There’s been an ongoing debate for decades now over what sort of reform America’s economy needs. Capitalism has been the predominant economic system in the United States since its founding, but a number of Democratic politicians are beginning to question its effectiveness— as well as its morality. The debate between two prominent economic theories, capitalism and socialism, has become integrated into everyday political discussions.
Over the last few weeks, former Starbucks CEO, and possible presidential candidate, Howard Schultz has been making headlines for his commentary on the economic reform America needs. When Mr. Schultz first announced his presidential bid as an independent candidate, it sparked outrage in the Democratic Party. They claimed that running as an independent would split the vote in favor of President Trump.
Due to the constant political coverage of Mr. Schultz and what his candidacy would mean for the 2020 election, many of his ideas and proposals have been overlooked. Quite a few of his views regarding the state of our capitalist nation and what should be done about it are actually fairly wise and deserve to be listened to.
One of the major proposals Mr. Schultz has made is encouraging ethical conduct in the business sector by rewarding tax breaks to companies who provide healthcare and education benefits to their employees. This sort of proposal may actually be beneficial in contrast to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s punishment of tech giants who make “too much money.” It would be wise to influence companies to act ethically by rewarding them rather than punishing them. As we have seen, when the government attempts to do the latter, companies end up finding tax loopholes, hiding their money offshore, or simply moving their business operations to other countries.
Another view that Mr. Schutz has expressed is that Democrats are embracing “unrealistic programs like the Green New Deal and false promises like government-paid healthcare, free college, and jobs for all.” He recognizes that socialist programs are both impractical and immoral; socialist policies not the optimal solution for America’s problem with crony capitalism.
Howard Schultz represents a non-conservative rebuke to the progressive and socialist direction in which the Democratic Party is headed. This dichotomizes the left with progressive figures like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who is well known for proposing her Green New Deal. Many of the Democratic members of Congress who recognize a lack of ethical standards in the private sector propose tired solutions that would harm both the business owners, employees, and consumers. With his alternative solution to give ethical companies tax breaks, he explores the concept of rewarding good behavior by capitalists rather than leaping to punishment alone.
On the other hand, many of his other views may not be attractive to conservative folk, such as taking a populist approach to gun control policy, under exaggerating the number of illegal aliens who cross the southern border and opposing the GOP tax cut bill. This raises the question of why Democrats are so afraid of him. There are plenty of reasonable objections coming from the Republican side: a politician should not cave into the demands of stricter gun control policies just because a state majority said so, for example. He should air on the side of personal liberty and the preservation of our Second Amendment rights.
When Mr. Schultz first announced his potential candidacy as an independent, left-leaning media sites including the Washington Post and Vox immediately lost it over the potential candidacy, saying that “governing happens by and through parties.” The Washington Post even made the claim that, “Schultz is like a (very slightly) more personable but (much less) strategically savvy version of Trump.”
Many also claimed that Schultz’s candidacy would hand more votes over to President Trump in the 2020 election. Another Vox article written by Aaron Rupar claimed that, “Trump is so unpopular that he may need to split the Democratic vote to win in 2020.” Seeing that Schultz presents himself as a non-conservative but anti-socialist solution to America’s political and economic troubles, he could be seen as a threat to both parties. With younger Democrats moving further to the left, Schultz recognized that running with the Democratic Party would mean he would be silenced on the debate stage by more progressive, left-leaning candidates like Bernie Sanders or Kamala Harris.
Howard Schultz’s plan to incentivize ethical behavior in the private sector is something that Americans need and of which the Democratic Party does not seem to grasp to effectiveness. With the American dream being the prosperity and the hard work behind it, we should be incentivizing good behavior rather than purely seeking out the bad, and often punishing even the good in the process. Howard Schultz’s proposal of ethical capitalism presents a grave threat to the socialist approach to America’s economic and political dilemmas. For this reason, Democrats may find it wise to question where they are headed as a political party.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.