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Where The "Rise Above" Farce Ends, "Come Together" Begins

Tyler Durden's picture


Just because CNBC's ridiculous "Rise Above" campaign has ended in abysmal failure (because who could have possibly imagined that the pin is not mightier than the utter dysfunction that is America's Congress), does not mean that other companies besides the Comcast-GE JV can't try their hands at an advertising campaign that piggybacks on politics. Sure enough, here is the company that an infamous movie made famous as Planet Starbucks, making a desperate plea to its readers to please "come together", think of the children, and "fix the debt." The same Starbucks that apparently had no such qualms as recently as a few months ago when it was revealed that the same company paid virtually no taxes in the UK, thereby quite directly contributing to "unfixing the debt."

Starbucks full page ad in the WaPo urging readers to "come together" and "fix the debt":

Because, you know, without Starbucks' sage advice, the US would never figure out it has a debt problem.

And now one wonders: just how much tax, not for GAAP purposes, but for purely IRS purposes, has the global tax "evading" company paid in its US jurisdictions? Because after all the first step to "fixing the debt" supposedly involves not printing more money, but paying your taxes (depending on who one listens to).

We are confident the coffee brewing company will be delighted to see its corporate cash pay (not the one used for EPS calculations, but the real one) tax rate hiked to Venti levels in order to do just what it so righftully demagogues.


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Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:43 | 3098709 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

I bought a coffee in London the other day at a Starbucks and wrote on the pound I gave to the barista:


Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:45 | 3098710 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



....or face a stern reprimand from Warren Buffett.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:49 | 3098729 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Who will take the money from those taxes and buy preferred Bank of America shares with them. 

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:01 | 3098780 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

Way off topic, but is anyone watching Squawk this morning?  Rick is losing his shit all over the place!!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:07 | 3098793 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




Thu, 12/27/2012 - 12:27 | 3099057 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

"Barista", is that Dickweed speak for "college graduate who can only get a part-time job making fucking coffee"?

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:06 | 3099372 knukles
knukles's picture

1.) Yes. 
2.)  Fuck you Starbucks, all I want is my coffee and none of YOUR poiltical horseshit views.

Like watching a Barbara Streisand concert where 78% of the time is her political views.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:53 | 3098748 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture


I say don't pay your taxes.  Starve the beast.  

How else will this Thing of Theirs (Le Costra Loro) ever shut down?! 

The less taxes paid, the more stringent the rules. 

The more stringent the rules, the more likely it will rouse the people to wake up, stand up, and fight!!!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:01 | 3098781 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@Raymond K Hessel

Your point is well-taken, the problem is that no one likes hypocrisy and Starbucks jumped the Hypocrisy Shark (at least 12 stories tall) with this shitty ad. 

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:05 | 3098789 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

It's a nad-kick level in so many ways.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:10 | 3098809 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

I'm not sure how he's being hypocritic...

Don't most CEOs of publicly listed companies want this done?  

Isn't Howie acting within the parameters we'd expect him to act?

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:40 | 3098926 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@Raymond K Hessel

Within the parameters we'd expect?  Not my parameters, brother.  Not by a fucking long shot.  Don't give me this equivicational bullshit of "you'd do it too, if you could."  Because I wouldn't.  I don't expect people to take advantage of a situation.  I expect people to act with respect for the law and respect for others. This is why there is ugliness in the world.  Good people have to put up with asshats and when the good people have enough of asshattery, the real violence begins.  Go ahead, asshats, make my fucking day.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 23:23 | 3100691 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

I don't approve either but I just don't think he's being hypocritical.  

I feel like Inygo Montoyo right now...

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:18 | 3098836 CPL
CPL's picture

In a situation of attrition the most powerful move any group can do is mirror the actions of their opponent while playing.  

In chess it's used to bring out sloppy mistakes and create a game apathy in your opponent, drives them to risk attempting bold and usually sloppy game play at the cost of their own pieces on the board.  As the game winds on, mirroring your opponent brings the opportunity to add options to your position; while your opponent is trying to figure out what their options are against themselves.

Once all the pawns have been moved, there's not much to do after that except watch the guy across the table lose their marbles.  It's a dick head move obviously and only lasts maybe 8 turns, but it gives a player a view into the mind off the person across the table.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:21 | 3098845 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

What do we expect in a country where we are banning large soda drinks because they are unhealthy but at the same time legalizing marijuana cause it's about freedom.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 12:57 | 3099138 mkhs
mkhs's picture

It's a big country.  Some parts are sane, others less so.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 12:56 | 3099136 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

gooooo raymond...NEITHER A PAYER (of taxes) NOR A RECEIVER (of benefits) BE!!!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:48 | 3098711 SeverinSlade
SeverinSlade's picture

I rarely go to Starbucks, but when I do, I order a large.  Not a fucking Venti.

