Day: November 25, 2018

Background Briefing: November 25, 2018


Amazon Continues to Capture the Retail Market

Following Black Friday and ahead of what has recently been labelled Cyber Monday, we examine the exodus of consumers from malls and big box stores towards online shopping dominated by Amazon. We discuss how, by initially outpricing competitors, Amazon has in a short time overtaken, and is effectively becoming, THE market for consumer goods to the point that they recently had hundreds cities throughout the US bend over backwards to become the new Amazon “HQ2”. And while offering Jeff Bezos billions in tax payer subsidies they were handing over invaluable data about American cities, giving Amazon an even greater logistical edge to reign over the new economy and set labor standards across the country. Stacy Mitchell , the co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the author of Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses, joins us to explain how the anti-competitive and anti-democratic tendencies of tech giants have been legitimized and enabled by the recent headquarters ‘sweepstakes’. Meanwhile Amazon continues to capture the retail market while laying the infrastructure for the new economy they will dominate, all the while getting multi-billion dollar contacts from a government that is failing to regulate them.


Reverend Billy on How to Stop Shopping

Then, as Americans who still visit malls and brick and mortar storefronts are healing their wounds from the stampede of Black Friday shoppers, we speak with the Reverend Billy, an anti-consumerist activist, who in the role of a revivalist minister leads the Church of Stop Shopping, a group of post-patriarchal activists who sing while defending neighborhood economies and freedom of expression in public places, often by staging exorcisms at megamalls and banks as well as other direct actions that have led to Reverend Billy being jailed more than 50 times. We discuss the Church of Stop Shopping’s protests over the past weekend highlighting causes from saving Mother Earth to stopping police killings as they interrupted the frenzied bargain shoppers with chants such as ‘hand up!, don’t shop!’