From the shuttered factories of the rust belt to the look-alike 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 is arguably the most powerful and devastating market force of our time---the engine of globalization, outsourcing, planned obsolescence, and economic instability in an increasingly unsettled world.
"You Get What You Pay For?"
Parents around the country have voiced alarm since the 2015 revelations of staggeringly high lead levels in the drinking water of Flint, Mich., and more recent reports of spikes in other cities and states. It is easy to understand why people are upset. “Children are particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead,” states the World Health Organization on its website. It goes on: “Even relatively low levels of exposure can cause serious and in some cases irreversible neurological damage.”