Earlier this year I
read listened to The Wal-Mart Effect by Charles Fishman. The book states facts about Wal-Mart and their business practices in a way that kept my attention and left me wanting more. The author does a good job at staying neutral concerning his opinion of the company. Wal-Mart itself is neither good nor bad, but it has a very strong impact on our society—the world, actually—and that is the Wal-Mart effect.
Going into the book, I had a pretty negative opinion of Wal-Mart. I can’t say that has changed, per say; I still don’t particularly like it, and I won’t shop there unless it’s completely necessary. Now, however, I can see the positive effect Wal-Mart has as well. I’m not sure if the benefit of always bringing customers low prices is worth all of the people and businesses it hurts. Should the consumer be put first at the expense of the business? Is Wal-Mart keeping our society in check, or will the strain it puts on businesses negatively impact society and leave it worse off? Only time will tell.
Whether you do or don’t like Wal-Mart, even if you don’t give a hoot one way or another, I think you will learn a lot of interesting little tidbits from this book. It is like an economics lesson all packed in to an interesting little package.