And hey, except for the fact that they are total fucking hypocrites (YOU pay your taxes and balance the budget...we're fine not paying jack shit) they are also more patriotic for evading taxes than any idiot like Warren Buffett calling for higher taxes.  After all, we didn't have income taxes, property taxes, etc. until after 1913.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:11 | 3098753 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

I rarely go to Starbucks, but when I do I order a Dos Equis.

Stay thirsty, my friends.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:16 | 3098828 qqqqtrader
qqqqtrader's picture

I rarely drive by Starbucks in my 49' Ford pickup, but when I do... I wave at the overpriced coffee drinkers using their newest iPad's looking at who looking at them.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:17 | 3098829 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

I refused to order in Italian many years ago. That was shortly before I refused to buy anything from Starbucks. It was fun to watch the Seattle coffee girls fume when I'd say, "I'd like $1.25 worth of drip, please."

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 12:59 | 3099141 cifo
cifo's picture

One can still order "short" or "tall" or "double" (as in "double espresso"), as they are on the menu.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:05 | 3099161 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture


Nessun Italiano per me, bambino, anche se non ho niente contro l'Italia, o Italiani, o la lingua Italiana.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:46 | 3098716 SeverinSlade
SeverinSlade's picture

Double post.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:53 | 3098749 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Someone should write that shit on Bono and the rest of U2's ****ing forehead.

"Hey Bono: Pay your f***ing taxes!"

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:07 | 3098796 Gordon Freeman
Gordon Freeman's picture

You could've added LOWER YOUR FUCKING PRICES!, with Arabica trading at multi-year lows. 

These sanctimonious pronoucements from multi-nationals are grotesque

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:28 | 3098874 Captain Planet
Captain Planet's picture


I commend you, though I must ask: how did you fit all that on a single pound? Its a coin....

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:33 | 3098897 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Well, I must admit: I printed it onto the pound.

I figure if Mark Carney and Ben Bernanke could print, so could I. 

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:28 | 3098876 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

Hey, cool, one more reason to never ever buy anything from that shitty coffee shop starbucks.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:41 | 3098931 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Soon they will print on the cup "one dollar of your 5.99 Latte will go directly to the treasury".

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:42 | 3098934 The trend is yo...
The trend is your friend's picture

Starbucks better push for a deal so that the sheeple with a few dollars in thier pocket can go and pay $4.79 for a cup of coffee that costs them .50.  The alternative is to lobby congress to EBT cards for starbucks coffee, then the banks win too!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:48 | 3098712 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yea everyone is SO concerned now about 'Can't we just get over it?' after we've all been robbed....and apparently Starbucks wishes more robbery as thats all 'coming together in compromise' actually means.

'Fix the debt'...LOL sure Starbucks rob yet another generation....fuck you Starbucks I'll rather die of thirst than ever buy a thing from there again.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:45 | 3098714 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

My wife got a $15 Starbucks card from someone at work for Xmas. Made me a little sad. A Starbucks gift card is a gift that says, "I had to buy you a gift. Fuck you."

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:52 | 3098737 SeverinSlade
SeverinSlade's picture

Best part is that $15 only buys what, two Ventis?

What a fucking tool though, whoever bought it.  $10 or $20.  Who buys a $15 gift card?

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:10 | 3098808 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



If it wasn't for one of them cards....I wouldn't even know what the place looked like inside.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:21 | 3098840 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Take your caffeine needs to Big B's.

They are small-business oriented.

They are cheaper.

Discounts for military.


I do not own any stock. I just like a SB alternative.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:46 | 3098717 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Taxrs,the other barborous relic.

