John Mackey and Whole Foods: newyorker.com
Here is a must read profile of Whole Foods CEO and co-founder John Mackey. The big kahuna of hippie capitalism and one of the few leading business luminaries I actually admire and respect. His career is a testament to what modern corporate social responsibility (CSR) management theory should consider and implement if it was honest with itself. There's too much content in this article to parse out in one post, but this newly discovered Mackey quote “The union is like having herpes. It doesn’t kill you, but it’s unpleasant and inconvenient, and it stops a lot of people from becoming your lover" is epic, and spot-on. (The werewolf may have it chiseled on his tombstone)
As a great admirer of conscientious capitalism, I have always been dumbfounded by the lefty, do-gooder, hippesque adoration for unionized labor. Unions represent a huge threat to stakeholders like consumers, suppliers, shareholders, management, and the even the long-term prospects of employees themselves. (has anyone looked at Detroit and the US auto industry lately?) Monopolizing labor is just as dangerous for the long-term, as the monopolization of any other good or service in a market driven economy. I have long been fascinated by the inherent incompatible realities of unions and those who claim to care about all stakeholders, as CSR stewards. It's time to address the elephant in the room and realize that one of the most ethical and socially responsible moves a company can make for its employees and workers is resist unionization at all costs. If CSR is serious about itself as a concept, it will file divorce papers from the liberal/democratic interest groups and de-link itself from partisan politics. Wishful thinking.