Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz takes a stand to fight for the well-being of our country and asks politicians to refocus their priorities on finding solutions for the current issues versus focusing on re-election campaigns and political donations. If this does not occur, then he has presented a challenge and in fact is asking other CEOs to join him by not contributing to political donations. The idea is to hit where it hurts the most and this is the wallet.
In a recent article on CNN Money, Starbucks to DC: You've been cut off, Howard Schultz states, "'I am asking that all of us to 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,' Schultz wrote in a letter that was passed on to members of the NYSE and NASDAQ."
In addition, he sent a letter to his employees, Leading Through Uncertain Times, where he expressed his concerns and challenged his employees to do their part whether it be providing above and beyond service and continuing to respect customers by earning their trust and respecting their life situations. The response from employees and in fact outside the Starbucks circle was beyond what he expected.
What are the impacts of not providing Political Donations?
According to the CNN Money article, during the 2008 election cycle, more than $5.2 billion was spent by candidates, political parties and interest groups, according to data compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politic. In 2010 -- a year that did not include a presidential election -- $3.6 billion was spent.
Additional data may be found at the Federal Election Commission website.
Should Business Leaders Take a Stance on Fixing the Current Issues?
The issues of unemployment, healthcare reform, foreclosures, bankruptcies and perhaps the debt ceiling as the most recent issue and in fact may have served as the breaking point, causing many people to voice an opionion. Schultz claims that lawmakers have done little to provide solutions that address the real concerns thus further instilling fear in the American people.
Bottom line, if the current solution of leaving it in the hands of the politicians is not working, then find another one.
So What is the Impact of Schultz Stance?
After 30 hours of sending the letter, he had heard from thousands of Americans but not one politician.