Consumer Protection or Government Power Protection?
A good article reprinted from Henry Hazlitt’s 1969 “Man vs. the Welfare State” over at the Mises Institute Blog.
In pertinent part:
The pervading assumption of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations was that any and all problems could be solved if only we piled up enough new laws and restrictions. Yet it may be doubted that consumers are going to be helped much by defaming and harassing producers.
The consumer has one great protection against incompetent producers or dishonest sellers. This is his own intelligence and his own decisions. His views are heard every day in his purchases and refusals to purchase. With every penny that he spends, the individual consumer is casting his vote for this product and against that. He does not need to sign petitions or march in picket lines. If he patronizes a product, the firm that makes it prospers and grows; if he stops buying a product, the firm that makes it goes out of business. The consumer is the boss. The producers must please him or die.
Unless, of course, the government props the producers up. I’m looking at you, American auto and banking industries…