《New Book Condition + A Myth-Shattering Investigation Of The Price We Pay For Low Prices》Ellen Ruppel Shell - CHEAP : The High Cost of Discount Culture
This provocative New York Times bestseller in paperback edition is a bran-new book and nicely wrapped with protective book-wrapper. Noted that the reverse side of front and rear cover pages have slight yellowing appearance. The original new book is sold at usual price RM77.49. Now here Only at RM15. A myth-shattering investigation of the true cost of America's passion for finding a better bargain. An Atlantic correspondent uncovers the true cost-in economic, political, and psychic terms-of our penchant for making and buying things as cheaply as possible From the shuttered factories of the Rust Belt to the strip malls of the Sun Belt-and almost everywhere in between-America has been transformed by its relentless fixation on low price. This pervasive yet little- examined obsession with bargains is arguably the most powerful and devastating market force of our time, having fueled an excess of consumerism that blights our landscapes, escalates personal debt, lowers our standard of living, and even skews of our concept of time. Low price is so alluring that we may have forgotten how thoroughly we once distrusted it. Ellen Ruppel Shell traces the birth of the bargain as we know it from the Industrial Revolution to the assembly line and beyond, homing in on a number of colorful characters, such as Gene Verkauf (his name is Yiddish for "to sell"), founder of E. J. Korvette, the discount chain that helped wean customers off traditional notions of value. The rise of the chain store in post-Depression America led to the extolling of convenience over quality, and big-box retailers completed the reeducation of the American consumer by making them prize low price in the way they once prized durability and craftsmanship. Spotlighting the peculiar forces that drove Americans away from quality, durability, and craftsmanship and towards quantity, quantity, and more quantity, Ellen Ruppel Shell traces the rise of the bargain through our current big-box profusion to expose the astronomically high cost of cheap. The effects of this insidious perceptual shift are vast: ● a blighted landscape, escalating debt (both personal and national), ● stagnating incomes, fraying communities, and a host of other socioeconomic ills. That's a long list of charges, and it runs counter to orthodox economics which argues that low price powers productivity by stimulating a brisk free market. But Shell marshals evidence from a wide range of fields-history, sociology, marketing, psychology, even economics itself-to upend the conventional wisdom. Cheap also unveils the fascinating and unsettling illogic that underpins our bargain-hunting reflex and explains how our deep-rooted need for bargains colors every aspect of our psyches and social lives. In this myth-shattering, closely reasoned, and exhaustively reported investigation, Shell exposes the astronomically high cost of cheap. Less Atlantic correspondent Shell tackles more than just discount culture in this wide-ranging book that argues that the American drive toward bargain-hunting and low-price goods has a hidden cost in lower wages for workers and reduced quality of goods for consumers. After a dry examination of the history of the American retail industry, the author examines the current industrial and political forces shaping how and what we buy. In this book's most involving passages, Shell deftly analyzes the psychology of pricing and demonstrates how retailers manipulate subconscious bargain triggers that affect even the most knowing consumers. The author urges shoppers to consider spending more and buying locally, but acknowledges the inevitability of globalization and the continuation of trends toward efficient, cost-effective production. The optimistic call to action that concludes the book feels hollow, given the evidence that precedes it. If Shell illuminates with sharp intelligence and a colloquial style the downside of buying Chinese garlic or farm-raised shrimp, nothing demonstrates how consumers, on a mass scale, could seek out an alternative or why they would choose to do so. The idea here is that since the Industrial Revolution, our society has moved away from skilled craftsmanship in production to a more mechanized model of inferior but more cheaply-hewn products put together quickly by people who have no particular skill set for making said products. These things (all sorts of things, like guns, clothing, housing, food, automobiles) have been sold by retailers, and unsavvy buyers often choose price over quality (which they cannot discern) as the sole criterion in their purchasing decisions. While this has, in theory, pulled many people out of poverty, it hasn't really, but it's made shoddy goods available to people of modest means. However, it also forces more people into poverty by necessitating extremely low labor costs in order to turn any profit. She discusses factory farming, which is disgusting and horrific and promotes disease and strips food of nutrition. This chapter totally changed the way we look at shrimp. Thailand has ruined much of its coastline making artificial shrimp beds because people don't want to pay a high price for wild or natural shrimp. In the food industry, quality goes out the window for the sake of low prices, sometimes even to the point of being nonsensical. This was evident firsthand when we lived in the SJV but got almost all our produce imported from Mexico instead of from the megafarms within 30 miles of us. Talks about how foreign governments collude with American businesses to allow labor atrocities and treat workers as almost totally expendable, paying them almost nothing and spending no money at all on health or workplace safety measures. Apparently the Chinese government feels there are enough citizens that it's not necessary to protect any of them from workplace injury, since an injured worker can quickly be replaced. The solutions aren't simple, and she doesn't go into them at length. She is in favor of giving more clout to workers but realizes that's unlikely. Nor does she advocate simply paying more, since if the store marks up its wares, it's highly unlikely that any of the extra money will trickle down to the workers or the workers for the store's suppliers. About the Author Ellen Ruppel Shell is a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly, and has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Time, Discover, Seed, and dozens of other national publications. She is the author, most recently, of The Hungry Gene, which was published in six languages, and is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Knight Center for Science and Medical Journalism at Boston University.
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