John Mackey
John Mackey

This is one of those times we get to put our money where our mouths are. Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey said Obamacare is like fascism. In all fairness, first he called it a form of socialism, then said no, wait, it’s fascism.

Reportedly, the op-ed infuriated Whole Foods’ liberal customer base, and some have boycotted the organic food chain in protest.

Look, the reality is that we are not blind supporters of the President who believe it is sacrilegious to disagree with him. There are concerns over which we take great issue with the President, such as his education policies which have followed him from Chicago to Washington and have spread all over our nation—the results of which could not be more apparent and abhorrent than they are right here in New Orleans.

But healthcare is not one of those issues, at least not for us at The Tribune. And even if you disagree with the POTUS on it, hurling words like fascism is an absurd act that falls distressingly short of thoughtful criticism of public policy.

John Mackey is not alone in his stance against Obamacare. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said “the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.”

And Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton said in December that Obamacare “will be very costly” and force most businesses to raise prices or “cheapen their product.”

Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter said last year that he plans to raise prices and cut employee hours because of Obamacare.

What we find odd is that not one of these critics – who all seem so concerned about the impact of healthcare reform on the small businesses—are themselves small businessmen. They are the heads of giant corporations, one percenters, to be sure. And it seems shameful that with all the money that regular folk spend at their establishments across this nation, they have a problem with providing their employees with health insurance.

So are we saying it’s ok to boycott Whole Foods or Starbucks, Papa John’s or the Cheesecake Factory?

We’ll leave that up to you. It certainly is something to consider the next time you’re sipping your latte or buying your organic soy milk or that double pepperoni with extra cheese. While these CEOs mouth off, can the poor guy and gal pouring your beverage, scanning your groceries or tossing your pizza dough afford to see a doctor without health insurance?

Can you?

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