A growing body of research is giving us new ways to quantify the harms of bigness and the benefits of local ownership. In this post, we round-up the important studies and provide the evidence that policymakers can use to craft better laws, business owners can use to rally support, and citizens can use to organize their communities.… Read More
When Michelle Obama visited a Walmart in Springfield, Missouri, a few weeks ago to praise the company’s efforts to sell healthier food, she did not say why she chose a store in Springfield of all cities. But, in ways that Obama surely did not intend, it was a fitting choice. This Midwestern city provides a chilling look at where Walmart wants to take our food system. … Read More
Raising the pay of Wal-Mart’s U.S. workers to a minimum of $12 an hour would lift many out of poverty and cost the average consumer, at most, $12.49 a year, according to a new study published by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. … Read More
"Our results indicate that the presence of Wal-Mart depresses social capital stocks in local communities," concluded Goetz and Rupasingha in their study, which was published by the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. The implications include both a weakened social fabric and "real costs for communities in the form of reduced economic growth."
The study examined both communities in which new Wal-Mart stores were built in the 1990s and those that already had a Wal-Mart at the beginning of the decade. The study controlled for other variables known to affect social capital stocks in a community, such as educational attainment.