With the economy in the dumps and people losing their jobs left and right, Wal-Mart may seem like a good buy. But is the discount megastore really good for America? Wal-Mart’s slogan “Save Money, Live Better” gives people a positive view of Wal-Mart. Its everyday low prices benefit millions of Americans. However, there is a bad bargain behind the scenes; the company puts people out of work and destroys local companies. Wal-Mart has become more than just a major retailer; it is an economic force, a cultural phenomenon and a lightning rod for controversy. Behind smile, Wal-Mart’s effect on the people and the economy is degenerative for the United States.
Not many people look behind that big, yellow smiley face that Wal-Mart shows on TV, and see what’s really happening. Wal-Mart is known as a one-stop shop that provides cheap and affordable merchandise, but the store actually makes money off the poor and simultaneously lowers their standard of living. The executives of the company understand the economy of the people, and they target the poor because it is most beneficial towards the company. Sam Walton, Wal-Mart founder, came up with the idea on how to make money off the poor. His formula was to buy cheap, sell for less and make his profit on high volume. He located his first stores in poor, rural areas, but for his method to work, he needed more customers. For this reason, Wal-Mart gives Americans bad jobs and pays them barely above minimum wage, so that they can only afford to shop at Wal-Mart (Featherstone 639). This formula works effectively and is circular, staying true to the expression “the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.” A large part of Americans are in the middle or lower class, and as such, are compelled to shop fiscally. Wal-Mart offers these low prices, and draws in more customers than other megastores, enabling them to garner more revenue to keep them in business. The executives’ pay minimum wage from what the company...
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