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In Circleville, Ohio, population 13,000, the local RCA television-manufacturing plant was once a source of good jobs with good pay and benefits. But in late 2003, RCA's owner, Thomson Consumer Electronics, lost a sizeable portion of its production orders and six months later shut the plant down, throwing 1,000 people out of work. Thomson's jobs have moved to China, where cheap labor manufactures what the American consumer desires -- from clothing to electronics -- and can buy at "everyday low prices" at the local Wal-Mart.
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FRONTLINE explores the relationship between U.S. job losses and the American consumer's insatiable desire for bargains in "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?" Through interviews with retail executives, product manufacturers, economists, and trade experts, correspondent Hedrick Smith examines the growing controversy over the Wal-Mart way of doing business and asks whether a single retail giant has changed the American economy. "Wal-Mart's power and influence are awesome," Smith says. "By figuring out how to exploit two powerful forces that converged in the 1990s -- the rise of information technology and the explosion of the global economy -- Wal-Mart has dramatically changed the balance of power in the world of business. Retailers are now more powerful than manufacturers, and they are forcing the decision to move production offshore." "Wal-Mart has reversed a hundred-year history that had the retailer dependent on the manufacturer," explains Nelson Lichtenstein , a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara. "Now the retailer is the center, the power, and the manufacturer becomes the serf, the
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This note was uploaded on 07/14/2011 for the course BSN 115 taught by Professor Watkins during the Spring '11 term at DeVry Fresno.

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