Fiscal cliff: Starbucks to send 'come together' message
New York, December 27, 2012
Starbucks Corp will use its ubiquitous coffee cups to tell US lawmakers to come up with a deal to avoid going over the "fiscal cliff" and triggering automatic tax hikes and spending cuts.
Chief Executive Howard Schultz is urging workers in Starbucks' roughly 120 Washington-area shops to write "come together" on customers' cups on Thursday and Friday, as US President Barack Obama and lawmakers return to work and attempt to revive fiscal cliff negotiations that collapsed before the Christmas holiday.
Starbucks' cup campaign aims to send a message to sharply divided politicians and serve as a rallying cry for the public in the days leading up to lawmakers' January 1 deadline to deliver a plan to avert harsh across-the-board government spending reductions and tax increases that could send the United States back into recession.
"We're paying attention, we're greatly disappointed in what's going on and we deserve better," Schultz told Reuters in a telephone interview.
The CEO said he has joined a growing list of high-powered business leaders, politicians and financial experts in endorsing the Campaign to Fix the Debt, a well-funded non-partisan group that is leaning on lawmakers to put the United States' financial house in order.
Starbucks plans to amplify its "come together" message via new and old media, including Twitter and Facebook posts, coverage on AOL's local news websites and advertisements in The Washington Post and The New York Times.
"If (talks) do not progress, we will make this much bigger," Schultz said of the messaging campaign.
Schultz is no stranger to using the world's biggest coffee chain as a platform to advocate for more political cooperation in Washington.
During the debt ceiling debate in August 2011, he made a splash by calling for a boycott of political contributions to US lawmakers until they struck a fair and bipartisan deal on the country's debt, revenue and spending.
"We are facing such dysfunction, irresponsibility and lack of leadership" less than two years after the debt ceiling crisis, Schultz said.
Washington narrowly avoided a US government default, but not before down-to-the-wire wrangling prompted the country's first-ever debt rating downgrade.
"There is something so wrong that we can be here again and not have the ability to put party aside for the betterment of the country," said Schultz. "We have the same language and rhetoric. Unfortunately we aren't learning much." - Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- US sanctions will boomerang, warns Russia
- China plans $50bn bank to fund projects
- Sony to sell Tokyo 'birthplace'
- Obama orders sanctions over Russian moves
- Crimea parliament votes to join Russia
- Arab League to be revamped
- 'Upskirting' is legal: Massachusetts court
- Singapore probes 'unnatural' death of bitcoin trader
- Onus on world powers for Syria war crimes: UN
- US, Russia set for talks on Ukraine crisis
- Brent oil drops below $109
- Services outshine manufacturing, pushing up jobs
- Bitcoin bank shut down after hacker attack
- India to kick off world's biggest poll on April 7
- China signals focus on reforms
- Hundreds ready for bitcoin exchange class action
- Space taxi, Jupiter mission in Obama budget
- Putin: Use of force last resort in Ukraine
- Powers to boost Lebanese military, economy
- Egypt bans Hamas activities in Egypt
- Putin ends army exercise, markets rally
- Russia has violated international law: Obama
- Russian markets hit as Putin tightens grip on Crimea
- Iran nuclear deal 'being implemented as planned'
- Global factory growth stumbles as demand falters
- Obama warns of 'fallout' for Israel if peace effort fails
- Ukraine mobilises after Putin's 'declaration of war'
- Oil jumps $2 over Ukraine tension
- US threatens to isolate Russia for Ukraine aggression
- Ukraine mobilises for war, calls up reserves