Whole Foods CEO Doesn't Realize His Clientele Are Educated, Affluent...LIBERALS.
Whole Foods has always been pretty easy, for my own part, to boycott, much like my lifelong boycott of watery, unpleasant, racist and homophobic Coors--it's easy to boycott a crappy product. Even easier, as in WF's case, when you simply can't afford it. My food tastes are fairly simple and frugal, so I have no taste or need for their fancier stuff(though CEO John Mackey, about whom even more in a moment
, also recently said in the Guardian, which he doesn't seem to know we can read here too, "We sell a bunch of junk
"), and it's overpriced anyway. When I lived in Berkeley, my former wife used to save on lunch simply by strolling through and taking every free sample.
Which is fine. I'm not a rich foodie, but they exist, and for those people, Whole Foods is great.
But the aforementioned Mr. Mackey, mmmkay, seems to be out of touch with the people who make him
rich. He wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal decrying the health care reform bill as socialist
, and attacking it up and down. And also taking the opportunity to state that if only more people bought, coincidentally, just the kinds of food that can be found at his stores, most health problems would be fixed, without any healthcare plan at all. Which is not at all
something a self-interested douchebag
would say, of course.
Which, again, is fine. True, the stink of snake oil is heavy on him. I don't agree with him, he's stupid and wrong, but as my character in Vitriol, Sally Gilmore, once said: "Listen, fuckhead! I am a grownup, and a citizen, just like you! It is my right as a US citizen to believe whatever I want! Respect my fucking diversity!" So, fine. And it's not like you expect enlightenment in the WSJ anyway.But golly, is it wise business, when your primary clientele are health-conscious liberals who pride themselves on being well-informed, to spit in their eye like that and totally blow the image you've maintained of the place, and make them realize that their food dollars are going into his pockets and possibly, from there, going to Freedomworks and the other insurance-company-owned lobbying groups spreading terror and lies and disrupting town hall meetings on the subject? Groups they despise? Does he really think they don't think about the ramifications of their purchase, that they're making their enemy wealthy? Does he realize that his customers are the ones who support health care reform, vigorously?This may be one of the greatest moments of business tone-deafness. Because he chose to piss off exactly the kind of people who not only spend their lives finding such connections, but acting upon them. Who do you think buys fair trade coffee, and why? These are people who separate all recycling into as many discrete categories as they can. Every purchase choice they make, they pride themselves on the ethical nature of it, and brag about it to their friends. It's a sign of status to them. Trust me on this. I lived in Berkeley and live in Seattle. There are businesses built entirely upon this more-ethical-than-thou contest, and they make a killing.Businesses like, most prominently, Whole Foods.And then he opens his mouth on this matter, in this way, and doesn't think his customers--without whom, and without the image that Whole Foods has worked very hard to protect and project, he's just another idiot against health reform--would notice?
He begins his piece with, for Christ's sakes, a quote from Margaret Thatcher.
It's as though the head of NASCAR had gone on a tirade about how much he hates rednecks, and wanted to screw their mothers as soon as they were done with them.
Something on that level of lack of PR sense. Mackey may want to look into some market research. Like maybe walking through one of his stores, talking to a customer or two, that kind of thing. So did they notice?They did, and on the Whole Foods site, almost immediately, at last count 300 threads went up discussing ways to boycott Whole Foods. Because now, in their view, it's as if they found out it was owned by Glenn Beck. (who, by the way, has now lost a dozen advertisers and more will be coming) He's alienated most of his customer base, and for nothing. But hey, he'll be able to replace these customers with all the conservative health food freaks who can afford "Whole Paycheck"'s prices, right?
Who care about organic produce, fair trade, and that which is macrobiotic?Nice business you had going there, Mackey. Shame you decided to kill it. No other words for him, but fucking, and idiot.
FAIL, I believe the youngsters would say today.By the way, a correction to yesterday's post about another fuckhead, Sen. Grassley, who bragged(and now Palin has joined in, as though she has any power over anything) that he'd killed the end-of-life-counseling part of the bill. Actually, he didn't. Congress is not in session during August. No changes of that kind have been made, at least not to the actual bill. And I doubt very much if his premature crowing will help him in negotiations later. In fact, after the behavior of the GOP this month, I have a feeling the Democrats will finally realize that their votes aren't needed anyway, so there's no reason to listen to any changes they might want. I hope that, anyway.The GOP may find soon that the other side was just trying to be polite.
And may remember what they
did, when they
had the majority, to the other side. I'd tremble, myself, were I them. God, I'm glad I'm not.
Donkeys are known to kick, you see. Never experienced that myself. But if it's anything like the kick of a horse(which I have, in the stomach, when quite young)--ouchie
Labels: capitalism, right wing, seattle, you're pathetic