And your PR advisors, or whomever gave you the horrible advice to parse the word fascism in defense of your initial brain-fart, should be taken to task for making you and Whole Foods appear even more insensitive to the market realities of health care, the plight of the working poor and 50,000,000 people in this country without health insurance, not to mention your disregard for the intelligence and values of your customers. Sorry to say I've lost a lot of respect for you and Whole Foods. Wonder how the employees you care so much about feel?
01/19/2013 8:15:00 AM CST
Diana Thompson says ...
I support John Mackey and agree with him and his choice of words. I wish there was a Whole Foods in WV.
01/19/2013 8:18:26 AM CST
Amy says ...
Today I'll be shopping at my local market for fresh foods and a local family-owned business for prepared foods instead of at my usual Whole Foods in support of the badly-needed Obamacare and fair wages.
01/19/2013 8:27:34 AM CST
Kelly says ...
Mr. Mackey, I only wish there was a whole foods market near me. I would do all my shopping there! Thank you for speaking the truth about healthcare. Please do not apologize for having an opinion! We need to hear from more business owners how this law will hurt everyone! Thank you again from a would be customer if your store was anywhere near me. Kelly Bensinger
01/19/2013 8:39:42 AM CST
Billy G says ...
Yes because free enterprise has done such a bang up job of providing reliable and affordable health care. Capitalism without government interference is what prevails in Chinese sweat shops. Bye bye, I drove 30 miles eaway to shop, now I will save myself a lot of gas.
01/19/2013 8:44:28 AM CST
Cynthia Roeth says ...
Call it tomaatoe or tomatoe, call it fascism or gov't control, it is what it is: an assault on our liberty as consumers. The greatest power we ever have, as individuals, we get from being consumers in a freer market. 'Constituent' doesn't even come close. Imagine competing hospitals fighting for your healthcare dollar, each offering better solutions to save your life vs. a gov't death panel, where you have to somehow prove your worth to get a treatment. Wake up America. This is your choice and at least half of you are asleep!
01/19/2013 8:56:02 AM CST
Megan says ...
I have to say that I did not want to comment without reading first the interview from NPR first and do some research into your book. While I do not and cannot disagree with your definition of fascism that you used, I wonder what you were thinking. The standard definition that is used is a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, sever economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. As you are not in jail currently means that this is not a fascist system that you clearly unfounded. Also, you stated in the article that the solution should be like the one found in Sweden. This is a socialized healthcare system that is mainly government-funded and decentralized, however they do have private health care programs if one was interested in having it. Interestingly enough, it is financed primarily through taxes levied by county councils and municipalities. Obamacare will be financed primarily through taxes from the federal level. You have repeatedly stated that healthcare is not an innate right of all, but that is what Sweden’s health care system is, a right for all. So again, I find myself wondering what you were thinking. Your thoughts of the healthcare reform and, for that matter, your beliefs in capitalism make me wonder how someone who is clearly looking only to make the most money possible on the backs of his servants also so interested in sustainability and Mother Earth. While I am glad that you believe that you are doing what is best for your employees in having option of purchasing health insurance, one has to wonder if Whole Foods is actually paying a living wage to their employees so that would be a reasonable course to go down. Some reason I don’t think that is what Whole Food does. Most likely, and please if I am wrong make this information public, those who purchase into your health care benefits are those who have no option and probably have to work two jobs in order for their needs to be meet. Furthermore, I do not believe at any time did you bring any other option to fix the health care problem in this country. Capitalism at its best (or worst as the case maybe) is the result of the horrendously awful system that we see today. We have insurance companies that are owned by hospital systems (i.e. Optima and Sentra) and prescription drug insurance companies that are owned by pharmacies (i.e. Caremark and CVS), which are examples of the free market that you seem to have such affinity too. Clearly we need more influence into preventing companies from using the free market to do nothing more making money for those companies and allowing such gross inflation of prices. Henry Ford believed in capitalism, but his form of capitalism was one in which his employees were paid a fair wage and benefits. His believe was that if his employees could not purchase his products then no one else could either. It seems to me that this would create a far better solution than the "fascist" healthcare reform that you have to strongly oppose. Quite frankly Henry Ford’s ideal of capitalism make more sense to me than yours supposedly conscious ones. Would you walk just one mile in someone else's shoes before you decide to spout of your political ideology. There is a time and place for your personal beliefs and that is in your home. The aspect that you do not seem to understand is that while you might be a libertarian who concedes that food should be created and harvested in sustainable means and poverty should be eradicated, this book and your poor word choice puts you on a very different path than the one than most of your customers travel on. I will have to think long and hard if I am going to continue shopping in your store. Thankfully, here in Charlottesville you are not the only person in town that I can get sustainably manufactured goods, now that we have a Trader Joes. Most likely, I will shop for some things but not the 150 to 200 a week I was.
