Monday, March 31, 2008

So Wal-Mart is nothing but a big, bad, greedy corporation...

Who did more to aid the victims of Katrina than any other organization, government run (FEMA) or privately run (Red Cross)!

Colby Cosh, National Post Published: Friday, March 28, 2008
Scott Morgan/Getty Images

Shortly before Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast on the morning of Aug. 29, 2005, the chief executive officer of Wal-Mart, Lee Scott, gathered his subordinates and ordered a memorandum sent to every single regional and store manager in the imperiled area. His words were not especially exalted, but they ought to be mounted and framed on the wall of every chain retailer -- and remembered as American business's answer to the pre-battle oratory of George S. Patton or Henry V.

"A lot of you are going to have to make decisions above your level," was Scott's message to his people. "Make the best decision that you can with the information that's available to you at the time, and above all, do the right thing."

This extraordinary delegation of authority -- essentially promising unlimited support for the decision-making of employees who were earning, in many cases, less than $100,000 a year -- saved countless lives in the ensuing chaos.

The results are recounted in a new paper on the disaster written by Steven Horwitz, an Austrian-school economist at St. Lawrence University in New York. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency fumbled about, doing almost as much to prevent essential supplies from reaching Louisiana and Mississippi as it could to facilitate it, Wal-Mart managers performed feats of heroism.

I couldn't agree with this next section MORE and I cannot understand how ANYONE can't see this main point...privatization is ALWAYS the better choice, for the simple fact that private businesses/industries MUST produce results or they will DOOM themselves! It's a natural incentive, where government has NONE!

What happens when government can't finish the job on time? They allocate MORE of our tax dollars to waste trying to finish or accomplish their goal (which ultimately NEVER ends)!

No one who is familiar with economic thought since the Second World War will be surprised at this. Scholars such as F. A. von Hayek, James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock have taught us that it is really nothing more than a terminological error to label governments "public" and corporations "private" when it is the latter that often have the strongest incentives to respond to social needs.

A company that alienates a community will soon be forced to retreat from it, but the government is always there. Companies must, to survive, create economic value one way or another; government employees can increase their budgets and their personal power by destroying or wasting wealth, and most may do little else.

Companies have price signals to guide their productive efforts; governments obfuscate those signals.

Yet we continue to here how bad corporations like Wal-Mart and Starbucks all they care about is "making a profit"...umm...YEA! News flash for those who don't yet get it, businesses don't go into business simply to provide jobs! If they don't make a profit, they won't be around for very long!!

Businesses such as Wal-Mart also help communites thrive and many survive, not only because they offer reasonable pricing, but most importantly because they provide numerous jobs! I know of more than one small town in Texas that was on the verge of disappearing because those in the community had no way to earn an income...then Wal-Mart came to town and provided jobs, enabling many to STAY in their home town rather than move away to the "city" to seek employment!

You know...for those who like to complain so much about the "pay and benefits" of corporations such as Wal-Mart and Starbucks, know one is FORCING anyone into slave labor - don't like what you are getting paid, think you are worth more....the answer is simple, acquire new skills, educate yourself, apply some inititive and SEEK EMPLOYMENT ELSEWHERE!

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