How Modern Capitalism Really Works

This is from the Oregonian via Division of labor

Big Boxes to the Rescue

On Wal-Mart et al. in the recent Northwestern deluge:

In cases of extreme weather and natural disasters, some of the nation’s largest retailers now behave like municipalities — sometimes better.

Retailers have created specialized divisions — or hired outside firms — to gird for emergencies. The goal: to speed recovery for customers, employees and ultimately sales.

No one is clear how many retailers operate internal emergency units, but the practice is now standard among the biggest players, including Target Corp. and Lowe’s Cos. Inc.

This past week, Wal-Mart donated a 40-foot tanker of potable water to Vernonia, [Oregon,] while up north Home Depot opened its still-waterlogged Chehalis store for the town’s Chamber of Commerce to pick up face masks and cleaning supplies free of charge.

Such coordination became clear during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when local governments praised initial responses from retailers as more expedient than those of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Division of Labor does not allow comments, but I so wanted to make a common not to send this article to Don Boudreau at Café Hayek of other libertarians . Because they seem to be believe the only way to get supplies to natural disaster victims is some guy in the back of a pick-up truck gouging them with high prices.