Amount Starbucks expects to spend this year on health insurance for its 80,000 U.S. employees—more than it spends on on raw materials to brew its coffee. The company’s chairman, Howard Schultz, made the observation at a meeting last week with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash. Schultz says Starbucks has faced double-digit increases in insurance costs each of the last four years. “It’s completely nonsustainable,” he said, even for companies like his that “want to do the right thing.” “I would hope congressional leaders put this at the front of their agenda,” Schultz said. “Every single American needs to have access to health insurance, full stop.”
Percentage of wireless users in a recent survey by In-Stat who would find some form of advertising on their cell phones to be acceptable. Of that group, roughly half said they were open to having advertisers subsidize the cost of premium services like directory assistance, ringtones and text messaging. The survey also revealed some openness to location-based ads and opt-in advertising—particularly the latter. “Over a third of respondents indicated they would be willing to provide their carrier or advertisers with personal preferences in order to receive targeted advertising messages,” said an In-Stat analyst.