Whole Foods and Amazon Teach Us that the Market Cares About Health

Whole Foods Market and Amazon are revolutionizing health, and that holds valuable lessons about the power of the free market.

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By Mason Mohon | USA

Amazon and Whole Foods have made headlines together twice in recent history, the first time for merging, and more recently, for declaring that Amazon Prime membership holders will receive discounts at Whole Food Market, starting Monday, August 28th. Free market libertarianism is often criticized because it is seen as advocacy for a world where nobody cares about anything because there is no government, and people would delve into the deepest darkest parts of their desire, creating a horrific society lacking any positive morality.

I would like to first address people who take the attitude I presented above. If you take this attitude, you have been lied to. We own ourselves, and ownership comes with responsibility. You are in charge of what you do and don’t do, and you are responsible for your own moral compass, along with billions of others. If we truly needed government to avoid a world that is a moral wasteland, private charity wouldn’t exist, for people would not be concerned with good. The point I’m trying to make is that people are good, they care about themselves and others, and because of this, they take care of themselves. We don’t need government to tell us to be healthy or force business to make us healthy. The market does this for us.

But why? I turn to the words of Adam Smith for the answer:

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

What does this have to do with Amazon and Whole Foods Market, though? What Adam Smith meant when saying is that people who work in industries that sell goods (which obviously includes food) must care about what consumers want. Yes, they have to care about what consumers want, because if they didn’t, nobody would buy their product. The fact that both Whole Foods Market exists and that it is profiting is proof that Americans care about their health. I would like to conclude with a statement from Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, that entails the very essence of the free market providing healthy food for even the most disadvantaged individuals.

We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone. Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality – we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards.

 

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