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Consumer Law: CL&P Blog
Where Are the Consumer Protection Columnists?
By Jeff Sovern
by Jeff Sovern
Consumer protection has been much in the news these days, but based on a quick look, there don't seem to be a lot of columnists who specialize in consumer protection. Take the New York Times, for example. The closest it has to a consumer protection columnist is Ron Lieber, who writes the "Your Money" column on Saturdays, which sometimes explores consumer issues. But not always: today's column, for example, is about the temptation to cheat on taxes. In contrast, the Times Business section alone includes two weekly columns on economics, and weekly columns on each of finance, the media, deals, technology, and columns called "Talking Business," "Fair Game," and "Everybody's Business"--and I've probably left some out. All valuable, but given that everyone is a consumer, and only some people are involved with finance, for example, you'd think a regular column on consumer issues would also serve a purpose. The Washington Post's Michelle Singletary's personal finance column "The Color of Money" covers consumer issues (here, for example, is a piece on foreclosure scams), but she also devotes attention to non-consumer matters, as in this recent column about--you guessed it--cheating on taxes. So I'm wondering: are there columnists that specialize in consumer protection issues? If you know of one, please mention him or her in the comments (no need to mention Consumer Reports magazine). I don't see this as purely an academic issue: the more columnists that focus on consumer issues, the greater the likelihood that consumer issues will receive attention in other venues, like legislatures, and so the greater the likelihood that we'll see fair consumer laws.
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