Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

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Comments

Brian Weiss says ...
Uh, John. We've HAD a "free market" system all along for healthcare, and it has gotten us where we are - the world's most costly healthcare but far from the world's best results. So what is it that YOU advocate which would suddenly improve on this? In the capitalist paradise you posit, businesses do what is good for THEM, not what is good for society or their employees. That's what Whole Foods does. The idea that if we just leave it to the market, everything will be GREAT is demonstrably untrue. What is true is that healthcare insurance and thus healthcare will be unavailable to those with ANY kind of health condition, those who aren't employed by a major corporation, those who are poor, or those whose employers simply choose not to step up and offer a healthcare benefit. Your "fascist" statement was ugly, nasty, repulsive and it is very, very difficult to believe it did not in fact reflect your real feelings. The "bad choice of words" mea culpa is simply your version of "wardrobe malfunction" because of the outrage of so many. What you have forgotten, apparently, is that your customers still get to vote with their business.
01/17/2013 8:18:52 PM CST
jp says ...
Why should healthcare be different for those that are "poor" or those with pre-existing conditions? I'm tired of the ignorance surrounding this position and those that are similar. Many with pre-existing conditions live a relatively long life, and with manageable illnesses that are not necessarily any more expensive to treat than taking a bunch of snotty-nosed children to the family doctor for the sniffles once a month. Further, without the threat of losing insurance, many of those will be able to go back to work full-time without limits on the "American Dream" that many like yourself have taken advantage of. How is that okay? How is it okay that I am told to let my cancer eat away at me if I want to make more than disability will allow me to make? Because that is what's going on. I will lose my life-saving treatment if I make too much money--which is below poverty level...where a nice slice of the "poor" pie comes from. I waited with so much anticipation for almost two years for Whole Foods to come to Virginia Beach, and I won't be going back now. How about you business owners just keep doing what you do best, and keep the controversial comments that affect others in very serious, personal ways, but only affect your profits to yourselves.
01/17/2013 8:19:15 PM CST
denise grayson says ...
Mr Mackey, I watched you this am on CBS, I then decided that the extra steps I take whenever I am in a city your to enjoy the food court or pick up items, will be curtailed, much to my regret. I do this to make a statement. I and my husband are small business owners (pharmacy) we employ 10. We understand the need for profit and are capitalists too. I support president Obama, in his attempt to decrease healthcare costs. Trust me your fellow capitalist in the insurance sector will be making major bucks with the new customers. They had their influence in the making of it, surely you would know that. Your so-called re-wording to 'government -controlled healthcare', JUST MADE IT WORSE. For someone with such business acumen, you have just screwed with a large portion of your customer base. You really need to shut up now.
01/17/2013 8:19:48 PM CST
Kathryn Thomas says ...
Too late for clarifying Mr Mackey, I will cease spending my money at the local Whole Foods and I've dropped a lot of dough there buddy. First socialism, now it's fascism and by the by, you don't know what your talking about, as many posters have ably pointed out.
01/17/2013 8:20:06 PM CST
Sandra says ...
Good grief. Free capitalist libertarian mumbo jumbo. Fortunately, I have access to a wonderful Farmer's Market and several other stores that appear to care for their employees. good- bye Whole Paycheck.
01/17/2013 8:20:44 PM CST
David P. says ...
So sorry that universal health care will reduce your millions in profits. If you ever decide to try to locate a store near or in Bloomington Indiana, rest assured that I and most of my friends will never patronize your retail store. We have a local food co-operative that is benefiting from President Obama's health care initiative. You are nothing but another self serving hole!
01/17/2013 8:20:47 PM CST
Randolph Mantooth says ...
Dear John Mackey. In America, you sir, have every right to say whatever you like. I, also have a right to spend my money where ever I like. Having said that, I must tell you I will do my level best to NEVER spend another dime in any of your stores. When you call, or at the very least infer that my President is a fascist, or is running a fascist country, you represent to me the very same mean-spirited, Party of "No", Tea Party extremists that are bringing this country ever so close to a second civil war. You are acting like all the other idiots out there who are saying remarkably stupid things, like; "I didn't really mean what I said" (Because my mouth is hurting my bottom line) "here is what I really meant...." No Sir....I take you at your word. Not your re-word. As sad as it is for me to eliminate you from my family's shopping regimen, the bright side is, I will save an enormous amount of money by not shopping at Whole Paycheck anymore.
