Howard Schultz on Education
Starbucks CEO; independent candidate for President until July 2019
My mother wanted more for me. She believed in the American Dream, and imprinted in me the belief that if I got an education and worked hard, I could create a better life for myself. In 1971, I enrolled in Northern Michigan University.
I paid for school with student loans. I worked two jobs. There were even times I had to sell my blood for some cash. Four years later, I became the first in my family to earn a college degree.
Today, all Starbucks employees can earn a four-year college degree, tuition free. The rising level of student debt is now at $1.5 trillion dollars.
My life experience is proof that the American Dream is, in fact, real. And that those who achieve it can pay it forward, and help others achieve it as well. I've spent my life trying to make the opportunities that were available to me, education and good jobs, available to others.
The federal government had long provided financial assistance to students from low-income households, in the form of subsidies known as Pell Grants. Many of Starbuck's store partners were the very people that Pell Grants were created to serve: those for whom a college degree would be unattainable without financial assistance.
No such public-private funding model to provide debt-free college tuition--where students, a sponsoring company, and a university all had a stake in the outcome--exists. We had to create it.
We crunched the numbers. The likelihood of our partners' qualifying for Pell Grants made providing a college benefit more affordable for Starbucks. Whatever costs we did incur we would likely make up in the reduced turnover we anticipated such a benefit would yield.
One in five millennials now live in poverty, and more members of that generation will live with their parents than other generations did. They are also about half as likely to own a home as young adults were in 1975, and, based on current trends, many won't be able to retire until they are 75. For the most impoverished and disconnected, the odds are worse.
I do believe that the private sector can do more of what it does for itself on behalf of the country--not in lieu of government programs, but in addition to the necessary roles government plays. Businesses can help innovate.
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Opinion Leaders on the Right:
Milton Friedman (Nobel Economist)
Rush Limbaugh (Radio Talk Show Host)
Ayn Rand (Author and Philosopher)
Heritage Foundation (Think Tank)
Joe Scarborough (Former Congressman; Radio Host)
Opinion Leaders on the Left:
American Civil Liberties Union
Noam Chomsky (Author and Philosopher)
Arianna Huffington (Internet Columnist)
Robert Reich (Professor and Columnist)
Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks)
John F. Kennedy(President,1961-1963)