Directions of the Consumer Movement

Archive Report

Rising Concern for Consumer Rights

Size and Shapelessness of the Consumer Movement

If the sixties were a decade of militant minorities demanding civil rights, the 1970s may prove to be the decade of the militant majority demanding consumer rights. Every American is a consumer, from the president of General Motors to the assembly-line worker in a Chevrolet plant. The consumer movement, then, has virtually unlimited membership potential and hence should have the power to sweep all opposition aside. Private consumer groups are active at the federal, state, and local levels, as are government-supported consumer-protection agencies. But the consumer movement, if large, is diffuse. Concerted action by consumer groups is difficult to achieve, and the fragmented and overlapping authority of government agencies can and does lead to ...

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