Robber Baron, Renter Capitalist, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Believes America Deserves A Servant President
The state truly is a benefactor to ignorance and hypocrisy. Now, the title of this post is a little tongue-in-cheek because I’m sure Howard Schultz is probably a “decent” guy. Whatever that means. Hey, Stalin was probably a decent guy too. My point is the ego is perfectly deceptive. Schultz bought a coffee house and turned it into a monster. I would argue that Starbucks fits into the statements I have made about other chain restaurants and food service businesses. That is, society would be better off without them. I’ve noted on here before that it’s not that we should be paying people $15 an hour at McDonald’s or these other slave labor camps but rather we should be getting rid of McDonald’s and similar type jobs. Those jobs serve zero purpose to the creation of wealth and well-being of society. More importantly, humanity could be doing much more to improve its quality of life in lieu of flipping burgers or pouring $5 skinny, soy milk, vegan lattes to the inane and pedantic. Make your own f*cking coffee and flip your own burgers rather than relying on servants. We would be better off paying people not to work in this type of position so that they have time to ponder and contemplate their own emotional and spiritual growth that is necessary to create a self-actualized existence and a self-actualized society. Using money for corporate work as a method of distributing society’s wealth is a failure under constructs of state control like communism, capitalism, etc. Our world would be better off without places like these that sell toxic, serfdom products and force people to work for nonliving wages to stay alive. How much more productive could people be if they weren’t caught in the grinder of low wages selling other citizens more corporate swill? They almost certainly have many more profound gifts of love, intellect and labor to share with humanity that we are not benefiting from.
Schultz is one of the uber rich renter capitalists living in their gated communities, insulated from democracy and the messes they create, who produce nothing but have become billionaires off of the exploitation of others. Now, I will give Schultz the credit of bringing a coffee culture to the United States. But is that a good thing? You can determine if coffee is good for you or not. In my case, I decided long ago that coffee wasn’t probably good for me. The effects were very deleterious. But through my grandfather, I was introduced, albeit in small, very infrequent amounts, at a young age and love its taste and smell. But now I limit my consumption to a handful of cups a year. When I first graduated from college my job was so incredibly boring and monotonous under the drone of corporate bureaucracy that the highlight of my day was getting a large coffee in mid-morning to keep me from falling asleep. Soon after, I left. And with it, I quit drinking coffee altogether and went most of my adult life without drinking any. Interestingly, is my experience also why coffee has become so popular in this nation? A drug addiction to keep us awake and moving in the dumbed-down lunacy of the idiocracy? Possibly. I know a lot of coffee addicts. The Smithsonian has an article of how coffee changes our brain, creates addiction and flips our stressor or sympathetic nervous system on just like being chased by a serial killer. Or, being constantly threatened with losing our jobs or not being able to pay our bills or the other stressors that have turned a nation ruled by corporations into a madhouse. Interestingly, as an aside, coffee in today’s world is only mildly fermented. And we don’t know what the health implications to that are. Our ancestors understood the need to ferment certain foods to make them nontoxic. The list is endless. But, just like bread, as just one example, that used to be fermented for long periods of time to ameliorate the negative effects of wheat protein or gluten, now corporations use quick yeast methods that rise all kinds of breads, sweet wheat snacks, cakes, cookies, donuts and all of the other junk food we consume. All because slow food means lost profits. There is some perspective that this may one of the main culprits for such massive gluten intolerance and inflammation. And that means it may have implications in autism and other autoimmune diseases. Most people suffering from gluten intolerance can handle sourdough bread made the old fashioned, slow way. Does the impact of only mild coffee fermentation that takes place today in the name of the almighty dollar having similar effects? Well, who knows? There aren’t too many studies on industrial food because it doesn’t serve corporate domination over our lives.
One of the benefits of corporate domination over humanity failing, and it will fail, will be that we are able to - Just. Slow. Down. And. Breathe. To live more presently and experience the magical and mystical things that happen every single moment of our lives that we are too busy to appreciate.
Let me get back to Howard Schultz. I haven’t run a multi-billion dollar company as Howard has. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express. Hey, our culture is so consumed by corporate advertising that I couldn’t resist. I have run a $50 million business and was on the leadership (ahem) team for a $300 million business. And I have worked with people who have run multi-billion dollar companies. What I can say without any equivocation is most people in authority or “leadership” positions are absolutely horrible, incompetent, and often manipulative, deceitful and even abusive control freaks or mutants. The decent people in management are caught in a system of injustice where shit flows downhill and uphill and they really have absolutely no power due to the hierarchical, anti-democratic structures of corporations. Politics is no better being controlled by the hierarchy of political parties who are registered corporations themselves.
To be a successful leader, one must first love humanity. And that means one must believe humanity is worthy and capable of being empowered rather than exploited. That’s a contradiction within a class-based system like corporate capitalism or any other state ism that neither loves nor believes in humanity but instead relies upon exploitation, predation and victimization to perpetuate itself. I don’t know if positions of “leadership” have always been this way. But I suspect they have. At least in non-democratic systems. Which has been most of human history including today.
Leadership is about selflessness. It is about empowering individuals through coaching, education, trust, and honesty then providing the organizational or social disciplines for those individuals to succeed themselves. All of the books, seminars and college programs about leadership are essentially recycling nonsense for the benefit of profit. Some new spin that is going to change the world. Lao Tzu said it best thousands of years ago - "A leader is best when people barely know he exits. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'." Do you know any politician or corporate CEO that operates from this perspective? In fact, in many regards, it would be impossible for a CEO to operate from this perspective because their companies are doing things that don’t serve humanity. Whether that is a Wall Street CEO peddling derivatives or debt-based money, or a corporate CEO producing GMO foods or whatnot. Little of corporate capitalism actually serves humanity and democracy. That is why corporate capitalism must be authoritarian rather than servant-based, leadership driven. Because the drive for profit (exploitation, victimization and predation of humanity and the planet) is not benefiting humanity, it is enriching corporate bureaucrats and the state at the expense of humanity and the planet.
