23 August, 2009
Boycott Whole Foods?Tags: grocery, politics, whole foods
So, I’m feeling a little torn.
Recently, the CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey, wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that criticized President Obama’s health-care initiatives. In it, he insists that Americans don’t have an intrinsic right to health care, and in a bit of self-service, he suggested that if we all just ate wholesome, organically grown food, we could keep the costs of health care down without involving the government. Progressive action groups and bloggers were pretty much up-in-arms over the piece, which the Whole Foods company quickly disavowed as being purely the opinion of one man, who happens to be their CEO, and not representative of the organization.
Nevertheless, the leftwing bloggers will not be dissuaded. They’ve called for a boycott of the store, to let Mackey know that it’s not very smart to intentionally alienate a large percentage of your target audience.
As I said, I’m on the fence. While I personally tend to identify with those who want health care reforms, I’m not really willing to boycott the store, mostly because I feel that the guy is entitled to his opinion, but also I’m not too keen on the idea of possibly depriving the people who work for the store of their livelihood just because their boss might be a total butt-head.
As it is, it’s debatable whether or not the boycott is really working. Despite protesters picketing outside branches of the store in Washington DC, Maryland, New York and Austin, Texas last week, this past Friday, August 21st, Whole Food posted a record high stock price for the year. (Confidentially, I think that people might be inclined to boycott, but they just can’t bear to buy their rice cakes anywhere else.)
What do you think?