Skip to comments.Incredible Vision at Wal-Mart
Posted on 03/29/2008 6:44:19 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob
Im grateful to an article in the National Post on Friday, 28 March, by Colby Cost for bringing this item to my attention. It is about Wal-Mart, but has nothing to do with the legendary business model of that company. Or, does it?
As the article recites, shortly before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on 29 August 2005, Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart, send a memorandum to all the regional and store managers in the region about to be hit. His message said:
A lot of you are going to have to make decisions above your level. 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 is an incredible message. Normally, when a disaster strikes in any large organization and communications are cut off, the subordinates are expected to batten down the hatches, protect themselves and wait for instructions. Lee Scott told his people to do the exact opposite.
What model was he following? It was the military model. There are times in battle that communication is lost. The soldiers and squad leaders on the ground dont have the option to stand still and wait it out. Lives are on the line, and therefore they must act, even on partial or inadequate information.
The article mentioned how well the US Coast Guard functioned after Katrina. With speed and precision they set up rescue, triage, and transportation to functioning medical facilities outside the zone of destruction. How well did Wal-Mart do in this disaster?
Here is what the article says about that: In Kenner, La., an employee crashed a forklift through a warehouse door to get water for a nursing home. A Marrero, La., store served as a barracks for cops whose homes had been submerged. In Waveland, Miss., an assistant manager who could not reach her superiors had a bulldozer driven through the store to retrieve disaster necessities for community use, and broke into a locked pharmacy closet to obtain medicine for the local hospital.
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart trucks pre-loaded with emergency supplies at regional depots were among the first on the scene wherever refugees were being gathered by officialdom. Their main challenge, in many cases, was running a gauntlet of FEMA officials who didn't want to let them through. As the president of the brutalized Jefferson Parish put it in a Sept. 4 Meet the Press interview, speaking at the height of nationwide despair over FEMA's confused response: If [the U.S.] government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis.
The article refers to a study of private responses to the Katrina crisis by many businesses. Steven Horwitz, an economist at St. Lawrence University in New York, noted that other big box companies like Home Depot and Lowes handed out millions of dollars in inventory, for free, to people in desperate need.
I have one, large question about this story. Why hasnt it been reported before? Why didnt it make the cover of Time magazine, or a story on 60 Minutes?
The image which some social activists seek to apply to Wal-Mart is a large, impersonal corporation that has no interest in either the lives and welfare of its own employees, or the lives and welfare of the communities in which it locates. Of course, every time Wal-Mart opens a hiring office for an upcoming store, there are hundreds of applicants for every available job, If that fact was as widely reported as the rants of the social activists that image would not last very long.
But the real fight over Wal-Mart concerns unions. It is a non-union business. And unions are on the liberal, Democratic side of the political spectrum, as are about 80 percent of all reporters and editors. Now, it becomes clearer why this extraordinary story of the freedom to act that Wal-Mart gave its people, and how they used that, has not been widely reported.
Sometimes, the simple truth about a real situation can blow the invented story out of the water. And, we cannot have that, can we?
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About the Author: John Armor practiced in the US Supreme Court for 33 years. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu He is running for the 11th Congressional District of North Carolina.
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John / Billybob
It’s not been reported because that would put a positive twist on the ugly image the msm has painted on Walmart. Not to mention they wouldn’t want to distract from Bush causing Katrina in the first place.
Thanks, Billybob. If the masses knew that, they’d actually shop there more. Can’t have that, you know.
It isn’t just the Liberals, this article will throw a lot of Freepers into a rant mode too.
Thanks for the posting, Congressman Billybob. I don’t shop at Wal-Mart often, but I believe Mr. Sam Walton had true genius in leadership and marketing, and hardwired both traits into his company.
Wish they would carry more “made in USA” products, though.
Thankfully, Hillary Clinton was on their board of directors to make sure they did the right thing. < / sar >
Of course, the mainstram media is full of professional cynics who deliberately overlook anything positive about Walmart or any of the other named corporations. Their hate big business mentality dominates/edits over all -- which is why we can celebrate their demise.
Only in the U.S. Overseas it is unionized in many countries. In China, where the purpose of the unions is more to keep the workers in line, Wal-Mart has actually embraced them.
Great article. Wal-Mart is not the “fount of evil” that all leftists (and a lot of conservatives on this forum) paint them to be.
FEMA psychos the Coast Guard = FEMA psychos and the Coast Guard..
I’m embarassed to put the Coast Guard so close to FEMA.
I know it's all made in China. That's because the unions have made it impossible to make cheap crap appropriately priced in America.
If war breaks out, and China stops providing their goods, I have every confidence that the American people will be able to get our paper-drink umbrella, refrigerator magnet, and disposable razor factories up and running in a heartbeat.
Gabz, thought you might be interested.
There are a few things we get elsewhere, like fresh produce, but other than that I's sold on Walmart. IMO
Freepmail or ping me on the thread to be added to the John Armor for Congress ping list.
Not to be cynical but, crashed into the pharmacy to get drugs for the hospital? Riiiiight.
And they have completely adopted the “green” hoax. Of course there could be a demand for that sort of thing. But I just hate it. Can’t even find a decent light bulb there. I refuse to pay 8 bucks for an ugly light bulb.
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