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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/18/19

Why is the media showering Howard Schultz with free airtime?

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Is that it? He wants more civility?

It didn't seem to occur to Schultz that America's growing incivility might be related to the frustrations of people earning coffee grinds while those at the top run off with the Super Venti Flat White.

That same year, Starbucks paid its baristas an average of $9 an hour (it now pays $11, which, adjusted for inflation, isn't much more). Schultz took home $149.8m.

Under Schultz, Starbucks touted its so-called "social responsibility," but it was for show.

Take, for example, the bracelets it sold for $5, whose proceeds were donated to banks and loan funds to support investment in poor communities. At the very same time, Starbucks kept some $1.9bn offshore to avoid paying US taxes representing hundreds of millions in lost tax revenues that might otherwise have helped poor communities.

Social responsibility my macchiato. Starbucks spends millions each year lobbying the federal government, often seeking spending cuts along with the kind of tax breaks that continue to minimize Starbucks's tax bill.

For Schultz, like Trump, it's all about money and media.

Schultz is running because he thinks it will be a hoot the capstone to his coffee career, the apex of his espresso.

But like many other billionaires of America's New Gilded Age, Schultz doesn't seem to give a damn about what his political escapades do to America.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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