So so many ethical quandaries this week! Should “we” “forgive” Michael Vick for being a dog-tortoruing sociopath, because he paid his debt to society? Should “we” continue to patronize a food store whose CEO — a man whose douchebaggery was well-established years ago — recently revealed an unpalatably conservative bent vis-a-vis the topic of heatlhcare? These are important questions.
Let’s see. Pro-boycott, or at least pro-giving John Mackey a hearty smack:
At any rate, very few businesses go as far as Whole Foods in marketing their products specifically as part of a quasi-politicized left-wing lifestyle and few CEOs go as far as Mackey in public advocacy of political views that are only tangentially related to his business. If Whole Foods shareholders were to start to wonder whether having their corporate brand dragged into the health care debate is really a smart use of their assets, I would call that a good thing.
If the CEO of Costco wrote an op-ed calling for a single payer health care system, I’d shrug, maybe write a blog post about why I think he’s wrong, and then I’d probably go to Costco this weekend to buy some dog food, some meat, and to try to eat my membership dues in free samples. Now, if the CEO of Costco wrote an op-ed calling for genocide against redheads, then yeah, I’d stop shopping there. But calling for a boycott of a conscientious company over its CEO endorsing proven ideas like HSAs and mainstream policies like tort reform is an attempt to push good ideas you disagree with to the fringe. It’s a way of zoning your opponents best arguments out of the realm of civilized debate.
Solution: Do not boycott Whole Foods. Instead, become a stockholder so that you can pressure John Mackey into starting a dog-fighting ring.