THE CONSUMER MOVEMENT by James S. Haskins

THE CONSUMER MOVEMENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

For those still unaware of false advertising claims, unsafe cars and high food prices, Haskins provides the usual YA combination of horror stories and happy endings (the latter provided by corrective legislation which ""at least"" sets some minimum standards). For the most part Haskins' examples are old and well known (he tells us all about the Ralph Nader/GM go-round but not, for example, about auto companies' currently successful stalling tactics on pollution standards; all about the outlawed cyclamates but not about the many potentially lethal additives still allowed) and his failure to probe behind conventional consumerist wisdom limits the value of his generalizations. For example, the drawbacks Pringle (KR, 1974) points out in the Wool Products Labeling Act are not considered here, and Haskins blandly assumes that store brand canned goods are cheaper than others though we have observed enough exceptions to justify comparative pricing of each purchase. Specific figures are mired in muddy generalizations (""National studies of consumer credit"" are cited as evidence ""that perhaps one-quarter of all consumers are able to handle extensive credit arrangements and that at least 15% are unable to handle any kind of credit arrangement at all"" -- but despite the percentages neither ""extensive"" nor ""ability to handle"" are defined) and we'd like to see more evidence for the conclusion that ""consumerism has got big business on the run."" Shoddy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1975
Page count: 122pp
Publisher: Franklin Watts