Howard Schultz: Obama, Congress Should Not Vacation During a Crisis
Reuters – SHARON WAXMAN, TheWrap – Aug 17, 2011
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he has been “stunned” by the response to his call for a boycott on political donations in response to Washington’s poor handling of the debt-ceiling issue.
…Schultz told TheWrap that he has been deluged by emails and phone calls from corporate leaders and regular Americans in response to his call this week for a bipartisan ban on all political donations until a complete agreement on the debt deal is reached.
“What has surprised me the most is emails I’ve received from so many American people, working people,” he said. “These are people I don’t know, and will never meet who’ve lost their jobs, lost their house. These stories would make you cry. They don’t have a voice.”
The Washington brinksmanship resulted in a stopgap solution for increasing the debt ceiling that has angered the country and led to a downgrade in the nation’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s.
“What I’m trying to do is through the lens of bipartisanship send a signal about the need for civility, and the absolute sense of urgency that Congress or president don’t seem to have,” Schultz said.
“All those people should be in Washington. I don’t begrudge them a vacation — but not in a crisis.” Go to story
Government’s duty to protect the citizens from rogues and thieves
Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.14.17, text & purport:
The saintly persons continued: When the king protects the citizens from the disturbances of mischievous ministers as well as from thieves and rogues, he can, by virtue of such pious activities, accept taxes given by his subjects. Thus a pious king can certainly enjoy himself in this world as well as in the life after death.
The duty of a pious king is described very nicely in this verse. His first and foremost duty is to give protection to the citizens from thieves and rogues as well as from ministers who are no better than thieves and rogues. Formerly, ministers were appointed by the king and were not elected. Consequently, if the king was not very pious or strict, the ministers would become thieves and rogues and exploit the innocent citizens. It is the king’s duty to see that there is no increase of thieves and rogues either in the government secretariat or in the departments of public affairs. If a king cannot give protection to citizens from thieves and rogues both in the government service and in public affairs, he has no right to exact taxes from them. In other words, the king or the government that taxes can levy taxes from the citizens only if the king or government is able to give protection to the citizens from thieves and rogues.
In the Twelfth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.1.40) there is a description of these thieves and rogues in government service. As stated, prajas te bhakshayishyanti mleccha rajanya-rupinah: “These proud mlecchas [persons who are less than shudras], representing themselves as kings, will tyrannize their subjects, and their subjects, on the other hand, will cultivate the most vicious practices. Thus practicing evil habits and behaving foolishly, the subjects will be like their rulers.” The idea is that in the democratic days of Kali-yuga, the general population will fall down to the standard of shudras. As stated (kalau shudra-sambhavah), practically the whole population of the world will be shudra. A shudra is a fourth-class man who is only fit to work for the three higher social castes. Being fourth-class men, shudras are not very intelligent. Since the population is fallen in these democratic days, they can only elect a person in their category, but a government cannot run very well when it is run by shudras. The second class of men, known as kshatriyas, are especially meant for governing a country under the direction of saintly persons (brahmanas) who are supposed to be very intelligent. In other ages—in Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga and Dvapara-yuga—the general populace was not so degraded, and the head of government was never elected. The king was the supreme executive personality, and if he caught any ministers stealing like thieves and rogues, he would at once have them killed or dismissed from service. As it was the duty of the king to kill thieves and rogues, it was similarly his duty to immediately kill dishonest ministers in government service. By such strict vigilance, the king could run the government very well, and the citizens would be happy to have such a king. The conclusion is that unless the king is perfectly able to give protection to the citizens from rogues and thieves, he has no right to levy taxes from the citizens for his own sense gratification. However, if he gives all protection to the citizens and levies taxes on them, he can live very happily and peacefully in this life, and at the end of this life be elevated to the heavenly kingdom or even to the Vaikunthas, where he will be happy in all respects.