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Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on May 17, 2017

Listen: MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell in conversation about Amazon

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/listen-msnbcs-chris-hayes-and-ilsrs-stacy-mitchell-in-conversation-about-amazon/

In this 45-minute discussion, ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes talk about Amazon — including its power as an online platform, the importance of competition for a healthy economy, and the need for a public policy response to the company’s growing dominance. Continue reading

Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 5, 2017

With Healthcare Middlemen Controlling Prescription Drug Prices, There’s a Better Model for Pharmacy Care

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/with-healthcare-middlemen-controlling-prescription-drug-prices-theres-a-better-model-for-pharmacy-care/

There’s a small group of powerful companies, called pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, that increasingly controls the prices of prescription drugs. The results of this market power include higher costs, worse outcomes for patients, and diminishing competition. A new article in the American Prospect looks at the problem and what state and federal governments should do about it, including such solutions as North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law. Continue reading

Photo: Sen. Amy Klobuchar delivering a speech on antitrust.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 4, 2017

Anticompetitive Conditions Are Impacting Independent Businesses, Says Letter to Sen. Klobuchar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/anticompetitive-conditions-are-impacting-independent-businesses-says-letter-to-sen-klobuchar/

In today’s highly concentrated markets, the ability of dominant companies to exclude and impede businesses from competing has become one of the most pressing issues facing independent businesses. On the heels of a recent speech about the need for more vigorous antitrust enforcement by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Advocates for Independent Business (AIB) has sent Sen. Klobuchar a letter commending her call for action and sharing information about the experiences of AIB’s member businesses. Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 9, 2017

America’s Major Market Power Problem – Episode 13 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/market-power-problem-episode-13-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

Welcome to episode thirteen of the Building Local Power podcast. For full transcript of the podcast, click here. In this episode, Christopher Mitchell, the director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the ILSR and director of the Community-Scaled Economies initiative. The two discuss the environment for small businesses in the… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Dec 26, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions for Electric Utilities, Happy 2017!

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/2017-electric-utility-resolutions/

The turn of the year is a perfect time for monopoly electric utilities nationwide to reflect on their substandard policies and embrace changes that will bring cleaner, more affordable energy to their customers. By finally committing to truly support distributed generation and renewables, these utilities can ensure their customers will have the choice and freedom… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 29, 2016

Report: How Amazon’s Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities

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

Amazon has quietly positioned itself at the center of a growing share of our daily activities and transactions, extending its tentacles across our economy, and with it, our lives. In this new report, we pull back the curtain on the company, and find that it’s at the center of increasing inequality and diminishing opportunity, and that it’s concentrating power in ways that endanger competition, community life, and democracy. We also examine how public policy should address Amazon’s high costs. Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 14, 2016

Could A 40-Year-Old Law Let More Customers “Exit” the Grid?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/can-a-40-year-old-law-let-more-customers-exit-the-grid/

As state regulators restricted the ability of home and business owners in Nevada to receive sufficient compensation for solar on their rooftops, some large companies started looking towards other options. In 2016, at least two major Las Vegas casinos agreed to pay multi-million dollar “exit fees” to leave the service of incumbent monopoly utility NV Energy… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Aug 18, 2016

Changing the Language of Renewable Energy, the Electric Monopoly’s Newest Ploy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/changing-the-language-of-renewable-energy-the-electric-monopolys-newest-ploy/

What happens when utility companies lose ground as their customers cut consumption and seek innovative technologies like rooftop solar? New business ventures to capture customer interest? Other new technologies? Instead, investor-owned utilities (through the Edison Electric Institute trade organization) poured money into communications consultants, and the result of this “Lexicon Project” says volumes about their plans… 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

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jul 4, 2016

Competition and Freedom at Stake – Episode 37 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/competition-and-freedom-at-stake-episode-37-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

Incentives designed to make rooftop solar feasible for a wider range of consumers are under attack nationwide, threatening new solar development as well as the consumers that already have rooftop panels. The staunchest opponents? Utilities who say, despite a growing body of research to the contrary, that rooftop solar hurts other ratepayers and their bottom… Continue reading