A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor‘s Ethical Investing section asks the question “Who benefits from rock-bottom pricing?”
Discount retailers are known to pay low wages and force local shops to close. But, they give people with limited means access to a broad range of products at low prices. On balance, are they good or bad for society?
The article points out that it’s not easy to answer this question, saying that, “discount retail is a complex business with more winners, losers, and tough ethical tradeoffs than public debate routinely acknowledges.” Although many workers and entrepreneurs are worse off, a much larger number of consumers are better off. What do you think?