Saturday, August 22, 2009

Healthcare debate: "Bring your ideas to the table?" or “Agree with us, or we’ll crush you?”

The latter seems to be the message for John Mackey, CEO for Whole Foods, who dared add his voice to the healthcare debate by offering his ideas:

The Left boycotts Whole Foods...
[...] In short, Whole Foods is everything leftists talk about when they talk about “corporate responsibility.”

And yet lefties want to boycott the company because CEO John Mackey wrote an op-ed that suggests alternatives to single payer health care? It wasn’t even a nasty or mean-spirited op-ed. Mackey didn’t spread misinformation about death panels, call anyone names, or use ad hominem attacks. He put forth actual ideas and policy proposals, many of them tested and proven during his own experience running a large company. Is this really the state of debate on the left, now? “Agree with us, or we’ll crush you?”

These people don’t want a dicussion. They don’t want to hear ideas. They want you to shut up and do what they say, or they’re going to punish you.

Letter from a Whole Foods worker
Follow the link for the letter, and a copy of the flyer that picketers from the UFCW are passing around in an effort to damage and silence Mackey. But this following bit is taken from a post on the Whole Foods Forum:
[...] Do You Know Who You Are Boycotting?
posted at 8/21/2009 7:05 AM CDT

* Mackey lectures at Universities about the horrors of factory farming

* He says “Right now, Americans have to pretend factory farms don’t exist. They turn their eyes away, because there’s no alternative, there’s no choice. Once there is a choice, we will allow ourselves to be outraged.”

* He makes $1 a year and donates his stock portfolio to charity.

* He set up a $100,00 fund to help his employees with personal problems.

* He’s a vegetarian and his company will not buy from producers that treat their animals unethically.

* He flies commercial, rents the smallest cars, and stays in the cheapest hotel rooms - not because he’s cheap, but because he has no need for largesse

* He and his wife participate in yoga

* He gives over $1 million a year to animal welfare groups, education, relief work, and spiritual movements.

* Employees have full say in who they work with - a new employee must receive a 2/3 vote in order to make it past probation.

* Employees also vote on all company-wide initiatives

* There’s a salary book in every store - “no secrets” management believes everyone should know how much everyone else is making

* Executive salaries are capped at 14 times the lowest workers salary - If they want more money, everyone else has to get more money first

* Non-executive employees hold 94% of company stock options

* Pay is linked to team performance - profit sharing

* At least 5% of annual profits go to local charities

* Full-timers get 100% of their health care costs paid for - under plans the employees have selected

* “They just have a lot more respect for you as a person here” says an employee

And because he had a different idea about how the United States can fix it health care situation, none of this matters? He’s a caring person and many of you want to treat him like a monster. Why? Not because he opposes reform, but because he’s bringing more ideas to the table.

You people are despicable. If the country had more CEO’s like Mackey, this country would be a greater place.

I remember when health care savings accounts were first created, Whole Foods offered to contribute matching funds to their employees who would open one. They were thrilled, because they could use those funds to buy alternative medical treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic etc., that conventional insurance often would not cover. They were thrilled, because they now had more choices available to them.

It was exactly the opposite of “Agree with us, or we’ll crush you”, which seems to be increasingly the mode of operation that the Democrat Party is preferring to use. It's unbelievably ugly.

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