Wal-Mart: Discounting The American Dream

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In the book, The World of Wal-Mart: Discounting the American Dream, Nicholas Copeland and Christine Labuski provide an in-depth analysis of Wal-Mart from the perspective of anthropologists that allow readers to look behind the price tag and the patriotic color symbolism of the Wal-Mart logo. Although Copeland focused his study on politic and populism in Guatemala, and Labuski spent most of her time researching gender and sexuality, they both had conducted extensive researches inside Wal-Mart. Their anthropological way of thinking and citations from other creditable anthropologists and historians who studied this field also increase their credibility. They also employ many statistical evidences to support their claims. Despite an over emphasis…show more content…
The authors cite the story of Ben to critique Wal-Mart’s unjust management practice. Ben, a loyal worker of Wal-Mart with learning disability, enjoyed his job at Wal-Mart before he got laid off for giving a single mother a baby formula for free out of sympathy (Copeland and Labuski, 44). Although Wal-Mart seemed cruel for firing a loyal employee like Ben without any mercy, it’s important to keep in mind that Ben’s action was fundamentally wrong. Theft is a crime, and any crime, no matter the intention, deserves legal punishment. That is the baseline of our country’s jurisdiction. There were various ways through which Ben could help the single mother. Would Ben still be accused of theft if he bought the baby formula and gave it to her? Definitely not. Ben was fired because he did not distinguish between public property and private property. Employees should never take a company’s property and distribute it according to their own interest. Although Ben’s story elicits public sympathy, his action violated a company’s right to its property and thus does not justify author’s accusation. After all, Ben deserved the punishment, and Wal-Mart was merely taking the legal actions necessary to defend its own

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