On Thursday, Howard Schultz delivered his first public address since announcing he is considering running for president, spending most of the 30-minute speech blaming party politics for America’s problems.
The former Starbucks CEO provided one of the most detailed glimpses into his positions on political issues yet, addressing a crowd of students and faculty at Purdue University. The discussion ranged from immigration to healthcare and workforce training to gun violence.
Schultz’s comments on immigration reform, jobs, the economy, and taxes reveal a clearer picture of where he stands on would some of the cores issues for the technology industry. In each case, Schultz offers a centrist alternative to the solutions proposed by liberals and conservatives.
Here’s how Schultz frames the issues:
Immigration: “We must enact common-sense immigration reform that a majority of Americans already say they want. Investments in border security, a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and a modernized immigration system that attracts and retains the best and brightest people from all over the world who will contribute positively to our economy and our culture.”
Jobs: “Today, not enough Americans are trained for the jobs of tomorrow. The far left is promising guaranteed government jobs. The far right has touted the stock market as a proxy for economic health, ignoring the millions of people without employment, employable skills, or access to good jobs. The truth, once again, is that America does not lack jobs, we lack the skills for the jobs of tomorrow and today. What’s the solution? We must invest in lifelong learning as a country and increase access to vocational training and apprenticeships. When people have skills the market demands, they can find and get good paying jobs and earn success.”
Taxes: “Today our tax code is unfair and too complicated yet we have been living with it for so many years because the broken two-party system does not want to fix it. It’s not in their interest. The code is full of loopholes and carveouts bought and paid for by special interest groups … I myself should be paying higher taxes. All wealthy American should have today their fair share.”
Trump: “There are critics who condemn me for even thinking about running outside of the two-party system for fear that it would lead to President Trump’s re-election. Respectfully, here’s my response to that. Trump must not serve a second term. And as I explore whether to run for office I’ll do so with the conviction that my final decision must not make his re-election a possibility. I can assure you, no one wants Donald Trump fired more than I. I also believe there are millions of Republicans who do not want to re-elect Donald Trump but given the choice between him and a far-left Democrat, I believe Trump would win re-election.”