Deluxe by Dana Thomas Bringing Home the Birkin by Michael Tonello Cheap by Ellen Ruppel Shell Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline All the Money in the. Critically acclaimed journalist Ellen Ruppel Shell uncovers the true cost–political, economic, social, and personal–of America’s mounting anxiety over. 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.

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Traveling from deep in Appalachia to the heart of the Midwestern rust belt, from a struggling custom clothing maker in Massachusetts to a thriving co-working center in Minnesota, she marshals evidence from a wide range ellen disciplines to show how our educational system, our politics, and our very sense of self have been held captive to and distorted by outdated notions of what it means to get and keep a good job.

The High Cost of Discount Culture, which is a critical history of the 20th-century trend in business toward cheaper goods.

Looking for More Great Reads? The author makes several good points on why we should look for value and craftsmanship and why value and craftsmanship is increasingly hard to find. Read this book, and you’ll never shop at IKEA again. Please try again later.

In this drive to cut costs, it’s easy to start treating employees like expendable materials. Though whether Cheap benefits the poor is a loaded theory ripe for arguing, which I will not do here. And to get these low prices, one has to do more than treat employees like indentured servants; one has to cut quality, safety, environmental responsibility and human dignity.


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Ellen Ruppel Shell

We rail against exploitation of low-paid workers in Asia as we drive twenty minutes to the Big Box to save three bucks on tube socks and a dollar on underpants. Work gives us our identity, and a sense of purpose and place in this world.

I was interested in this book because my recent thoughts have been running towards our decreasing value for expertise, which Ruppel Shell addresses as a decline in appreciation of craftsmanship, replaced by a fixation on “design. Ok, so that’s not realistic, but after reading this book I’m more aware, perhaps even paranoid, about the statement I’m making with each purchase. But how on earth am I to ascertain that?

We throw them away and buy new ones.

Cheap by Ellen Ruppel Shell | : Books

Jan 19, Kimberly rated it it was amazing. Americans pay less for food than do citizens of any other developed nation. There is nothing sinister in this, no deliberate planned obsolescence. I have a psychology background, so I’m not saying Rupprl didn’t find it interesting because I did, it’s just not what I was expecting. That done, I’ll concede that Shell doesn’t get to her main points or solution-oriented instructions until the final chapter, a bit after page But if the retailers are wicked, the consumers been willing to be fooled.

eloen I find that books written by journalists often have better style than those written by rupprl or economists, and cheal do a better job at being objective than other sources, but they often shy away from offering real possible solutions to the problems described in the books. Within two paragraphs in the first four pages, there are references to “Michael Madoff’ This book was a solid “eh. Wal-Mart’s sales have increased substantially during the current economic downturn; discounters profit when America hits bottom.


The rise of the chain store in post-Depression America led to the extolling of convenience over quality, and big-box retailers completed the reeducation of the American consumer by making them prize low price in the way they once prized durability and craftsmanship.

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture

What is a consumer to do? Ellen Ruppel Shell moves seamlessly between individual stories and academic scholarship to show how unprepared we are for the impact of digital technologies and new business models on our jobs. Because the staff did not need to be highly skilled, rates of pay declined. Korvette, one of the discount stores that really elllen into its own after World War II.

Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

She discusses factory farming, which is disgusting and horrific and promotes disease and strips food of nutrition. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. Dec 25, Sara Kaiser rated it really liked it.