Starbucks as Fiction

Today, a message from Starbucks President and CEO, Howard Shultz, was posted. That message starts like this:

There are moments in our lives when we have an opportunity to ignite tremendous positive change—not just in the lives of the customers and communities we serve every day, but in our country. This was evident in the outpouring of support in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary that claimed 26 innocent lives.

And, after citing a tragedy in which a gunman took so many lives, he continues like this:

In the spirit of the Holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together, we have a unique opportunity to unite and take action on an incredibly important topic. As many of you know, our elected officials in Washington D.C. have been unable to come together and compromise to solve the tremendously important, time-sensitive issue to fix the national debt. You can learn more about this impending crisis at www.fixthedebt.org.

Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity—and I believe a responsibility—to use our company’s scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue. This week through December 28, partners in our Washington D.C. area stores are writing “Come Together” on customers’ cups.

It’s a small gesture, but the power of small gestures is what Starbucks is about! Imagine the power of our partners and hundreds of thousands of customers each sharing such a simple message, one cup at a time.

This is ridiculous even if you don’t consider the fact that the fiscal cliff is a fake crisis made by politicians, and even if you don’t consider that “fixing the debt” is code for slashing service after service in lieu of raising taxes on rich people – rich people like Howard Shultz. Even if you don’t consider that Fix the Debt, the organization Shultz links to, is run entirely by politicians and corporate executives, and doesn’t care about who is actually affected by austerity policies. Even if you don’t consider the fact that most debt-conscious policies include things like cutting funding to mental health facilities and other social services and not raising taxes on gun purchases or gun manufacturers. Even if you don’t consider that if you’re going to frame your stupid write-notes-on-cups campaign as a response to a shooting, it should at least address things that pertain to the victims. Even if you forget all this and are cracked out on low-wage-blended, fair-trade-marketed coffee, this is ridiculous.

It can’t be real.

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