Towards a Localist Policy Agenda

To regenerate local businesses, we’ll need more than Buy Local campaigns; we’ll need to change public policy, which now favors big business. In this presentation, Stacy Mitchell looks at seven key policy areas to focus on.

After 20 Years, Congress May Finally Pass Internet Sales Tax. Is it Too Late?

Not having to charge sales tax fueled Amazon’s growth for nearly 20 years. While it’s impossible not to see the company as a horse that’s already out the barn door, there’s still good reason to believe that the Marketplace Fairness Act will slow Amazon’s consolidation of retailing and provide benefit to independent businesses.

Why Walmart’s Death Grip on Our Food System Is Intensifying Poverty

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.

Survey Finds Independent Businesses Benefit from “Buy Local First” Campaigns, But Challenges Loom

An annual survey has found that independent businesses experienced solid revenue growth in 2012, buoyed in part by “buy local first” initiatives and growing public interest in supporting locally owned businesses. But the survey also documented significant challenges facing independent businesses, most notably an increase in “showrooming” and competition from online retailers, tax and subsidy policies that favor their big competitors, difficulty obtaining loans, and a customer base still reeling from the recession.

Bangladesh Fire Shows Why We Can’t Trust Walmart to Green Its Supply Chain

If Walmart will not pay 3 percent more for basic fire safety, if it readily abandons factories when cheaper production can be had elsewhere, if it declines even to come clean about where its goods are made – then how can we buy Walmart’s claim that it will transform factories across Asia into models of sustainability?