My last dollar at Whole Foods

John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, loves Margaret Thatcher and thinks health insurance reform is “socialism.” His right, of course. And if course it’s my right to shop at Ralph’s instead.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, with the advice of Lanny Davis (who will never sell out because he’s always for rent) penned an astonishingly disingenuous op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, in which he calls health insurance reform “socialism” and proposes the usual reactionary laundry list of health care changes, right down to “torrt reform.” Mackey also suggests that we all eat organic fruit, as if that would deal with the problem of families bankrupted by the cost of health care and the capacity of health insurance companies to get rid of sick customers.

After Mackey drew some flack about it, he attempted to defend himself on his corporate blog by pointing out that the article as submitted didn’t mention the President’s name; the label “an alternative to Obamacare” was added by the WSJ editors. But of course the title is the least offensive thing about the piece.

Here’s a comment I left on the page. It’s “awaiting moderation.” What odds would you give it? The vast majority of comments posted seem to come from dittoheads.

Dear Mr. Mackey:

Your attempt to backpedal is even more dishonest than the original article, which is saying a lot. You didn’t mention the President by name? Marvelous! But you assigned the absurd label “socialism” to a plan that has no element nearly as “socialist” as the existing Medicare program.

I had no idea that the (many) dollars I spend at Whole Foods have been going to support reactionary ideology. Whole Foods is right across the street from me, while Ralph’s is half a mile away. I’ve been putting up with you overpriced and overhyped pseudo-organic nonsense for the sake of convenience. From now on, I’ll drive.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.