Thursday, January 13, 2005

Economics of Wal-Mart

Consumer choices are a part of lifestylism that I haven't been talking about much, aside from the usual "buying more stuff doesn't make you happy" thing. But we all do buy stuff, and I've come to think that it's important to think about the impact of those purchases. This fascinating look at the economics of Wal-Mart is a great starting point if you're thinking about making purchasing decisions only on price alone:
"Wal-Mart has also lulled shoppers into ignoring the difference between the price of something and the cost. Its unending focus on price underscores something that Americans are only starting to realize about globalization: Ever-cheaper prices have consequences. Says Steve Dobbins, president of thread maker Carolina Mills: 'We want clean air, clear water, good living conditions, the best health care in the world--yet we aren't willing to pay for anything manufactured under those restrictions.'"

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