01/17/2013 8:20:48 PM CST
Sandra Hurd says ...
As someone who has shopped at Whole Foods since the 70's when I went to the old store on Lamar, I am very upset by Mackey's comments. You have lost a loyal customer.
01/17/2013 8:21:29 PM CST
Jeff says ...
I hope you go belly up. It would serve you right.
01/17/2013 8:21:35 PM CST
Nan A canter says ...
If you care about your company you will treat your employees like the owner of COSCO treats his.
01/17/2013 8:21:55 PM CST
Ed Stephenson says ...
I'm dumbfounded. What I assumed would be a corporate philosophy more like a Costco than a troglodyte philosophy worse than Kroger! To find out a Cashier is getting $10.41/hr and is expected to use that generous salary to provide their own health care. You should be ashamed. I'll now drive on by shop with those who have morality.
01/17/2013 8:24:14 PM CST
Vicki Johnson says ...
I appreciate your focus on healthy eating so much and your stores are the absolute best. I wish everyone could afford to shop there. You are an incredible businessperson who was willing to take a huge financial risk to offer healthy products to your customers. I'm so happy you had the brains and drive to do all of the things you have done. You're a good businessman and thank heavens we have people like you in our country. Because of your exceptional business qualities, you are probably making a very good living. But, for someone who obviously has so many positive qualities relating to business decisions, however, I think you are greatly lacking as a decent human being. You seem incredibly lacking in compassion and just plain kindness toward your fellow man. I'm talking about your incredible poor judgment and actual stupidity in your choice of words in describing President Obama and your position on health care. Not everyone has the good luck or the good fortune or the circumstances to thrive the way you have. President Obama is looking out for middle class Americans, who really, in the end, will make up a large percentage of your customers. So, their well-being should concern you greatly. I am maybe a little sensitive tonight because I just got off the phone with my daughter who was sobbing at the other end of the phone, She has moved to a new community, Bozeman, Montana, with a pre-existing condition and she has been turned down by every single doctor she has talked to because, (she thinks) they don't like her insurance or they don't like something about her charts. She has insurance, Aetna; she is paying $500+ a month to be on her husband's health insurance plan; she is working full-time (although she does not have health insurance through her company). She thinks she may have a neurological disease like MS, but she can't get in to see a doctor. She is just plain scared. It is incredible to me that this is happening in America. But, your attitude is, 'survival of the fittest', every man for himself, if you can't make it in America, you must be lazy. I wish you knew our family history and how hard we have worked and how much we have contributed to our society. But how we are not wealthy....just happy. I really am just so fed up with guys like you. I see you as being the problem rather than the solution. Your rhetoric is irrational and childish and inflammatory and does nothing to move our Democracy forward. We ARE in this together, whether you like it or not. I know one thing. As much as I like your Whole Food stores, I won't go into another one. I know that won't mean a thing to you, but it makes me feel better to say that.
01/17/2013 8:24:14 PM CST
William Hartman says ...
John Mackey shame on You! Your comments on NPR bespeak a sort of Freudian Slip on your part. How dare You call the President's and Congress' health care reform a type of fascism. You have lost me as a customer. I will no longer shop at my local Whole Foods Stores in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania Ave] and Mount Laurel, NJ.
01/17/2013 8:24:51 PM CST
joe sime says ...
I consider your follow-up comments as an attempt to avoid as much negative pr as is possible. Your company will join with Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Papa John's Pizza in my list of those to not patronize.
01/17/2013 8:24:51 PM CST
Ed says ...
Well, another corporation that I will never buy from again. I hate doing this because it hurts the employees who work there but may not agree with their boss, but I refuse to support these ungrateful and greedy corporate CEOs who just don't "get it." I am particularly incensed by Mackey's use of both "socialism" and "fascism" to describe something that he just disagrees with. He abuses his position of power by making such unsettling and irresponsible statements. Goodbye WFM!
01/17/2013 8:25:02 PM CST
Amelia Feuss says ...
Obamacare is based on competition. You should read the bill. My money will now be spent at Fresh Market and the Farmers' Market. Ta-Ta Whole Foods.
01/17/2013 8:25:50 PM CST
Andrea says ...
