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12 August 2009

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Barbara Saunders

John Mackey is, to put it more kindly than perhaps I should, kind of a wacky eccentric regarding the virtues of "conscious capitalism."

Sue Cosby

I really can't believe that anyone who runs a business and pays for their employee's healthcare thinks there is no problem.

Terri Alice

Good for you, Christie! We need to support the farmers markets, not the corporate greed of Whole Foods and others who exploit us with their "greenwashing".

Dave, RN

Maybe what her really means is "personal resposibility". I'm a Registered Nurse and I see all the time. Sick people who made themselves that way, then want someone else to pay to fix it by being on expensive pharmaceuticals for the rest of their lives. I'm glad we have places like whole foods (AND farmers markets and local ranches, where I get a good deal of my food) where we can go and get decent food to fuel our bodies instead of eating crap, which makes us sick, and then dependent on some healthcare system. I speak from experience. Besides seeing it in patients, I used to eat crap, then realized that my high blood pressure, abdominal fat and high blood sugar were going to make me sick (like my patients) then eventually kill me (like my patients). I finally realized that I'M responsible for my health. So I started eating Real Food. Lots of veggies, moderate fruit, fish, and grass fed beef, and raw unpasteurized goat milk. It didn't take but a few months to drop 30lbs of fat, reduce my blood pressure to normal, reduce my blood sugar to normal. I've been eating that way for a couple of years. I'm 49 now and never looked or felt better in my life. I've even got my high school abs back!
Me? I'm taking personal resposibility like the man suggested. The rest of you can be victims of conventional wisdom and some "healthcare" plan.

Christie

Dave, your libertarian Ayn Randian crap is just that, pure crap. People get sick. That's part of life. Only children think they can control the entire universe and everything that happens to them by their own actions. It's absolutely juvenile.

We need to accept that health care is a basic public service like roads and education and stop acting like it's either an unpreventable catastrophe like being hit by an asteroid OR something that can be averted with prudence.

Dave, RN

You are totally right, people do get sick. Eventually, we die. That's just... life. But to deny that we have a great measure of control over how healthy our lives are, is to blame someone or something else when we do get sick. What would have happened to me had I done that? I'd be overweight, on high blood pressure meds and on diabetic meds, adding to the healthcare financial burden. I choose to take control, and basically cured myself. Many can do the same. It would save the healthcare industry billions. Now that's healthcare reform.
There are things that we don't have control over. I have experience with that too. Since age 15 I've had epilepsy. Utterly out of my control. But thanks to one medication, I haven't had a seizure since I was 28.
Improve your health where you can. If you think you can't control a condition, research outside of conventional wisdom and see what's out there.

Christie

So basically nothing you're saying has jackshit to do with the issue of healthcare reform at all, does it? You're saying, keep yourself as healthy as you can, and let's hope if you get something you can't prevent, it won't cost you thousands of dollars a month that you don't have to treat it, because in our current system, most of us are screwed if that happens.

Right?

K.P.

Dave, can you take your crock of shit somewhere else? You might like the flavor, but the rest of us will take a pass on it.

Because my mother REALLY REALLY could have controlled the inoperable brain tumor she got at age 46 when she was otherwise healthy and active. Maybe she really WANTED to leave a 12 year old and a 16 year old motherless? Maybe I shouldn't have bawled my eyes out at my wedding last year because maybe she just didn't care enough to shrug that cancer off with chicken soup and clean livin', by gosh and golly.

I'm sure my father just loved selling off our personal possessions when insurance would no longer cover the fact that she needed round-the-clock supervision and nursing care towards the end because she could no longer walk, feed herself, or control her bladder/bowels.

But that's "just life", ain't it?

Retrieverman

Mackey is one of those Ayn Rand acolytes.

I'm more political in person than I am at Retrieverman, but if I read one more word of this sort of romantic bloviation about laissez-faire, I think I'm going to explode.

Obama isn't a commie. It's really not cute to call him Obamarx or Obamao. He's barely even a progressive Democrat. Indeed, I worry that he may sell-out the public option just to survive. I don't blame him.

I do blame us. I blame us for getting too wrapped up in the Obama mystique that we didn't demand single payer or really stand up for the public option.

The only way to get costs under control and have private insurance is to have everyone buy insurance. The economics of insurance requires a larger pool so the insurance companies can absorb risk. Well, you don't want to be forced to buy it from a private company? Well, we don't have to, because an affordable public option would be set up to help bring cost down.

