» About the Film:
FRONTLINE offers two starkly contrasting images: one of Circleville, Ohio, where the local TV manufacturing plant has closed down; the other -- a sea of high rises in the South China boomtown of Shenzhen. The connection between American job losses and soaring Chinese exports? Wal-Mart. For Wal-Mart, China has become the cheapest, most reliable production platform in the world, the source of up to $25 billion in annual imports that help the company deliver everyday low prices to 100 million customers a week. But while some economists credit Wal-Mart's single-minded focus on low costs with helping contain U.S. inflation, others charge that the company is the main force driving the massive overseas shift to China in the production of American consumer goods, resulting in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs and a lower standard of living here at home.
» A Note to Teachers:
For classes in Social Studies, American Government, Current Events and Economics;
"Is Wal-Mart Good for America?" provides a provocative examination of the impact Wal-Mart has had on the U.S. economy. The documentary highlights the changing relationship between manufacturers and the so-called "big-box" retailers, exemplified by Wal-Mart, that has contributed to the bankruptcy of some American businesses and a growing unemployment rate. While Wal-Mart supporters tout the advantages of one-stop, low-cost shopping, others are alarmed at both the outsourcing that has made these low prices possible and how large retailers affect smaller, local businesses. FRONTLINE examines the winners and the losers as it documents how:
A list of questions for students to discuss after viewing "Is Wal-Mart Good For America?"
» Featured Lesson Plan:
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» Purchasing the Film:
This teacher's guide was developed by Simone Bloom Nathan of Media Education Consultants. It was written by Patricia Grimmer of Carbondale High School, Carbondale, Illinois. Advisers were Ellen Greenblatt of University High School, San Francisco and Michelle McVicker of the Rutherford County Schools, Tennessee.