Brown Bag Green Book tackles the hidden cost of discounts

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Brown Bag Green Book tackles the hidden cost of discounts

Posted: 11/30/2009
The Brown Bag Green Book series sponsored by the Knox County Public Library and the City of Knoxville continues at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, in the East Tennessee History Center Auditorium, 601 South Gay Street. Dr. Bill Shiell, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, will lead a discussion of Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell.

"Cheap addresses our need for more stuff by challenging our assumptions about discounts," said Dr. Shiell. "The book says that just because something is on sale does not make it a good value. During the shopping season, this book asks us to look beyond the sale price and examine how our purchases reflect our values. "

Shell tackles more than just discount culture in this wide-ranging book that argues that the American drive toward bargain-hunting and low-price goods has a hidden cost in lower wages for workers and reduced quality of goods for consumers. In the book's most involving passages, Shell deftly analyzes the psychology of pricing and demonstrates how retailers manipulate subconscious bargain triggers that affect even the most knowing consumers. The author urges shoppers to consider spending more and buying locally, but acknowledges the inevitability of globalization and the continuation of trends toward efficient, cost-effective production.

Dr. Shiell received his B.A. in religion from Samford University (1994), an M.Div. in theology from Baylor University's Truett Seminary (1997), and his Ph.D. in religion from Baylor University (2003). He has published two books.

The public is invited to join the conversation, but reading the book is optional.

The Brown Bag Green Book program will continue on Tuesday, February 2nd, 12 p.m. in the East Tennessee History Center Auditorium, 601 S Gay Street, and will be a part of a larger series of events about water in partnership with the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy. Join Renee Hoyos (Tennessee Clean Water Network), Joanne Logan (Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science University of Tennessee), and Tiffany Foster (Tennessee Valley Authority) for a discussion of Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water by Maude Barlow.

For more information, please call Emily Ellis at 215-8763 or visit