Oh, Just Buy a Cup of Joe If You Want to Stimulate the Economy

The coffee place is at it again:

Starbucks hopes customers will be willing to pay at least $5 more when they stop in for their morning cup of Joe.

Starting Nov. 1, Starbucks will begin collecting donations of $5 or more from customers to stimulate U.S. job growth through its “Jobs for USA” program. The Seattle-based coffee chain is collaborating with the Opportunity Finance Network, a nonprofit that works with nearly 200 community development financial institutions to provide loans to small businesses and community groups. Starbucks says 100 percent of the donations will go toward loans for firms and organizations that can add jobs or stem job losses.

Those of you who know me know that I am a Starbucks fan.  But this is ridiculous.  In all fairness, though, they’re on to something important: credit for small businesses has dried up since 2008.  That’s one reason (along with the regulatory maze) why our economy cannot find its footing these days.  Our banks consider small businesses as too risky to loan to as they go another around of shaky real estate loans.

The credit system is skewed badly, which is the reason why we got into this mess and a major reason why we cannot seem to get out of it.  What we need to do is to fix our credit allocation system rather than beg for $5.00 donations along with the $4.00 latté.

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