Control P is so much easier.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:50 | 3098734 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Right...following the new FED economic model, 'taxes' are outdated and irrelevant as buggy whips...well except in certain 'clubs'.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:54 | 3098751 SeverinSlade
SeverinSlade's picture

Unfortunately this is more true than people realize.  In the end, since it's mathematically impossible to pay down the debt, taxes truly are irrelevant and only serve to further enslave the masses with more chains of debt.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 12:11 | 3099012 tango
tango's picture

You hit the nail on the head!   I have grown weary of politicians talking about how we can pay down the debt by _____  (fill in blank).  It's so intelletually dishonest and begs a simple calculator.  At least the Dems don't even try to pretend they care about debt.  It's a Spendarama, get elected, get rich and get out dodge when the shit eventually hits the fan.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:47 | 3098720 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Fuck You Bernanke

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:47 | 3098721 Lendo
Lendo's picture

Feed the consumer debt buy buying overpriced coffee.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:52 | 3098742 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Gambling is a tax for people that can't do math.....and so is Starbucks.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:52 | 3098747 Cursive
Cursive's picture


And to top it off, the ad quotes fucking Abraham Lincoln.  The first sign of evil is anyone who quotes/references Abraham Lincoln.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:55 | 3098762 Freddie
Freddie's picture


Dear suckers who are on balance sheet liabilities for Corporation USA.  Drop dead.

Signed Honest Abe


Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:17 | 3098831 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture


+1 more for a Jackson Avatar!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:48 | 3098725 youngman
youngman's picture

If we are going to be using a Beatles song.....TAXMAN would have been better

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:49 | 3098730 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Fuck these sanctimonious, it's-everyone-else's-problem, tax avoiding limousine liberals!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:25 | 3098859 John Bigboote
John Bigboote's picture

Don't forget "white guilt"

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:50 | 3098733 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture

I've got the Lennon estate lawyers on the phone. Poor John must be spinning in his tomb!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:10 | 3098811 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

John Lennon was an asshole.  Ask Julian or Frank Zappa.


Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:32 | 3098890 Tango in the Blight
Tango in the Blight's picture

Frank Zappa won't tell you anything, since he's dead.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:51 | 3098739 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Shut down Starbucks and turn off mobile phone service and this country would implode within days....if not hours.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:54 | 3098754 Cursive
Cursive's picture


As long as the Ambien and other "legal" happy pills are still flowing, we will avoid the implosion for a day or two at least.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:52 | 3098744 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Its pretty evident the CEOs don't want to fix the country; all they care about is their bottom lines.

Maybe if Starbucks wanted to help solve the Fiscal Cliff, it would pay its baristas more instead of lecturing the American people and the dumb-as-fuck Congress than represents us on how to solve our Federal Reserve-made "problems".

The Fiscal Cliff, like TARP, is just anohter extortion attempt by corporate lords for access to the taxpayer troft.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:55 | 3098968 forexskin
forexskin's picture

gotta wonder what % of starbucks bottom tier employees are part of the 46MM on food stamps... probably 20 or 30% would be my guess.

last time i was in the verizon store twisting their arm for a price match, i learned from the young woman helping me that 1/2 of the store's employees, herself included, have assistance from the mighty EBT...

we are so fracked...

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:52 | 3098746 thepigman
thepigman's picture

I want a goddam cup of coffee....not continuing lame attempts at making social or political statements on the goddam cups. Give me Dunkin Donuts.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:55 | 3098761 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Don't even have to go there....they have it at Sam's Club.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:58 | 3098975 forexskin
forexskin's picture

sam's club - aiming diligently to bring you chinese sourced coffee.

"wonderful hint of nightsoil, prison labor sweat, and the tang of gunpowder on flesh"

good shit!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:55 | 3098750 Catullus
Catullus's picture

"Come Together" to collectively ignore basic accounting and the fact that you're completely broke. A corporate campaign written on a $5 cup of coffee. Irony at its very best.

Defeating accounting is the new Civil Rights Movement.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:54 | 3098752 stant
stant's picture

i drive past starbucks with more than 5 bucks to get a can of coffee. never set foot in one

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:54 | 3098756 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

I like the subliminal "sex" in the writing on the ad.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:58 | 3098773 mrdenis
mrdenis's picture

I thought I was the only one that saw that .......

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:15 | 3098825 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

That's why I don't watch TV.

The liquor printed ads are the best, tho, for hidden stuff.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:55 | 3098759 fuu
fuu's picture

Starbucks has no idea how mindfucked it is.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:56 | 3098765 PGR88
PGR88's picture

Any shareholder who owns shares in a company gets involved in taking public political positions ought to sell the stock immediately.

Its not a moral statement - its a business one.   There is NO WAY that politics and marketing mix.   The result will be failure.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:57 | 3098768 SDRII
SDRII's picture

USA has its own SOEs

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:57 | 3098769 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Schwartz, enough said .....

