Wal-Mart delivered truckloads of supplies, including free prescription drugs, to those devastated by Hurricane Katrina almost immediately after the storm passed, rather than in the days—in some cases weeks—that it took government agencies to provide relief. The fundamental reason for such superior performance is that private ownership and the price system give competitive firms stronger incentives and better information on which to act quickly and flexibly during disasters.

Steven G. Horwitz was Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise and the Director of the Institute for the Study of Political Economy at Ball State University.
Business and EntrepreneurshipEconomic PolicyEconomyFree Market Economics
Other Independent Review articles by Steven G. Horwitz
Winter 2020/21 Crusoe and the Economists: An Accounting
Fall 2019 F. A. Hayek: Economics, Political Economy, and Social Philosophy
Fall 2017 Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy
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