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MLive continues its love affair with anyone named DeVos with today’s article

March 29, 2013

Earlier today, MLive ran a story announcing that Rick DeVos was named by GOOD Magazine as one of the, “100 People Pushing the World Forward.”Picture 2

The MLive article cites the CEO of GOOD, who states of the 100 people selected:

“They are each doing amazing work, and we believe that amplifying their voices will help move the needle on some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

First of all, Rick DeVos does not need his voice amplified, since the news and entertainment media have made sure that he and his projects are widely known. In fact, one would be hard pressed to go a week in West Michigan without hearing about ArtPrize or Start Garden.

Second, there is no real exploration of what GOOD Magazine is all about and what criterion they used to determine who the 100 People Pushing the World Forward are.

In looking at GOOD online, it seems to be another mechanism where people with tremendous amounts of privilege are identified as those “who give a damn.” However, what they give a damn about is never really clarified, but based on the case studies they present, one could certainly draw some conclusions.

These case studies are listed in the GOOD Corps section of the site, which states:

GOOD/CORPS partners with brands and organizations to help them do the same by transforming the values at the core of their identity into actionable solutions that improve both their business and the world.

Essentially, GOOD is a mechanism for people to do things to feel good about themselves, engage in small acts of charity or investment, while never having to critique or challenge the current economic system that perpetuates massive global inequity.

For instance, some of the GOOD Corps case studies are those that work in collaboration with Pepsi and Starbucks. Both companies are based on maximizing profits at all costs, whether those are social or environmental. Pepsi has contributed massively to poor public health by pushing their sugar water on children and communities around the globe, using up valuable water resources in communities that struggle to have access to fresh/potable water, as is well documented in Maude Barlow’s book, Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water.sbuxLogocat3

The Starbucks GOOD Corp project was identified as essentially a program created that allowed Starbucks customers to donate to local charities. Sounds very nice, unless you know something about Starbucks treatment of workers and their role in global politics.

The IWW union has been involved in a nasty battle for years with Starbucks, which has consistently tried to undermine efforts to form a union amongst the baristas. Starbucks has even fired people who talked about unionizing or attempting to do so while working as an employee.

Starbucks is also the target of the international Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment Campaign, since Starbucks not only does business with the State of Israel, but the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Shultz, has been a major support of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

These are issues that could have been easily explored by the MLive writer, instead of just cheerleading once again for Rick DeVos.

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