Up Against Wal-Mart
Topics: Employment, Wage, Poverty, Working class, Overtime / Pages: 5 (1246 words) / Published: Nov 8th, 2013

Disputes With the Wal
In the unstable society that we live in today, Wal-Marts’ affordable prices are eye-catching to the middle class in the United States. One of the biggest debates that come up when discussing Wal-Mart, a global supercenter, is if it really is as friendly and appealing as it appears. In Karen Olssons’ article “Up Against Wal-Mart,” she emphasizes her perception of the poor treatment that the employees receive at Wal-Mart and emphasizes the struggle that the everyday Wal-Mart supercenter employee goes through. Olsson, a senior editor at Texas Monthly, who has written for Slate, the Washington Post, and the New York Times Magazine, opposes the actions of Wal-Mart. In contrast to Olsson, Sebastian Mallaby, a columnist for the Washington Post and the former Washington bureau chief for the Economist, discusses how Wal-Mart holds benefits and low prices for its employees to make up for the arguable low income in his article “Progressive Wal-Mart. Really.” because of their every day low prices. He opposes Olssons’ opinion on the treatment of Wal-Mart employees and they both have varying opinions on the subject of gender equality and status equality within the Wal-Mart Corporation. One dispute that comes up in the conversation about Wal-Mart is the low wages that Wal-Mart employees receive. Olsson argues that Wal-Mart employees are underpaid and cannot survive with the paychecks they receive from the corporation. She points out that “[g]iven its staggering size and rapid expansion, Wal-Mart increasingly sets the standard for wages and benefits throughout the U.S. economy.” Olsson quotes Greg Denier who says, “Americans can’t live on a Wal-Mart paycheck,” (Olsson 608). The average paycheck for an hourly worker at Wal-Mart is under $20,000 while the corporation brings in over $6.5 billion in profits. Olsson suggests that the average employee of Wal-Mart struggles living on the hourly wages at Wal-Mart with very few benefits (608). On the other hand,



Cited: Mallaby, Sebastian. “Progressive Wal-Mart. Really.” They Say, I Say: Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. Ed. Gerald Graff. 2nd ed. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2012. 620-623. Print. Olsson Karen. “Up Against Wal-Mart.” They Say, I Say: Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. Ed. Gerald Graff. 2nd ed. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2012. 606-619. Print.

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