Sunday, August 30, 2009

Whole Foods and health care reform

Grant McCracken criticizes John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, for writing an op-ed in the WSJ advocating more market-oriented health care reform than is currently on the table. His concern is not with the substance of the editorial, but its potential to destroy shareholder value by alienating part of Whole Foods' customer base.

I agree with the reactions of Radley Balko and Megan McArdle in their reactions to the reactions (though, contra Megan, the ribs I had there last Friday were surprisingly good, and I like the salad bar too). But I also agree with Grant McCracken about Mackey's duty to the shareholders.

Nonetheless, it is disappointing to see the left reacting with boycotts, which is of course just the mirror image of the town meeting disrupters on the right. Neither actually engages with the ideas or the evidence that should underlie decisions about health care reform.

Oh, and must we use the Orwellian term "town meetings" to described these heavily stage-managed photo ops?