How ‘Everyday Low Prices’ Are Costing Americans Their Jobs

So remember this next time you rejoice in finding a low-priced item at your local Walmart: Those “everyday low prices” may have cost you or someone you know their job.

As consumers, we welcome Walmart’s low prices.

But here’s the thing about these low prices — they’re doing the U.S. more harm than good.

A new research report has found that low prices have actually caused unemployment to rise, and dealt a massive blow to the manufacturing sector.

Look no further than the 7 million manufacturing jobs the U.S. lost from 1980 to 2011, according to a recent research report from Demos. The report acknowledges this happened because of “a variety of complex factors.” But Walmart had a bigger hand in this than most of us realize.

Cutting Prices Does Have Its Cost

The problem starts with Walmart’s selling point: low prices.

These low prices are possible both because Walmart pays its employees low wages and because the bulk of Walmart’s products are sourced from foreign factories, where raw materials and labor are cheaper.

What’s more, Walmart can — and does — use its massive size to bully American companies whose products it sells to do the same. In fact, Levi’s jeans and Master Lock “were pressured to shut their U.S. factories and moved manufacturing abroad to meet Walmart’s demand for low prices,” Demos said.


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