Whole Foods founder and CEO says Obamacare is fascism

UPDATE: Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has just retracted his accusation that President Obama’s health care reform is “fascism.”  Which is interesting, since he also retracted his comparison of Obamacare to “socialism” a while back.  Just how many retractions does Whole Foods get before progressives wake up to the fact that these are not nice people?

Why does anyone shop at Whole Foods anymore?

We should have learned our lesson a few years ago when Whole Foods founder and co-CEO John Mackey declared Obamacare to be “socialism.”  He also went off about how Canada’s health care system is just terrible, with rationing etc – which contradicts everything I’ve ever heard from Canadians (and Americans who have moved to Canada) about their health care system.  They seem to love it.

Then again, I learned long ago not to trust an American who uses the word “socialism.”   It’s code for someone who doesn’t really understand the thing he’s talking about, nor socialism itself.  Same goes for Americans who use the word “fascism.”  It used to be used by the far left to describe any Republican proposal they didn’t like, but now it’s used by mainstream Republicans (along with “socialism”) to describe any Democratic proposal that they don’t like.  The difference being that in Democratic circles, it was only the fringes that talked this way.  In the GOP, it’s their presidential candidates.

Whole FoodsFast forward to this week, when Whole Food’s John Mackey opened his big mouth again, and this time opined about – wait for it – fascism and President Obama.  Perfectly timed to go with the NRA’s collective aneurism over the fact that someone wants to even discuss the possibility that guns actually do kill people, especially young ones.

Now, keep in mind, the last time Mackey put his foot in it, Whole Foods tried to blame it on the Wall Street Journal.  Well, this time the guy used the word “fascism” himself, so I wonder how Whole Foods is going to try to wriggle out of this mess now.


When Inskeep asks him if he still thinks the health law is a form of socialism, as he’s said before, Mackey responds:

Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.”

Technically speaking, you’re kind of an idiot.

The government controls, aka regulates, a lot of things in our lives, from food safety to drugs.  And is all of that fascism?

Is it fascism that the government is trying to make health care affordable?

And is it fascism that the government is trying to improve the actual coverage that we get?

Because I have to tell you, if that’s fascism, it’s sounding awfully good to a lot of us who have under-par insurance (in my case, BCBS offers me lousy prescription drug coverage, so I go to Europe and buy the same drugs, produced by the same drug companies, for 1/5 of what they charge Americans).

If this is fascism, helping me make sure that I can afford to keep my asthma under control, rather than waking up in the middle of the night and choking to death, then bring it on.

Seriously, stop shopping at Whole Foods.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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24 Responses to “Whole Foods founder and CEO says Obamacare is fascism”

  1. Buford says:

    Nice.. now can you explain ‘Islamo-fascism’…?

  2. Buford says:


  3. Buford says:

    “Whole Foods CEO Admits He’s an Idiot”… that’s the headline I saw.

  4. A Libertarian is an extreme right wing Republican who refuses to admit it – you know like an addict in denial, only without any redeeming qualities.

  5. karmanot says:

    Jazz hands? :)

  6. karmanot says:

    You might find that socialism is fundamental to most modern governments.

  7. karmanot says:


  8. HolyMoly says:

    Maybe he thinks washing your hands is sufficient. You know, if you’re suffering from a “legitimate” ailment, your body has a way of shutting that whole thing down (with the help of a little antibacterial soap). Anyone else is just faking it so they can take a day off and watch Jerry Springer.

  9. Naja pallida says:

    But… they put a sign up next to the bathroom that says “Employees must wash hands after using bathroom.” WHAT MORE DO YOU LIBERALS WANT!?!?!

  10. BeccaM says:

    For those who still think Whole Foods (aka ‘Whole Paycheck’) is a wonderful place to shop, just remember that its CEO doesn’t believe his employees deserve or need affordable, accessible health care.

    And remember that as their health-care deprived employees wrap the cheese, or make you a sandwich, or refill the bulk food bins, or ring up your purchases, and just imagine how many of them could be spreading untreated illnesses. Because by gum, John Mackey is a libert-loonian, and having healthy workers isn’t something he feels employers should be required to worry about, not even if it’s a public safety issue.

  11. Naja pallida says:

    That’s pretty much how it is here too. The only people who can afford to shop at Whole Foods seem to be the ones who don’t care enough to be concerned where they shop anyway… but the store is always busy. No shortage of H2s and S-Class Mercedes.

  12. Naja pallida says:

    With one major exception. One of the primary tenets of fascism was nationalization of most industries. American corporatism wants the exact opposite – a wild west of uncontrolled corporations that can do whatever they want without any kind of restriction.

  13. lynchie says:

    Same here in Pittsburgh. The 1%ers love the store. The 1% take a stand, they stand behind creating wealth for themselves not creating jobs for people who are out of work.

  14. WilmaDickfit says:

    this is an easy fix. go into WF and start popping open sealed food jars and slide them to the back of the shelves. this douche will learn the hard way. I would say start stealing from WF, but going into their stores and ruining 50 jars of mayo and tomato sauce is more fun.

  15. dula says:

    I stopped going there a few years ago when that same douchebag said that healthcare was not a right, it was a privilege. But you should see all the “Liberals” here in LA flock to his stores in their Range Rovers. God forbid they disrupt their beautiful, comfortable lives in order to stand for anything.

  16. nicho says:

    He claims he is a “libertarian,” which is code for “idiot.”

  17. Drew2u says:

    To split hairs (because that’s what the internet is for), doesn’t Obamacare just mandate everyone buy some sort of private product otherwise face a fine/tax garnishment?

  18. confusion says:

    Republicans =fascism….Dems =socialism. Methinks Mackey dude needs some edumacation.

  19. Bloix says:

    And Inskeep didn’t call him on it. Not one follow-up: “Do you think Germany is a fascist country? Switzerland? Israel? Don’t they all have more restrictive employment-based health care systems than the ACA?” No, he just moved to a new topic. I hate NPR.

  20. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    “fascism”: he keeps using that word. I don’t think it means what he thinks it means.

  21. Eyeball_Kid says:

    Mackey’s an idiot in two ways. He’s ignorant about political movements and shows his ignorance, and he’s an idiot for alienating a large portion of his customer base. He also has enemies for friends, who should have advised that he keep his pie hole shut, stop talking about stuff that’s over his head, and concentrate on sustaining and growing his business. Now, he’s politicized his stores and shopping at Whole Foods in general. And he’ll squander a good revenue stream. What a nut bag.

  22. caphillprof says:

    “According to most scholars of fascism, there are both left and right
    influences on fascism as a social movement, and fascism, especially once
    in power, has historically attacked communism, conservatism and
    parliamentary liberalism, attracting support primarily from the “far
    right” or “extreme right.”[8]” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_fascism

    Fascism is a pretty good word to describe American corporatism.

  23. unclemike says:

    I am very happy and proud to have never spent any of my money at Whole Foods. I expect this trend to continue.

  24. bkmn says:

    WF frozen “organic” veggies – from China, where there are no organic certification organizations.

    This guy loves to boast about how he gets the liberals to shell out top dollar for his “goods”. Or how he resists having to provide health insurance for his employees so he can pocket another dime.

    I agree, anyone who shops at WF should be ashamed of themselves.

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