Cheap?: The Real Cost of Living in a Low Price, Low Wage World

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Kogan Page Publishers, May 1, 2007 - Business & Economics - 197 pages
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In most developed countries, in almost every trade sector, prices have decreased considerably over the last few years - in some cases, by more than 20 per cent. The choice of products on offer is immense, and customers are inundated with a vast range of goods, costing very little money.

In this compelling, powerful and shocking account of society's greedy over-consumption, David Bosshart paints a bleak picture of our increasing obsession with cheap goods. He exposes the darker side of some of our favourite organizations such as EasyJet, Wal-Mart, Aldi, Hennes and Mauritz, and Disney and reveals some substantial paradoxes in their business strategies. For example, while $13.00 is the average wage of union organized employees in California, Wal-Mart pays its staff just $8.50 an hour, and it creates only 1.5 jobs for every 2 that it destroys.

David Bosshart leads us to question our pursuit of unbridled consumer choice and low prices, and the effect that it is having on the world's economies and societies. Can we rise to the challenge and overcome this obsession for cheap goods before it's too late?

 

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Contents

Why almost everything
1
WalMart
39
Which factors are accelerating the trend?
47
What is WalMartization?
61
Why are these models so rational and
102
Intensified time markets
116
the logic
135
On the illusions of the service economy
149
What is worth what? Prices in the Age of Cheap
163
The new normality
175
Index
181
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Dr. David Bosshart is the managing director of the Gottlieb-Duttweiler Institute in Zurich, Switzerland and an analyst and speaker on consumer trends, retail trends, and social change. He is also the author of Cult Marketing and The Future of the Consumer Society.

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