Friday, October 06, 2006

Big Box Swindle

Anyone interested in the danger of box store proliferation needs to go out and buy Stacy Mitchell's book, "The Big Box Swindle." Mitchell, a researcher for the Institute of Local Self Reliance, is one of this country's leading experts on the way in which box stores harm local economies. In particular she outlines just how much more money circulation-what she calls the multiplier effect-a locality gets from local businesses than from the big box chains.

Following Mitchell's analysis you can get a much better idea of just how lacking in substance all of the "low price" arguments are when it comes to gauging the economic benefits of the big boxes. Her argument gains even more when we examine the current wage trends that Wal-Mart is spearheading in this country.