Nobody’s written about the latest from the CEO of Whole Foods, so, courtesy of reader J, here’s his attempt to remove his foot from his mouth after he called Obamacare “fascism”:
On “fascism”: I made a bad choice of language. I was trying to distinguish it between socialism so I took the dictionary definition of fascism, which is when the means of production are still owned privately but the government controls it — that’s a type of fascism. However, I realize that that word has so much baggage associated with it from World War II, with Germany, with Italy and Spain, that’s a very provocative word, so I regret using it. What I do believe in is free enterprise capitalism, and I’d like to see our healthcare system really unleash the power of free enterprise capitalism to create innovation and healthcare progress. I don’t think we have that – I think we’re moving away from that. So I do regret using that word, I won’t be using it in the future.
On the role of government: I’m in favor of a safety net. I do believe that the government can provide subsidies for our poorer citizens so that everyone can afford health insurance. One of the great examples that I point people to is what they’re doing in Switzerland, where you have still private health insurance markets and yet the government creates subsidies for all of its citizens so that everyone can afford health insurance. There you let the private market, competitive capitalism work and yet the government makes sure that there’s a safety net for people – that’s where I wish we were going in the United States.”
I’ll leave it to you guys to point out all the ways that he’s wrong about Obamacare (which anyone who isn’t getting all their information from Reason knows is pretty similar, almost identical, to Switzerland’s system). And I do wonder how anyone gets through about 5th grade without understanding that “fascism” is a loaded term. But my real question is why this guy is still in business? I live in one of the few areas of the country where the regular grocery store (Wegmans) is better than Whole Foods, so there aren’t any of them around here, but isn’t Whole Foods a place where progressive boycott-happy consumers (like me) would be shopping? So why aren’t they giving Whole Foods the full Wal-Mart treatment? This guy compared unions to herpes and is a climate change denier, in addition to his Palinesque views on Obamacare, so it’s not like his latest comments are out of character. Is the produce so much better at Whole Foods that it’s worth ignoring the fact that it’s run by this asshole?