No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart

No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart

The Surprising Deceptions of Individual Choice

By Tom Slee


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We live in a culture of choice. But, in an age of corporate dominance, our freedom to choose has taken on new meaning. Upset with your local big box store? Object to unfair hiring practices at your neighbourhood fast food restaurant? Want to protest the opening of that new multinational coffeeshop? Vote with your feet!

What if it’s not that simple? In No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart, Tom Slee unpacks the implications of our fervent belief in the power of choice. Pointing out that individual choice has become the lynchpin of a neoconservative corporate ideology he calls MarketThink, he urges us to re-examine our assumptions. Slee makes use of game theory to argue that individual choice is not inherently bad. Nor is it the societal fix-all that our corporations and governments claim it is. A spirited treatise, this book will make you think about choice in a whole new way.

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Conservatives dress up their destructive policy prescriptions in the language of “individual choice.” Tom Slee’s paradigm-busting book shows there are other, better ways for society to make choices. Marvelous, and timely.

– - Jim Stanford, economist, Canadian Auto Workers


List of Figures
Chapter 1 A World of Choice
Chapter 2 Good Choices and Bad Outcomes
Chapter 3 Private Choices and Public Failures
Chapter 4 Arms Races and Red Queens
Chapter 5 Co-operation and Its Limits
Chapter 6 Divide and Conquer
Chapter 7 That Obscure Object of Desire
Chapter 8 Join or Get Run Over
Chapter 9 The Devil You Know
Chapter 10 Free to Choose, but Exploited
Chapter 11 Beyond Whimsley