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Fri Jun 29, 2012, 01:38 PM

Starbucks CEO Issues Open Letter, Calls For Job Creation

Not often does a billionaire chief executive of a prominent American brand assert that our system is effectively broken. Yet this is what Howard Schultz, chief executive officer of Starbucks, essentially told me this week when we sat down to discuss the open letter he was about to address to the nation.

A few weeks earlier, he had been absorbing a dispiriting run of news -- the prospect of another round of perilous brinkmanship over lifting the nation's debt ceiling, and a presidential campaign that seems disconnected from the crisis of joblessness -- when it occurred to him that Independence Day was approaching. He imagined the traditional fireworks and celebratory banter. It seemed wrong.

"It's a false celebration," Schultz told me. "I question the promise of America today."

This is the genesis of the letter he plans to serve up in coming days via full-page advertisements in national publications, including the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. In strikingly direct terms, the man who added frappuccino to the American lexicon decries what has been happening -- or not happening -- within these nominally United States. He assails the political dysfunction that invariably suffocates attempts at improving national fortunes. He calls on Americans to take matters into our own hands, fashioning local solutions to problems left unaddressed by a leadership void in Washington.

"Millions of Americans are out of work," Schultz declares in his letter. "Many more are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families. Our veterans are not being welcomed home with the level of support they deserve. Meanwhile, in our nation's capital, our elected leaders are continuing to put ideology over real solutions. I love America, but we all know there is something wrong, and that we are better than this. The deficits this country must reconcile are much more than financial. Our inability to solve our own problems is sapping our national spirit."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/29/starbucks-ceo-issues-open_n_1632674.html?1340983336&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

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Reply Starbucks CEO Issues Open Letter, Calls For Job Creation (Original post)
iandhr Jun 2012 OP
arcane1 Jun 2012 #1
devilgrrl Jun 2012 #2
Ship of Fools Jun 2012 #3
ForgoTheConsequence Jun 2012 #4
Ship of Fools Jun 2012 #11
ForgoTheConsequence Jun 2012 #12
Ship of Fools Jun 2012 #15
CBGLuthier Jun 2012 #5
SoCalDem Jun 2012 #6
phantom power Jun 2012 #8
ForgoTheConsequence Jun 2012 #10
kestrel91316 Jun 2012 #7
TBF Jun 2012 #9
Bake Jun 2012 #13
EFerrari Jun 2012 #14

Response to iandhr (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 01:46 PM

1. I wonder how many Starbucks employees...

"are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families"

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Response to iandhr (Original post)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 01:52 PM

3. Actually, my husband's son worked there

for a few months. They're treated pretty well there, relatively speaking.

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Response to Ship of Fools (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 02:21 PM

4. Doubt it.

Free coffee doesn't make up for things like cutting your hours right before you qualify for health insurance and the 8 bucks an hour you make before tips (some stores start at minimum wage) Tips add about a dollar an hour.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 05:44 PM

11. I understand the food service industry, believe me.

But SBucks is better than most, and that's a fact.

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Response to Ship of Fools (Reply #11)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 06:20 PM

12. Go on....

I worked there in college. I'm interested in the information you're privileged to that would make you know better than I?

You don't happen to be a stock holder by any chance.....

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #12)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 06:44 PM

15. No, no stockholder by any means! Just an old and crippled hippie.

Husband's son interviewed with SBucks about 6 years ago.
A six-feet-five-inch gentle giant with dreadlocks, and they loved him.
He talked with the asst. mgr. about rap...he was hired right away.

They offered him .25 above min wage, with the "promise" that
he "could" be considered for mgr after two years. He said great, and
what he REALLY wanted was to transfer to China (he speaks
pretty decent Mandarin, so I understand.) They weren't sure about that, of course.

Point is, he had no intention of making a "career" at SBucks. He
just burned out in Denver at an owner-run coffee shop (gads of
experience, you know) and wanted to move home to party
with dad and step-mom.

Point is: .25 ABOVE MIN WAGE. That's WAAAAY better than
McDonald's; hence my comment about better than most.

Good news is: He shook off the self-absorption, joined the
Air Force, now is LT, a spit-wad away from having a
degree in biochem.

Of course, he can't wait to come home to party with dad
and step-mom (NO SPLEEFS FOR YOU, MON!)

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Response to iandhr (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 02:22 PM

5. His company sells products that are bad for you at inflated prices.

My personal LOCAL SOLUTION is to not shop at fucking STARBUCKS. Ever.

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Response to iandhr (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 02:24 PM

6. All America needs is a better $9 cup of coffee

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 03:49 PM

8. He seems to grasp that poor people can't buy his $9 cups of coffee...

So he's halfway there. The half he's still dancing around is that the rest of the private sector is in exactly the same boat he's in. So writing a whiny letter about how "we can't wait for Washington" is deluded.

He had better pray that "washington" starts passing some bills that hire people for govt-paid jobs. Because we are in a depressionary economy where demand has collapsed system-wide, and private corporations don't have to tools to dig out of that by themselves.

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Response to phantom power (Reply #8)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 05:26 PM

10. They do have one tool.

Companies like Target and Walmart could start paying a living wage instead of outrageous CEO salaries. Its amazing how fast the middle class will find a way to spend the money they earn as compared to fat cats who sit on it while it does nothing.

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Response to iandhr (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 02:33 PM

7. He is in a position to both create more jobs and pay his employees a tad more.

I strongly suggest he DO SO and quit expecting others to do his job for him.

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Response to iandhr (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 03:54 PM

9. And I call for increased taxes on billionaires to fund a

WPA-style work program. We can hire folks to fix infrastructure, health care, the environment, schools, etc...

No one should be a billionaire in this country until every other American has housing, food, health care, education, and a job.

"At its peak in 1938 it provided paid jobs for three million unemployed men (and some women), as well as youth in a separate division, the National Youth Administration."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_Progress_Administration

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Response to iandhr (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 06:41 PM

13. Sure, it's easy to rag on Starbucks. But consider the substance of what he's saying.

He's right about a lot of it. America IS broken and dysfunctional. There is no more "promise." And the "American spirit?" He's wrong about that. He didn't go far enough. It's dead.

Bake

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Response to iandhr (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 06:42 PM

14. If he doesn't send it straight to Boehner, he's wasting his time. n/t

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