Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Starbucks Factor


I've finally "had it" with idiots who have to share opinions. Like me. The big news article in our office today is the story about people being "happy" that Starbucks is suffering. It's just dumb. First off, wishing ill upon (just about) ANY business in America is shooting our own feet. The economy matters people. Jobs. Revenue. Tax earnings that pay for the g-d roads you drive on everyday. The jobs that feed families and pay rents and buy groceries. You know: THOSE JOBS. Businesses that actually HURT people don't deserve such mercy, nor do they typically receive any. Starbucks doesn't hurt anyone.

All the whining about killing off mom-and-pop coffee shops is bogus crap. Sure, you can probably (seriously, realistically) count *maybe* a handful from personal experience. That does not translate nationwide. Not at all. Not even close to statistical reliability.

I've been a fan of Starbucks for a long time. I know all too well the reactions that gets from people, both good and bad. Yes, their coffee is high priced. Yes, it's just coffee. I don't care. It's no different that liking beer, wine, cigarettes, guns, cars, music, whatever. It's subjective. Get over it.

Yes, it's just coffee. Beer is beer also. Unless you're really into beer, then it matters which brand and brew types you prefer. I've yet to meet a human that doesn't have some sort of idiosyncratic preferences for something that hinge entirely on personal taste. Yet they still have the audacity to dish out their opinion to others. These are the same stupid idiots (a double redundancy - I know) that plaster bumper stickers all over their vehicles telling us all how they feel about politics, abortion, gun control, peace love and togetherness, saving whales, saving the environment, whatever. Who cares. Shut the f*** up.

The big flaw I see with this article is that it makes HUGE assumptions about mom-and-pop coffee shops. I live in the largest populated metropolitan area in the state of Virginia. There were almost NO such coffee shops anywhere until Starbucks showed up. Then, and only then, did the copycats show up to siphon off some of the revenue generated by the "new craze for caffeine". Fat chance. So the sour-puss losers start moaning and complaining that Starbucks is killing them off. Same crowd that complains about Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.

While I don't particularly favor Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Sam's Club, BJ's Club, Costco or any of the mass-package sales outlets, they have obviously, undoubtedly driven costs down and provided greater options to places that never had more than a corner gas station. Get over it.

If you want to whine about something, whine about why our government can't get off their ass to fix the problems that have lingered and festered so long. Highways, power grids, water treatment, communications, air travel and the list goes on. No, we only care about coffee. Shut up. Conserve your whining energy for things that matter, and go buy a triple venti carmel macciato to help the local economy out while you're at it.
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