Essay Topic: The Wal-Mart Effect

Essay Topic: The Wal-Mart Effect

PBS Frontline Video: Is Wal-Mart Good for America?

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Be sure to follow all formatting guidelines provided in the syllabus. Your final work product must have a cover page with a word count, an essay that is 3-4 pages in length and a works cited page. The minimum writing requirement expectation is two full pages in your own words (excluding citations). If the minimum expectations are not met, the assignment will be marked incomplete. Be sure to provide a proper citation in MLA or APA format for all works consulted on a separate works cited page.


As the economic power of the world’s largest retailer continues to grow, so does the concern over its actions. Some are concerned that Wal-Mart has become so influential that its actions may impact national policy and the foundations of social life in the United States and other countries. This PBS special will examine the Wal-Mart way of doing business and examine the effects those business practices have on society, the economy and the government.

Essay Questions:
– Why has Wal-Mart been able to achieve extraordinary success?
– If something is good for Wal-Mart, is it good for America?
– Describe the positive and negative impact of maintaining low prices. What are some of the long-term effects of providing low prices?
– Are the interests of Americans as workers and the desires of Americans as consumer’s fundamentally conflicting sets of values? Why or why not?
– Is Wal-Mart good for the relationship between the United States and China? Why or why not?
– What factors may diminish Wal-Mart’s influence? Is there a system of checks and balances in this situation?

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