Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy: Stacy Mitchell’s TEDx Talk

Date: 1 Dec 2012 | posted in: Retail | 14 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In this TEDx talk, delivered on October 20, 2012 at TEDxDirigo‘s Villages conference at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine,  conference, ILSR Senior Researcher Stacy Mitchell argues for a new phase in the local economy movement. She notes that there’s been a resurgence of support for small farms, local businesses, and community banks, but argues:

“As remarkable as these trends are, they are unlikely to amount to more than an small sideshow on the margins of the mainstream if the only way we can conceive of confronting corporate power and bringing about a new economy is through our buying decisions… What we really need to do is change the underlying policies that shape our economy. We can’t do that through the sum of our individual behavior in the marketplace. We can only do it by exercising our collective power as citizens.”

Please watch and leave us your comments, and help us share widely.

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Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and designs policy to counter concentrated corporate power and strengthen local economies.

14 Responses

  1. Bill Bradburd
    | Reply

    thanks for your vision and leadership in this realm, Stacy.

    so much of our conversation about economics, sustainability and justice miss the crux of what you point out: that our models for everyday living have been hijacked (or we have unwittingly succumbed) and we need to reclaim control. now is the time to reestablish local resilience and capacity.

  2. Nolan Olhausen
    | Reply

    Bought your book some time ago. Love it and use it still. And now this?

    Wow! You are something else.

    Speaking of books, have you seen “The Find Print” by David Cay Johnston? He has been on the circuit for a while now. A great asset to folks wanting defend and promote the local economy.

    Keep up the excellent work. Really appreciate it.

    Have a great day.

    Nolan Olhausen

  3. Julia Bair
    | Reply

    Thank you!! That was very informative! I really appreciate what your doing! Thanks again 🙂 Julia

  4. Scott Heiser
    | Reply

    I very much appreciate your research and insight. But, what can I do?

    I’m a small business owner in San Angelo, Texas (pop.97,000) with two Wallmart stores, SAM’s Club, Ross and the list of big-box stores goes on and on. I work directly with other small business owners providing Internet marketing strategies and campaigns that attempt to reinvigorate “shop at your local independent retail stores” and influence the spending habits of local citizens. And, as you said in the video, “It’s a start.”

    What’s next? What can the average Joe do to change local, state and federal legislation that only benefits the big-box retail stores? Please point me in a direction, hopefully the right direction, that will help me make a difference in my small town of San Angelo, Texas..

  5. Eric James
    | Reply

    Perhaps a new direction would be renewed focus on localism or regionalism. Metropols that leverage the assets and resources of its entire region can develop local niches. It’s much in the way “small” Chinese cities are becoming these international manufacturing hubs, distinguishing themselves from the big players.

  6. Jan Weissmiller
    | Reply

    Wonderful talk! I have been thinking ever since the election that we need to keep the Democratic power base as mobilized to change legislation as it was to re-elect Obama. If we could do that even when we were up against Citizens United, we should be able to accomplish much more. I will share this talk and do everything I can to help change the policies that keep us at the mercy of big business.

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