Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture (Paperback)
Much has been written in recent years about the economic effect of discount stores; but where did this perception come from? Atlantic correspondent Ellen Ruppel Shell chronicles our initial distrust of cheap to its current popularity. From food, to clothing and furniture this comprehensive volume analyzes the real price of cheap.— Holly
A myth-shattering investigation of the true cost of America's passion for finding a better bargain
From the shuttered factories of the Rust Belt to the strip malls of the Sun Belt-and almost everywhere in between-America has been transformed by its relentless fixation on low price. This pervasive yet little- examined obsession with bargains is arguably the most powerful and devastating market force of our time, having fueled an excess of consumerism that blights our landscapes, escalates personal debt, lowers our standard of living, and even skews of our concept of time.
Spotlighting the peculiar forces that drove Americans away from quality, durability, and craftsmanship and towards quantity, quantity, and more quantity, Ellen Ruppel Shell traces the rise of the bargain through our current big-box profusion to expose the astronomically high cost of cheap.
About the Author
ELLEN RUPPEL SHELL is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and writes for Discover, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, and other publications. She is associate professor and codirector of the Program in Science Journalism at Boston University.