John Mackey's no stranger to a little controversy, especially the online-first Mark Cubanesque variety. But the Whole Foods co-founder took it up a notch with his Tuesday guest editorial in The Wall Street Journal, in which he takes issue with universal public health care proposals, and offers his eight tips for a better health care recipe this fall. Proud Texan that he is, medical tort reform's in there at number four.
Coming down so firmly and publicly on the right in the health care debate (or "hellthcare," if you prefer) sparked a quick backlash from a predictable place: Mackey's customers, who've lit up the internet suggesting they'll shop somewhere else instead, or even go for a Sunday picket outside the Berkeley Whole Foods.
One fun place to watch this all unfold? Whole Foods' online forums, (not far from Mackey's on-again, off-again company blog, quiet since November) where calls for boycotts are sharing space with complaints about posts getting deleted, and news about Whole Foods' demise. And then of course there's this.
All of which makes it a little more exciting driving past construction at the new Park Lane development, where work on Whole Foods' new Dallas flagship is underway. Says Park Lane co-founder Tod Ruble of the new Whole Foods, "They're going to try to be open by Thanksgiving," or mid-January at the latest -- which, depending on how long the reusable-canvas-baggers can resist another trip to the olive bar, may be enough time to let the tempest die down.
Till then, though, Daily Kos' DarkSyde has a feeling Mackey's in for a rough patch: "I predict the next few weeks of your life are going to suck, immensely."
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