Professor Adam Levitin has a great post on the anti-consumer agenda he sees US corporations pushing up at Credit Slips. Levitin writes:
Instead of a laboratory of experiements to help level the b2c playing field, we see a different trend emerging: a distinct anti-consumer agenda that aims to reduce consumer bargaining power and information. Consider the common theme that runs through the following issues:
- AT&T v. Concepcion (waiver of class actions in arbitrations)
- Attempts to bust up public employee unions (and attacks on unions in general, such as the failure of Card Check legislation)
- Citizens United (corporate speech rights)
- Attempts to retain the current corrupt swipe fee system (failure of antitrust)
- Attacks on public health insurance (prohibition on Medicare bargaining over prescription drug prices and the death of the public option)
- Attempts to first kill off and now to maim the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
There might be other items to add to this list (and please feel free to note so in the comments), but to me, it paints a disturbing picture of a concerted anti-consumer agenda.
There are distinct constituencies for each of these issues, but I think it’s important to recognize that there’s a larger strategic move going on here.
Levitin is asking how this happens and what leads to it being a concerted effort. I’d point him in the direction of the US Chamber of Commerce, which is a leading lobbying body for business against consumers for almost all of the issues Levitin lists.