I just finished listening to The Fountainhead on audiobook and a lot of the opinions expressed by the execrable characters rang hollow to my ears. Maybe it’s the people I deal with or the blogs I read, but I just don’t hear people saying things so explicitly—the altruism and collectivism I encounter is subtle.
Then I read this article about the reaction to the Whole Foods CEO’s recent editorial in The Wall Street Journal about establishing a free(r) market in health care. The following quotes could have come from straight from the Council of American Grocers:
Christine Taylor, a 34-year-old New Jersey shopper, vowed never to step foot in another Whole Foods again.
“I will no longer be shopping at Whole Foods,” Taylor told ABCNews.com. “I think a CEO should take care that if he speaks about politics, that his beliefs reflect at least the majority of his clients.”
A commenter on the Whole Foods forum, identified only by his handle, “PracticePreach,” wrote, “It is an absolute slap in the face to the millions of progressive-minded consumers that have made [Whole Foods] what it is today.”
“You should know who butters your hearth-baked bread, John,” wrote the commenter. “Last time I checked it wasn’t the insurance industry conservatives who made you a millionaire a hundred times over.”
In these parasites’ view, Whole Foods was running a sale: buy organic produce and get John Mackey’s soul free. While sympathetic to his position and plight, I am not entirely sure what Mackey was expecting the reaction to be since his business caters primarily to leftist, environmentalist types with a predilection for government action and a general hostility to business. His customers gave him the means to a prominent pulpit but only inasmuch as he will spout their beliefs. They simply will not tolerate heterodoxy and he will lose business over this.
(If we start seeing buttons reading “We Don’t Buy Whole Foods” or discover that his CFO has stealthily been hiring socialists for key positions within the company, I’ll know that Mackey’s capitulation is near.)