Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Politics 101: Consumer Advocates

Earlier today I was talking with a co-worker about Ralph Nader and why I was supporting him over the 2 major party candidates. During the discussion I mentioned the term consumer advocate at which I was asked, "What is a consumer advocate?" It had not dawned on me that there are people that don't actually know what this means so I thought I would explain it a little here so those that read it might have a better understanding of where Mr. Nader is coming from.

In its simplest terms, a consumer advocate is a person (or group) that fights to protect consumer interests in areas such as safety or health. They lobby the government to regulate industries about their goods and services.

For instance, laws such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the Truth in Lending Act were federal laws in this country brought about by consumer advocacy.

In Mr. Nader's case, his efforts have led to things like the Clean Air Act, the Clean Drinking Water Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Other notable consumer advocates include Florence Kelley, who works primarily in the area of children's rights.

In the United States, groups such as the Better Business Bureau, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and Consumer Federation of America, are considered consumer advocacy groups.

So who are consumer advocates? Quite simply, they are lobbyists that lobby not for big business, but for the only special interest group that should matter, the people of the United States.

When you go vote tomorrow (or later today depending on where you are in the country when this was posted) remember who is really on your side? The Democrats? The Republicans? Or is it someone who has been fighting for you for almost 5 decades.

Vote Nader for President!

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