Wal-Mart has certainly changed the face of American retailing, and of American life, in the last couple decades. Perhaps a better concept is "polarization". There are those who love the low prices and convenience and there are those who see darker kinds of cause and effect at play and would rather boil in oil than patronize the place.
If you're of a mind to look a bit deeper into this retailing giant and make up your own mind about whether this nearly omnipresent retailer is good for America, there are a number of books and videos to assist you.
The Wal-Mart Effect, by Charles Fishman examines the workings of this monolithic company and its effect on modern America.
Wal-Mart bears a considerable amount of responsibility for the unfortunate conditions that their commitment to the lowest price creates in terms of human and environmental costs. But they are merely feeding a larger machine, that of consumers addicted to paying as little as possible for things. As Fishman winds up The Wal-Mart Effect he asks, "Do we value cheap merchandise more than good factory jobs?" The answer seems to be a resounding yes when Fishman reports that even people who consider themselves Wal-Mart "rejecters" spend an average of $450 a year there.
Why Wal-Mart Works and Why This Makes Some People Crazy is a DVD produced in Arkansas, which takes an admiring look at the workings of this company.
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price takes the opposite tack, depicting the effects of Wal-Mart policy on workers and suppliers.
The above items and much more are available through our library. Please allow us to help you to be an informed consumer.