Progressive Wal-Mart. Really.

Topics: Joseph Stiglitz, Wal-Mart Pages: 2 (671 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Former bureau chief for the Economist, Sebastian Mallaby writes in defense of a large retailer in his essay, Progressive Wal-Mart. Really. Through his essay he explains that through the continual campaigns against the large corporation, Wal-Mart has been and still remains a benefit to working Americans seeking affordable goods. He elaborates on the crusade of Anti-Wal-Mart campaigns looking to paint the business as a detestable parasite, when all the company has done is keep costs low and earnings for its shareholders high while trying to defeat competitors, just as any company would.

“A progressive success story.” Mallaby offers a few words from Jason Furman of New York University in description of the company so many know as Wal-Mart. Using his key points in defense of his own, Mallaby continues in offering from Furman, that if one counted not only the discounts shoppers save on the food but the other products found in the store, savings might likely pass $200 billion every year. Such a number is a considerable amount to anyone, but its no doubt a savings that low income families would not likely pass up, because as Mallaby puts it, “The average Wal-Mart customer earns $35,00 a year” A significant gap when being compared to other retailers, their customers raking in anywhere from $50,000 to $74,000 a year.

Mallaby proposes that when one looks to the savings being made for shoppers to salaries of their employees, of course the most important aspect is the shoppers, not merely that, but employee treatment is debatable. “Wal-Mart’s pay and benefits can be made to look good or bad depending on which other firms you compare them to” Mallaby says, using 8,000 applications received at a newly opened warehouse in Arizona as evidence for the stores high appeal despite the spreading of word to suggest that the pay is undesirable— unjust. Attempting to display fairness, he offers a hypothetical acceptance of an estimated loss to employee earnings; however, he...
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