Expensive coffee is my besetting sin. But the hugely successful Starbucks â€” which Iâ€™ve defended before â€” recently did something so oddly irksome that maybe Iâ€™ll get a handle on my occasional vice.
Starbucks offers a debit-card-like â€œcustomer cardâ€ that allows you to pay for your purchases in advance. Or to give coffee to the Starbucks addicts on your gift list.
This is a great marketing gimmick . . . to which Iâ€™ve never succumbed. So I had to read about the controversy from David Boaz of the Cato Institute in an article he wrote for the Wall Street Journal.
A friend of Davidâ€™s got a card. And he went to Starbucksâ€™s website to get it going. Starbucks offered to â€œcustomizeâ€ his card with a personalized motto that the website says would make the card â€œas unique as you are.â€
Davidâ€™s friend chose the motto â€œLaissez-faire.â€
That means â€œleave us alone.â€ Itâ€™s the living expression of tolerance and lack of regulation, often used in conjunction with free-market capitalism.
Great slogan. I use it. It fits with other ideas of tolerance I have, too, the common, more liberal ones about free speech and such.
Unfortunately, Starbucks wouldnâ€™t print the slogan. It was rejected.
They let plenty of leftist political slogans see printing, but not â€œlaissez-faireâ€!
It makes me want to leave Starbucks alone.
Hmmm . . . Starbucks has competitors. Maybe Iâ€™ll try one.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.