Article copyI'll risk a guess.
Maybe this policy explains why Starbucks, the U.S. coffee company that recently opened a few beachheads on the French front, is looked upon by the pompous elitist asses of the French iPhone-babbling, MacBook-clicking, Latte-sipping, Velib-ridding intelligentsia with a degree of fondness only consistent with the mindless hatred they direct towards another massive American actor of the global food industry, McDonalds—even though it was at first presented as a direct threat to the age old myriads of grubby Parisian grease pits called cafés, in which thousands of Japanese and American tourists consistently confuse brazen French drunkards on welfare and cheap white wine for post-modern philosophers deconstructing something or another or whatever:
Laissez-faire. It's a policy that made Starbucks vastly successful. But don't try to put that phrase on a customized Starbucks Card. (…) when my friend Roger Ream, president of the Fund for American Studies, received a Starbucks gift card for Christmas, he found there was a limit to how personalized a card could be. His card required him to customize it on the company's Web site. So he went to the site and requested that the phrase "Laissez Faire" be printed on his card. A few days later he was informed that the company couldn't issue such a card because the wording violated company policy.That's a good question indeed. Another good question1 is: how do you take your coffee? Black, cream, or Socialist?—after all, it seems Starbuck is doing what every sensible, Laissez-faire Capitalism venture does:
Is the phrase "laissez-faire" threatening? Only to officious bureaucracy, I would think. So, it must be that the phrase is considered to be "inappropriate" by corporate Starbucks.
Maybe Starbucks considers the phrase inappropriate because it's "overtly political commentary"? Certainly my friend regards it as a firm statement of political philosophy.
And so, at my suggestion, my friend went back to the Web site and asked that his card be issued with the phrase "People Not Profits." Bingo! Starbucks had no problem with that phrase, and the card arrived in a few days.
I wondered just what the company's standards were. If "laissez-faire" is unacceptably political, how could the socialist slogan "people not profits" be acceptable?
Catering for its known customer base.