Ken Langone, one of the founders of Home Depot, gives the President some tips in the Wall Street Journal.
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.
I’m a fan. I’m also a fan of his stores. Yes, they’ve caused local hardware stores to adjust their business model or close, but they’ve been a boon to the consumer and even small building/remodeling contractors. They are also a generous sponsor in the community of many community projects and events.