Whole Foods CEO John Mackey is walking back his comment that ObamaCare is more like fascism than socialism, but he is still no fan of the so-called Affordable Care Act.
Mackey made headlines on NPR when he drew a parallel with the law and fascism, but, in an interview last night on FNC (see below), he admitted that the terminology was inappropriate. “That was a very poor of words on my part,” Mackey conceded, because there is too much emotional baggage connected to it dating back to World War II. He added that his problem with healthcare is that it is government controlled and that ObamaCare is making it more government controlled. This is the opposite of free-market capitalism, which he espouses.
Mackey noted that ObamaCare will increase costs for all businesses, which will have negative ramifications for employees. He explained in the interview with Greta Van Susteren that Whole Foods has a great healthcare plan that is voted on by team members (i.e., Whole Foods workers) every three years, and which is customized for the employees and very affordable. Obamacare will increase costs because of its various mandates, and the mandates will increase through lobbying and crony capitalism in his opinion. “Our freedom to customize our healthcare plan for our team members has been compromised,” he said.
As far as the law’s effect on business generally, John Mackey asserted that, as costs go up, there will be a “strong temptation” for businesses to keep employees on part-time status to avoid being covered by costly ObamaCare mandates, therefore resulting in lots of underemployed people.
As far as his philosophy generally, Mackey now refers to himself as a “conscious capitalist” (which just happens to be the title of his new book) rather than a libertarian. Capitalism is the best creator of value in the world — it has lifted humanity out of poverty into prosperity, Mackey insists.
In the interview, he noted that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the entire world. The problem with a high tax environment is that every dollar his company pays in taxes is a dollar it can’t give back to stakeholders (employees, customers, vendors, charities, and others), Mackey contends.
If he was granted five minutes with President Obama, Mackey would recommend cutting the corporate income tax and dialing back regulations “to liberate the entrepreneurial spirit” and to “let entrepreneurs do their thing.”
Do you think that capitalism/business has been unfairly demonized and that as Mackey argues, it has been judged “by the worst practitioners,” i.e, those he calls “selfish, greedy, and exploitative”?
Putting aside your own positive or negative experiences with employers, do you think a government with an anti-business agenda can restore America to prosperity?
Watch the FNC interview with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey in which he clarifies his views on ObamaCare and addresses his philosophy about capitalism: