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Free Liberal: Coordinating towards higher values

Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

You Go, Starbucks

by Paul Jacob

Starbucks is coffee. Actually not just coffee, but a way of presenting coffee. Designer coffee, if you will. Lattes and such.

Starbucks is also a corporation, a demon in the eyes of some.

Recently a Starbucks rep posted a video at the popular website YouTube to defend the company against charges of being "exploitative." Starbucks might get into a trademark dispute, or buy coffee overseas at the market price. This upsets some people, who I suppose believe that Starbucks should pay farmers double the going rate.

A pseudonymous commentator on the Starbucks video says the company "is leeching on the community, selling watered down coffee and making billions. It is easy money, no questions, their strength is in branding. . . . A company making billions on the backs of these poor farmers. . . ."

Note the criticisms. Starbucks is "leeching on" the community. How? By buying coffee that farmers want to sell, or by selling coffee to buyers who want to buy? Their coffee is "watered down." It's the very opposite: Starbucks is known for espresso, which is concentrated coffee, carefully prepared.

The real problem: Starbucks is so good at what it does that it's got a recognizable name. And is "making billions." Supposedly ill-gotten, easy gains. As if the company had robbed a bank. Well, no, my pseudonymous friend. The folks at Starbucks earned the money.

Paul Jacob's "Common Sense" is published by the Sam Adams Alliance. Their website can be visited at

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