Homework Question on Protection of Consumers Interests
- Please watch the video from www.freetochoose.tv on Who Protects the Consumer
- Discuss your view.
Homework Answer on Protection of Consumers Interests
The main idea portrayed in this video is that consumer’s interest is protected better by the market mechanism. According to Friedman, consumers do not need protection by the government; instead, they need protection from the government. He says consumers are free to choose whatever they want to buy and nobody can force them to buy something they do not want to buy. Hence, consumers do not need protection.
The consumers’ fate cannot be left entirely to the market mechanism. Even though Friedman outlines a number of disadvantages brought by the government involvement, there are a number of ways that the consumer benefits from government intervention. There is need to protect consumers from selfish businesspersons whose main aim is maximizing profit. If the consumer’s fate is left to market mechanism, the products may be of high quality but not all the consumers will be able to afford it.
This will only favour the rich and not the common citizens. Another reason for government intervention is to ensure safety of the products. According to the video, Friedman says that accidents cannot be avoided. This is not the case. There is need for government intervention to avoid negligence by business people that can lead to unsafe products. The limitation of consumers’ protection by the government should also be taken into consideration. For instance, government intervention can lead to low quality of products and this in the end does not protect the consumers. Therefore, to ensure that the consumers are protected, there should be a mixture of both systems.