While the debate about luring Amazon to Massachusetts has been swirling in the papers, a smaller, sadder, but significant, story has been overlooked. Elwood Adams, the oldest hardware store in America, which opened in Worcester an astounding 235 years ago, is now closing because of Home Depot and the convenience of Amazon.

When we trade small, local, personal retail operations for the national chain stores, we lose connections, service, and investment in the community. We gain low prices, but those prices come at great cost to workers and to the communities they live in. Home Depot has 340,000 employees of which only 6% are full time. The big businesses corner markets, lower wages and squeeze suppliers, driving manufacturing out of the country. They accumulate wealth and political power out of all proportion, then invest in lobbyists, not in their workforces and not in our communities.

Our economy is upside down; productivity has increased 70% in 40 years but wages have gone up only 8%. We need a more inclusive and more democratic economy that supports working people and our local communities. Fortunately, hundreds of “new economy” organizations are popping up around the country to create local jobs through local capital. As president of the New Economy Coalition, I worked with creative organizations such as the American Sustainable Business Council, Business Alliance for Living Local Economies, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Shareable, the Post Carbon Institute, the Labor Network for Sustainability, the Transition Town movement, the Capital Institute, the Democracy Collaborative, B Lab, Slow Money, and dozens of others.


Our economy is upside down, pulling money and resources out of working households and delivering profits to Wall Street. We can turn it right side up to build prosperity for all.



  • Support the Raise Up Agenda ($15 minimum wage, paid family leave, and the Fair Share tax), but make it just the beginning of helping working households.
  • Review and reform regulations that create barriers to entry for small businesses.

  • Support the New Economy movement and build a local green jobs economy in partnership with the hundreds of innovative projects already underway in many Massachusetts communities.

  • Support new community and cooperative ownership models, some of which have a much longer history in the state than the limited liability corporation.

  • Connect citizens and businesses in new ways by building new infrastructure including transportation and WIFI across the Commonwealth.

  • Support local economies by encouraging institutional procurements from local businesses.

  • Support part-time workers with healthcare for all, day care and pre-K, and pension opportunities.

  • Support free public higher education, starting with debt-free college.

  • Increase education and training options for our workforce.

The New Economy is rising in our midst, thanks to the creativity of hundreds of thousands of Americans. We need a governor who understands these forces and can support their growing and positive impact on our local communities.

“It is not great wealth in a few individuals that proves a country is prosperous, but great general wealth evenly distributed among the people . . . It is the struggling masses who are the foundation [of this country]; and if the foundation be rotten or insecure, the rest of the structure must eventually crumble.
— Victoria Woodhull, first woman to run for President of the United States, 1872