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Karl Bode
News Guy

4 edits

2 recommendations

reply to richardpor

Re: Sinking to a New Low

You are attacking The American Consumer Institute for being a Free Market think tank

The American Consumer Institute is being attacked for being a free market think tank posing as consumer advocates.
I think it is the height of arrogance to think only left wing leaning consumer activist groups that advocate government regulation is the only way to benefit consumers.
Nice try, but nobody actually said this.

In fact the very idea that this is a "right versus left" debate is simplistic and divisive. It is more akin to People vs. Profit. That is not a partisan debate.

Everyone, across all ideologies, has a right to publish their PR. Just don't dress it up as consumer advocacy. Free market proselytizing is stock holder and corporate owner advocacy, not consumer advocacy.

By and large it is free-market think tanks resorting to dressing up their ideas as advocacy. Why? Because ideas such as unlimited merger ability, unlimited media consolidation, the elimination of environmental protections, and/or consumer protections do - shockingly - not float with real consumers.

Solution? Warp reality and con consumers into believing ideas that solely work to increase the wealth of the nation's wealthiest, actually benefit them.

How? By dressing up as an independent research firm that sells this repackaged and spun data to consumers, they can get lazy reporters not aware of the new and insidious stink known as astroturf to print PR as FACT.


I dont know anything about that group American Consumer Institute. Maybe they are great, maybe they are scum. But the automatic assumption that a free market buisness group must NOT be representing what is good for consumers says more about your bias then thiers.


New York, NY
Read what he said earlier he has done his research on this group and clearly knows far more than we do. Whether free market economics is good or bad is irrelevant, he is criticizing the people's intentions not the result of those intentions. Any means to end in your book eh?

Midlothian, VA
reply to Karl Bode
Fair enough.

I can tell you, as one who works in the political arena, both (all?) sides do this, as you put it, astroturfing.

I suspect your weltanschauung is tainting how you look at these "consumer advocacy" groups. After all, you said yourself that free market advocacy should be labeled stock holder/owner advocacy. As an economist, I can tell you that by and large, free markets do help consumers; how do you think America became the economic colossus that it is? But I guess the field of economics was invented by corporate hacks.

I wonder, you spent all this time to dig into the background of this website, but did you look at any of the data they offer? There are valid reasons to be against net neutrality legislation without considering the corporate bottom line.

Indeed, the effect of proposed legislation would just shift the supposed advantage from one set of corporations to another, why do you think Microsoft, Amazon.com, Apple, Disney, EBay,
and Yahoo!, among others, support it?

To quote Adam Thierer (but don't think too hard about it, since Cato receives corporate funding), "So, if it’s a debate between two large corporate interests, we can drop the ad hominem and just discuss which group of large corporations is trying to protect its property and its investments, and which group of large corporations is trying to win rents through the legislative and regulatory process."

And there's the rub. One of the main effects of regulation is advantage the politically connected. I often see people in these pages complaining about bought-off politicians this and that, why do you think that is?

The irony is, most (not all!) of the time, corporations love regulation because it knocks the small mom-and-pops out of competition (Walmart coming out for a minimum wage increase anyone?). To say real consumers don't support such and such is shaky at best given the woeful state of economics education in this country. If people actually knew how markets work, they wouldn't have to be afraid of them just like people in the dark ages were afraid and superstitious because they didn't know enough about science.
"It is a melancholy reflection that liberty should be equally exposed to danger whether the government have too much or too little power."—James Madison
It's right, it's free.

Karl Bode
News Guy

2 edits
I suspect your weltanschauung is tainting how you look at these "consumer advocacy" groups.
Again, anyone willing to label groups like this "consumer advocates" is drinking the Kool-Aid. Take the Heartland Institute for example. They argue smoking health concerns are "junk science" and thus the tobacco industry should not be regulated for the good of consumers. Reasonable? No. Consumer Advocacy? Hell no. They pose as "pro-smoker" while really working to keep government off of the tobacco industry. It's sleazy crap, not "consumer advocacy."
After all, you said yourself that free market advocacy should be labeled stock holder/owner advocacy. As an economist, I can tell you that by and large, free markets do help consumers
Perhaps. But these groups aren't just preaching for a free-market (already exists by and large), they're arguing for total deregulation and a largely impotent government regulatory authority, which, I don't care how you'd like to slice it, is not in the best interest of the consumer.