Slate this week has an interesting "dialogue" (an exchange of published emails) between Barbara Ehrenreich (author of a few books including Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream) and Jason Furman (an economist) debating the merits of Wal-Mart.
I already posted my views on this topic, and they haven't been changed by reading Ehrenreich's opposing view. I doubt most people who have thought seriously about this issue will find their minds changed by reading the debate (there are four entries so far, two by each writer, with probably more to come).
What is interesting about the debate is how much the two sides (at least as represented by these two) argue past each other. They are really not speaking from the same frame of reference. From my perspective, Ehrenreich is really missing the point and not understanding some basic economic realities. No doubt from her perspective, Furman is missing the point about what is important and what our priorities should be.
Mosch and I argued recently about whether people who support and oppose Wal-Mart do so out of fundamentally different understandings of economics (my position) or because, despite agreeing on the various factors involved, they come to different views on the overall valuation. (I trust Mosch will post a comment if he disagrees that we had a discussion like that, but that was my interpretation, anyway.)
In any case, if you have an opinion on Wal-Mart and really don't know how other people can hold a different one, this article might educate you (probably about how wrong-headed the other side is, that being the nature of opinions, but anyway...)