How cute. Starbucks is doing its part to “avert” the fiscal cliff.
“Starbucks is using its coffee cups to jump into the political fray in Washington. The world’s biggest coffee chain is asking employees at cafes in the Washington, D.C., area to scribble the words “Come Together” on cups for drink orders on Thursday and Friday. CEO Howard Schultz says the words are intended as a message to lawmakers about the damage being caused by the divisive negotiations over the ‘fiscal cliff.’ It’s the first time employees at Starbucks cafes are being asked to write anything other than customers’ names on cups.”
What does Schultz or anyone else think happened in Congress in 2010 to give us the “fiscal cliff” that we are now all dreading? What happened was that they all “came together” and agreed on a plan that kept spending high, taxes low, and added more to the deficit and debt. All of this was intentionally set up to blow up on January 1, but we were assured that they would figure out something better.
But when have they ever “come together” to give us something better? They raise the debt ceiling, increase taxes, and get us involved in never-ending and undeclared wars. We are really taking in of faith, with lots of counter-evidence, that anything good could result from Congress and the President “coming together.”
Perhaps I’m making too much of this, since Starbucks writing on their cups is not going to do a thing. It will matter exactly zero as far as whether or not we “go over the fiscal cliff.” The story even admits as much:
“While companies generally steer clear of politics to avoid alienating customers, the plea to ‘Come Together’ is a sentiment unlikely to cause controversy. If anything, Starbucks could score points with customers and burnish its image as a socially conscious company.”
This not only indicates that everyone knows the “message” won’t make a political difference, but also that the message is innocuous to the public. But I demur. For propaganda to be successful, it must be reinforced repeatedly. So Starbucks, I think, is doing its part, not to change our political masters, but to maintain and deepen the transformation of the American public into a herd of bleating moronic sheep.
This entire process of waiting on and hoping in Congress is demeaning to the men and woman who participate in it. Have the people in Congress ever shown themselves capable of doing anything except borrowing against the future in order to spend in the present? And now that the borrowing is starting to undermine the present, they have been increasing the frequency of their interventions, borrowing more to cover the damage caused by two much borrowing.
Why on earth should we be hoping that such a beast will change its spots? Yes, if we had a wish from a magic genie we could wish that they would do what is necessary to reverse their behavior in the wisest way possible. But our need does not create what is possible. This institution has a character that it has built up since at least the end of World War II and probably since the early 1900s. Pretending they are going to wake up and stop being evil is delusional.
What could possibly happen is that the get too polarized to get anything done at all. I’m all for that. Yes, the fiscal cliff will mean pain, but pushing it out into the future will only mean more pain, especially for the youngest who have contributed to the idiocy and the larceny the least. I don’t want Congress to come together. I want them divided.
In a word, I want the best thing democracy can give: gridlock.