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:05 | 3098784 Monedas
Monedas's picture

I've never been inside a Starbucks nor tasted their coffee .... I think 7/11 has some nerve charging what they do for coffee .... I get even by loading up on condiments .... mustard, mayo, ketchup, relish !

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 12:02 | 3098987 forexskin
forexskin's picture

all good except for the relish - its too lumpy for the straw...

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:07 | 3098797 new game
new game's picture

but to the original idea of the budget issues:

not hear much about cutting the budget expenditures.

da military, da elephant in da room.

fuck starfucks another fuckhead weighing in

the issues are simple; cut the biggest as they are most likely the most wastefull.

Kinda like my own budget that has been trimmed from 6500/month to 2800/month since da bust.

starting with the unloading of the macmansion, then well it was easy-lower everything; including

cheap date around a campfire :)

who will weigh in next? madona or monte...

one thing for sure it will be another joke.

next up will be this senate charade going back to the house where bone head will seal his fate when it falls flat and he single handedly put usa in a reccesion, and so the story said via the msm-another fucking joke...

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:08 | 3098799 unrulian
unrulian's picture

Take 30 seconds and make it at home...10 cents a cup

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:09 | 3098806 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Oh the CEOs and Congress will "Come Together" alright.

Best Circle Jerk, ever!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:13 | 3098815 100pcDredge
100pcDredge's picture

Together forever!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:16 | 3098827 thepigman
thepigman's picture

What's next, Starbucks? The Adam Lanza Memorial Coffee Cup?

"Be nice. Don't shoot people"

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:17 | 3098832 Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

I gave up coffee last year. Just said f%#k it.

Used to enjoy a Cappuchino in the morning, maybe an espresso or two later. Europe spoils you when it comes to coffee.

Now I pass the several Starbucks where I would stop, as I walk to work.

The Caps were not very good at all. Secret is the foam, which their trained specialists could never get right. That and bad espresso.

Starbucks is plain and simply, cr*p.

"Hi, I'd like a F&#kamockachino please, more sugar, want to see if I can go into insulin shock ..."

Amazing how hard it is to get a good espresso or cap in a city which is supposed to be the pinnacle of cosmopolitan life.

I'm saving enough money on a yearly basis to pay for other, more important things which are near and dear to myself and to ZHers hearts.


Thu, 12/27/2012 - 12:06 | 3099000 forexskin
forexskin's picture

f%#k it.

and my keyboard is now all wet, thanks bill.

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 11:54 | 3101726 Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

My pleasure !

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:18 | 3098835 Jason T
Jason T's picture

Fixing the Debt is akin to "raise taxes and cut spending to be sure to pay bondholders their interest"

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:22 | 3098849 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

I'd buy Starbuck's Kona coffee. You know my position on Kona coffee.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:23 | 3098854 Monedas
Monedas's picture

"Coming Together" gets a bit tricky if your circle jerk has 4 or 5 players !

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:36 | 3098900 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

As some have already mentioned above, Congress always comes together in the end to fuck the people.

You have to admit Starbucks knows it customers. This dumb-ass statement is exactly what you might hear while in a typical Starbucks listening to the yuppie chatter.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:34 | 3098901 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

The only ppl who fall for Starbucks prices are hipsters, women, and gay people.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:36 | 3098909 dolph9
dolph9's picture

I used to go to Starbucks before I could tell it was becoming watered down and they stopped filling up the cups.

Believe me, the only thing Starbucks wants you to do is to buy their overpriced coffee.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 12:14 | 3099020 Atlantis Consigliore
Atlantis Consigliore's picture

"Short Below"  Fart on Kramer

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 12:37 | 3099088 yogibear
yogibear's picture

CNBC is designed for the sheeple.

Over-paid news anchors that hype the Wall Street circus folly.

What happened to the days of the critical fact-finding media?

Guess it goes along with the American Idol non-critical mentality these days.


Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:17 | 3099207 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

the average price of a cup of coffee sold in starbucks COULD be less than 3 bucks.

this statement from the 2011 annual report buried on page 78 (84 of 98 in pdf format) sums it all up really:

"Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting is not intended to provide absolute assurance that a misstatement of our financial statements would be prevented or detected."

on page 43 (48 of 98 in pdf) starbucks generated 11.7 billion of net revenues (not gross, so maybe revenues were twice that) for year ended 2 October 2011, earnings of 1.6 billion and paid taxes of 563 million. 

lutebox says starbucks sells around 4 billion cups of coffee a year.

which means the average price of a cup of coffee at starbucks is less than three bucks. (or maybe a little more to reflect all those bran muffins that are also sold).

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