…and they drink a lot. Well, I did. Honestly it wasn’t that bad, except for trying to find a suitable costume for my character (a gangster hit man posing as a gambler. No, really.) To be honest, the amount of characters and all the “clue” pages and background story were just too much to get a handle on with a martini or two in hand. I noticed that the crowed really divided into two groups: Those that took it seriously and those who didn’t. Guess which camp I was in, which made it a bit uncomfortable when people would approach me “in character” asking what I knew about the money or the body or the affair. And on a secondary layer, when you met anyone, you weren’t sure if they wanted to know your real name or that of your character. On the plus side, the food was very good, and most of the people were very nice, and the view from this apartment was spectacular. The oddest moment of the evening was meeting an honest-to-god right wing nut in the kitchen, who kept moaning about those no-good Occupy Wall Street people and how under Obama the country was careening towards “socialism”. I swear, he actually used those words. After berating him for a few minutes, I had to get out of the room he was in, or the night was liable to turn into a real murder mystery (minus the mystery).
I know I should let myself calm down before writing this. I know that first blush responses can be clumsy, so forgive me.
BUT screw John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods) and his elitist, out of touch editorial in the WSJ on Tuesday! His position is essentially that poor people don’t deserve health care, except by the charity of the wealthy. Well, those that are disposed to charity anyway, which apparently don’t include him. To John Mackey, any government services at all are the result of his money being stolen. He is clearly the kind of person that thinks that every thing they ever got, they earned it in a vaccuum, without any kind of cultural, government, or institutional support. These are the people who are against things like public transportation, screaming out ridiculous phrases like “no one subsidizes my car!” (as my mother is fond of saying, “Oh yeah, does your car pave the road in front of you?”). These are the people who attended universities supported in large part by public funds, but somehow think they “did it all themselves”, with no help from anyone.
His “fixes” for healthcare are the kind of extreme Libertarian and Republican party drivel that would make Ayn Rand wet with arousal. They would “fix” nothing, except to make the rich richer still. They include such great ideas as getting rid of any sort of mandated care standards (what few are already in place) and certainly would allow the heinous practice of refusing coverage to people with “pre-existing” conditions to continue. John Mackey, in whatever penthouse or gated community he may reside, is clearly out of touch with the millions of people suffering in this country under the burdens of a supremely broken health care system. What is insane is that these people, with their millions, will ALWAYS be able to afford any standard of care they want, whether or not we have reform. They care not a fig for the millions who have no health care.
I’ll give him this, at least John Mackey states plainly what those who seek to block health care are really thinking. In his words, there is no “intrinsic right” to health care in this country. Let me translate that for you in even clearer terms:”Poor people don’t deserve health care”.
As someone who has struggled to get coverage recently, and been confronted many, many times (myself, friends, and family) by the horror of our current system, I know how important changes are to the total well being of this country. As someone who has actually lived in countries where single-payer “socialized” medicine is the norm, I also know first hand how much better those systems work.
What really surprises me about his editorial, even if he was thinking all of this, was that he seems to have no clue who his customer base is. They are exactly the type of free-love eco-hippies that believe in things like single-payer healthcare and universal education. I dearly hope they think twice about putting more into the coffers of people like Mackey.
I’m hoping John Mackey will appreciate me exercising my choice as a consumer, and not shopping at Whole Foods anymore.