Friday, August 19, 2011

Two Great Perspectives on a Pretty Lousy Idea

In today's post, we get two for the price of one.  I am talking about a news story that brings us the wise musings of two capitalist ubermenschen.  The other day, Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz (not one of our story's heroes) proposed that CEOs pledge to withhold their political contributions until Congress and His Majesty hurry back to Washington and start brewing up some deficit reduction.  While I'm all for lightening politicians' wallets, I have little faith that something like this would accomplish anything more than making Schultz feel less guilty for all the money he made charging too much for coffee.

Here is Paragon of Virtue #1 John Alison's take on the plan:
"If businesses and executives stop donating, does that mean pensions and unions will stop too?"
He makes a good point.  Businesses don't really donate because they think politicians are doing a good job.  They donate as damage control, and usually to counteract the efforts of...well...pensions and unions.  The article from Reuters also mentioned Warren Buffett's monumentally stupid plan to tax the rich more (real original, Warren).

Here is what the article said about Paragon of Virtue #2 T. J. Rodgers, Founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor:
Rodgers, who said that more than half of his income goes to the state of California and to federal taxes, is no fan of the Buffett plan.
The CEO, who invests his money in start-ups and other ventures, said the government would "invest" the extra tax money "in pork barrel projects of dubious merit, controlled by political rather than market forces" without added benefit.
"The fact is, the country will be less well off if they're investing my money instead of me," said Rodgers, who added that he has "been on the Schultz plan forever" because he doesn't give money to political candidates.
Well put.  It's nice to see prominent Objectivist businessmen getting called for their opinions on matters like this.  I think it's a good sign.

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