News / USA

    Starbucks to Use Cups for 'Fiscal Cliff' Message to US Lawmakers

    This Jan. 3, 2012 file photo shows the Starbucks Coffee logo in Mountain View, California.
    This Jan. 3, 2012 file photo shows the Starbucks Coffee logo in Mountain View, California.
    Reuters
    Starbucks Corp will use its ubiquitous coffee cups to tell U.S. lawmakers to come up with a deal to avoid going over the "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax hikes and government 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 President Barack Obama and lawmakers return to work and attempt to revive fiscal cliff negotiations that collapsed before the Christmas holiday.
     
    Whether members of Congress actually drink in the message is another matter. While the concentration of Starbucks cafes is high in the vicinity of the White House, it's relatively low near the U.S. Capitol. Members of the House and Senate enjoy private dining facilities and many of their offices have coffee machines.
     
    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 the Jan. 1 deadline 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 (the talks) do not progress, we will make this much bigger," Schultz said of the messaging campaign, which he said is voluntary for cafe employees.
     
    Given the number of Starbucks cafes in the Washington area and the number of workers on Capitol Hill, "I wouldn't be surprised if a cup of 'come together' finds its way into the White House and into the speaker's house,'' Schultz said in reference to Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who are at the center of the fiscal cliff talks.
     
    Lack of leadership
     
    "Our political system is not functioning in a way that is representative of what the country needs," he said. "This is the one time where politics should be put aside and what we're witness to is the exact opposite."
     
    Schultz recently led the world's biggest coffee chain through a painful but successful restructuring that returned it to growth. He is no stranger to using Starbucks as a platform to advocate for an end to the political stalemate in Washington.
     
    During the debt ceiling debate in August 2011, he made a splash by calling for a boycott of political contributions to U.S. 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 U.S. 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."

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    December 26, 2012 11:17 PM
    ``come together'' !!!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.