Friday, May 19, 2006

Organic For The Hoi Polloi

I have been pleasantly surprised to see the local Wal-Mart carrying organic milk and yoghurt. As I gleefully stock up on my supplies of both, I wonder how organic, low-cost and mass production could possibly jive - the same questions this WorldChanging article talks about.

With something as big and influential as Wal-Mart, nothing is as good as it seems. When I read about small businesses (and I guess in time individuals) could buy affordable medical insurance plans from Sam's, I thought it was great news. The competition would heat up and drive down prices for the consumer. Detractors I'm sure have a long list of concerns about the move and maybe rightly so. As far as I'm concerned, in my limited understanding, the author of the Slate article hit the nail on the head when he said:

It would be fun to watch Wal-Mart apply to physicians the same energy, ruthlessness, and ambition it now uses to squeeze costs out of suppliers. Imagine a radiologist from Seattle trekking to Bentonville, Ark., eager to get a contract to review X-rays for $400 a pop. Purchasing agents would laugh in his face and tell him to do it for $50—or they'll find somebody in Oklahoma or India who will.

No comments: