Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Everyday low prices, Everyday low ethics

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Everyday low prices, Everyday low ethics

During these tough times that many Americans are going through, we have to conserve our money wisely. Families are making sure that they spend their money on neccessities such as groceries and clothes. That is what makes Wal-Mart extremely successful. Wal-Mart sells every item that an individual can image. The prices are so low that it is nearly impossible for any other corporation to compete. This might be a good marketing tool, but Wal-Mart employees are not enjoying the "benefits" of working for one of the largest corporations in America.

"The aim, the activists agree, is to change the company's entire business model. What Wal-Mart's abuses have in common, they say, is a disregard for the public interest in a single-minded pursuit of the bottom line. Low labor costs and a disregard for the law have been central to the company's way of doing business. A Wal-Mart that paid its employees generously, offered decent worker healthcare and was considerate of its community neighbors -- the critics' major demands -- would not be Wal-Mart: It would be, essentially, a bunch of stores. Other than unionized workers, it is possible that no one has ever put such concerted pressure on a single American company, let alone one so large, to so fundamentally change its operations. " (Lisa Featherstone, Wal-Mart's P.R War)

Even the largest corporations need the "little people" for it to function. Without cashiers, grocery clerks, deli workers and retail stock workers, Wal-Mart would not be able to function. Wal-Mart uses its low price policy and convenience to persuade people that Wal-Mart is a "friendly neighborhood friend". American citizens tend to forget that the employees of Wal-Mart are struggling in these tough economic times. If Wal-Mart were to go out of business, it could have effect on both the Wal-Mart employees and the Wal-Mart shoppers.

2 Comments:

Blogger Fritzo's Thoughts said...

Clever title, nice read.

4/22/2009 11:53 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

Yes, Wal-Mart is an important part of our retail economy. Yes, Wal-Mart, like all corporations should treat their employees well, pay them well, and provide health care. That said, how does this relate to the issue of corporate public relations? You have presented the 'problem,' here, how should Wal-Mart address this? --Through a fundamental shift in corporate policy to pay more, allow unionization and provide better health care and retirement benefits? Or is this a question of image management that can be dealt with by a massive public relations campaign? (Or some combination of the two?)

4/23/2009 11:45 AM  

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