Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who Knew?

Certainly not I. Whole Foods founder John Mackey has health care reform ideas that I could embrace (via a commenter at AoSHQ, from Sweetness & Light, from The Wall Street Journal):

The Whole Foods Alternative to Obama Care

It's a perfectly sensible list of capitalist-friendly reform items (including tort reform! health savings accounts! increased competition among insurers!) that would bring about immediate savings for those who currently are un- or under-insured, without throwing the baby out with the bath water. I repeat, who knew? I haven't been in a Whole Foods store in over a decade, but I may make the half-hour trek to Ann Arbor, on the strength of this article alone.

From the Sweetness & Light remarks:

Mr. Mackey admits he used to be a "democratic socialist" in college. But when he began a business and barely made money while being accused by workers of not paying them enough and customers of charging too high prices, he began to take a more capitalistic worldview.

He discovered the works of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek and Friedman. Mr. Mackey is also an avowed admirer of author Ayn Rand.

As the CEO of Whole Foods, John has been attacked in leftwing and union publications for his supposed anti-union views. Mr. Mackey wrote about unions on his blog:

Unions as they evolved in the United States became very adversarial, untrusting, and opposed to the success and prosperity of the business. This is my major objection to unions today — they harm the flourishing of the business for all the stakeholders. Instead of cooperation between stakeholders, they focus on competition between management and labor. Instead of embracing the notion of the ‘expanding pie’ vision of capitalism — more for everyone, or win-win — they frequently embrace the zero-sum philosophy of win-lose."

Despite such backward views, Whole Foods Market somehow managed to be one of only two Fortune 500 companies listed among the 25 Best Companies to Work For in 2005.

And now here he is, a former uber hippy, who ran a health food store – quoting Margaret Thatcher and opposing Mr. Obama’s takeover of our healthcare system.

John Mackey proves there is hope for all of us.

I'm ... dazzled! Mr. Mackey, this non-vegetarian salutes you.

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