homeprevious reportswatch onlineusteacher centernewsletteremail FRONTLINEFRONTLINE (home)
is wal-mart good for america?

» Student Handout: Viewer's Guide

"Is Wal-Mart Good for America?"


I. Review the following terms prior to watching the documentary:

  • Outsourcing is when a business obtains services or products used in manufacturing, such as parts for a television set, from an outside (often overseas) supplier or manufacturer in order to cut costs.

  • Offshore Companies conduct most of their business outside of the country in which they are incorporated. These companies are also known as non-resident companies.

  • Push Production is when manufacturers of products decide what to produce, how much to produce and the price of the product.

  • Pull Production is when retailers determine what the manufacturer will produce, how much to produce and the price of the product.

II. Answer the following questions as you view the documentary:

  1. What did you notice at the Wal-Mart shareholders meeting? Do you think this is different from other shareholders' meetings? If yes, in what ways?

  2. How is Wal-Mart able to keep track of its inventory? Why is this important? List the effects this has on producers.

  3. Trace the decline of Rubbermaid from 1994 to 2004. What factors most contributed to this decline?

  4. What is an opening price point? How does it influence sales?

  5. Wal-Mart started a campaign encouraging people to buy products that were made in America. What influence did this have on Wal-Mart's buying practices? Be specific!

  6. In 1994, President Clinton said that new trade agreements would create a market for American products in China. What happened to the United States companies after opening trade with China? Include statistics, companies and places.

  7. List the arguments in favor of outsourcing and those that are against it.

  8. Compare the situation at Five Rivers Electronics and the Thomson Plant. What caused problems and what was the result for each?

home » previous reports » watch online » about us » teacher center » newsletter » email FRONTLINE
privacy policy » wgbh » pbsi

new content copyright ©1996-2004 pbs online and wgbh/frontline