Considering his customer base (of which I am a member) I can see how calling the signature achievement of President Obama “fascism” might not be the best thing for business.
I am sure more than a few well healed liberals had to hold their noses while buying their fair trade coffee this morning. Some may have even gone to Trader Joe’s today instead in protest. But let’s look at what John Mackey had to say yesterday about the Affordable Care Act, which in 2009 he called “socialist.”
“Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.”
He’s right. In a nutshell this is THE key difference between the 2 philosophies. But to call the ideas of a hero of the left “fascism” is asking for trouble. It is one thing to call Obamacare socialist. That is a loaded enough term, but one many who embraced the ACA can pretty much accept, if not publicly But to call it fascism, that is the ultimate insult.
Later in the day Mackey sought to clarify what he meant on WNYC. No doubt Prius drivers across the country called into corporate headquarters to express their displeasure with his statement. It was damage control time for Mackey—again.
It probably was a “poor choice of words.”