So the big policital news this morning is Starbuck’s CEO’s (Howard Schultz) pledge to not donate any money to political candidates this election run. The timing of this announcement (shortly after Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll) couldn’t be more delicate for candidates thinking about running.
Before I get into discussion, a couple of highlights from the article:
- 0.04% of Americans donate more than $200 to political candidates
- Last campaign Schultz donated $183,000 to campaigns (nearly all democrat – fwiw)
- Schultz principal complaint is that politicians seem only to be in the business of getting elected and not working for The People
Big Business / Corporate America Getting Series About Political Discourse
For millenia businesses have wanted nothing more than for government to have a laissez faire (hands-off) policy and allow business to self regulate. It is with more than a touch of irony that some of the most influential businessmen in America have come out in recent days (Schultz, Buffett) demanding politicians be more accountable to The People of the United States. IMHO, that makes the last seven +/- days very good days for our country.
It remains to be seen how many CEOs will sign the no 2012 campaign donations pledge, but I would hope Mr. Schultz’s actions and opinions would elicit even more and vocal response from the other great business leaders in our country. Business leaders can have a great and positive impact on the way political discourse takes shape. We’ve sadly seen (all to much I’m afraid) how the back-room dealings of prior administrations (Cheney’s energy meetings come to mind, anyone have a decent Clinton reference – Chinese satellite technology maybe?) have hurt not only the direction of the country, but also The People’s confidence in their leadership.
My Small Act In Support of Howard Schultz and Warren Buffett
I can’t do a whole lot in support of either of these two great American businessmen, but I will be stopping in for a Starbuck’s coffee today (even though I honest to God hate the stuff). As for supporting Warren Buffett – he already owns a bunch of my insurance business… so I think we’re on good terms there. I have been fairly critical of him the last couple of years in various venues… so I think it only right to say his mouth is in the right place with his taxation editorial. I wonder where his wallet will be?