The Price of A Bargain
The Quest for Cheap and the Death of GlobalizationBook - 2009
An analysis of bargain consumerism in America contends that much of today's economy is dependent on questionable labor, trade imbalances, debt, and other vulnerable factors, in a report that considers whether an affordable culture is sustainable throughout the world.
In this book, Laird traces the bargain – that touchstone of American culture – from its humble dollar-store origins to its recent role as global juggernaut. Along the way, he discovers that much of today's collapsing consumer economy is dangerously dependant upon unsustainable labor, transport, resources, trade imbalances, and consumer debt. Through interviews with everyone from box store executives to illegal immigrants, a single question emerges: Is the Wal-Mart culture sustainable on a global level? From Asia's factory borderlands to rural Mexico, from Las Vegas to the Arctic Circle, Laird explores the hidden revolution of discounting, and the promise and consequence of everyday low prices.