Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Strongly Support Health Care Reform But Not Boycotts of Whole Foods

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has angered many of his customers - including me - by writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that American citizens have no "intrinsic right to health care". This has ignited a boycott against Whole Foods.

I strongly support health care reform, I disagree utterly with Mackey's logic, but I won't be boycotting Whole Foods.

First, I think health care is not only an intrinsic human right, but the government is required to help provide it when private enterprise fails - under the general welfare provision of our Constitution. And I think private enterprise stands intrinsically and hopelessly in contradiction to provision of health care for all Americans, because pursuit of profits means you need to limit costs, which in turn means denial of treatment to some people. (See my Private, For-Profit Health Insurance Companies are Self-Contradictory for more.)

But boycotts add nothing to this debate. They won't convince anybody.

What we need are continued rational arguments, and continued exposure of Republican lies.

When the truth is on your side, the best course of action is to relentlessly speak it, not refuse to go shopping in a store whose chief exec doesn't get it.

See also Is the Whole Foods Boycott Fair? for an argument in favor of the boycott.
Post a Comment