Friday, August 21, 2009

Responsible Capitalism

I was about to make this blog all about the shining star that Whole Foods Markets have become and it's CEO, John Mackey, has the right to voice, write and have opinions that run contrary to our current administration's. I was going to point out that Mr. Mackey is running a company that is a shining example of how responsible captialism is and should be run. And perhaps it is. From all outward evidence, Whole Foods Markets are largely responsible for making us all conscious of organic foods, our environment, what we are eating and feeding our families, and providing high quality produce and hard-to-find items. It seems to be the best of what business should be about and America at it's best.

Capitalism is not evil. But people are corruptable. Systems may be good but they have holes. It doesn't mean we need to throw the baby out with the bath water. Protest the people that become greedy and take advantage of a system. Protest the holes in the system. We don't have to throw out everything that has worked well in the past. The past is not a bad thing. We don't need to be digging up dirt on our nation's founding fathers to prove the whole foundation is corrupt. It seems to me that the people that really didn't appreciate the Right passing moral judgements on behavior and legislation is doing the exact same thing. The Right called war protester Cindy Sheehan "unAmerican". Now the Left is calling those that aren't agreeing with every aspect of the healthcare reform coming from Washington "unAmerican". This country was built on protests, debate, difference in opinions and compromise. It has never been 100% one side or 100% the other side. We have become a country where everyone thinks everything has to be 100% one side or the other, black and white, right and wrong. If you truly consider most issues, there is gray middle ground to some degree. Nothing is clear cut. And what makes that gray matter is our morality. We all have it. We all have opinions about it. We all embrace our own beliefs about that morality.

You may be asking about now, how is all this related to what I started talking about with Whole Foods Markets and John Mackey? Well, as much as I was wanting to extoll his virtue and business accumen with a planet responsible business, I found the story where the FTC is investigating the fact that Mr. Mackey anonymously posted comments and predictions online regarding his competitor, Whole Oats" stock prices and it's future of being acquired by another business. Now, Mr. Mackey is arguing that this activity was innocent and a number of years ago, long before his own Whole Foods recently acquired Wild Oats. I suppose we all make mistakes in the past. He IS only taking $1/yr salary and a total benefit package of only $33K, much less that a majority of Americans make and live on. I choose to take the good that Mr. Mackey is doing and build on it. I suspect that none of us could take a harsh scrutiny of every thought and action throughout our lifetime and come out smelling like a total rose. It takes a little compost to make those roses grow! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

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