The story that I found most compelling was the story about Wal-Mart. I had not realized how controversial it was when developing new Wal-Marts. It is such a prevalent and common company, so it was interesting to learn a bit about its history, especially history that is controversial and usually not advertised to the general public.
I was amazed to know that by 2005, Wal-Mart became the biggest company on Earth. I did not realize how popular it was. I feel that all the buzz is usually around Target or K-Mart, I never really hear much about Wal-Mart. This chapter had a lot of interesting facts as well. One that really stood out to me was that as of 2005, two out of three Wal-Mart workers were women. I am curious to know why that is? One conclusion that I came to was that the Wal-Mart spokespeople stated that they expected their workers to have another source of income from a spouse. Therefore, they more likely hired women because since men tend to make more money than women in general, they figured women already had income from their spouse, consequently they could pay them low wages.
I was shocked to find out that many Wal-Mart’s employees’ wages and benefits were so low that they qualified for food stamps, healthcare and other programs. I had no idea that their employees were treated so terribly. It reminded me of labor workers when reading. Also, I didn’t realize how sneaky Wal-Mart was. For example, they lobbied tax breaks and used tax payer money to buy land for stores and warehouses. This shows me how unethical Wal-Mart is. I am still very surprised that I had never heard of this before, especially because Wal-Mart is such a popular company.
It was interesting to read about how some suburbs turned Wal-Mart down such as in St.Petersburg and Inglewood. I feel that I always here about new Wal-Marts being built, not rejected. It was refreshing to read about a community coming together and rejecting something that they did not want and that did not fit into their community. It was admirable that activists in Florida decided to save their Wetlands and not let Wal-Mart destroy the environment. The St.Petersburg Times was helpful to the environmentalists and positively helped save the wetlands. This is media I enjoy reading about, not celebrities and reality TV stars.
How can media expose certain controversies without being harsh and degrading to the company and still have a positive outcome? For example, Abercrombie and Fitch only hires employees that are attractive even if they are poor workers. How would this issue be exposed to project a positive change?