Quote of the Day: Amazon Has Destroyed Retail Sales

Our Treasury secretary is all in favor of the Justice Department’s antitrust review of online platforms:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that he supported the Justice Department’s efforts to look into Amazon, because the tech giant has “destroyed the retail industry.”

“I think if you look at Amazon, although there are certain benefits to it, they’ve destroyed the retail industry across the United States, so there’s no question they’ve limited competition,” Mnuchin said during an interview on CNBC. “There’s areas where they’ve really hurt small businesses.”

Is this true? Here’s the raw data:

There’s no question that online shopping has hurt traditional retail sales, but “destroyed” seems a little apocalyptic, no?

If the Justice Department wants to investigate Amazon for, say, unfairly monopolizing the e-commerce space, that’s fine. Go get ’em. But if the “problem” is that consumers have a growing preference for shopping one way rather than another, then forget it. That’s not something the federal government needs to be involved in.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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