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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LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

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