Mitt Romney has recently come under fire from Florida trial lawyers over the lack of regulations he intends to implement if elected. Governor Romney plans to lift regulations on businesses and the banking industry, indirectly hurting regular people. “He wants to keep regulation and litigation down and let businesses do whatever they want, and that’s not helpful to consumers,” attorney William Howard, the head of Morgan and Morgan’s consumer protection department, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal. The problem is that deregulation allows for companies to take advantage of their customers by changing pricing at will, as well as providing shoddy service.
A Consumer Reports article written in 2002, long before the recession hit in the fall of 2008, found problems for consumers that were inherent in deregulation. “While consumers have made some gains under deregulation, on balance they’ve lost ground. Service has typically deteriorated. Consumer rights have sometimes suffered. Claimed price cuts are often not all they seem,” states the article. The reason for the occurrence of these flaws is simple: deregulation allows businesses an unprecedented and unnecessary amount of freedom in their practices. As a result of this extra leeway, monopolies can be formed, which allow businesses even more freedom to do what they want. Ultimately, monopolies cause the consumer to suffer because businesses no longer need to appease these individuals if they dominate their field. By deregulating businesses again, not only are the same practices that created the recession in the first place being reintroduced, but consumers will be taken advantage of by big businesses again.
John F. Kennedy outlined “The Consumer Bill of Rights” in a 1962 speech that stated consumers have four basic rights that cannot be violated. Those rights are: the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, and the right to be heard. If businesses are deregulated, these rights will all be violated again and again. Businesses will not have to be as cautious as a result of the Republican pushed “tort reform” allowing them to produce less safe products for the public. Additionally, businesses will be able to create monopolies over their fields and essentially make the other three rights useless.
The reason trial lawyers such as William Howard are flocking to President Obama is because he wishes to protect the country from repeating history. President Obama will keep the same regulations intact allowing for fair competition in all forms of business, alleviating the strain of unfair pricing and service that consumers face now.