Sunday, September 11, 2005

The real economy vs. the political economy

The giant supplier has supplied, with a vengeance.

A small part of the story...
Wal-Mart's response to Katrina -- an unrivaled
$20 million in cash donations, 1,500* truckloads
of free merchandise, food for 100,000 meals and
the promise of a job for every one of its
displaced workers -- has turned the chain into an
unexpected lifeline for much of the Southeast and
earned it near-universal praise at a time when
the company is struggling to burnish its image.

The Bentonville, Ark., company is rushing to set
up mini-Wal-Marts in storm-ravaged areas, handing
out clothing, diapers, baby wipes, toothbrushes
and food. With police escorts, it delivered two
truckloads of ice and water into New Orleans. It
is shipping 150 Internet-ready computers to
shelters caring for evacuees.

During a tearful interview on "Meet the Press"
on Sunday, Aaron F. Broussard, president of
Jefferson Parish in the New Orleans suburbs, told
host Tim Russert that if "the American government
would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded,
we wouldn't be in this crisis."

Not everything has gone perfectly for Wal-Mart.
Several of its New Orleans stores were looted,
and 126 of its stores in the region have been
closed at some point. About 20 remain that way.
"We did not try to stop the looting or take
merchandise out" of the stores, company
spokeswoman Mona Williams said in an e-

Full article.

*Correction: 100 trucks.

So you don't want a Wal-Mart in your neighborhood?

Maybe you'd rather have FEMA...
FEMA will not allow any of the kitchen
facilities in any of the cabins to be used by the
occupants due to fire hazards. FEMA will deliver
meals to the cabins. The refugees will be given
two meals per day by FEMA. They will not be able
to cook. In fact, the “host” goes on to explain,
some churches had already enquired about whether
they could come in on weekends and fix meals for
the people staying in their cabin. FEMA won’t
allow it because there could be a situation where
one cabin gets steaks and another gets hot dogs -

it could cause a riot.

It gets worse.

And, of course, all that Wal-Mart did is good for
business. Very good.

They have customers.

FEMA has prisoners. Why the fuck would they care
what prisoners think of them?

Now, who would you want on your block?