Starbucks CEO: Washington fails on job creation
February 19th, 2012
09:37 AM ET
10 years ago

Starbucks CEO: Washington fails on job creation

(CNN) – Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Sunday blamed Washington for the country’s sluggish economic growth, saying lawmakers are more focused on politics than policy.

“The fact that we're arguing constantly, day in and day out, about ideology as our partisanship and everyone in Washington is more concerned about re-election than the core issues of the country, there's something significantly wrong,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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Schultz has long been calling on the nation’s capital to step up and amplify its job creation efforts. Last year, he rallied other CEOs to promise not to make campaign donations as a sign of protest against what he sees as failed leadership in the political landscape.

His company is now spearheading its own employment program, raising funds for a campaign called “Create Jobs for USA” that distributes loans to small businesses.

“It's not a Republican or a Democratic problem,” Schultz said, referring to the economy. “It's a problem in the fact that we are not gaining access to the leadership and the results that we need.”

Schultz was paid more than $65 million in fiscal year 2011, including salary, bonuses and stock options. In the same year, the company reported net revenues of $3.4 billion, and net earnings rose 10% over the previous year to $382 million.

Amid speculation the CEO would one day seek political office, Schultz denied he was pursuing such an endeavor.

“I have no interest in public office. I have only one interest, and that is I want the country to be on the right track,” Schultz told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “I just feel that for some reason, over the last few years, there's been a fracturing of understanding and sensibility about the responsibility that the leadership in Washington must have to the people who are being left behind.”

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Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Jobs • TV-State of the Union • unemployment • Washington D.C.
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Liz the First

    It's a republican problem that they are the ones putting up a brick wall of opposition to everything Obama tries to do to make progress so they can scream that he failed. if we didn't have such a severe republican infestation in both houses of congress, a lot more folks would be back to work by now. Kudos to Starbucks for trying to help. hope they can convince other companies to join in the efforts. rethugs scream about Obama failing to create as many jobs as he said he would, but then when they get in office, the first thing out of their mouths is, "government cannot create jobs." WHAT????????????????? of course, government can create jobs, and must when the private sector fails. over and over, rethugs have proven they are unfit to govern. our country won't truly heal from the mess we're in until the people who created it no longer have the power to keep us in it.

    February 19, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. SEO

    This guy is a joke. He makes 65 million and the company has hugh profits. According to the Republicans theory this guy should be hiring by the truckload. So it must be his fault.

    February 19, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Sorensen

    Mr. Schultz is absolutely right. Of course, the people are voting for all those fools. The electorate is getting dumber
    and dumber. Democracy does not promise intelligent behaviour. And it is getting totally ridiculous.

    February 19, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. dee321

    Another Big Business demagogue preparing for a run for office. If he really wanted to make a difference, he would lower his bonus and charge less for Coffee.

    February 19, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. king

    The only job Congress wants is the president job, they will crash this country in order to get that accomplished. Their jobs is to cut consumer spending, (when consumer spending is 70 percent of our economy) and hoard trillions more to the rich, so they can do the Romney thing and hide the money in the Cayman islands.

    February 19, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. rsubber

    Thank you, Mr. Schultz. I sincerely wish you good luck in your "Create Jobs for the USA" campaign. This is exactly what you and the other "job creators" should be doing.
    More comments on my blog: Barley Literate by Rick Subber

    February 19, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. DaveinSC

    For all the derisive rhetoric, there are responsible companies out there. Here's a guy that can wear an American flag on his lapel and doesn't use it as a shield for division instead of unity.

    February 19, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. ST

    As a CEO, can he tell us how many jobs has he created himself so far? none.

    February 19, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Have you heard that song, I'F YOU'VE GOT THE MONEY, I'VE GOT THE TIME?? Obummerhead will get you the job, just send the money!!! President Kennedy said, THINK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU, BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY. The only thing he forgot to add was Send Money. Hey people, you forgot to send the money! After a while you will figure that you need to book your own life, you wil have to do it yourself. But all the Liberals will keep telling you lies. How long will you believe them???

    February 19, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Melissa Coussons

    I just watched the Howard Schultz interview and I could not agree with him more. The people (House & Senate) sent to Washington have lost their way and are representing themselves, NOT US! I too am very disappointed with the representation we as citizens are receiving. Truly their main concern is "their" re-election. I say we fire them all and start over. Make their salary reflective of the job they do. If that were in place today none of them would be getting paid. I want to say to them what my job would say to me, "DO YOUR JOB OR GO HOME!"

    February 19, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. Seattle Sue

    And I think Starbuck's stock is at an all time high. Does Schultz approve of the 700,000 job loss per month in the last months of the last Administration? Mr. Schultz whines about jobs created but he rakes in $65,000,000.00 a year. Does he realize it would take a person making $50,000.00 a year, 1300 years to make as much as he makes in one year? I really doubt if he worries one minute about jobs for working people.

    February 19, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Rick

    A few months ago when Starbucks started their "Made in USA" bracelet campaign, I went into a Starbucks and saw the little basket of bracelets. About 10 feet away were about 30 boxes of mugs, brewers, etc. all stamped "Made in China".

    February 19, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. sayer

    There are plenty of jobs available, Schultz, there just isn't enough qualified applicants. Look at all the company job boards. They are looking for technical experts. Education & training is key to getting people back to work. If your money isn't supporting that, it will be wasted.

    February 19, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Rick in AZ

    Wait a minute! Hold the phone! I thought the Republican mantra was "Government doesn't create jobs, only the private sector does". Now this man from the private sector is now claiming the opposite.

    February 19, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. vic , nashville ,tn

    Washington is total failure because of republicans

    Republicans thinks take care of Rich they will create job it won’t happen

    Past two weeks republicans saying Obama start the war on religion Obama didn’t say where to pray what time to pray or don’t pray . They change the individual issue into war on religious

    February 19, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. DENNA

    Private industry has failed in the economy. Why haven't they hired more people? Washington can't force industry to increase hiring. The other failure in the economy is the American public. Government could hire but Rethugs don't want that to happen. Road and bridge building would create jobs directly and support jobs, but the Rethugs don't want that to happen. The biggest roadblock to American recovery is – AMERICA.

    February 19, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Reggie from LA

    @Ray E. (Georgia)
    Liberals, liars? You don't know liars until you 1) watch Fox (huge lies the very least, bent truths), 2) Mitt Romney, who you're doubting right now, but will vote for anyway because you hate Obama, 3) Yourself, for accusing "liberals" of being bigger liars than Republicans. That's huge. By the way RAAAY!! Where's all those jobs your party promised, hmmm?

    February 19, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. Thomas

    This coming from the Ronald McDonald of the cappuccino .

    The Walmart latte.

    February 19, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    Ray E. – The problem with the country are the lying Republicans, and ignorant, gullible fools like you that believe and support them. That's just a fact.

    February 19, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Jim

    I read a story just today that some one paid 23.60 for a Starbucks coffee. I'd call that a Seattle failure..

    February 19, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. george of the jungle

    any time someone makes an observation that the repos don't like they attack. I don't know this mans political affilaition but he makes sense. We need to stop the political bickering and work on jobs. The republican party is so out of touch with the average American it is laughable. Or maybe I should say cryable. If they would take their heads out of their backsides and focus on helping the average American instead of looking for reelection we might actually listen to them. They would rather beat a dead horse issue like the 60 year old contaseption one then face current problems. Social issues don't put people to work or food on the table. Move forward not backward Obama/Biden 2012

    February 19, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |