Whole Foods CEO calls Obamacare 'fascist'
John Mackey originally called the health care mandate socialist. Both declarations bum out his liberal buyer base.
During a conversation on Wednesday with National Public Radio, Mackey made the following observation about the new health care law:
It's more like fascism. In fascism, the government doesn't own the means of production, but they do control it -- and that's what's happening with our health care programs and these reforms.
Mackey's position has gone through a remarkable evolution since 2009, when he wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed and used a Margaret Thatcher quote to equate President Barack Obama's health care platform to socialism. At the time, he suggested more passive measures limiting government control over health care and empowering health care providers to cross state borders with coverage and offer high-deductible plans similar to what his Whole Foods employees receive. He then bit the woven hemp gloves on the hand that feeds his empire by stating the following:
Many promoters of health-care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care -- to equal access to doctors, medicines and hospitals. While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?
That last statement, according to Time, was enough to rile Mackey's liberal customers and prompt boycotts of his stores by groups like Single Payer Action. His latest declaration -- on NPR, no less -- may be prompting even more soul searching in Whole Foods' Prius- and Subaru-strewn parking lots.
In Mackey's defense, he hasn't identified as liberal in a good, long time. Mackey started out working at a vegetarian co-op and his Austin, Texas-based company grew from a vegetarian grocery store he and his girlfriend founded in Austin in the late '70s, but he's since drifted from his leftward leanings. He's still a vegetarian and still makes humane animal treatment one of Whole Foods' cornerstone issues, but publicly identified himself as a free-market libertarian during a debate in 2005. In later years, he also took positions against both labor unions and human-caused climate change.
Mackey's health care position puts him in line with Papa John's (PZZA) chief exec John Schnatter, who vowed last year to raise prices and cut employee hours because of the new health care law. The pizza magnate openly endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney during last year's presidential race and held a fundraiser at his Kentucky estate that would prompt the stereotypical Whole Foods customer into a kombucha spit take.
Yet Mackey's Whole Foods isn't the only corporation commonly associated with the American left to criticize the health care mandate. Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz, whose company helped make the slur "latte-sipping liberal" possible, told the Seattle Times that the law may be counterproductive to providing more Americans with health care because "the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great."
Mackey may not have settled on the proper philosophy or political ideology to affix to the nation's new health care law, but his continued criticism is forming a lump in the throat of many customers as they choke down their Annie's Mac & Cheese.
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In a sense the man is correct. Obamacare sprung from the 'think tank' Heritage Foundation, an extremely right-wing conservative ideology. The goal of the ACA is to try and allow ~100 percent of Americans receive health care. Obama bended towards a pure capitalist approach rather than a pure socialist approach. Part of the concept was expecting Small Businesses to from 'Pools' which will allow them to compete as Big Business. Just that, many people for racist and political purposes has decided to implement pure ignorance into this.
The trick is, as Obamacare becomes mandatory for everyone by law; the loop-back is: should the capitalistic venture fail, the other end of the extreme will prevail.
Of course the right-wing will spend the rest of eternity trying to get rid of Social Security, Medicare etc. Heck, if a right-wing businessman can Privatize the 'heat and light' coming from the sun, he will do it.
If the brain trust in DC doesn't find a solution to the budget problems, affordable health care will be the least of our worries. Mackey will have a hard time selling his products when everyone is shopping at Aldi and Walmart, assuming they have an income to buy food with.
Republicans who supported a Individual Healthcare Mandate, before Obamacare,
And the Heritage Foundation
The Brown Shirts are everywhere, but lets not forget, Adolph Hitler did take a nation racked with bone crushing poverty and returned prosperity back to Germany. Had he not murdered millions of people and try to take over the world, he may have been considered an economic genius.
You want your irony for the day? When Marx came up with his bizarre proposal for rule by bureaucracy, it was the capitalists who first adopted it. The ink was barely dry on the "Manifesto" when the word "public" was dropped from the term "Public Corporation", & businesses came under the totalitarian rule of boards of directors & suites of suits.
It was nearly 70 years later before Lenin inflicted communism on a body political, & the results were wholy predictible; rigid bureaucratic control, loss of anything resembling human rights, effective enslavement of the workforce, & so on, just like what happened to the corporations several decades earlier.
Today there are 2 accepted business models, the corporate totalitarian tyranny, & the inherited despotic monarchy. Politically, we fought a 70+ year cold war against the former, & violently rejected the latter in 1776. Clearly we need a new business model.
Suck it up Jason. Your idea of left is becoming fascist. You better decide which side you are going to be on when the U.S. toilet get's flushed.
We will never disarm. We will never surrender our military pattern, semi-automatic rifles and the full capacity magazines, parts, and ammunition that go with them. The fundamental purpose of the Second Amendment is to preserve the military power of We the People so we will have effective means to resist tyranny. Regardless of what unholy, unconstitutional filth issues from the mouths of oath breakers in "Mordor on the Potomac" our answer is MOLON LABE.
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Like rival Wal-Mart, it's pointing the finger elsewhere for its problems while other retailers are coping just fine.
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