This Is Rich: CEO Reveals His Political Leanings, Shocks His Customers In The Process

Whole Paycheck CEO, John Mackey, wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal about the dangers of Obama’s health care reform plan and now his liberal-minded customers are pissed.
Mackey argues:

While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits.
A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That’s because there isn’t any. This “right” has never existed in America.
We are all responsible for our own lives and our own health. We should take that responsibility very seriously and use our freedom to make wise lifestyle choices that will protect our health. Doing so will enrich our lives and will help create a vibrant and sustainable American society.

Emily Friedman of ABC News spoke to some Whole Paycheck customers about Mackey’s thinking. Micheal Lent from Long Beach says, “I’m boycotting because all Americans need health care. While Mackey is worried about health care and stimulus spending, he doesn’t seem too worried about expensive wars and tax breaks for the wealthy…”
You have to wonder why a CEO would hang himself like this. Most wouldn’t speak out on a hot button issue for fear of losing customers, but that’s not how Mackey works. It’s clear that he’s an idealist. Yet, his ideals are different from what many of his customers expected.
Then again, maybe this will drive new customers to his stores. A quick search on Twitter reveals lots of people on both sides.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. it’s a little tough to enjoy life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness — unalienable rights based on my “careful reading” of the declaration of independence — when you don’t have proper access to health care, aren’t taught how to live a healthy life or must shell out a massive chunk of your income for health insurance. i assume whole foods offers health benefits to its employees. why? can’t they make super-awesome lifestyle choices on their own and, in doing so, create a “vibrant and sustainable american society”?

  2. Jeffrey Evans says:

    The new taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans will add an average of $ 9,000 to their tax bill. Not nearly enough to harm their lifestyles. This a joke and a PR smokescreen by Landrover Liberals who want to look good and keep things as they are.
    Friedmans comment about Mackey’s not caring about war and tax breaks for the rich obfuscates CEO’s point that a national health care system will create hundreds of billions of dollars of unfunded deficits, which it most assuredly will do. We already have a complicated, underfunded deficit ridden health care system that doesn’t work.
    It is time for a quality health care system that is fair and affordable for all Americans, but the government can’t even deliver the mail. Why do we even consider that they can run a health care system ? This will surely result in less choice, higher costs,and poorer quality. It will also saddle future generations with a ballooning health care deficit that will cripple the economy for years to come.
    Our leadership in Washington keeps things as they are for the rich and poor on the backs of the middle class, which is growing smaller with every piece of legislation that increases the deficit. National Health care will crush the middle class if our government spending hasn’t done so already.
    It’s not the doctors, health care providers or the patients but the insurance companies that will still make out if we have national government mandated health care system. Start by reforming or abolishing the current insurance company strangle hold on health care. Look at their profit margins and tax that instead !!!!

  3. I had forgotten that Markey had posted anonymous postings against a competitor during a takeover battle. I also have learned that Whole Foods is a union busting corporation. I’ve learned a lot from the boycott.

  4. I think he made a mistake voicing is opinion.

  5. Jeffrey Evans says:

    Gosh Lisa !! isn’t this a free country ? Aren’t we all supposed to voice our opinions ???

  6. it is a free country jeff. thanks for pointing that out. any other blindingly obvious and condescending things you’d like to say?
    mr. mackey just alienated his core constituency jeff. that’s what we in the advertising and marketing industry call a really dumb move.

  7. David Joblin says:

    THIS INDIVIDUAL has to conduct ”a careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution” to decide whether a human being has ”an intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter”.
    Take him outside, put him in the stocks and rotten tomato his flaming head until it falls off. Didn’t his parents love him? Diabolical. Where are these people born???
    If he really thinks that then either ignore or change the constitution, It was not written by God.