The fundamentalism of free market theology is tanking this country in so many ways. In that same respect, our economic theology is ruining us the same way the USSR's economic theology ruined it.

Kevin Chapman

Quit being whimps and buffoons! Government is not the answer to everything. Show me something government has done that is not corrupt, overcrowded and inefficient. Think of the DMV, airtraffic control, welfare, social security, veterans administration, ect. Beauracrats are smart enough to feed you this healthcare "socialized medicine" while keeping their own plan. if it is so great why don't they get on it? The unions don't even want their members on it. Wait til you need to see a doctor and die waiting or are told it is not recommended for your condition by a beauracrat. Wake up people! You remind me of the folks who want to sue the fast food industry for their fat kids or want to pass laws for child obesity-how did they get that way, they have no car, they have no money-you drove them there and bought them the junk and then claim you didn't know it would make your kid FAT?!!!

Christie

You're a moron. Have you ever heard of Medicare? Police? Fire departments?

I'll take Medicare any day over the completely fucked up private health insurance I'm paying eight hundred bucks a month for. NOTHING could be worse than that, certainly not Medicare, which is a great program I'd be THRILLED to have. My mom does, and she loves it.

Mallory Kates

Christie, I'm a big fan of yours. I've ached to hear the too-familiar story of your mother's illness. I'm a dog person and a gay person. IOW, I am on the same side of the fence as you are on most issues. But I want to say something on this boycott of Whole Foods business. I think everyone who is jumping on that bandwagon is missing something important. John Mackey will not be the slightest bit affected by any lessening of Whole Foods traffic. He's a rich guy and he's got his. The people a Whole Foods boycott will impact - and hurt - are the people who work there (who also happen to love their company...just ask them) and small business owners like me, whose livelihood and ability to help employees get health care will be seriously diminished if shoppers abandon Whole Foods. The same can be said for lots of organic farmers to whom Whole Foods represents a vital link to prosperity. We are the ones a boycott hurts. Not a man like John Mackey whose personal wealth means a luxurious life despite the ups and downs of Whole Foods stock. Please, help to be a voice of reason here. A boycott of Whole Foods is hurting people who I don't think you want to be hurting.

Christie

Mallory, I'm sorry, but that's what gets said about EVERY consumer boycott... the big corporations hiding behind the little guys on the front lines. To use that logic, we as consumers can never ever use the single thing we have that has the potential to really level the playing field between corporate power and just plain citizens.

I believe in boycotts, and not because they "hurt" someone like Mackey. He won't care, I'm sure. That's not the point. It's a form of speech and I think both an effective and important one.

So sorry, no, we definitely do not agree on this one, and I'm still boycotting Whole Foods Market.

Mallory Kates

I'm curious - what could Whole Foods, or more properly, John Mackey, do to change your mind? I understand what you're saying and I really do try to think about what I would be doing/saying if my life didn't depend so much on the health of this company. It's hard to know. But I do know that Whole Foods does way more that is good than most large companies, despite the peculiar mindset of the CEO who I do dearly wish would go away.

Christie

Well, since your product is sold in Whole Foods and as far as I can tell ONLY in Whole Foods, one thing it could do is have people like you identify yourselves when you post on blogs. At least you had the honesty to use your corporate URL and email address, but I'd have preferred you said right up front, when you told me all your other biographical details, that you had skin in the game.

As for what Whole Foods could do to get me to shop there again? Dump Mackey as CEO. While he was off my radar before, he's on it now, and just as I don't knowingly give my money to businesses with anti-gay CEOs or anti-choice CEOs, I don't give it to those whose CEOs stand up and proclaim that health care is and should remain an expensive privilege instead of a basic right.

Mallory Kates

Christie - I'm really sorry. I did use the term "small business owners like me" but as I now re-read it I realize that it wasn't as clear as I meant it to be. I didn't mean to be hiding at all. I wanted you to know that I own a business that sells to WF. That's why I used my company URL and company email, not my private ones. Again, I apologize. I intended my communication to be from me, the business owner and in an earlier version that I edited, I did announce that with the name (Ciolo Foods) but didn't want it to appear that I was hyping my brand on your blog. Again, my apologies. And to anyone else reading this, my company sells to Whole Foods and is very dependent on them for our livelihood. That's why I talk about it.

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