Starbucks taking a stand

Posted on August 15, 2011

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I love Starbucks. Mmmm coffee. Mmmm mocha frappacino. Mmmmm warm apple fritter.

But now I love Starbucks even more! Because CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz has called for a boycott of all campaign contributions by big corporations like his own. Why is he doing this?

In a widely-distributed email, Schultz explained:

“First, we aim to push our elected leaders to face the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges with civility, honesty, and a willingness to sacrifice their own re-election. This means not kicking the can anymore. It means reaching a deal on debt, revenue, and spending long before the deadline arrives this fall. It means considering all options, from entitlement programs to taxes…

…We today pledge to withhold any further campaign contributions to the President and all members of Congress until a fair, bipartisan deal is reached that sets our nation on stronger long-term fiscal footing”

To view the email in it’s entirety, click here (and scroll to the bottom).

Well dang, this sounds good to me. The man’s net worth is $774,127,658…you’d think the last thing he’s worried about is money problems. But here he is saying to our leaders, work together or else! Who would argue with that? Certainly Democrats/liberals and Republicans/conservatives alike want greater cooperation in government.

Well the only people I can think of who would have a problem with this (besides our leaders, obviously) are other CEO’s. Why? Because the government takes care of the extremely wealthy…so why would they want to then turn their backs on the government and do what Schultz is doing?

Surprisingly however, the mega-rich Warren Buffett has taken a similar step and has called on the government to stop coddling millionaires and billionaires. In a New York Times op-ed piece he writes:

"Stop coddling me, government!"

“Twelve members of Congress will soon take on the crucial job of rearranging our country’s finances. They’ve been instructed to devise a plan that reduces the 10-year deficit by at least $1.5 trillion…

…Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America can’t fulfill. Big money must be saved here. The 12 should then turn to the issue of revenues. I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get…

…But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate”

Let’s hope more of the super rich join sides with Schultz and Buffet…perhaps it’s exactly what we need to finally get our country’s fiscal problems solved.

I want Starbucks now. Does anyone else want Starbucks?

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Posted in: Politics