Starbucks Coffee Cup Message Urges 'Cliff' Consensus

Wednesday, 26 Dec 2012 01:29 PM

By Dale Eisinger

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Take punditry with your coffee?
Starbucks, the world's largest java retailer, has asked employees in its stores around Washington, D.C., to write a "Come Together" message on cups of coffee and other beverages they pour through Friday to spur lawmakers to reach a consensus on the fiscal cliff crisis.
Howard Schultz, Starbucks' chairman, president, and chief executive officer, posted an open letter on the coffee retailer's promotional blog Wednesday morning, calling for the action in "the spirit of the holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together."
"Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity — and I believe a responsibility — to use our company's scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue," Schultz wrote. 
President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, and most in Congress took vacations last week amidst contentious negotiations on the financial standoff. But Obama cut short his family trip to Hawaii to return to Washington on Wednesday in order to solve the crisis by the Dec. 31 deadline. Congress is set to be in session Thursday as well.
Schultz told CNN earlier this month that he believed the failure to reach a deal has created uncertainty among consumers and businesses and risks hurting the economy. "This single issue has a seismic effect on the rest of the world," he said.
Schultz wrote that it was the first time the company had asked their employees to write a specific message on their coffee drinks. But it's not the first time the outspoken CEO lashed out at D.C. pols in relation to a debt crisis. In August 2011, Schultz wrote that congressional arguments over the debt ceiling "put partisan and ideological purity over the well-being of the people."
In that case, Schultz asked fellow CEOs, also in an open letter, to not contribute to political campaigns until politicians came together. He called that time a "crisis of confidence" among D.C. leaders.

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