My views on Wal-mart and the company's effect on the standard of living within the United States varies drastically. I do not think that it is possible to say definitively whether or not their practices are positive or negative when it comes to the effect they have on the standard of living, however, we can measure their effect based on what has been seen in the time they have been open and attempt to foresee a trend.
Because the standard of living is used to refer to the level of material goods, necessities, comfort, and wealth available, I would have to argue that Wal-mart positively effects the standard of living. While it may not impact wealth, I do feel that the business strategy that Wal-mart implements makes goods and necessities more accessible to the populous. Because the items are offered at a lower price people of all economic levels are able to purchase more goods and more necessities, thus increasing the standard of living.
As for Wal-mart's business strategy, it is not wholly unique. Their strategy is to demand lower prices from their suppliers so that they can pass on those savings to the consumer. The supplies to comply and offer the largest cuts are often featured in higher supply within the store, suppliers who do not wish to lower their prices are simply not featured. Many companies including but not limited to K-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowes all practice this same formula. The difference is that Wal-mart is successfully pushing their products.
If you were to say then that Wal-mart's strategies are not fair then you would have to in turn look at all the companies that follow the same general strategy to be successful. Keeping in mind that there are very few companies who do not use any form of imported product or machinery for production, that there are more companies who haggle with supplies for low prices than not, and nearly all companies have the same goal to grow both prolifically and wealth.
While I as a person do not agree...
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