Anybody remember John Brunner's precience in creating the Puritan Foods corporation in his early-70s sci-fi masterpiece The Sheep Look Up? Pure food for a polluted world.
Now, here in California, we have the Whole Foods supermarket chain. Morally admirable organic chow. Transgendered rutabagas, economic-equity grown coffee, tofu for the masses. Socially conscious consumerism. It helps if you have a few extra pennies to rub together to assuage your guilt at the need to eat and drink in order to survive. (Banana-carrot-cauliflower smoothies, $4.95. Yum.)
Avowed lefty ("I'm not a lefty!") Bill Moyers left the PBS show he created, Now, but it's still in production, and they paid homage to this neo-capitalist capitalist enterprise the other day. They interviewed one of the top brass, and it turns out that Whole Foods has a salary cap ($400K or so)---execs can make only 14 times what a cashier makes. The exec agreed with the Now reporter that such near-egalitarianism sure helps company (cashier) morale. A cashier captured on video was seen smiling. Brightly.
Man, isn't that cool? Pure foods for the body, sterling business ethics for the soul. If it weren't already so overpriced and tasteless, I'd be willing to pay double for their grub.
Oh yeah, in one of those quick disclosure tags at the end, like in every Erectile Dysfunction drug ad, Now did mention that the executive they interviewed snarfed up $1.8 million in stock options last year. Since Whole Foods is a non-union shop, they made a mint during the great supermarket labor strike here in California.
Cashiers get stock options at Whole Foods, too. Perhaps that's why that cashier was smiling, and damned brightly. ¡Viva la Reagan Revolution! Con tofu.