Thursday, September 08, 2005

Reflection on Floodweiser

Why did private enterprise appear so ready in the face of catastrophe compared to government? One reason is our lower expectation. Companies like Wal-Mart and Anheuser-Busch aren't required to do anything, so whatever they contribute (click on the image for an example, via Boing Boing) tends to reflect very well on them. By contrast, to paraphrase Tom Delay's floor speech this afternoon, it's hard to provide for whole populations after a crisis, as government (along with the Red Cross, etc.) is expected to do.

This difference in expectations should not, I think, excuse the government's inadequacies, nor should it diminish the laudable actions of corporate donors.

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