retail news in context, analysis with attitude

We continue to get emails about the subject of regulation, bans and taxation when it comes to various food products. One MNB user wrote:

I believe in individual responsibility.  I personally don’t think I need the government to be my “parent” and do what “it” thinks is best for me.  Guess what….do you have high blood pressure and shouldn’t consume salt?  Cook your own food or seek out restaurants that will accommodate your special needs.  Are you or your kids are overweight?  Avoid sugar, fat and eat less plus exercise more!  Are you are susceptible to food borne illnesses?  COOK your food and don’t eat it raw…..BINGO….problems solved.  For God’s sake, do we need LAWS to affect ALL of us just because some people can’t think for themselves??? 

As for smoking, you DO need regulations because it isn’t something that affects only the individual, but the people around you and unfortunately, bad manners do need policing.  You cannot compare that ban to the craziness they are trying to regulate.  I bet if your health care costs were reduced if you are in good health and increased if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you will either decide to fix it or pay the consequences in more ways than one!!

An MNB user critical of government interference in private enterprise and personal behavior suggested that California was an example of liberal excess, and that the entire country could learn from Texas’s approach to personal freedom.

Which prompted another MNB user to write:

...That may be difficult going forward since they're re-writing school textbooks to reflect the political views of a few:

"After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light."  --from the New York Times
What they may forget is that most kids take their textbooks with a large grain of salt, and are more likely to question these views.

MNB user Hortencia Espinoza wrote:

I was at a baby shower this weekend at a home in Pacifica that has a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean.

My girl friends and I were talking about going out to dinner this week when one of my friends mentioned she didn’t want to go to this one restaurant because their food tastes too salty, which prompted me to let them know about the proposed ban on salt in the state of New York.

My friend who owns the house overlooking the Ocean and is a wedding planner bursts into a laughing fit, tears and all, about it. After she calmed down brought this up:

Is the state of New York going to stop people from breathing? When you live next to water, Ocean water, you are going to have a high concentration of salt in the air you breathe. AND, she went on, no more sea side weddings or festivities of any kind since the closer to the water you are the higher the concentration of salt in the air is. Not only are you breathing it but as they prepare the food, you cannot stop the salt in the air or the water from “contaminating” the food. That can be seen as adding salt to food.

The blender went off in the back ground and my other friend stood up in mock 50’ horror movie fashion and screamed “I am never going to NY ever again. No more margaritas!” We all exploded in laughter.

Thought you could enjoy a chuckle, too.

I never even considered the margarita angle. Yikes!

And MNB user Vicki R. Borof wrote:

I’m surprised that I haven’t seen anyone mention that New York mines salt.  I found the following with a quick Google search:  “The salt industry is important because it provides an essential commodity, and employment either directly or indirectly for thousands of New Yorkers. In 1995, New York salt production ranked first in the United States in value at 185 million dollars and third in tonnage mined at 4.9 million short tons.” 
A New York politician wants to ban salt??

Not a very smart NY politician. (Which seems to be a fast-growing club.)

On a related subject, I suggested yesterday that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), now 20 years old, is an example that government regulation can be compassionate, appropriate and effective. Which prompted MNB user Clayton R. Hoerauf:

At first I thought unnecessary government intrusion was a definite possibility. Then on a trip to London  I realized that nearly every pub I visited had the men’s room in the basement, down a narrow stairs through a 20”door. That’s when it dawned on me a person in a wheel chair may not be able to “go” anywhere in London. Suddenly the politicians had a brilliant idea!

It happens occasionally.

On the subject of the Huffington Post blog by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey about the importance of creating a “High Trust Organization,” MNB user Chris O’Brien wrote:

Thanks for sharing that piece on “Creating a High Trust Organization.” Some great points in there, and perhaps the underlying theme is that successful organizations ultimately need to have employees at the ground level who believe in the company’s core goals, and also believe that they have the power/ability to help meet those goals.

On a related note, I finally saw “Capitalism: A Love Story” last night. There’s an interesting point about how, in a country that supposedly values democracy, many American workers are perfectly willing to accept business models that are basically dictatorships. That may be an oversimplification, but certainly food for thought.

MNB user Carolyn M. Beeley wrote:

I'm currently enrolled in CTI Leadership program and I was delighted to have the Whole Foods and The Container Store articles to share with my tribe.

One small comment in response to your comment:  " if I were creating an organization, these would be the standards to which I would aspire."

You are creating an's how you define organization.  We are all leaders in our life.
Thank you again for your insights.

And thank you for yours.

MNB user Jenny Keehan had a thought:

Isn’t this a little ironic coming from a guy who was blogging under a pseudonym to lower the stock price of a company he wanted to acquire?


Finally, about the passing of Peter Graves, MNB user Gary Harris wrote:

My earliest memory of Peter Graves was as the father on the Saturday morning series, “Fury” about a boy and his horse. Great stuff in Airplane, and if you listen to the voices, he sounds just like his brother.

Over, Oveur.
KC's View: