The Cost of Wal-Marts Low Prices Should Not Be Too Costly - Essay Example

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The Cost of Wal-Marts Low Prices Should Not Be Too Costly

The essay "The Cost of Wal-Mart’s Low Prices Should Not Be Too Costly" analyzes the prices of Wal-mart. Wal-Mart helps the poor by providing low prices, but it can do better as an employer by offering competitive wage levels and benefits to its full-time workers, and promoting a culture of efficiency and equal opportunities, not unfair labor practices. Wal-Mart is good for the poor and the working class because it offers low prices and provides jobs, while being at par with other retailers in terms of Medicaid consumption. Wal-Mart, because of its sheer size, can maximize its economies of scale and scope to offer low prices every day. It is dedicated to driving down prices, so that it can pass its savings to consumers, and the effect is so large that Jason Furman of New York University compares Wal-Mart to a welfare program: “Wal-Mart's discounting on food alone boosts the welfare of American shoppers by at least $50 billion a year". The savings from shopping at Wal-Mart is significant enough, that consumers are saving billions of dollars every year. Aside from consumer savings, Wal-Mart is the world’s biggest retailer, so it is not surprising that it is the biggest private employer too. Olsson reports the extent of business and employment of Wal-Mart: “The company is the world's largest retailer, with $220 billion in sales, and the nation's largest private employer, with 3,372 stores and more than 1 million hourly workers”. The sales of the company enable it to hire millions of workers. ...Show more

Summary

The essay investigates the cost of Wal-mart. In “Up Against Wal-Mart,” Karen Olsson focuses on the weaknesses of Wal-Mart, particularly its low wages and poor benefits, as well as unethical and illegal management practices of anti-unionization and forcing workers to work overtime without pay…
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