Howard Schultz. God bless him.
When last we left the chairman and chief executive of Starbucks, in mid-August, he had written a widely publicized e-mail lamenting the poisonous state of our nation’s politics. That led him to his first big idea: a call for a boycott of political contributions until Democrats and Republicans began to act in a nonpartisan way for the good of the country.
The idea had undeniable appeal. But it was also -- let’s face it -- pretty quixotic, fun to dream about but impossible to turn into reality.
Here we are two months later, and Schultz is back with Big Idea No. 2. It is every bit as idealistic as his first big idea, but far more practical. Starbucks is going to create a mechanism that will allow us citizens to do what the government and the banks won’t: lend money to small businesses. This mechanism is scheduled to be rolled out on Nov. 1. This time, Schultz is not tilting at windmills.