Wal-Mart Better Than the Government at Almost Everything

Who provided more help in the aftermath of Katrina, FEMA or Wal-Mart?  Take a guess:

Five years ago (2003), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (2007
sales of $387.69 billion) founded its emergency management department
at its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters. “The department’s planning
section produced detailed emergency procedures, including charts that
let store managers and employees flip quickly to advice on problems
ranging from electrical outages to animal infestations. A preparedness
group trained managers, response teams, and associates in executing the
plans they were given.”

Wal-Mart manager Ronny Hayes said, “When I went in
initially, I was thinking I need to determine the damage to our stores
and find out what’s the situation with our associates [employees]. But
after being there for a couple of hours, it totally shifted from that
to, oh my God, what can we do to help these people?”

Hayes asked Sheriff
Lee to go to the Harahan Wal-Mart. “If Lee’s deputies could secure the
building form further looting, he said, they could take whatever they
needed form the store. That same afternoon, Hayes and Hoover met with
Mayor Philip Capitano of Kenner, a community within Jefferson Parish,
and struck a similar bargain.” In exchange for securing the Kenner Wal
Mart, the police could fill pickup trucks and merchandise for city
workers and police. Hoover said, “I don’t think anybody was worried
about being paid for anything.”

“But beyond giving law enforcement
access to certain stores, Hayes and Hoover didn’t know what to do, and,
with the exception of Sheriff Lee and Mayor Capitano, the public sector
wasn’t giving them any direction. ‘At that point, [government
officials] were trying to get organized, with Jefferson Parish doing
one thing and the city New Orleans doing another thing and FEMA doing
their thing,’ Hayes recalls. ‘I was trying to figure out, how do we get
these groups together so that they can tell me how we can help them?’”

More evidence of the rampant greed and indifference to human suffering that pervades Wal-Mart at every level. That’s why we need the government to keep these vultures in check. If you don’t keep an eye on them, they’re liable to start doing something crazy like giving away food:

Responding to the economic downturn, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
plans to give more than 90 million pounds of fresh food annually to the
nation’s largest nonprofit organization addressing hunger, Feeding

The company will not seek a tax deduction for its gift … and thus could not estimate its dollar value.

Sweet mercy, have they no shame?

Leave a Reply