So, Howard Schultz is a multi-billionaire renter capitalist and robber baron. Let me explain. Renter capitalism is the original form of capitalism. It existed before industrial capitalism and its wage slavery. (Interestingly, capitalism has come home to die as now the dominant form of capitalism again is renter capitalism.) Anyhoo, A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away was the invention of the state. And the state told humanity that all of this land God has granted you for free to work for your own abundance, well, that is now ours. And we will defend it from your God-given right to provide for yourself through violence if we have to. And then the state created money. Then it told humanity, you can get some of this money to buy what you need to survive if you work the land for us and our crony buddies. The state and its cronies then took all of the output of the land worked by humanity, then they paid humanity just enough money that they could then exchange it for a small pittance of what they produced off of the land while the state stole the rest. And voila! We had renter capitalism. Then the state created corporations to make all of this theft legal. Then corporations and the state created attorneys and hired lots of them to defend their plunder. And they called it free markets. It’s that simple. It’s why we fought the Revolutionary War and why Thomas Jefferson wanted the government to give everyone their own property. Free. As our Creator intended. The more serfs and slaves the renter capitalists had working the land, the more surplus value they could steal. In a world where CEOs today have tens to hundreds of thousands or even a million employees, they can steal a massive amount of human wit and labor from their serfs and slaves. That’s why CEO compensation is so insanely high. Because capitalism is run amok and large corporations now dominate humanity and force us into the Borg of corporate wage slavery and consumption.
Howard Schultz has hundreds of thousands of serfs and slaves enriching him. Starbucks is one of the largest landholders (renter capitalists) and employers in this nation with tens of thousands of locations and hundreds of thousands of employees. And they pay their workers a small pittance to “work” that land. Howard Schultz and his allegiant crony buddies, or corporate management, steal most of that work and hand a small pittance back to the hundreds of thousands of people who work the land for a nonliving wage in his renter capitalist operation. According to Glassdoor’s survey of more than 1,000 employees, the average pay at a Starbucks store is around $9 an hour. His employees can’t even afford the coffee he sells. But then democracy was never part of the scheme. Additionally, Starbucks sells Monsanto Lattes, doesn’t sell much, if any, fair trade coffee ensuring poor coffee farmers aren’t exploited by large corporations, and all of the supplies they sell in their stores are made in Chinese or other third world capitalist sweatshops. Any concessions Starbucks has made to fair trade and non rBST pus milk have been because of pressure from human rights and food activists.
Howard is living the American dream! An American success story! He should be president because he is the American dream! The hundreds of thousands of people slaving away in his stores? Not so much. That’s some f*cking servant leadership for you! We need some of that in Washington. Err, excuse me, but that’s all we have in Washington. This is capitalism. Now, would those Starbucks serfs rather be working for $9 an hour enriching Howard, the investor class and his corporate capitalist cronies or working for themselves or working for democracy where the fruits of all of their labor could be theirs, their neighbors, their families and their communities? Maybe if they organize, they share a reasonable amount of their labor for someone to run the operation for them. And they vote on who that person should be. What we need is democratic economics, democratic money and public capital and banking available to all people.
Additionally, I find it laughable when Howard decided he was going to tackle race relations using his authoritarian position of class some months ago by encouraging his serfs and slaves to talk about the injustices of race, who yelled the loudest? Black Americans. Why? Well, to use some of their words, there are no Starbucks in our communities. And we can’t afford $5 skinny, soy milk, vegan lattes. In fact, there are no Starbucks in any poor neighborhoods regardless of race. If Howard wants to tackle race, why isn’t he investing in black communities? Hiring people in those communities and paying them a living wage? Or using his class privilege to economically empower black Americans in some way? Or talking about the injustices of the system that have created systemic poverty for people of all races while enriching himself? Because he can’t exploit the poor for profit and personal gain. And why is that? Because the working poor, both whites and minorities, in this nation have always been denied property rights and democratic economic rights. Oftentimes overtly and through the force of the state like for the one hundred years following the Civil War. Post Civil War this created a diaspora of people who had no homes and no property. But, they could sharecrop and work for rich property owners like Howard Schultz. And who took most of the wealth? Democracy? No. The individual who worked the hardest or smartest? No. The entitled aristocracy that was best at exploiting their fellow man. Just like Howard Schultz today.
The real issue is not race but rather class that then determines who gets access to the resources that are then used to exploit humanity to create very thinly distributed wealth. Class and hierarchy create racism and stereotypes to divide humanity to fight amongst itself while they pillage all of us. In other words, Howard’s ego is so perfectly deceptive that he doesn’t see his own ignorance and hypocrisy that perpetuates racism and poverty injustice in this nation.
If Howard Schultz wants to help democracy, why doesn’t he renounce this kind of exploitation and come out from behind his gated community and give back all of the surplus billions he has taken from so many that are impoverished because of this system and because of him? Because he’s part of the entitled aristocracy that has stolen so much. Of course, all in the name of Jesus. Or, in Howard’s case, all in the name of Mitzvahs or the commandments of what is right and just and true as commanded by God.
If Howard wants to work on his mindfulness, he has plenty of places to start. To be human is to be a hypocrite and ignorant but the state, and those it enriches, like Howard, truly is a benefactor to unprecedented, institutionalized ignorance and hypocrisy. If Howard wants to fix Washington, or create a servant-based form of leadership in this world, a good place to start is with himself. In fact, that’s a good place for all of us to start. To. Be. Less. Ignorant. And. Hypocritical.