01/19/2013 9:00:15 AM CST
tim matthieson says ...
This is not an apology. He blames the words, not the thinking. I still will be boycotting shopping at Whole Foods Markets. Also, please explain why Mackey opened numerous Whole Foods in Canada? Can you really make money in that Fascist State? Don't they just rob you blind in their vain attempt to provide Health Care for their citizens? Oops, guess not. Seems their Health Care plan works. It certainly works better than Mackey's tortured logic. Seems he's just another greedy, lying CEO.
01/19/2013 9:11:43 AM CST
David Stallings says ...
You will never again receive one cent from out of my pocket. If you knew a damn thing about history you would discover it is you who is the real fascist. You may think you are god's gift to commerce but in the end like your fellow Texan Lance Armstrong, you are a just another spouting hypocritical fraud. People with an ego of your size believe everyone benefits from their opinion. We don't. Just shut the heck up and run your stores.
01/19/2013 9:39:51 AM CST
Rene says ...
I don't think that speaking in the stores about politics and selling your book in the stores is productive to the freedom of the team members. An off-site location for the talk should have been selected and the book should be sold in a different venue. I do not share your beliefs and I don't wish to be labeled as having those beliefs because I work for the company.
01/19/2013 9:44:57 AM CST
Donna French says ...
Please do not back down - those having issues will forget. Appreciate you standing up and saying what needs to be said. We are in this mess because no one has any guts anymore. Will make sure I shop your stores whenever possible.
01/19/2013 9:47:00 AM CST
Mayzee Klaus says ...
You have lost me as a customer. Not interested in supporting a company run by someone with that kind of mentality.
01/19/2013 10:00:51 AM CST
Bob Cline says ...
Mackey still doesn't get it. Our country's healthcare is ridiculously expensive because it IS market based. Can someone please show him these statistics? http://visualeconomics.creditloan.com/healthcare-costs-around-the-world_2010-03-01/ and http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/08/us-health-spending-breaks-from-the-pack/ I'm still boycotting, until he makes public statements on this issue that indicate he is informed.
01/19/2013 10:07:32 AM CST
Nancy Vienup says ...
I have been a whole foods customer since 1996 and I currently shop there every week. I believe that universal healthcare is the answer. But, in the meantime, please offer full time positions to your employees so that they can receive health insurance. If you reduce full time positions, I will stop shopping at your store. I have many alternatives to your stores in albuquerque.
01/19/2013 10:08:50 AM CST
Fabrice Buron says ...
John, We spend daily at Whole Foods - embrace fair trade and environmentally responsible products. We are SO dissapointed about your use of word "fascism" to describe our president policy and a decision that intends to satisfy the same core values you share - which is helping the least favored in our nation - Have you lost your path? I love captalism and think too that it is a far better than any other system - that made your fortune BTW - but it is not perfect, it has flaws like anything - The Obamcare is an attempt to fix a problem that nobody had the guts to tackle before - At least you should respect this as a positive force and stick with your business vs. sharing politics and alienating your customer - unless the value you've defended are just a marketing fraud? Wake up and Make it right... or you will lose us!
01/19/2013 10:20:52 AM CST
Nik Lewison says ...
I don't believe you I'm afraid. I think you do believe the govt is fascist and do not support Obamacare. I cannot support your store any longer.
01/19/2013 10:51:32 AM CST
Jon Albano says ...
I was disappointed by Mr. Mackey's comments on NPR, and further disappointed to learn that the explanation for using the term facism was a professed lack of understanding of its meaning. I will not shop at Whole Foods again. Despite what I suppose might be called a "government-controlled" food and health industry, there are many competitors to choose from.
01/19/2013 10:52:25 AM CST

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