Large retail chains have become the most powerful corporations in America and are rapidly transforming our economy, communities, and landscape. In this deft and revealing book, Stacy Mitchell illustrates how mega-retailers are fueling many of our most pressing problems, from the shrinking middle class to rising water pollution and diminished civic engagement.Mitchell's investigation takes us from the suburbs of Cleveland to a fruit farm in California, the stockroom of an Oregon Wal-Mart, and a Pennsylvania town's Main Street. She uncovers the shocking role government policy has played in the expansion of mega-retailers and builds a compelling case that communities composed of many small businesses are healthier and more prosperous than those dominated by large chains.More than a critique, Big-Box Swindle draws on real life to show how some communities are successfully countering the spread of mega-retailers and rebuilding their local economies. Mitchell describes innovative approaches-from cutting-edge land-use policies to small-business initiatives-that together provide a detailed road map to a more prosperous and sustainable future.From the Hardcover edition.
The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America's Independent Businesses