Reblogged from http://www.ihatestarbucks.com/why.php
Why do I, personally, hate Starbucks?
I have been getting this question a lot lately, and as tempting as it is to say “Why not?”, I’ll explain. First of all, before you go on reading this, I suggest that perhaps you do a little homework. Read about the start of the Industrial Revolution, the history of coffee, slavery, capitalism, colonialism, and the corporation.
Then, come back when you realize that Starbucks is not your friend. It doesn’t like you. It doesn’t want you to have a “third place”. It wants your money. It doesn’t do magnanimous things out of the goodness of its heart. It is trying to maximize profit and part of the way they do this is by selling a brand that “does good things for the people that pick beans”. Even if Starbucks follows these business practices with less than 1% of the coffee that they buy.
If you are still reading… I’ll continue.
Although I find it amusing that people want to know what my opinion is; I feel that it was more important to give other people a place to vent. See, I’m just one guy, there are thousands of people who have posted on the message boards. Their answers are online, too.
That notwithstanding, after numerous assaults on my intelligence (such winners as: “you can’t even get the order right on the front page” or “you can’t come up with a reason to hate starbucks”) I’ve decided to bite the bullet and ‘splain myself.
Personally, I hate them because their coffee sucks and they are everywhere. You can’t escape them.
However, there are plenty of other great reasons to hate Starbucks:
(Before the Starbuckers begin their rebuttals, yes I know they sell Fair Trade coffee. But why do they continue to sell Un-Fair Trade coffee? All the drinks are made with sweatshop style labor. The Fair Trade stuff is sold in bean form only, to go. The sales of Fair Trade make up less than 0.001 % of total sales for the company.)
Without further ado:
- The vast majority of the coffee is grown and picked using underpaid labor. (And yes, I know where coffee grows, but the underpaid bit is the part I am interested in.
- Starbucks is spreading across the world like a virus, infecting cultures with their formula of what a coffee shop should be.
- They are everywhere, not globally, that is #2, but as in the fact that they are across the street from each other.
- They have predatory business practices. Common practices are things like paying landlords to not renew leases for coffee shops so that they can move in.
- They sell fake corporate responsibility. Yes they claim to be responsible, but is this a profession of some deep seated value system, or a mirage to appeal to a segment of the market that is concerned with child labor and livable wages? This, I believe is a tactic, not a mission. The balance sheet is where the rubber meets the road on this issue. Even the late Milton Friedman agrees that corporations are not socially responsible and it is not within their range.
- Their coffee sucks. It is always bitter, this is in part because they over-roast their beans.
- The gross profit margin per store is, on average, 59.1%, therefore there is plenty of wiggle room for the company to pay more than a dollar a pound for coffee. (read: livable wage for their slave labor)
- Faux ecologic responsibility. This is part of their brand Kool-Aid that they want you to drink. Not reality. They are a corporation, not an NGO with people sitting in trees.
- False employee benefits. They give part time workers (20 hours per week) health insurance. However, I have received hundreds of emails from employees that consistently receive 19.75. 15 minutes shy of earning those costly benefits.
- The crap they sell is incredibly unhealthy. Get the nutritional information from their website, it is appalling. The Caramel Pecan Sticky Roll (which has more fat than a Big Mac) or even better (worse), the Eggnog Latte seems like a weapon of mass destruction.
- The Starbucks Ethiopian fiasco.
That is just a start. I don’t really have enough time to put up all the reasons.
If you want more reasons, I suggest you read the quarterly report (10Q) on the investor relations portion of their website, but do it with a calculator, and read between the lines.
The company publishes the reasons why you should hate them on their very own website.