In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180 #02535

Submission Number:
Christopher Doeblin
New York
Initiative Name:
In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
Dear Sirs, I am the owner of a small business with 75 employees and 4 retail stores in New York City. It is entirely wrong to approve the merger of Staples and Essendant. We have for decades now capitulated to the largest companies and corporations at the expense of small businesses. The results are clear. We can see them in the lack of strength in our small businesses, the empty storefronts and most importantly in the divergence of the business profits going to a smaller and smaller set of owners. The single most cohesive and democratic characteristic of our nation ought to be an equal sharing of the benefits of our great nation. In no way can that be more clearly and truly gained than in having a wide and abundant swath of our citizens owning a stake in their nation's future - and their own- by virtue of owning a business. Others will surely point to potent job creation and economic power of small business. Some will fervently call on you to notice the richness of the American people that can only be expressed by a rich tapestry of representation in small business. Are we to be a Nation of citizens, with individual stories, ideas, points of view, and plots or fields or our own to till? Are we to continue down this path of empowering ever larger corporate entities that are sapping the very essence of our democracy from us. We are setting up companies to extract the wealth from communities and cities and our nation as a whole while rather than empowering those companies that truly create value for the communities where they operate. It is not too strong to propose that one of the greatest threats to our democracy is this ongoing consolidation of wealth and power. It happens because we have calibrated our compasses to see low prices and high efficiency as the best thing for consumers. But consumers don't just consume and I know because I'm one them. I am a father and a treasurer at my girls school and on the BID of two of neighborhoods where we have stores. I am a citizen in need of health insurance and a better school and I want the parks in our city and state to be clean and the environment cared for with the stewardship that the land and rivers and mountains of America deserves. And non of that will come when all we can see is ourselves as consumers alone. Yes of course it will cost more to have buy goods and services from a larger and more diverse set of businesses. But in that diversity we find America. We will find the best innovation- it can only come with competition. We will find more profoundly engaged citizens. We can find one another on the same footing in aspiration and social standing. Please understand what is happening here. We must turn the tide of this terrible trend back to the individual. Let us consider with the best of our hearts and minds - each other- the responsibilities we have to the full expectations of our lives and hopes and the fullness of that vision we wish for our children. It is so much more rich and fulfilling and certainly it will require a greater effort, a bigger heart, greater leadership, a sense of stewardship for our land and our nation and the intricate balances of our economy. Thank you. Chris