Why Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Was Right to Call Obamacare “Fascist”

by | Jan 22, 2013 | Business, Healthcare

Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey recently backed off his description of Obamacare as “fascism.” Mackey stated, “I made a poor word choice to describe our health care system, which I definitely regret. The term fascism today stirs up too much negative emotion with its horrific associations in the 20th century.” Actually, he should have stuck […]

Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey recently backed off his description of Obamacare as “fascism.”

Mackey stated, “I made a poor word choice to describe our health care system, which I definitely regret. The term fascism today stirs up too much negative emotion with its horrific associations in the 20th century.”

Actually, he should have stuck to his guns. Objectively speaking, Obamacare is fascism.

Economic fascism refers to government encouragement of the consolidation of big business, so that government may control it. A few favored by Big Government are permitted to make Big Money in a Big Business model, not because they have earned it, but because they are the ones the politicians favor.

It’s a perfect ploy. Problems can be blamed on the profit motive. Politicians will always say they’re the good guys, trying to make “quality health care available for all.”

They pull the strings behind the scenes through arbitrary edicts and regulations. They tell the profit-makers in the fascist enterprises that if they don’t comply, they’ll lose their profits or, worst case, go to jail. Yet the politicians can tell an inattentive public, “We’re doing what we can to get profit out of business.”
This is how much of the American economy now works. It’s erroneously called “capitalism” but genuine capitalism is nothing of the sort. Under genuine capitalism, there is no government interference, other than playing policeman and adjudicating civil or criminal cases.

But government should have no interest in certain parties winning economically and others losing. Nor should government ever judge any one company as “too big to fail” or too anything to fail. This is ultimately up to the people who run the companies and/or the people who choose to purchase, or not purchase, those companies’ products or services.

Many people don’t grasp any of this, but they should. When someone says, “Should there be a law to force companies to do such-and-such?” the answer is almost always “yes.” The reason for this is that “such-and-such” is usually something the person being asked thinks is a good idea. But there are consequences to every action. The most common one is that every time government forces private enterprise to do something that enterprise has found unnecessary in order to please customers, prices unnecessarily go up. I say “unnecessarily” because if these changes or requirements in fact had been necessary, consumers would have demanded it, and business self-interest and profit would have required it.

Economic fascism is a charade. It’s a means of total government control, not unlike Communism or “democratic” socialism, but with the outer trappings of profit-making and business as a facade. It’s a sham, and it’s arguably the most phony, pretentious and evil government control of all.

Under Obamacare, health insurance companies, hospitals and private physicians are now operating completely under government edict. Nobody can do anything unless government first gives it permission. Sure, some hospitals and insurance companies will still make profits. But the nature and extent of those profits will ultimately be dictated by conformity to government requirements. Those who dance to the government tune will make the most money.

In his original comments, Mackey was simply stating what he—as a CEO trying to operate in this fascist economy—experiences in daily life, and will experience all the more as Obamacare takes effect.

Mackey’s big backpedal shows how the irrational fools who rule us do so only with our own consent. This is disproportionately true when it comes to the business people who shoulder the burden of the entitlement state. Ayn Rand (who wrote “Atlas Shrugged”) appropriately called this “the sanction of the victim.”

Politicians, such as Barack, sit in Washington DC and say, “Look at me. I provide you with what you need.” What they’re really doing is throttling, coercing and manipulating businesses to provide what politicians think people should not have to purchase on a market or otherwise gain from voluntary charity. It’s a racket as ethically low as that of a cheap con artist, or a mafia boss.

Actually, it’s much worse. The cheap con artist or the mafia boss doesn’t require you to pretend it’s noble and voluntary. The politicians do, and some of their chief victims, such as John Mackey, play right into it.

It would never be wise to depend on a corrupt mafia boss to do your bidding, as the American voters now depend on corrupt politicians to do their bidding for almost everything: unemployment insurance, education, medical care, retirement insurance, the list will never stop growing.

Sooner or later, this dependence-via-coercion comes back to bite you. When you make people do things through coercion, you destroy any sense of good will. Good will is necessary for all human relationships, and it’s necessary to keep civility, including respect for individual and property rights, in place.

For now, in the abstract, people can lull themselves with the idea, “That Barack. He sure is great. He’s making sure those greedy corporate businessmen give me my health care.” But through it all, we’re depending on the good will of those evil, corporate greedy businessmen to pay for it all. We expect them to shoulder the burden of keeping a company profitable, while at the same time putting added obligations on to them, something we’d never expect of ourselves. We’re doing the same thing to doctors, nurses and hospitals — professionals who are likewise afraid to speak up in their own defense.

How long can it really last? Will it end well? Watch and learn.

You throttle those upon whom you depend at your own peril, most of all.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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