Ending the Starbucks ‘Pay-It-Forward’ Cult, for America

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My new American hero is Peter Schorsch. He should be yours too.

Peter Schorsch did something for our nation that took courage and conviction. He knew he'd be assaulted for it, and he did it anyway and then stood by his actions. Even bragged about it. He held to his convictions and said he'd do it again, no matter how unpopular it made him. Peter Schorsch did what we all thought about doing but didn't have the guts.

Peter Schorsch ended the pay-it-forward guilt chain at a Starbucks drive-thru.

The pay-it-forward cult has popped up a few times over the past few months and the concept (like most evil, totalitarian ideologies) is simple and appears altruistic: Pay for your over-priced beverage and pay for the guy in line behind you. Then the next guy does the same, and so on …

Eventually, someone calls the media and gets free publicity for Starbucks by getting local TV to cover the human interest story that is supposed to make us all feel great about humanity. Here's USA Today‘s contribution reporting on an 11-hour scheme in Florida that ended after 378 lemmings plunged off the coffee-stained cliff:

An act of kindness at a Starbucks drive-thru in Florida inspired an 11-hour chain of paying-it-forward.

A woman drove up and paid for her own iced coffee at 7 a.m. Wednesday at a St. Petersburg store, and also asked to pay for a caramel macchiato for the driver behind her, who then did the same for the next customer.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Leap forward to the final graph:

At 6 p.m., the 379th customer ended the chain by ordering a coffee and declining to pay for the next one.  Nguyen says he doesn't believe that final customer understood the pay-it-forward concept.

Think about that arrogance for a minute.

Of course! Because if ONLY he had understood the concept, surely he would have gone along with the scheme. After all, 378 others did. What the heck is wrong with that guy? He must have been dumb or something.

I thought this was supposed to be charity. I thought this was supposed to be an "act of kindness" in USA Today‘s words. If that's the case, well, maybe number 379 understood exactly what the "concept" was and he decided he could use a free latte instead of feeling forced to buy the next guy's coffee drink.

Which brings us to my hero, Peter Schorsch.

Not only did he "understand the pay-it-forward concept," he understood its evil nature and deliberately put an end to it, for the sake of our nation. He later bragged about it on his blog. After explaining the pay-it-forward concept he then blew apart the idea that the entire scheme is rooted in "generosity":

That’s not generosity, that’s guilt.

When a new "Pay It Forward" chain started today, I decided to put an end to it. Not because I am against paying it forward, but because whatever is going on Starbucks is not paying it forward. It may even be a nice thing, but it’s the charitable concept "Pay It Forward" is supposed to be about.

So, yes, I drove to the Starbucks, purchased two Venti Mocha Frappuccinos (one for me and my wife) and, even though someone in front of me had paid for one of my drinks, I declined the barista’s suggestion to pay for the drink of the person next in line.

Chain broken.

Now, let’s get back to dumping ice water over our heads for a good cause.

P.S. I gave the baristas a $100 tip just to prove that I am not a 100% grinch.

P.P.S. The only concept worse than a faux act of generosity, is the local media hyping it.

Boom! Drop that mic and exit stage right, Mr. Schorsch.

ABC News got some more words of wisdom from my hero on the insidious, socialist nature of the pay-it-forward cult:

"It just seems like a First World problem to me. Middle-class people sitting in their cars at a drive-thru, sipping a $5 drink and worrying about someone breaking the ranks," Schorsch said.

"Also, I got a $6 Venti Frappuccino. Someone might just get a $2 coffee," Schorsch said. "This is unfair to that person who paid for me."

Preach, Peter, preach. He's been called a saboteur, but I call him a patriot.