Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Starbucks Gets Political

Starbucks is engaging in a two day "cups campaign" to urge elected officials in Washington to "come together" on the matter of the fiscal cliff.  CEO Howard Schultz has instructed his Washington D.C. area  employees to write the words "come together" on cups Wednesday and Thursday.

Whether members of Congress actually drink in the message is another matter. While the concentration of Starbucks cafes is high in the vicinity of the White House, it's relatively low near the U.S. Capitol. Members of the House and Senate enjoy private dining facilities and many of their offices have coffee machines.
Starbucks' cup campaign aims to send a message to sharply divided politicians and serve as a rallying cry for the public in the days leading up to the January 1 deadline to avert harsh across-the-board government spending reductions and tax increases that could send the United States back into recession.
"We're paying attention, we're greatly disappointed in what's going on and we deserve better," Schultz told Reuters in a telephone interview. 

Schultz said this is a part of a bigger group's tactics:

The CEO said he has joined a growing list of high-powered business leaders, politicians and financial experts in endorsing the Campaign to Fix the Debt, ( a well-funded non-partisan group that is leaning on lawmakers to put the United States' financial house in order.
Starbucks plans to amplify its "come together" message via new and old media, including Twitter and Facebook posts, coverage on AOL's local news websites and advertisements in The Washington Post and The New York Times.
"If (the talks) do not progress, we will make this much bigger," Schultz said of the messaging campaign, which he said is voluntary for cafe employees. 

I'm finding it hard to image a large company run by a conservative CEO taking such action with the acceptance of the mainstream media in our country.  The double standard at the intersection of business and politics rears its ugly head again.

Actually, I would argue that the nation's voters don't want elected officials in Washington to "come together" at all.  A clear majority of the House of Representatives were re-elected, as was the President and the Senate.  That means that the voters indeed voted for the status quo.  It's the House versus the Senate and the  White House, just as it has been since 2010.

President Obama is fond of saying that he ran on raising taxes and increasing spending.  Well, those Republicans running for the House and the Senate ran on the exact opposite of that platform and they were elected, too.  Where does that put us?  It brings us divided government, just as the Founding Fathers intended.

As for the hand wringing by Starbuck's CEO Howard Schultz : I present this tweet reported by FNC's Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill: "In Geithner letter, he says failing to fix  actually ADDS time to solve debt ceiling, since spending cuts and tax hikes kick in."  

Geithner is voicing what many on both sides of the aisle, truth be told, are saying.  President Obama has already raised our taxes and all of that kicks in with the implementation of Obamacare.  Remember, the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare is a tax.  When you read the word "fee", you should think tax.  That is what it is, you know.

Fiscal cliff deal or not, taxes are going up.  Why shouldn't Republicans hold out for actual and immediate spending cuts instead of being played again with promises of future spending cuts?  We all know that those cuts never materialize. Also, only in Washington, D.C. is it a cut if spending remains the same and not increased. 

Howard Schultz is a Democrat and a liberal, no doubt about that.  He is also a business man which means he sometimes comes out for common sense economic policy.  This fiscal cliff statement, however, just seems like a political statement against the Republicans.  It doesn't make much sense to insult the intelligence of so many customers, does it?

Instead of just overspending for coffee, now Starbucks customers will be served a political slogan as well.


Kristine said...

If Schultz is so disappointed he should have voted for Mitt Romney instead of Obama.I spend $20 a week on Starbucks and have not stepped foot in one since Nov. 6th. Schultz can just enjoy Obamanomics.

Palm Beach Vending Machine said...

The double standard at the intersection of business and politics rears its ugly head again.
Palm Beach Vending Machine