The head of the nation’s largest retailer recently sat down with TIME‘s Eben Shapiro to talk about how the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected his business. And during the conversation, the suggestion was made that it is long past time to “reinvent capitalism.”
According to Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, the “right thing to do” is to press onward towards what many are calling the Great Reset, or the New World Order, because it will make businesses like Walmart “stronger” while “doing good for our world.”
“We simply won’t be here if we don’t take care of the very things that allow us to exist: our associates, customers, suppliers, and the plant,” McMillon explained. “That’s not up for debate.”
McMillon believes that the old ways of doing business under shareholder or state capitalism are outdated and need to be replaced with stakeholder capitalism, which is outlined in another TIME article.
In essence, stakeholder capitalism would make private corporations like Walmart trustees of society rather than mere dividend generators for shareholders.
Stakeholder capitalism is said to be more sustainable and balanced than shareholder capitalism in that it would require corporations to pay their “fair share” of taxes, help to root out corruption, advocate for a level playing field in what is known as a “platform economy,” and protect workers throughout the global supply chain.
“Big problems don’t rest on the shoulders of government or corporations alone,” McMillon maintains.
McMillon insists it’s not “too much to ask people to wear a mask” inside Walmart stores
When the interview suddenly shifted to the topic of face masks, McMillon indicated that he understands that some people are unable to wear them for health reasons. However, he stopped short of expressing support for individual liberty on the matter.
McMillon believes that face coverings have been politicized, though he did not indicate which side he believes is doing the politicizing. He also said his team of employees exercises “great care” in handling store mask policies.
“Millions of customers pass through our stores each week, and we don’t think it’s too much to ask people to wear a mask when it comes to protecting one another,” he indicated, failing to mention the potential increased risk of developing bacterial pneumonia, for instance.
When further asked if he personally wears a face mask, McMillon says he does, adding that he appreciates his associates “doing it and doing it for so long.”
“We believe it has contributed to their safety and the safety of our customers,” he added, providing no evidence beyond his personal belief.
McMillon did not address any of the other problems that plague Walmart stores such as the deadly “superbugs” that were detected in many of the company’s pork products last year.
McMillon likewise did not address past incidents that gained national attention at his stores such as the time when elementary school students who decided to sing “God Bless America” at a location in Pembroke Pines, Fla., in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were kicked out of the store.
“All that mask wearing and we’re having the highest levels of coronavirus cases ever? How effective are the masks then?” asked one Climate Depot commenter after reading the transcript of McMillon’s interview.
“Not disagreeing with the sentiment that a business’ best interest is to do things in a least harmful manner. The question is, how and who defines what that is?” asked another, noting that if a business is not focused on maximizing return it will not stay in business for very long.
More of the latest news about the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) can be found at Pandemic.news.
Sources for this article include: