Wayne F Cascio
Business Ethics: The Big Picture,Pages: 276.
An intuitive argument for companies paying low wages is the affordability of their products. Walmart is typically assumed to embody such an approach. It is through low wages that Walmart is able to keep prices so low, or so the argument goes. Walmartisthe largest retailer in the world, and yet part of that company, the Sam’s Club warehouse portion of the business, is not the market leader in its area (warehouse stores). The top warehouse retailer is Costco, and this is the case even though Costco has fewer stores than Sam’s Club. Additionally, Costco employees are in a better position in terms of wages and benefits than Walmart employees. This seems to be a violation of the seemingly intuitive idea that low prices require low wages. In this article, Wayne Cascio explains how Costco has managed to maintain its place as the market leader while maintaining employee wages and benefits. Assuming that the same model would workfor Walmart, the natural question is, are the practices of Walmart morally justifiable?It is also interesting to note that Walmart seems to have recently increased its externalized costs. Cascio references a recent study that claims that one 200-person Walmart store results in costs to federal taxpayers of over $470,000. A more recent Mother Jones article cites a new study by the same group that