"Consumer protection" in recent years has become one of the great populist concerns, particularly in the area of consumer credit. As one should expect, however, there has been no unanimity as to who should be protected from what, or from whom, nor as to the means of providing such protection. Some feel that consumer protection still means "self-protection" in the existing system-let the buyer beware-and view consumer education in a broad sense as perhaps the most important aspect of providing protection. Others view consumer protection as a matter outlawing or regulating abusive practices and giving the consumer more rights. Some emphasize a "litigative" response, and suggest that part of the remedy should make legal representation more available and provide more effective tools such as class actions and small claims courts. Still others suggest that the evils and abuses are not great enough to justify interference with our free market system. In sum, consumer protection appears quite amorphous, taking form depending upon how one perceives the problem. Recent literature such as Caplovitz's The Poor Pay More has done much to highlight and document various problems and abuses. However, the title, The Poor Pay More, tends to obscure the fact that the problems are not limited to a certain economic strata, i.e., the poor, as well as the fact that the costs are not solely monetary. The problems affect a broad segment of people not equipped or able to deal with the marketplace on its own terms.
Frank W. Smith Jr.,
Some Reflections on Free Entry and the Rate Ceilings Under the Uniform Consumer Credit Code,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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