Starbucks Corp. CEO Howard Schultz interview on Marketplace [the broken link was removed]
the company is deeply-rooted in a sensibility and trying to build the company with a conscience primarily, I think, defined by the fact that we did something in 1989 and 1990 that had never been done before, which was creating a program in which we had comprehensive health insurance for all employees including part-timers and created a mechanism for equity in the form of stock options
What about those that believe you should cut spending on employees, since health care, for example, is so expensive?
So many companies talk about how people are the companies most important asset, so few act that way.
In the interview, Mr. Schultz he talks a good deal about the health care problem in the USA – declared a deadly disease by Dr. Deming in the 1980’s.
Well, to put it in perspective, for three consecutive years now, we have faced double-digit increases from the year before. And when I talked to my peers or other people running significant businesses in America if it’s not the top two or top three issue it’s in the top five of the most significant challenges on a go forward basis. So I think you’re seeing an outcry of businesses across the country, large and small, not to mention the up to 50 million people who don’t have health insurance, and we have to solve this problem. And this is not something that’s going to go away, it’s something that’s only going to get worse, and it’s also making America a . . . putting us in a deeply competitive subordinate position globally because we’re dealing with countries whose citizens do have health insurance.
He is exactly right. It is a difficult issue to address but after 30 years of excuses it is time for people to get past declaring it difficult and get to work instituting workable improvements. It won’t be easy but the harm caused by refusing to deal with the issue is to large for us to bear. The risk to the economy of continuing to fail to address this issue are huge.