By now, you may have heard about Starbucks asking customers for $5 donations that will be used to “improve education and job training for young adults.” And Starbucks isn’t the only company with such programs according to this Wall Street Journal article:
Starbucks Pushes to Create Jobs
Starbucks Corp. Chief Executive Howard Schultz, who has been on a mission to cut the national debt and boost job creation, has pledged to donate at least $100,000 of profits annually from two Starbucks stores in low-income areas to boost jobs in those communities.
Profits from Starbucks stores in the Harlem section of Manhattan and the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles will go toward two community organizations that work to improve education and job training for young adults in those areas. High-school students in those neighborhoods also will receive barista training at the Starbucks shops.
“We can’t wait for Washington. Business leaders have to step up and do our part,” Mr. Schultz said in an interview.
Mr. Schultz, whose political giving skews heavily Democratic, recently got more than 100 business leaders to join him in a pledge to withhold campaign contributions to Washington incumbents until Congress strikes a long-term debt deal.
He also called on fellow business leaders to accelerate employment.
While all this corporate largess is commendable, will it really make a lasting impact? What happens when the donations dry up? Will improved education and job training make much or any difference in an economy with 16% real unemployment? Or will it simply increase the number of unemployed?
Would all that corporate effort perhaps be better spent convincing Washington to live within it’s means, drastically downsize itself, and eliminate the mountains of rules and regulations which do little more than hinder or prevent business and jobs creation?
Or am I just punchy from a bout of insomnia last night?
What are your thoughts?