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  • The Beginnings of a Political Revolution

    Schultz developed immediate and magnificent way to get the attention of politicians: “PAIN.”

    Finally – someone has become so incensed with the not only the political process, but the politicians themselves, they have stop being angry – and resorted to being smart and cold-blooded.

    It seems unlikely that one of the more genial corporate leaders, Howard Schultz, Founder and CEO of Starbucks, came up with a refreshing political idea: instead of abdicating or genuflecting to our political class for them to do the right thing – to do the people’s business – to do what they are sent to Washington to do in the first place – Schultz has discerned an immediate and magnificent way to get the attention of any political leader: PAIN.

    Howard Schultz – politicians and pain: what gives?

    There are only two things that will hurt any politician, and they are inextricably intertwined: money and votes.

    Schultz is proposing that everyone, even corporate leaders (which I know is an unambiguous stretch), not give anymore campaign contributions to any politician: if politician’s don’t receive money – they can’t campaign – if they can’t campaign – they can’t develop or reinforce supporters, which is the most macabre scenario to any already elected or potentially elected official. Schultz is trying to change behavior, so the political class will be forced not only to focus, but to perform — where we judge our elected leaders not on what they say — but the results they deliver.

    In New York Times article Boycott Campaign Donations!, Nocera states, “In effect, Schultz thinks the country should go on strike against its politicians. “The fundamental problem,” he said, “is that the lens through which Congress approaches issues is re-election. The lifeblood of their re-election campaigns is political contributions.” Schultz wants his countrymen — big donors and small; corporations and unions — to stop making political contributions in presidential and Congressional campaigns. Simple as that. Economists like to talk about how incentives change behavior. Schultz is proposing that Americans give Washington an incentive to begin acting responsibly on their behalf. It’s a beautiful idea.”

    This a powerful, smart and twenty-first century idea, where the American citizenry can value and dispense their power, on their own terms, not some politician’s. It’s a way for the critical mass to give voice, reason and action to their moment — to the real world they live within, as opposed to hoping that their representatives will suddenly decouple from their disconnected, at times, quixotic leanings.

    Personally, I would have gone further: I would, maybe I should, create an Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals movement, where never again, does a politician give us their agenda for what they will do on their constituents behalf. Since the political class is grossly pro-business, often against the necessary basics and betterment of the middle-class, working poor and destitute, then let’s demand our politicians work through the same measures of a well-run business. Politicians should have to meet quarterly goals that their districts identify and agree upon, and they would have to furnish results within required timetables, and if not, they could not be considered for reelection. I would like to see how the politicians would operate and “perform” in the real-world, like the rest of us. Maybe we should do it: I know we should.

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

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