Thursday, May 22, 2014


     Americans in general get nervous about the gathering of so much corporate power, particularly when it is amassed by large companies based in distant cities whose success could change the character of their own communities.  Walmart faced this skepticism;  so did Sears, Woolworth's, and the other retail giants of each age, all the way back to the A & P grocery chain, which battled a ruinous antitrust lawsuit during the 1940's.  Americans flock to large retailers for their convenience and low prices.  But at a certain point, these companies get so big that a contradiction in the public's collective psyche reveals itself.  We want things cheap, but we don't really want anyone undercutting the mom-and-pop store down the street or the locally owned bookstore, whose business has been under assault for decades, first by the rise of chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble and now by Amazon.
-Brad Stone,  The Everything Store:  Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

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