Facebook-Starbucks quandry

Some of my facebook friends are part of a group getting all in a dither about going to Starbucks on December 1, 2008 and ordering one of the company’s RED coffee drinks so that 5 cents goes to AIDS research, relief, and humanitarian aid.

Fine, good, and lovely. But am I the only one who thinks it’s a better idea to vow off expensive coffee for, say, a week, and send the proceeds, whole cloth, to AIDS research, relief, and humanitarian aid? Say, if I went out of my way to get overpriced coffee on December 1, 2008, and spent $4 on a chocolately espresso thing, they’d give 5 cents. Nice. If I sent that $4 to one of the charities at charitywatch.org, maybe most of that $4 would help. Five cents is a lot. Four dollars is eighty times more.

I think I’ll stay out of Starbucks on Monday. Not because I have taken to heart Ilene’s rejection of their business model (though I’ve always respected her view, and my frustration of their early assertion that the company was named after the firstmate in Moby Dick, whose alleged love of coffee is not supported by the text).

I’m not making a political statement here. I’m making a mathematical decision. And I’m sending at least $4 to AIDS relief on Monday, when I will be making coffee at home.

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