It must've been 10 years ago, at a convention of opinion makers. Emphasis on convention. Because so many in the commentariat are followers. Especially modern editorialists and columnists. "Convention" might be the best way to describe their meetings.
We remember an all-so-with-it writer of some note, straight outta central casting. Had all the right leftist views. All the right leftist positions. All the right leftist biases. And she held those biases close. Even without cause.
Who needs cause when you have motive?
This particular person mentioned, loudly and proudly, that she'd never set foot in a Walmart. Ever. For any reason.
We think she was attempting to boast.
Supposedly there is some stock in certain quarters that makes avoiding Walmart a sign of a clear intellect and a quality character. It just wouldn't do to be caught in the aisles of that Arkansas corporation. What if the neighbors saw?
Then there are 99 percent of Americans. Majority doesn't imply propriety, but like they said about Elvis, 50 million fans can't be wrong. (Elvis being another entity that would embarrass our betters.)
Then this covid-19 mess hit the world. And Walmart makes the news. Again. It's a remarkable story. So we will remark.
As the federal government preps to send $1,000 checks, maybe $1,200 checks, out to the masses, one corporation is planning to send out a quarter of that to its employees as bonuses, right now.
Bonuses. At times like these.
The papers say this will cost the company about $550 million. According to CNBC:
"The nation's largest grocer said Thursday its special cash bonuses will total more than $365 million. Walmart's full-time hourly associates will get a $300 bonus and part-time hourly associates will get a $150 bonus. The bonuses will be paid out April 2 and every hourly associate employed by the company as of March 1 will qualify.
"The retailer is accelerating the payout of its next scheduled quarterly bonuses for store, club and supply chain employees. It will pay that planned $180 million of bonuses in late April, a month earlier than planned. At the usual time for those quarterly bonuses in May, employees may get an additional increase based on performance."
Dan Bartlett is among the top brass at Walmart. He told the news channel that the company's employees are "performing Herculean efforts" in the food supply chain. And from what we saw over the weekend at one location in central Arkansas, he's under-selling them.
"It is, quite frankly, unprecedented," he said, "the type of sustained pressure that we're seeing. It is like Black Friday day after day after day in some respects."
You'll remember that Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States. And it's about to grow, too.
Walmart said that it will hire 150,000 new workers--or, as the company calls them, associates--between now and the end of May, to keep up with demand.
Somebody said that unemployment could spike to 20 percent during this crisis. So that's 150,000 fewer people who'll have to call on unemployment insurance.
Sure, the jobs will be temporary. But who's complaining? If Homo faber, man the inventer, has his way, this covid-19 virus will be temporary, too.
Businesses are being closed all over the nation, all over the world, just now. Still, some businesses--like Walmart, Amazon, pizza delivery joints--are seeing more demand, not less.
It's one thing to stay in business during a pandemic. It's another to exceed all expectations of customers and employees. We would say that Walmart has outpaced the problem. But a better word might be outshine.
Editorial on 03/24/2020
Print Headline: Walmart