The news this week was full of coverage of the rescue of 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped 2,000 feet underground for 69 days.
According to one article on the rescue,
Many agencies and companies around the world contributed expertise or products related to the rescue, from a high-calorie liquid diet, donated by NASA, to suppress motion sickness in the miners as they ascended; to iPods donated by Apple, which the miners were to receive when they emerged. Gifts for their families donated by unions, companies and individuals have ranged from food and clothing to sexy lingerie, wine, toys and children’s Halloween costumes.
The gift that has received the most attention, though, has been the Oakley Radar sunglasses that were donated to help the miners’ eyes during the period of readjustment to light levels on the surface.
Did Oakley make the donation (valued at $6300) out of the goodness of their heart or purely in a gambit to get media attention?
Bottom line – it doesn’t matter. Regardless of the reason Oakley made the donation, the miners got something that will help them at no cost to them. No laws were broken and no one had to be forced to make it happen.
Capitalism leads to better things for all – those in need and those looking to fill a need. It’s nice to see that this time it was noticed, but there are millions of times each year that similar things happen that don’t get reported on by the Associated Press.
That’s okay, but keep it in mind the next time you hear some talking head or politician promoting the need to take more from businesses by taxation or regulation. Good businesses already do a lot. Bad ones will ultimately go out of business. The market (you, me, our friends and neighbors making purchasing decisions every day) does sort these things out over time.
As insurance professionals it’s pretty clear what needs our businesses meet. Every time our customers have a claim, need to get a mortgage, or just want to sleep well knowing they’re protected in case something happens we’re there for them. Remember that – and be proud of it – the next time someone asks what you do or attacks businesses in general.