In today’s most underreported news of the day, which could potentially have the biggest impact on the future of America, none other than America’s CEOs, or at least one of them: Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, has mass blasted an email to fellow CEOs asking for a consensual boycott on donating to political campaigns in order to encourage the nation’s muppets, elsewhere idiotically called “leaders”, to solve America’s budget and debt impasse. Bloomberg quotes from the CEO’s e-mail to business leaders: “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.“ Cue panic, terror, homicidal and suicidal screeching, and overall sheer existential angst in D.C., whose critters suddenly face the nightmare scenario of having no corporate bribes, period, until they get to do their job.
Should Schultz’ proposal gain traction, this could be the most revolutionary proposal to leadership reform since the advent of the corporatocracy. Yet as optimistic and idealistic as we are, we fail to see how corporations will all join into this mass game theory experiment, where the benefits for defection get exponentially greater as more and more people join and decide to cooperate. Oh well, it was a great idea while it lasted. And as for Schultz’ own donation record, here is Politico: Schultz’s most recent donation was the $2,500 maximum to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) in March. He’s also given thousands in previous cycles to Democrats including President Barack Obama, and one-time Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. He’s also given to Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.).” At least some democrats are certainly sweating it if Schultz decideds to proceed unilaterally with this threat (unless of course it is nothing more than a PR stunt).
Schultz, 58, joined Starbucks about three decades ago and later served as CEO until in 2000. He took the reins again in 2008 amid slumping sales growth after the company expanded too rapidly. The Starbucks leader has spoken on issues such as the high price of coffee, which he says is driven by market speculation.
He also encouraged fellow business leaders in the e-mail to “voice your perspective publicly” and said that “businesses need to do all they can to accelerate job creation.”
Corey duBrowa, a spokesman for Seattle-based Starbucks, said the e-mail was sent last night and dated Aug. 15.
Schultz said “businesses need to do all they can to accelerate job creation.” And, in his message to employees, he said Starbucks would do just that. The company’s “innovative, global growth and new distribution channels will continue to create full- and part-time jobs, and not just in the U.S., but in the more than 50 countries where we operate,” he wrote.
The idea is, naturally, noble enough:
What Schultz wants to see, he said in that interview, is for Americans to go on strike against their politicians.
“The fundamental problem is that the lens through which Congress approaches issues is reelection. The lifeblood of their reelection campaigns is political contributions,” Schultz said. Whether big donors or small ones, Americans should stop giving and see if it galvanizes Washington to act.
“The debt crisis is really the symbol of a larger problem, which is that our leaders are not leading,” he added. “America’s leaders need to put their feet in the shoes of working Americans…. Instead, all they think about is their own political self-interest.”
Once again, should this idea gain traction, it may prove to be the most (r)evolutionary development in US politics in decades. Which is precisely why we are confident it will never be mentioned again: good luck getting Wall Street firms, for whom 80% of their business model is bribing their DC muppets with pocket change, to pledge their participation in this program.