The Home Depot Bitch Slap

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by bugscoe, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Stop Bashing Business, Mr. President
    If we tried to start The Home Depot today, it's a stone cold certainty that it would never have gotten off the ground.
    OCTOBER 15, 2010

    ..."For more than two years the country has listened to your sharp rhetoric about how American businesses are short-changing workers, fleecing customers, cheating borrowers, and generally “driving the economy into a ditch,” to borrow your oft-repeated phrase.

    My question to you was why, during a time when investment and dynamism are so critical to our country, was it necessary to vilify the very people who deliver that growth? Instead of offering a straight answer, you informed me that I was part of a “reckless” group that had made “bad decisions” and now required your guidance, if only I’d stop “resisting” it.

    I’m sure that kind of argument draws cheers from the partisan faithful. But to my ears it sounded patronizing. Of course, one of the chief conceits of centralized economic planning is that the planners know better than everybody else…

    …Your insistence that your policies are necessary and beneficial to business is utterly at odds with what you and your administration are saying elsewhere. You pick a fight with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, accusing it of using foreign money to influence congressional elections, something the chamber adamantly denies. Your U.S. attorney in New York, Preet Bahrara, compares investment firms to Mexican drug cartels and says he wants the power to wiretap Wall Street when he sees fit. And you drew guffaws of approving laughter with your car-wreck metaphor, recently telling a crowd that those who differ with your approach are “standing up on the road, sipping a Slurpee” while you are “shoving” and “sweating” to fix the broken-down jalopy of state.

    A little more than 30 years ago, Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, Pat Farrah and I got together and founded The Home Depot. Our dream was to create (memo to DNC activists: that’s build, not take or coerce) a new kind of home-improvement center catering to do-it-yourselfers. The concept was to have a wide assortment, a high level of service, and the lowest pricing possible.

    We opened the front door in 1979, also a time of severe economic slowdown. Yet today, Home Depot is staffed by more than 325,000 dedicated, well-trained, and highly motivated people offering outstanding service and knowledge to millions of consumers.

    If we tried to start Home Depot today, under the kind of onerous regulatory controls that you have advocated, it’s a stone cold certainty that our business would never get off the ground, much less thrive. Rules against providing stock options would have prevented us from incentivizing worthy employees in the start-up phase—never mind the incredibly high cost of regulatory compliance overall and mandatory health insurance. Still worse are the ever-rapacious trial lawyers…"

  2. Strange, Home Depot has a huge number of stores in Canada, all with health insurance, all with high regulatory compliance. Perhaps he's concerned about Obama's creation of trial lawyers or Obama's restriction of stock options?
  3. Canadian provinces provide health insurance to all residents, not employers.

  4. Obama opines that people don't listen to him because the "people" are stupid.

    Of course this is my cliff note version of a recent NY Times article.
  5. Well Canadian provinces have been found to be MORE competitive by automakers because they provide health care. But the Republican argument has been that these "socialist" programs cost employers and put them out of business.

    But you make a good point, that there are different structures. So let's look at Hawaii, which has had an Obamacare like program for years where the employers have been required to provide health care -- and Home Depot has a 130,000 sq. foot location there, plus another location.

    Odd that a company which could not start under those conditions, started under those conditions.
  6. Home Depot started in Canada? Or did you mean Hawaii? I thought it started in Atlanta, GA.
  7. Ricter


    Not even discussing the bitch slapping they have been giving their employees for the past decade, including lay offs, which puts them squarely in the same camp as most of the rest of the big box stores, they are the ones who got the bitch slap, to the tune of $60+ million iirc back in the late 90s.

    These guys are posturing, and I think it's PR because they've got Lowe's breathing down their backs now.
  8. Ahhh yes, because it cant be that they are simply telling the truth about what they think and feel... those insidious successful people MUST be lying!!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE COMMRADE!!!

  9. Ricter


    Not good enough. Criminals can be successful. Not saying the founders of THD are that, but only that they are not the saints they think they are. They caught the DIY movement at the right time, thanks to the fact that many average families can no longer [afford to] hire those tasks out.
  10. They seem to be starting stores just fine in areas with health care and regulation.

    But perhaps your interpretation that he means that young businesses will be unable to start in Hawaii, and his business is mature and therefore IS able to start massive ventures in these economically inhospitable areas. That would mean that Hawaii would have a great deal of unemployment. Except it has about 30% less unemployment than more bootstrappy states, like Georgia.
    #10     Oct 16, 2010