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About Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise.  She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and also produces a popular monthly newsletter, the Hometown Advantage Bulletin.  Connect with her on twitter and catch her TEDx Talk: Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy. More

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Monopoly Report: Cover Image
Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 10, 2016

Monopoly Power and the Decline of Small Business: The Case for Restoring America’s Once Robust Antitrust Policies

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/monopoly-power-and-the-decline-of-small-business/

The United States is much less a nation of entrepreneurs than it was a generation ago. This report suggests that the decline of small businesses is owed, at least in part, to anticompetitive behavior by large, dominant corporations. Drawing on examples in pharmacy, banking, telecommunications, and retail, it finds that big companies routinely use their size and their economic and political power to undermine their smaller rivals and exclude them from markets. This report presents three compelling reasons to bring a commitment to fair and open markets for small businesses back into antitrust enforcement and public policy, and concludes by outlining several specific steps to revive competition and small business. Continue reading

Photo: A U.S. flag with corporate logos.
Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 4, 2016

After Three Decades of Neglect, Antitrust Is Back on the Democratic Platform

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/after-three-decades-of-neglect-antitrust-is-back-on-the-democratic-platform/

For the first time in 28 years, the Democratic Party platform calls for vigorous, stepped-up enforcement of our anti-monopoly laws. This remarkable shift in policy was made possible in part by the Bernie Sanders movement, but it’s also the product of years of advocacy by scholars and activists who believe that high levels of concentration in banking, retail, agribusiness and other sectors are ravaging our economy and democracy. Continue reading

Photo: Empty Walmart.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 17, 2016

With 269 Stores Closing, Is this the Beginning of the End for Walmart?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/with-269-stores-closing-is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-walmart/

All great retail empires eventually fall. A&P did. So did Montgomery Ward. But Walmart’s recent announcement that it would close 269 stores may not be an initial stumble on a path toward demise so much as a move to abandon communities that it has decided simply aren’t worth the trouble. We look at both the bad and the good fallout from Walmart’s pullback, and how its closures are best explained as a side effect of its main strategy for dominating the economy: overbuilding regions to the point of not just destroying competition but cannibalizing its own sales, while communities bear the consequences. Continue reading

ILSR logo
Featured ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 22, 2015

New Analysis: Amazon Warehouses Impose Hidden Costs on Communities

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/new-analysis-amazon-warehouses-impose-hidden-costs-on-communities/

Amazon is on a building spree, and many local officials are eager to bring one of its giant fulfillment centers to their own backyard.  But a new analysis from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) indicates that communities are losing more than they gain in these projects. Contact: Stacy Mitchell, 207-232-3681 Co-Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance… Continue reading

Amazon_warehouse
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 22, 2015

5 Things Local Officials Need to Know About Amazon

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/5-things-local-officials-need-to-know-about-amazon/

Amazon is on a building spree, and many local officials are eager to bring one of its giant fulfillment centers to their own backyard. They are so eager, in fact, that some have resorted to offering the company lavish tax breaks and other public assistance. Between 2012 and 2014, Amazon picked up $431 million in local tax incentives to finance its warehouse expansion. Yet, as our analysis shows, Amazon fulfillment centers impose so many hidden costs on local economies that cities ought to reconsider welcoming them at all, much less greasing the way with public funds. Continue reading

Map: Number of banks by state.
Featured Article filed under Banking | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 1, 2015

How One State Escaped Wall Street’s Rule and Created a Banking System That’s 83% Locally Owned

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/map-shows-how-well-the-bank-of-north-dakota-works/

In North Dakota, the banking sector bears little resemblance to that of the rest of the country. North Dakotans do not depend on Wall Street banks to decide the fate of their livelihoods and the future of their communities, and rely instead on locally owned banks and credit unions. With 89 small and mid-sized community banks and 38 credit unions, North Dakota has six times as many locally owned financial institutions per person as the rest of the nation, and these institutions control a resounding 83 percent of the market. Much of the difference is owed to the Bank of North Dakota. Continue reading

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Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 27, 2015

Coalition of Authors Calls for an Investigation into Amazon’s Monopoly

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/authors-call-for-investigation-of-amazon-monopoly/

Amazon’s predatory monopoly is still unchecked, but a coalition of authors is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate it. In a 24-page letter, the coalition contends that Amazon is abusing its market power in ways that undermine competition and compromise liberty, free speech, and democracy.
Continue reading

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Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 3, 2015

Walmart Spews a Huge Amount of Climate Pollution with Its Shipping, but Doesn’t Report Any of It

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/walmart-shipping-climate-pollution/

No company moves as much stuff across the world’s oceans as Walmart does, and the climate consequences are immense. Ferrying all those cheap TVs, T-shirts, toasters, and toys from Asian factories to ports in the U.S. and elsewhere releases huge amounts of greenhouse pollutants into the atmosphere, including both carbon dioxide (CO2) and black carbon. We’ve compiled a few key data points on shipping’s climate impact and Walmart’s dominance in the movement of goods across the world’s oceans. Continue reading

Illustration: Seesaw
Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on May 8, 2015

How Washington Punishes Small Business

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/how-washington-punishes-small-business/

Small business looms large in American political rhetoric. From the campaign trail to the floor of the U.S. House and Senate, members of Congress love to evoke the diner and dry cleaner, the neighborhood grocer and local hardware store. Ensuring the well-being of Main Street, we might easily assume, is one of their central policy aims. The legislative track record tells another story. It is one in which the interests of big corporations are dominant, and many laws and regulations seem designed to bend the marketplace in their favor and put small, independent businesses at a competitive disadvantage. Continue reading