4O4

PR and Reality v. Money in My Pocket

eye cropped

Walmart has an image problem. Ask the proverbial passerby and he/she will tell you that Walmart underpays its employees, offers little in the way of job satisfaction and advancement, and functions prominently as a dead end for most retail workers.

The stock market has an image problem. Ask the proverbial passerby and he/she will tell you that the market is geared for the bigger funds and banks, offers little hope of profit for the common man, and functions prominently as a dead end for most people’s retirement funds.

Obamacare has an image problem. Ask the proverbial passerby and he/she will tell you that Obamacare is difficult to access, offers little hope in the way of customer concern, and functions prominently as a dead end for people who have had their insurance terminated.

But at the end of the day who cares? When there’s a killer deal to be had, our scruples and social compunctions suddenly feel a tickle in the throat and find a way to call in sick.

Walmart is obviously the poster boy for these problems. In addition to the negative perception mentioned above, the company is also facing a pending labor strike, a lawsuit for labor violations, and a viral face-plant for collecting holiday food donations for its underpaid workers. And yet, from a business perspective, life couldn’t be rosier. Forbes is reporting that even in the midst of the scandals and problems, this year’s Black Friday is shaping up to be one of the best yet. Offer us cheap goods, and we will beat a path to your door.

Similarly, when stocks trend up, there’s an ever-present sensation across America that we must jump on that bandwagon right now. And once healthcare.gov gets going (if ever), people will follow the states’ leads and jump on the cheap insurance bandwagon. Collectively we’re just suckers for the big deal.

The question is not can it change, but will it? Sadly not anytime soon, and that’s something you can take to the bank.

4O4

Leave a Reply