Opinion

Starbucks CEO sends wake-up call | Groshart

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has struck a strong chord in the country with his call for corporations to withhold campaign contributions from those in Congress until they get serious about fixing the deficit mess.

We hope his effort continues to grow.

Since starting this effort about four weeks ago, more than 100 business leaders – large and small – have signed on to Schultz’s two-part pledge:

“To withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security, and to do all we can to break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring.”

Schultz obviously has hit the bulls-eye in his comments. Just last week it was reported that employers nationwide added no new jobs in August. In fact, total payrolls were unchanged, the first time since 1945 that the government reported a net job change of zero. And, the national unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent.

“I love our country. And I am a beneficiary of the promise of America,” Schultz said in a open letter to the country. But, he continued, “I am very concerned that at times I do not recognize the America that I love.”

He’s not alone.

The constant bickering and backstabbing that goes on in the nation’s capital is disgusting. The word “grandstanding” doesn’t come close to political jousting among the Senate, House and the president.

The net result is that it is the average American who feels the hurt and pain. People do want jobs. Sadly, many people have given up after trying month after month, only to come up empty handed. Businesses, too, suffer in this stalled economy. They can’t get credit, which means they can’t expand and hire more workers.

And economists wonder why consumer confidence is so low.

Big businesses like Starbucks obviously can make a big splash with this campaign. But mom-and-pop operations – and individuals, too – can do their part.

When politicians come asking for contributions, keep your money in your pocket. It’s pretty obviously these days that you need it far more than they.

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