Starbucks CEO: Forget Politics, Hire Workers
Howard Schultz wants other companies to join his and stop giving money to politicians. Instead, he recommends they start using those funds to put people back to work and get their businesses and the economy growing again.
In an internal memo and message to other business leaders, Mr. Schultz discussed the state of affairs in the nation’s capital and his growing frustration with "the lack of cooperation and irresponsibility among elected officials as they have put partisan agendas before the people’s agenda."
He continued: "In these uncertain times, it’s important that we ask what we at Starbucks can do. We have a responsibility as well as an opportunity not to be bystanders, but to act in ways that can ease the collective anxiety inside and outside the company. In this regard, Starbucks’ 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."
In an interview with Joe Nocera of The New York Times, Mr. Schultz put forward the idea of boycotting political contributions and business leading an economic revival now instead of waiting on politicians to lead the way.
"The fundamental problem," Mr. Schultz told the Times, "is that the lens through which Congress approaches issues is re-election. The lifeblood of their re-election campaigns is political contributions."
Mr. Schultz, who tends to support Democrats, believes that business leaders need to cut off contributions to all parties and use those funds to create jobs and improve their own businesses.
Nasdaq OMX Group CEO Bob Greifeld forwarded Mr. Schultz’s email to the roughly 3,000 CEOs of companies on the exchange.
"Now is the time for corporate leadership, and for the collective voice of our CEOs to be heard. It is my hope that our leaders can put politics aside and focus on generating long-term sustainable growth driven by the private sector," Mr. Greifeld wrote in his email, according to ABC News.
- Message from Howard: Leading Through Uncertain Times – Starbucks
- Business Leaders Respond to Starbucks CEO’s Pledge to Boycott Campaign Contributions – ABC News
- Boycott Campaign Donations! – The New York Times
- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Don’t contribute to politicians – The Seattle Times
- Starbucks CEO urges boycott of campaign money – USA Today
Discussion Questions: Do you agree with Howard Schultz that companies should stop contributing to political campaigns and use those funds to grow their businesses and create jobs? Should the trade associations that represent American businesses do the same?