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In Most Cases, CEOs Should Stick With Business

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is an unabashed liberal. He tries to hide it and, at times, he succeeds. However every now and then he says things that he should keep to himself. Schulz recently told a reporter:

“Nothing would please me more than to be able to say I’m more optimistic, but it’s hard to be more optimistic when you think that $6.5 billion is going to be spent between now and November on the presidential election cycle. We’ve got 14 million people unemployed. Housing crisis continues. The debt-ceiling debacle is going to be with us again, and I think the country is so hungry for authentic, genuine leadership on both sides. And until we see that, I think it’s hard to be optimistic. I mean, I’m optimistic about the country, I’m optimistic about the American people …”

Political campaigns are like a business. They employ people, generate ad dollars in the media, and contract with countless numbers of businesses throughout America. What is Shultz proposing, public-financed campaigns?

There will be more stimulus effect to our economy from this campaign cycle and the business it generates than there will ever be from any of the federal government hand outs dubbed as “stimulus” by the Obama Administration.

Shultz’s pessimism is rooted in his liberal ideological moorings and how he views the role of government in our society. For liberals government is an instrument for good, something to be reformed and improved. Conservatives, and a majority of Americans, view government as a dangerous nuisance. A beast that must be contained.

Despite Shultz’s political biases (read his book), conservatives flock to Starbucks because it sells a good product. But when it comes to politics, political CEOs just tinker at the edges, should keep their thoughts to themselves, and just focus on making a good cup of Joe.

Dating to the ancients politics has always been, and always will be, a rough and tumble endeavor. We should want it no other way. Expensive? It can be. But why should it be easier or less expensive than operating Starbucks?

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