Major corporations have an essential role to play when natural disasters hit, in both direct relief efforts and over the longer term. As the tail end of Hurricane Harvey continues to batter an increasingly desperate Houston area, it’s worth remembering how much good big business can do in times of strife.
Wal-Mart is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to take on Amazon in the battle for retail market share. From patents for “floating warehouses” enabling drone delivery, to pick-up towers to improve in-store pick up, Wal-Mart is ensuring that it does not lag in the race. Taking these initiatives a step further, the company is now partnering with Google to offer its products for sale via Google’s voice assistant. Wal-Mart will integrate its products with Google Express, through which customers will be able to place voice orders and get personalized recommendations based on past orders. This appears to be a direct counter to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, which allows users to shop on Amazon via voice commands.
In the U.S., 61% of adults say they approve of labor unions, the highest percentage since the 65% approval recorded in 2003. The current labor union approval is up five percentage points from last year and is 13 points above the all-time low found in 2009. Historically, unions have enjoyed strong support from the American public. In 1936, 72% of Americans approved of labor unions. Union approval peaked in the 1950s when it reached 75% in 1953 and 1957.
– The New York Times
“The reality is that government, for a long period of time, has for whatever set of reasons become less functional and isn’t working at the speed that it once was. And so it does fall, I think, not just on business but on all other areas of society to step up.” That’s according to Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive. Read the rest of his commentary here.