Neoclassical Economic Theory & Sociological Theory

624 Words3 Pages
In the opinions of Thomas Sowell, he believes that Wal-Mart, despite its billions of dollars, does not have any obligation to treat its workers better, or offer higher wages. He also believes that low wage workers should simply “upgrade their skills“. He is not only wrong on his assumptions, but is misleading and condescending. Through using the sociological critique of free market theory, and the facts provided by the film Bigger Boxes: The Battle Over America’s Superstores, it shows that his argument is not only ignorant but wrong. Recently, the former chairman of the federal reserve, Alan Greenspan, said that he finally realizes that a free market can not go unchecked. Why did he say this? It is quite obvious that the system we have now doesn’t work, you can tell just by looking at our current economy. By letting businesses, such as Wal-Mart, grow to astronomical sizes, being worth more than most small countries, yet still pay their workers a minimum wage, is unbelievable. Sowell quotes the New York Times, saying “Can’t a retail behemoth pay more?” and goes on to ask “why should any of us pay more than we have to?”. It is not a matter of if a company has to pay more to its workers, it is a matter of should it, and even though Sowell himself doesn‘t remember signing a “social contract“, it indeed does exist. While not extending to specific wages, it should, mostly because of the heavy tax burden low wage workers put on the government, costing tax payers more in the long run. Sowell’s next argument is that the workers, to get out of this environment, should simply “upgrade their skills“, which in theory sounds legitimate, but being in that sort of situation, how or when do you find time to actually upgrade them? He believes that in a free market, the workers use these low wage jobs as stepping stones, when in reality, the companies are walking all over the low

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