Friday, December 08, 2006

The Fight to Reclaim America from Retail Giants

Stacy Mitchell at Alternet has a few words to say to consumers:
A growing number of communities are fighting back against the rising power of large retail stores like Wal-Mart. But real change won't come until we stop thinking of ourselves as consumers and start thinking of ourselves as engaged citizens.
The article is a bit long but she is spot on! This point is key:
Despite differences in circumstances and demographics, all of these successful campaigns -- and there have been dozens in the last two years -- have one striking commonality: a core part of their strategy involves getting people to see themselves not just as consumers, but as workers, producers, business owners, citizens, and stewards of their community. When people walk into a voting booth or city council meeting with this vastly expanded sense of their own economic and political identity, they are far more likely to reject big-box development projects and to endorse measures that force these companies to adhere to higher standards. This is a crucial lesson as we work to knit these local efforts together into a broader movement to counter the power of global corporations. [My emphasis]
For decades we have been trained to think of ourselves as consumers first and as responsible citizens second. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote: "the chain store, by furthering the concentration of wealth and of power and by promoting absentee ownership, is thwarting American ideals; that it is making impossible equality of opportunity; that it is converting independent tradesmen into clerks; and that it is sapping the resources, the vigor and the hope of the smaller cities and towns."

The article is definitly food for thought.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rob Frankel on Wal-Mart's Sinking Brand

Wal-Mart has no grand strategy, no future direction they are always reacting.

Wal-Mart is always telling you that you HAVE to shop there because you can't afford to shop anywhere else. I couldn't agree with these guys more. Lee Scott should listen.