In the Public Interest

Why Corporations Fight

One of the reputed safeguards for consumers is that companies will challenge each other’s violations of law and marketplace excesses out of their own self interest. This doctrine is called economic pluralism and was given popular currency over twenty years ago in John K. Galbraith’s American Capitalism: The Theory of Countervailing Power. The trouble with…

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PROD, Teamsters, Truckers

What do over-the-road truck drivers do when they become dissatisfied with their Teamsters Union’s indifference toward unsafe tractor-trailers and driving conditions? They hire their own full-time lawyer in Washington to push the federal government on truck safety. With our encouragement, several hundred truck drivers have formed the Professional Drivers Council (PROD) whose director is Arthur…

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It’s A Gas — One Dollar A Gallon?

During the last month, sources within the oil industry began floating the prospect that gasoline could sell at a dollar a gallon within five years! The oil industry always thinks big whether in seeking tax loopholes, government insulation from competition or political campaign contributions. But in these days of calculated gasoline shortages, the industry’s “major”(about…

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Consumer Revolution

For many it was a scene to behold; for others it was a scene to bewail. But on that day, April 11th, amidst a tumultuous meeting of national meat boycott leaders in a large House of Representatives hearing room, the National Consumer Congress was born. Outside of the meeting room, ranchers were telling housewives that…

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The Lessons of the Meat Boycott

The nationwide consumer meat boycott drive may become a landmark event in the history of the consumer movement. Although the designated week for a maximum effort was April 1-8, the boycott’s effect on the future outlook and organization of consumers could be its most significant contribution. First and foremost, it arose out of a series…

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The California Emission Experiment

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Administrator, William Ruckelshaus, are beginning final consideration of the domestic motor vehicle manufacturers’ request for a one year suspension of the 1975 carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons motor vehicle emission standards. If EPA gives in, most large cities including Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, and Phoenix will be…

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Is There A Nuclear Blast In Your Future?

The struggle over the dangers of nuclear power plants throughout the United States centers on a collision of invincible hazards against immovable investments. After two decades of assurances by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and private utilities that nuclear power is acceptably safe, the evidence to the contrary has become undeniably impressive during the last…

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Outlaws At The OEO

What can Congress do when a government official purposefully and systematically breaks the law, as acting director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), Howard J. Phillips, is doing with White House approval? Ideologically fueled by hatred for government programs to Americans who are poor and helpless, Phillips is pursuing the dismantling or subversion of…

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Consuming the Consumer

If there was any hope that the White House would at least pay lip service to consumer protection, President Nixon’s recent “Human Resources” message to Congress scrapped it. The section in the message devoted to “Consumer Affairs” was a dismal declaration of no interest. Where previous Presidents have spoken about market place abuses of the…

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The Light That Fails

The lighting fixtures and electric utility industries have made it. By pushing for and installing higher and higher illumination levels in buildings, they have sold more fixtures, more services and more electricity. This escalating practice of waste shows no signs of abating even in this period of public concern over inflation and the nation’s energy…

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