Its All About the Consumer (wink wink)

Countless regulations and laws in the US that are ostensibly consumer protection turn out to be simple power plays by government officials and well-connected corporations.

We see this yet again in Argentina, where a government takeover of the newsprint business was ostensibly justified based on "unfair" business practices by the previous owners.  Of course, the only thing the Argentine government, which recently started prosecuting private economists for disagreeing with government inflation numbers, finds "unfair" is the fact that newsprint is being sold to papers who publish unflattering articles about the government.  More here.

The same Argentine legislation defines a new crime right out of Atlas Shrugged that they call economic terrorism, which in practice will likely be interpreted as 1) businesses that do anything that the current rules do not like or 2) businesses that get just too valuable for government officials to resist grabbing them for themselves.

  • http://tjic.com TJIC

    It's a good thing that that Can't Happen Here (tm) !

  • Ted Rado

    Most consumer protection laws are unnecessary. The buying public takes care of these problems nicely. A couple of personal examples: I had a crooked Chevy dealer. After a couple of bad experiences, I went elsewhere. He went out of business a couple of years later. I had a Ford dealer who charged for a switch replacesment he didn't do. I again went elsewhere,and he also went out of business. Consumers punish dishonest or incompetent businesses and the situation corrects itself. The main thing is to ensure free competition which gives us the best results and keeps service providers on their toes. Yes, some people are cheated along the way, but are tons of burdensome government bureaucracies any improvement?

    All that draconian gov regulations accomplish is to drive up costs and bury us all in red tape. There are always those who will cheat until caught by the Feds or the consumer.

  • http://bobagard.blogspot.com Bob Agard

    Would the government's decision to ban incandescent bulbs be an example of this?