As if you needed another reason to boycott Starbucks.
But, if you still insist on patronizing this franchise for your $5 fix of caffeine, I suggest you also instigate a conversation about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Starbucks is, after all, one of the 600 or so lucky multinational corporations negotiating in secret to take over the world. So, walk into Starbucks armed with a magic marker as well as your cash, and change the motto on the cup from "Race Together" to "Race Together to Stop Fast Track."
Initiate a conversation with your barista and your fellow customers about how this secretive deal will destroy thousands of American jobs. Saunter in carrying an anti-TPP sign. Demand that Howard Schultz tell his employees and his customers all about what the public is not being allowed to see. Godzillionaire TPP negotiator Mayor Mike Bloomberg, after all, has spilled the beans in a New York Times op-ed, revealing that Big Tobacco will supersede anti-smoking laws of sovereign nations by availing themselves of undemocratic corporate tribunals:
If the Obama administration’s policy reversal is allowed to stand, not only will cigarettes be cheaper for the 800 million people in the countries affected by the trade pact, but multinational tobacco corporations will be able to challenge those governments — including America’s — for implementing lifesaving public health policies. This would not only put our tobacco-control regulations in peril, but also create a chilling effect that would prevent further action, which is desperately needed.So shouldn't fellow billionaire Schultz himself be willing to spill a few beans as well as roast them? Shouldn't he be just as concerned with health justice as with racial justice?
Flush the TPP has more helpful hints to help you harass Schultz and the whole cult of comfortable corporatists.
Meanwhile, what a coincidence that Schultz is initiating his Race Together murketing campaign in pro-labor Washington State, where activists and elected officials alike have been out in force protesting the TPP. Washington and neighboring Oregon just happen to be ground zero for the Obama administration's astroturfed propaganda campaign for fast track trade authority. These are major exporting states, and Oregon is also the home state of Senator Ron Wyden, Democratic chairman of the powerful Finance Committee and a TPP proponent.
Gaius Publius quotes from the Obama-aligned P.R. firm's own press release:
With Congress set to debate concrete measures for strengthening the American economy this year, the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs (PCAJ) is launching today to pave the way to trade promotion [Fast Track] authority for President Obama and to help pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership. PCAJ is kicking things off with a significant digital advertising effort in Oregon and Washington State and will expand to other key states in weeks to come.I'm surprised that the White House is not also urging "folks" to all race together to their nearest Starbucks for some refreshment to swallow along with the trade swill. Starbucks stands to profit big-time should the TPP get rammed through Just think -- they can hire Vietnamese baristas for 30 cents an hour to schmooze with the local potentates over the plight of the nicotine-addicted peasants.
PCAJ will bring together progressive voices across the activist, advocacy, and business communities to share information about the benefits of this groundbreaking trade agreement—which is expected to support hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the United States.
Mitch Stewart, Battleground States Director for the 2012 Obama for America Campaign, and his fellow partner at 270 Strategies Lydia Tran, are coordinating the public launch and will provide strategic counsel for the coalition.
Starbucks is already doing phenomenally well. As the New York Times reports,
For the quarter ended Dec. 28, the company reported operating income of $915.5 million, up from $813.5 million in the period a year earlier. Revenue increased 13 percent, to $4.8 billion.
Still, the company is searching for new revenue streams, facing stiffer competition from rivals as it moves into higher-end coffees. With the race campaign, the brand may have been looking for a way to break away from its competitors, said Jeetendr Sehdev, who teaches at the University of Southern California.
“This is not about starting a conversation. This is about coffee wars,” he said. “The sole objective here is to try to increase the brand’s cultural relevance.”Schultz never misses an opportunity to use his humble origins to justify his race to the top of the plutocratic pile. During her 2014 trip to China (where they're complaining about the high Starbucks prices) first lady Michelle Obama even oddly included Schultz in a list of civil rights and sports heroes for repressed Chinese students to emulate.
What a coincidence that the Obama administration is now scapegoating China in its push for a coup by Starbucks and hundreds of other multinational corporations. Mrs. Obama, champion of healthy eating that she is, might want to take a look at Starbucks' food menu while she's busy touting Schultz's civil rights marketing campaign. Here it is, courtesy of Food Babe:
Starbucks is a proud member of the Grocery Manufacturing Association, which lobbies for both the TPP and for GMO (genetically modified organism) food. And if any TPP partner country has the nerve to ban proplyene glycol from the food that children eat, Starbucks can haul them before an investor dispute tribunal and soak their poor populations for huge monetary damages. Starbucks and Big Tobacco and Big Pharma and hundreds of their closest friends and lobbyists can all Race Together, vying for the gold in the Greed Olympics.
NAFTA on Steroids, or Capitalists on Crack. No matter what you call the teams, the game is always fixed.