Addicted to Cheap Shopping Opinion Summary

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The documentary “Addicted to Cheap Shopping” explores the reasons behind the affordability of products and services in large supercenters. The British reporter, Libby Potter, embarks on a global investigation to uncover why first-world consumers have access to such low-priced items that are evidently not easily produced. Potter delves into the impact of these purchases on foreign laborers, particularly focusing on the decreasing prices of clothing, electronics, and other consumer goods over time. In China, for example, workers may earn as little as $2.00 a day while producing labor-intensive items in large quantities without health care benefits. International companies see this as a cost-cutting opportunity, taking advantage of the availability of cheap labor without benefits or healthcare. Moreover, large chain companies exploit the high population by offering numerous job opportunities at below minimum wage to meet the demands of the workforce. Additionally, the seemingly reduced prices of products that should be more expensive can be attributed to the economies of scale.

This states that if products are purchased and produced in high volume and there is a high demand for them, there are lower-price set ups. A great example is Wal-Mart, which has effectively reduced prices by purchasing a large quantity of items and saving on individual packaging costs. The next philosophy suggests that if the retailer offers consumers an exceptional deal with good quality products, then they should do half the work. This means that consumers can view models of furniture and products, choose and purchase them, and then take them home in boxes filled with all the parts. By selling products without the labor component of assembly, stores like IKEA can make cost reductions and sell affordable, quality products. Potter’s final destination was China, the center of mass production and manufacturing. When Potter arrived, it was evident that the country wasn’t as prosperous as it should be given its annual revenue contributions to the world. Workers lacked basic health and safety precautions as they toiled in toxic environments day after day. Many worked in vast scrap yards resulting from waste imported from the West. Shipping metals to China is cheaper than disposing of them properly, so Chinese workers handle scraps that contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals without proper protection.All these scrap yards have negative impacts on the environment, causing harm to wildlife and ecosystems nearby. However, people often overlook the reasons behind the low costs of these goods and how they affect others globally. While cheaper goods may provide short-term benefits, they have a detrimental long-term effect on numerous individuals worldwide. Moreover, the shorter lifespan of cheaper goods contributes to an increase in unnecessary waste in landfills.

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The impact of cheaper goods on International Business is that all nations have become interdependent due to faster technology and quicker import/export processes. The global economy relies on each other’s contributions to produce goods. However, this topic raises moral/ethical issues and environmental concerns. Manufacturing is often outsourced to developing countries because labor is cheaper and safety precautions are often neglected, resulting in cost reductions. Despite being a terrible practice, it remains a harsh reality.

In summary, China and India are failing to address environmental issues within their borders and instead relying on other nations to pollute their land and water. It is our duty as citizens of nations that value our voices to advocate for these voiceless countries. Additionally, we can support overseas communities by purchasing fair trade products, ensuring fair wages for workers. Personally, I prioritize buying fair trade products even if they cost more because I believe in quality. We must consider whether wealthier Western countries should continue exploiting third world nations, leading to environmental and ethical concerns. Furthermore, Western countries need to recognize that China’s provision of cheap products may not be sustainable long-term; China is gradually improving living standards for its workers. If China were to implement changes like higher wages or improved benefits, it could have a significant impact on economies worldwide due to our interdependence.

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Addicted to Cheap Shopping Opinion Summary. (2017, Jan 17). Retrieved from

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