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The day after Christmas finds many of us back at our desks and focused on the news of the day. With the year end fast approaching, many are turning their attentions to Washington, DC and the great debate over the “fiscal cliff.” Democrats and Republicans in Congress remain at odds, so one company is doing their part to push the two parties together.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, a vocal critic of Washington gridlock, shared his thoughts in a letter on the company’s blog:
“Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity—and I believe a responsibility—to use our company’s scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue. This week through December 28, partners in our Washington D.C. area stores are writing “Come Together” on customers’ cups.
It’s a small gesture, but the power of small gestures is what Starbucks is about! Imagine the power of our partners and hundreds of thousands of customers each sharing such a simple message, one cup at a time.”
It is a great message Mr. Schultz. Perhaps the effort should be expanded to include every state capitol as well. The solutions to so many issues become possible when we come together.
Earlier this morning, the President urged American citizens to call, email, tweet, etc. their Senators and Representatives to prompt them to bring an end to this artificially created crisis over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Here’s a message you may wish to consider sharing with your member of Congress: Attn: Congress – compromise means: An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.
Or in case that seems too complicated, perhaps the words of Robert Fulghum (fromAll I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten) will do the trick: Clean up your own mess!
As I write this blog, a shutdown of the federal government seems likely. Congressional leaders, intent on reigning in government spending, can’t agree on a budget for fiscal year 2011 – which ends in September. As this graph points out, we certainly have reason to be concerned about government spending.
But should spending cuts be the only priority? That seems to be the message if you are a Tea Party Republican.
Dante Chinni at The Patchwork Nation has offered an interesting perspective in his blog post this morning entitled “The Shutdown Showdown.” He offers an interesting study of the demographic profile of Florida’s 5th District, represented by Republican Rich Nugent. Dante’s blog essentially poses the question what will voters that have given rise to the ”no compromise” political ideology of the Tea Party do when the government shuts down – or if the kind of cuts to entitlement programs proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan were to be adopted.
While the Tea Party movement prefers to invoke the spirit of Boston colonists in 1773, their influence on public policy is more closely resembling the Tea Party found in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. As you may recall, the Mad Hatter asked Alice a riddle that does not have an answer. The Tea Party Republicans seem to pose the same type of riddle: When is a government shut down like a path to prosperity?
New York Times op-ed columnist Charles M. Blow wrote a powerful opinion column entitled “Empire at the End of Decadence” in which he challenges us to look honestly at our country’s condition, compared to other industrialized countries. It is definitely worth our time to consider our actions (both locally and nationally) against the backdrop of this reality: