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argument essay


									                                          Danielle Elkin
                                            ENG 105
                                       Extended Argument
                               Final Draft Due Date: April 26, 2007

Topic: capitalism in the 21st century and the measures companies are will to go to for success. I

will be looking specifically at Wal-Mart—it’s success as a business, and it’s ethical standards to

                                          achieve success.

 Stance: capitalism has gone too far in our society and allowed for unfair business practices in

   order to save a buck. Moreover, it is the customers responsibility to hold large companies

   accountable for it’s products, where the came from and if sweatshop practices were used.

Audience: I’m going to write it in storybook style, like the classic “once upon a time” ones, but a

  bit sarcastic, so kind of like a twist on the storybook idea, like one for adults. It’s going to be

    written like as a narrator telling a story to kids. For a young age group, 5-9ish and adults.
Works Cited:
Farmer, David John. "Wal-Mart: Neo-Feudal (K)Night?." Administrative Theory & Praxis 28.1
       (2006): 148-161. Academic Search Premier. 5 April 2007.
Featherstone, Liza. "Watching Wal-Mart." Columbia Journalism Review 44.5 (2006): 58-62.
       Academic Search Premier. 5 April 2007.
Gogoi, Pallavi. "Wal-Mart: Thanks For The Bonuses, But." Business Week Online (2007): 5-5.
       Academic Search Premier. 5 April 2007.
Grossman, Andrew. "Wal-Mart to Pay Fair Share." Multinational Monitor 27.1 (2006): 4-5.
       Academic Search Premier. 5 April 2007.
Hicks, Michael J. "What Is The Local: Wal-Mart Effect?." Economic Development Journal 5.3
       (2006): 23-31. Academic Search Premier. 5 April 2007.
Senser, Robert. "Don't Shop Till They Drop." U.S. Catholic 1 Apr. 2007: 24+. Academic Search
       Premier. 5 April 2007.
Tong, Carl H., And Lee-Ing Tong. "Exploring the Cornerstones Of Wal-Mart's Success And
       Competitiveness." Competitiveness Review 16.2 (2006): 143-149. Academic Search
       Premier. 5 April 2007.
"Wal-Mart Facts." Wal-Mart Home. Wal-Mart. 18 Apr 2007
Various, "Wal-Mart." Urban Dictionary. Urban Dictionary. 25 Apr 2007

Works Consulted:
Barbaro, Michael. "Wal-Mart: A Giant Gone Green." Saturday Evening Post 279.2 (2007): 68-
       104. Academic Search Premier. 5 April 2007.
Berner, Robert. "My Year At Wal-Mart." Business Week (2007): 70-74. Academic Search
       Premier. 5 April 2007.
Striffler, Steve. "Wal-Mart: The Face of Twenty-First-Century Capitalism." Arkansas Historical
       Quarterly 65.3 (2006): 321-322. Academic Search Premier. 5 April 2007.
Danielle Elkin
ENG 105
Extended Argument
Final Draft Due Date: April 26, 2007

                              A Magical Place Called Wal-Mart

                                Preface: As the World Sees It

                                         I am Wal-Mart

                           I am big and clean and shinny and smiley

                          I am Wal-Mart, I am the heart of every town

                                       I take over, I control

                                I smile and guarantee low prices

                          I will do anything it takes—I am Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart…as defined by

       “A chain of oversized superstores mostly found in the Southern USA, known for driving

       local stores out of businesses, selling poorly- made goods (especially clothing) made by

       third-world slave labor, using a gaudy image of shallow, phony patriotism and flag-

       waving, and contributing to urban sprawl… A large, parasitic corporation who moves
       like a plague, eating up all-business in it's wake, and leaving a large, gray store with

       cheap, plastic crap. They take jobs, and then screw over their employees by destroying

       any union they come up with, or firing them, or making them work in the children’s

       section. They close down all little shoppers in the area, and then sponsor people to start

       up new businesses, with advance revenue going back to Wal-Mart”

Wal-Mart…as defined by

       “At Wal-Mart, we’re proud of the positive economic impact we have on communities—

       from the job opportunities we provide to the money we save working families; and from

       the tax revenue we generate to the contributions we make to local charitable

       organizations. Wal-Mart is a good neighbor that benefits local economies and makes

       positive contributions to the thousands of communities we serve and have a presence in


So why does the public view Wal-Mart so differently than they Wal-Mart it self states on their

website. Why is there so much controversy over a chain of stores? Well children, lets explore

together shall we…

                                Chapter One—A Giant is Born:

                                         I am Sam Walton

                                            I dream big

                                    I need success, I live for it

                                     I will do anything for it
                                  I thrive on money and capital

                                         I am Sam Walton

       Once upon a time long long ago little Sam Walton sat on a beach, dreaming the dream of

a dreamer. It was a warm sunny afternoon; the tide was perfectly low enough for sand castle

building. Sam Walton, on vacation with his family, decided to build a sand castle, but not just

any san castle, he was determined to build the biggest and most bestest sand castle on the whole

beach, no in the whole world...

       Flash forward to 1962 in the humble little town of Rogers, Arkansas. Sam Walton, once a

little boy with big dreams of sand castles has been dreaming for years now. Mr. Walton is a

simple man with a big vision. Mr. Walton now has dreams of changing the face of discount

general stores around America. He and his lovely wife Helen imagine a place where all the boys

and girls could buy all their toys and lots of stuff really cheap. Mr. Walton is dreaming of Wal-

Mart. Mr. Walton built up his vision into a massive corporation that now has 1.8 million workers

all over the world (Wal-Mart). They have 6,500 stores in 15 countries and generated more than

$312.4 billion a year in global revenue, makes a big ol’ profit of $11.2 billion for themselves

(Wal-Mart). Wow, that a real success story. So how was Wal-Mart able to crush all the

competition and become what it is today? It could be that Mr. Walton was such a very very smart

man he was able to take advantage of consumer driven society that America supports (Farmer).

Or, maybe they found out ways to cut their product costs by using sweatshop labor (Senser),

under paying it’s workers (Gogoi), getting rid of any competition by opening in small towns and

shutting down other stores (Featherstone) and creating an oligosny on the market (Farmer). Well

kids, come with me on a magical journey into the heart of Wal-Mart’s success.

                             Chapter Two—A Capitalistic Society:
                                      I am American Society

                              I am fast and cheap and uncontrollable

                         I am a capitalist, I am a consumer, I am society

                                       I sell my goods cheap

                                           People like me

                                      I am American Society.


                                       I am the working poor

                      I make up the largest socio economic group in society

          I am a mother of four, I am a father, a brother, your neighbor, your daughter

                  a full-time worker making minimum wage and am on welfare

                                   I live pay check to pay check

                                      I am the working poor.

       At the friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart, the “big Wal” as I like to lovingly call it, you

can find all of your favorite toys, and coloring books and just about anything else your little heart

can dream. That is because we live in a consumer driven society, kids (Farmer). That means that

you’re mommies and daddies like to buys stuff, lots of stuff. In fact, you probably have tons of

shinny new toys scattered across your bedroom floor right now. Well, this type of environment

allows for guys like our friend Mr. Walton have a business that thrives on exploiting America’s
capitalist needs (Farmer). You see kids, if we did all like having lots if toys to play with, but we

like them cheap (Farmer). If we didn’t, then the big Wal wouldn’t make it at all. But lucky for

Wal-Mart we do love out stuff nice and cheap and Wal-Mart is there to help (Tong). Wal-Mart

has lots and lots of nice customers too. This is because there are lots and lots of people who need

to buy things for not a lot of money, because lots of America is poor, or as experts call the

“working poor” (Farmer). Every year there are more and more of these “working poor” people

(Farmer). And while this is really super good for Wal-Mart because they get more customers, it’s

not so good for out economy. The gap between the rich and poor grows every year for lots of

reasons, all of them helping out our friends over at the big Wal (Farmer). You see children, if

more and more people become the “working poor” then they will be far more likely to shop at

places like Wal-Mart, thus propelling the consumer driven need of America society (Grossman).

And guess what else, nearly 80% of all Wal-Mart employees are part of this working poor class

(Farmer), which ensures that it’s employees will shop there too. Woo-hoo for Wal-Mart taking

advantage of the economic environment in America!

                                  Chapter 3: The “Associates:”

                                        I work at Wal-Mart

 I smile when you walk on the door, and wave you happily good bye, I check you out and make

                                          proper change,
                          I am aid minimum wage, I do not smile at this

                                I have to support a family on this

 I work all week and sometimes my hours are erased by management to keep me under full time

                                       I work at Wal-Mart

       Wal-Mart is such a big, fantastical company it has lots and lots of “associates” as they

like to call the people who work for them (Wal- Mart). A whole 1.8 million workers all over the

world (Wal-Mart). Wowzers, that’s a lot of people. They have Basically, Wal-Mart is an

oligopsony, that just a real big grown up word that means when a big company can take over a

market and set it’s employee wages at whatever it want because it’s the only place around for

some people to get a job (Farmer). (This is probably because they shut do wn all the other

competition, but more on that in Chapter 5 (Featherstone).) So because Wal-Mart has this super-

great hold on the employee market they can make sure that the can pay very little money to it’s

associate, which keeps it’s employees in the “working poor class” and makes sure they have to

shop at Wal-Mart, like one big happy circle of keeping America poor (Grossman). This even

helps widen the gap between the rich and the poor, wow, what a handful of fun-tastic things

Wal-Mart does for society. But you know what, Wal-Mart has started giving employee bonuses

after the boys and girls in Congress started getting upset that too many workers in the Wal-Mart

family were on welfare, so that is a super-duper great thing (Gogoi). Even better, they made sure

to make the big- fat bonus check only enough for full-time, family supporting associates to make

just enough money to push them over the poverty line, making sure they didn’t qualify for any

silly social welfare programs, but still can’t properly support a family (Farmer). That sure was

smart of Wal-Mart. It’s super fun business practices like these that put Wal-Mart on the top of

Forbes most admired business list (Tong).
                           Chapter Four: Welcome to the Sweatshop

                                   I am a Wal-Mart “Associate”

                                           I am live China

                             I am not in management, I am not a CEO

                                       I make the things you buy

                     I am only six—still a child and I work for pennies a day

                                  I am a Wal-Mart “Associate.”

       So, wow, Wal-Mart sure had some swell business practices so far. They don’t have to pay

all sort of silly extra money on employee wage, or healthcare or all kinds of silly things like that.

But they do still manage to stay miles above the competition, this can’t be all they do so

fantastically, can it? Good golly no, Wal-Mart is way to smart to pay full price for anything, gosh

no. They outsource all their product making to places like China where there are no such

ridiculous restrictions on how cheap thing can be made, they can use little boys and girls like you

too make all the goods Wal-Mart sells (Senser). They only have to pay pennies a day and they

get all the stuff super-duper cheap.

       I work in substandard condition. It is dark here, I should be outdoors playing, but I am

       not. This is not an option for me. I stay inside making the cloths you wear, the toys you

       play with, the scrunchie in your hair. I am in a sweatshop, I am still a child. I don’t

       understand why this is happening to me. Why do I make t-shirts that I don’t wear, that I

       could never buy. I wear only left over scraps of fabric while you buy all the things I can

       only dream of. Do you like you’re toys, you new shoes. I go to bed hungry, are you? I

       work so my family can eat, so we can live. This is still not enough; pennies a day don’t go
       far. Why is this happening to me, why? If you knew, if you knew where your things came

       from, what went into them would you still buy them. Would you still shop at Wal-Mart to

       save money? Is it worth it? Is it?(adapted from Senser’s article)

                              Chapter 5: The effect on small towns

                                        I once owned a shop

                       Then they came, with there low prices and blue vests

                                       My shop is closed now

                                     I need to support a family

                     Now I too work for Wal-Mart, like everyone else in town

                                        I once owned a shop

       The local effect of having a Wal-Mar in the community is pretty intense. Immediately

following a recession, Wal-Mart is a good thing for a town. They come in and offer jobs and

cheap stuff to buy and lots of special things. But why was there a recession to start off. Well

while there are lots of reason for a recession, it is usually from an loss f jobs in a down and

inflation. So what happens after the recession in the town is over? Well Wal-Mart puts the “mom

and pop” businesses out of work. This results in higher unemployment rates in smaller

communities, thus leading to another economical recession, creating a vicious circle where the

only winner is Wal-Mart. In small towns where Wal-Mart’s are located, the only jobs available
are those at Wal-Mart since it closes out the market for any other business. In one instance in

Iowa after Wal-Mart opened in the town all other small business in competition with Wal-Mart

were put out of business leaving 4,000 people to compete or 300 jobs at Wal-Mart, leaving the

rest unemployed. This resulted in tragic effects on the economy (Hicks).

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