CONSUMERISM: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed

"The lobbyists have come out of the woodwork," said Jimmy Carter with obvious anger last week. "Selfish special-interest groups," he complained, were spreading"misinformation" about one of his pet projects: a new federal agency to guard consumer interests. The target of Carter's angry words was none other than the U.S. business community, whose support he has been ardently seeking since he took office. Led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, businessmen have mounted a lobbying campaign that may kill the agency's chances.

Ralph Nader and other consumer advocates have fought since the...

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