Businessweek News – Microsoft, Paul Ryan, Neil DeMause

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Businessweek News - Microsoft, Paul Ryan, Neil DeMause

The Great Dumbing Down of Video Gaming Consoles
Sony and Microsoft used to spend billions of dollars on custom chips for their consoles, but now they’re buying off-the-shelf silicon

Obama’s .3 Trillion Budget Gift to Paul Ryan
The House budget chairman railed against the president’s tax increases and Medicare cuts, but his new budget keeps them in place

How the 49ers’ Popularity Is Affecting Taxpayers
Seat licenses are selling briskly for the new 49ers Stadium, which is good news and bad news for taxpayers


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Stacy Mitchell is a researcher and writer at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), a national nonprofit organization that challenges corporate consolidation of the economy and champions policies to nurture community-scaled enterprise.

Stacy directs two ILSR initiatives on independent business and community banking. Her analysis has helped inspire many grassroots campaigns and provided empirical support for changes to local and state policy.

Stacy’s articles have appeared in Business Week, The Nation, Grist, Utne Reader, Sojourners, and many daily newspapers. Her book, Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses, was named one of the top ten business books of 2007 by Booklist.

In 2006, she helped launch the Portland Independent Business & Community Alliance, which has a membership today of over 400 local businesses and runs Portland’s popular “buy local” campaign.

Stacy is a graduate of Macalester College, where she studied U.S. labor and environmental history. She lives in Portland with her husband.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


  1. Walter Clark says:

    She sets up the case that government is too involved with commerce where the big companies have the legal resources to profit from these rules and the small companies don't.
    Her solution is not to take away the government involvement but to move the gifts of the State from the few to the many. How does government do that better than customers in free enterprise? You could do it politically by identifying the beneficiaries of the state by name. Since picking names can be abused, the government bureaucracy makes rules, more rules on top of those already there such as some maximum dollar amount on some bookkeeping ledger. Rules which big companies can more easily afford to respond to. There’s no rule the lawyer with more options can’t get around.
    The more involvement of those who make the rules of economic activity, the more they become the customer. And that’s at the expense of the influence of those served by enterprise in open market competition. Who but the big company can most easily respond to rules? They have the most options; they can even figure out ways to look small if that’s what it takes.
    Take away the punch bowl, don't just make it so those with more options can reach it.

  2. Roger S says:

    This is actually a PEER TO PEER CAPITALISM, NOT "SHARING". Another model that involves money. "Sharing economy" is just another way to make money and can be exploitative to their volunteers, workers and the present system. The workers have to work several jobs to make enough to survive.
    Not relying on your tax money, money from government funded charity organization and money donation from people is the real sustainable movement: unlike some of these models under "sharing economy" that rent something in exchange for your money is just another profitable form of capitalism in disguise. Do some research who they took from to start their business.

  3. Ray Chang says:

    Not that I don't believe her but she makes many, many claims with little data to support them. I have read researches that equally convincingly make the case that large institutions, even near monopolies like Microsoft and Amazon are far more beneficial to consumers than small mom and pop store.

  4. Sami Folio says:

    no such thing as evil corporation only evil consumers

  5. Elizabeth Thornlow says:

    How can I cite this Ted Talk using MLA? I can't find the recording on

  6. Geo T says:

    This still misses the crucial problem with the economy: It aims to GROW indefinitely on this finite planet, which is mathematically insane and destroys nature and other species. People like their comforts, so few will talk honestly about the end of growth. They just pass the buck to future consumer drones.

  7. David Wilkie says:

    ..suppose that, for the sake of a healthy economy we inoculated against the corporate criminals by having another corporate idea to raise standards.
    (We could call it democracy, or governing or rationality or whatever is the opposite of worshipping irresponsible individualism).

  8. Christian Libertarian says:

    I disagree with her conclusion that individual purchasing decisions won't make a difference. In fact, it is the individual purchasing decisions that have created the situation we are in right now. If we want to get rid of the giantism, we should stop patronizing the giants. But we don't.

