Business: THE CONSUMER'S IMPOTENT FRIEND IN WASHINGTON

WHILE every special interest has a lobby in Washington, the U.S. consumer does not. Yet he is supposed to have one: the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC was created in 1914, partly to enforce antitrust laws and partly to stop misleading advertising, false labeling and deceptive sales practices—precisely the abuses that are most infuriating consumers now. By all expert accounts, the FTC has failed in its task. Last week a special commission of 16 lawyers, professors and economists appointed by the American Bar Association explained the reasons for that failure. The agency, charged the commission, is a model of bureaucratic inertia,...

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