I think that if Americans started taking some responsibility for their health and control the things they can; Type II Diabetes, Heart Disease and most froms of Cancer--we would all be better off. Maybe, another question for everyone to consider is how much are you relying on medications and surgery to band-aid your health? Take control and own your life, be responsible with your health and get off the couch and exercise!
01/17/2013 8:25:52 PM CST
David Tucker says ...
The free market has had decades to supply health care to the American People. The free market failed, Consequently the government acted. Its called representative democracy not fascism. I will not patronize your store in the future and will encourage family and friends to do the same.
01/17/2013 8:25:52 PM CST
Amzie says ...
Don't appologise. There are plenty of us out here who agree with you. We have just been bullied in to silence. Yes bullied...I said it.
01/17/2013 8:26:21 PM CST
Michael says ...
The CEO of a major corporation can't be so dense as to not realize he's using a loaded word when he calls something "fascist." I suggest that the first, offhand, comment reflects the real man; the follow-up is PR-driven damage control. Henceforth, I'll happily avoid shopping in Whole Foods.
01/17/2013 8:26:35 PM CST
ReGina Newkirk says ...
When the idea of women's suffrage was introduced, many thought that men's roles would be diminished. Integration brought fear of mixed races and mixed societies. Many argued against gays in the military because it would decrease troop morale and demolish unity. And in 2013, we see that these fears were baseless and that we are standing on the right side of history. Change is painful and it is costly, but right is still right. I am all for discussions on how to make our country better (better, not how to make the rich richer), but the use of inflammatory and inciting language does nothing to propel real conversation. I have been a loyal WF shopper for over a decade, and it will sincerely hurt me not to shop there again. But taking a stand for what is right and the right way to do and say things is more important than organic foods and vegan options. And Mr. Mackey, two pieces of advice. One, always choose your words carefully. You can't unring a bell. And two, as a business owner, it's key to know who your customer base is. As you have one of the most liberal and left-leaning clientele I know of, this was just an unbelievably lack of good judgment. And that's just disappointing.
01/17/2013 8:27:31 PM CST
C, Murar says ...
I would make the drive to the East side to shop. But NO LONGER. I bet you have health care, and don't pay for it.
01/17/2013 8:27:57 PM CST
Joshua Stevens says ...
I work across the street from Whole Foods and go there almost every day I work for lunch. Well, I did anyway. Your company just lost another customer.
01/17/2013 8:28:33 PM CST
Rollin says ...
Poor word choice, indeed, Mr. Mackey. And on NPR's Morning Edition at that. I heard the interview and was quite surprised. NPR listeners - and, I believe, Whole Foods customers - are said to be well educated and have a liberal bent. More than some other audiences, NPR listeners have an idea what fascism is (was) and not only hate fascism but know that your use of the word was way off base. You've instantly offended a large segment of your customers, and they aren't likely to be mollified by an opportunistic apology. In a way, though, I can sympathize with your plight. It makes no sense for health insurance to be tied to employment in a business whose core mission has nothing to do with health care. Hearing reactions from CEOs such as yourself, it's all the more clear that the only structure that makes any sense is Single Payer - everyone in Medicare or Medicaid, similar to how it's done in most other civilized countries.
01/17/2013 8:30:37 PM CST
Dav says ...
I'm quite confused. You said that you want "free enterprise capitalism with a strong governmental safety net for our poorest citizens and those with preexisting conditions." How is this different than "Obamacare"? The ACA requires people to buy health insurance on the private market if not provided through their employer. It requires large employers to provide that health insurance as part of the compensation package (which has tax advantages, as the costs are tax deductible). You use Switzerland as an ideal. It also requires citizens to purchase health insurance. AND it also dictates the minimum coverage that must be in all insurance plans. In addition, private insurance companies cannot profit off of that minimum coverage. How is this any different than "government regulations dictat(ing) the parameters of what health care plans can be offered"? The free market fairies have not worked up to this point. We've tried that and it's led to tens of millions of uninsured people and health care costs shooting through the roof. There is cost savings in pooling risk, you should know that as a successful CEO. Stop clinging to your pure capitalist dogma and open your eyes... we have the most expensive health care system in the world with some of the worst health outcomes among first-world countries, and that has been with the MOST "free market" health care system in the world.
01/17/2013 8:31:20 PM CST

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