  9. Merlin Partlow says:

    Idealism is wonderful. Corporations own America. Your thoughts will never come true without money and investments.

  10. David Bofinger says:

    The book story is an interesting one to think about. Firstly, it's not local – the brother didn't live in the same city, and the reason it works isn't because people live near each other. It's more to do with social networks. Second, it's an example of the sister's privacy being selectively violated, to the sister's benefit. Amazon could do that, except that it would be illegal to tell her brother what books she read. The moral might be that although we want some things kept secret, there might be many things that companies keep secret for us that we'd rather they didn't. Maybe it would be handy to have a check box that reads "let others know I bought this" on the shopping cart page.

  11. Martyna Wasiluk says:

    The book story makes me want to cry ;___; so sweet.

  12. Andrew Carosi says:

    what she has described at the start here is the definition of crony capitalism

  13. m1force says:

    Wow, this lady is a genius: "And I think. And I think. And I think." lol. Big businesses have an absolute advantage, but not a comparative advantage. I really don't care about favoring small businesses over big or vice versa.

  14. Karen Ness says:

    Bottom line, government has to stop ruling for the big guys against the little guys. The big guys end up making the rules in Washington, and the little guys can only be found on juries, which, oh surprise, are only given 2% of cases to rule on… That means that the big guys get to decide 98% of cases. And what we all just refuse to see is that behind every ruling, every law, is the threat of prison backed up by State guns. That is how things get lopsided…

  15. Desolo SubHumus says:

    Great talk, but choosing the iPad over the Kindle so she's not locked into buying books from Amazon? Now she's locked into buying books, music, movies, and other digital content from Apple, which is even worse than Amazon in terms of human exploitation, where Chinese employees find working to make Apple products for such low pay and in crappy conditions that they commit suicide while on lunch break. Apple 'fixed' that by requiring all future Chinese employees to sign a contract with Apple stating that they would face legal problems from Apple if they committed suicide and that they must sign the contract, vowing to never commit suicide while employed making products for Apple, to be considered for employment. Content creators are also screwed by Apple. When I released my first album, if I had chosen to release it on iTunes, I would have had to pay fees to Apple, agree to a legally binding document stating that Apple would hold exclusive rights to my content with the ability to sue me if I tried to sell using any other platform, and agree to letting Apple set the price for my content and to allow Apple to keep roughly 75% of all money I earned for the privilege.

    On the other hand, you can read books purchased through Amazon on your Kindle, as well as any ebook file (epub, pdf, etc.) on any locally stored computer linked to your Kindle. Apple and Amazon are both poor choices, but at least Amazon is slightly less poor of a choice – just slightly.

    My choice? Use formats that are cross-browser compatible and are not proprietary for creating and distributing content and use free browsers, preferably open source, to read or view content you have downloaded. The money paid for content goes to content creators – win/win. Well, almost. We need a better option than PayPal, ApplePay, or Google Wallet, though Google Wallet seems to be the fairest of the three.

    Just don't pat yourself on the back for buying an iPad.

  16. ma pro says:

    great talk, but don't be naive the system has to come down before something better can replace it, isn't it strange this feels like the weimar republic period in Germany..take it from there and you can understand what is really going on.

  17. Robert Galletta says:

    farms throw away 1/3 of the stuff they grow just because it isn't pretty enough

  18. Chen Sun says:

    Unlike most sociologists complaining about the economy and social impact of the economy, she actually has some ideas.   But she needs a few more courses in economics to get more depth.

  19. Janstein VonSquidmeirsteen says:

    The hourglass of which you speak is really the issuance of money, debt-based money.  The Boston Tea Party was due to an act which forced people to use krowne currency instead of the local scrip in financial transactions.  Though your recommendation is only fractionally better than what we presently have.

  20. Alfredo LdeR says:

    Indeed:  Small is Beautiful, and Big is Subsidized

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