Willingness to Listen

Whole Foods Market is one of those stores that conscientious and affluent liberals shop to maintain their health and  assuage their collective guilt. The store offers organically-grown vegetables, biodegradable washing agents, as well as catering to those who prefer specialized diets from diary-free to vegetarian to gluten-free. It would be unfair to assume anything about all Whole Foods Shoppers, but it is not unreasonable to assert that on average they are further to the Left than the average shopper.

Recently, Whole Foods CEO. John Mackey, wrote a op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare,” opposing the Obama health care plan and the socialization of health care provision. The article offered a list of mostly free-market policy options that he believes could mitigate health care concerns. Interestingly, he notes that when given a choice, Whole Foods employees in Canada and the UK, models of health care policy often held up  by the Left, prefer:

“…supplemental health-care dollars that they can control and spend themselves without permission from their governments.”

Mackey’s particular recommendations can and ought to be debated. What it is interesting in this case is the response of some on the Left. Rather than engaging the issues raised in the the op-ed piece directly, the reaction was to boycott Whole Foods.  Of course, no one is or ought to be forced to patronize Whole Foods. Anyone can decide to not shop there for any reason and even try to persuade others not to. What makes this case relatively unique is that no one is arguing about Whole Food practices.  Those who are want to boycott Whole Foods want to punish the company for the expression of an honest opinion. Mackey’s op-ed was thoughtful and not mean-spirited, descriptions that do not apply to all those who are trying to boycott Whole Foods.

The next time, we hear complaints about town hall participants shouting others down,  remember those who use their dollars to punish those who have different ideas.

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