Monday, April 30, 2007

One more Wal-Mart post

In the epilogue of The Wal-Mart Effect, Charles Fishman does something very interesting: he simply quotes at length manufacturers laid off at a plant moved to China, under increasing pressure to lower prices fromWal-Mart. The quotes are, as you can image, quite moving; the former employees of Nelson's (which manufactures sprinklers) tell amazing tales, about, for instance, the bosses of Chinese plants visiting their plant (at the behest of their boss, of course) with video cameras, learning how they did their job so they could snatch them away. I particularly liked one employee's answer, when asked if he still shops at Wal-Mart:

"Unfortunately, sometimes I have to. They have things cheaper than other people. I can't afford to pay $2 more for something. [...] The average person doesn't understand the consequences of these low prices. I went to get a spatula at Wal-Mart. They had six or eight different spatulas. I looked at every one of them; there was only one made in the United States. It was $1 more. I bought it. I do what I can."

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