Wal Mart and Country Wide Poverty Ever since its existence, much controversy and debate have surrounded the benefits and downfalls of the Wal Mart corporation within society.The purpose of this precis is to summarize the article “Wal-Mart and Country-Wide Poverty” by Stephen J.Gotez and Hema Swaminathan.
“Wal Mart” is the most successful “Big box” retailer in the world with 4750 stores worldwide and 3,600 in the United States. Much of its success arises from the fact that it offers lower prices to consumers.
At face value this is a good thing because it makes consumer goods more easy to purchase, therefore encouraging people to spend money and stimulate the economy. This has been proven to reduce annual inflation rates, lower the absolute poverty threshold and contribute to economy-wide productivity gains. Unfortunatley, the price of this is destroying up and coming “mom and pop” small buisineses that find it difficult to compete with larger corporations such as wal mart. By doing this, they are taking away meaningful employment from many people.
Some of these people include the wholesalers for these small companies, employees and of course the business owners themselves. All of whom have invested a lot of time, money and effort only to be put out of a job. The ironic part is that most of these unemployed individuals are turning to Wal Mart itself to replace their former jobs, as Wal Mart employs about 2% of the average countries workforce. Unfortunatley, these jobs often pay low wages, and offer part time work rather than full time work. This results in many people failing to earn enough money to make ends meet.
As a result, the poor and unemployed are living from government income such as EI and Welfare for survival. This is a problem because these services are paid for indirectly by the taxpayers of the country. Furthermore, the government could be putting that tax money towards things that could advance themselves as a nation, such as education, healthcare and scientific developments. It seems that by failing to accommodate the public with available work, we are slowing down overall progress towards a brighter future and better society.
In sum, while Wal Mart offers lower prices and increased convenience to the public, we must remember to read between the lines and realize that there is more to the story than this. We as a society must decide if the cost for convenience is too great to be paid, and if not, then what can we do about it? Reading articles such as this will provide consumers with valuble insight towards “Big box companies” and encourage thinking with a “sociological mind” when choosing where to shop.