Consumer Alert


In an era when free enterprise is the key to an efficient, productive,
and successful country, business sometimes digresses from their true duties of
producing goods and services at an honest and decent price. Consumer Alert,
founded in 1977, was founded with a single purpose in mind: "to advance the
consumer interest through advocacy of free-market solutions to consumer
dissatisfaction and scrutiny of any action which discourages competition in the
marketplace."
Consumer Alert was founded in 1977 as a national, non-profit membership
organization for people concerned about excessive growth of government
regulation at the national and state levels. Consumer Alert\'s mission is to
inform the public about the consumer benefits of competitive enterprise and to
expose the flawed economic, scientific and risk data that underlie certain
public policies. Now, Consumer Alert is the home to the spare time of over
6,000 volunteers. Each of these volunteers donate their valuable time to
Consumer Alert for the sole reason of upholding high ethics within the American
marketplace. Anyone can become a member. The only qualification is that the
individual have a distinct and strong faith in competitive enterprise, a healthy
skepticism of government solutions, a dislike of government related monopolies,
labor, or business, and be in the favor of safe technology, free trade, smaller
government and lower taxes. We found that to become a member, all it would take
is $35 and a mailed in request to their office in Washington. Consumer Alert
depends on contributions from individual donors, corporations, and foundations
to protect consumer choice and competition and promote sound science. Some
basic facts about Consumer Alert are that the size of their annual budget (1988)
was $411,900. This helps to maintain their bimonthly publication, Consumer
Alerts Comments, and pay their full-time president, vice-president, and
contracted legal counsel. Currently, their salaried executive officer is
Frances B. Smith, and his office is where his lobbying is needed most,
Washington DC.
Consumer Alert has only one interest in mind, and only a single area
where their influence can be fully realized. With a central office in
Washington DC, Consumer Alert is always up-to-the-minute on news that effects
the consuming public. They are continually active in issues such as
privatization, free trade, deregulation in the marketplace, reduction in
government spending, and a balanced budget without tax increase. Consumer Alert
operates the National Consumer Coalition, which is comprised of 20 public policy
organizations. Members of the coalition participate in various events,
including a Washington DC forum that examines critical consumer issues. The
coalition advances solutions to real consumer problems and seeks the most cost-
effective manner in which to achieve desired results. As the coalition\'s
sponsor, Consumer Alert actively publicizes public policy achievements by member
organizations. Consumer Alert also sponsors conferences to foster discussion of
important consumer issues. Consumer Alert is clearly on the side of the
consuming people. The people, and preventing their abuse, is the number one
priority for Consumer Alert as seen through their vigilant watch over
legislation in out government. They are our watchdogs. Consumer Alert\'s
National Consumer Coalition forum features leading public policy experts,
journalists, authors, scientists, and public officials. With an educated board
of members continually at their side, we believe that their tendencies would be
towards a more conservative Republican standpoint. Just as Republicans call for
minimization of government control over the economy, as does Consumer Alert with
their strong stance on the deregulation of the marketplace. Consumer Alert is
also very effective in their influence. Representatives of Consumer Alert are
often called upon by federal regulatory agencies and congressional committees to
testify on the consumer effects of proposed regulations and legislation. For
example, Consumer Alert recently testified before both Senate and the House
Banking subcommittees on how changes to disclosure laws would make the mortgage
process more understandable to consumers. Consumer Alert identifies consumer
problems that can be solved through litigation and supplies information to
public interest legal groups active in protecting individual rights and consumer
choice. Consumer Alert was instrumental, for example, in fostering legal action
that successfully prevented universities from forcing all students to fund
causes with which they do not agree, such as Public Interest Research Groups.
Through a national program that stresses public education, coalition-
building, litigation, testimony, conferences and forums to advance these views,
Consumer Alert has a significant impact on the issues. The group supports the
third rule of Lineberry\'s traditional democratic theory: enlightened
understanding. With offices in Washington DC, Consumer Alert has individual
members in all 50 states, and along with their bimonthly publication, Consumer
Alert does a good job of ‘alerting\' consumers and allowing them to have a louder
voice in today\'s marketplace.

WORKS