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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Stop Political Contributions (For Now)

Aug 16, 2011

In what some believe is a revolutionary idea or a marketing ploy, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is calling on major corporations to halt political contributions until the U.S. government can solve the budget deficit.

howard Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Stop Political Contributions (For Now)

Warren Buffett is not the only billionaire making controversial news in the last few days. Howard Shultz, CEO of Starbucks, is seeking a moratorium on political campaign contributions, at least until the U.S. government can overcome gridlock and solve the budget crisis.

Bloomberg obtained an email from Schultz to business leaders that reads, “I am asking that all of us forego political contributions until the Congress and the President return to Washington and deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people.”

One has to wonder if Schultz really cares about Americans considering the price of a Starbucks espresso drink and the sugar overload that is the Starbucks Cafe Mocha.

All joking aside, Schultz is on to something, but a moratorium will not change the dynamic in this country. If it were observed and the budget deficit and debt handled responsibly, things would certainly revert to the usual corporatocracy (or oligarchy, if you prefer) of exorbitant campaign donations (bribes), bills written by lobbyists, access to political officials, etc.

Maybe Schultz is thinking of things in baby steps, since he himself has donated extensively to Democratic campaigns.

It should be noted that Schultz’s email implies (as if we already didn’t know) that campaign contributions from rich individuals and corporations are far too influential and tend to lead to gridlock, as politicians are afraid to lose campaign dollars on controversial votes.

And isn’t it rather absurd, then, for Schultz to ask corporations and business leaders to halt campaign donations for now until the budget crisis is truly averted, when we all know if such a thing were to happen the status quo would very quickly revert?

No. It’s in Wall Street’s business interest for the U.S. government’s budget situation to be made well again, otherwise Wall Street’s profits are at risk.

Schultz is just as self-interested as the rest of them—only he’s cloaking it in popular semiotics.

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