Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thanks to Today's Lessons I came across this editorial about Walmart. Recently I cut down on my Walmart shopping due to some concerns I have had about the store and this article raises some more interesting issues to consider.

"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."
During the summer I purchased a dress for Aubry at Walmart. The dress was very cute with classic styling, a Peter Pan collar, smocking, and adorable fabric, yet it cost me less than $9.00. No matter how I do the math I just can't figure out how, after the supplies were purchased and shipping costs were added, enough money could be left over to pay someone a decent wage to make the dress. As a steward of our money I am not so sure that Walmart is a worthwhile place to spend that money, simply because I find more value in shopping sales elsewhere and making some clothing items, rather than short-changing a worker just so I can get more bang for my buck.

Now, admittedly I still do some shopping at Walmart, but I have managed to cut the money I spend there by at least 75%. What hinders me from cutting it out completely is lack of options: we live in a smaller town and Walmart is the only place to buy certain items unless I expend larger amounts of time to do otherwise. I do find, however, that the more I find out about Walmart, the more I am inclined to expend that time to find an alternative.