Do you think the states should play a more significant role in consumer protection?If so, why type of role and what more should they be doing to protect consumers.

Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While I am not inherently against the states taking the lead in consumer protections, especially when the federal government has consistently failed to do so, it is problematic when the 50 states pass their own specific legislation, because it is much more vulnerable to successful litigation.  Consumer protection laws are often cumbersome or expensive for companies to follow, so for those with abundant legal resources, it becomes less expensive sometimes to follow the judicial route and file suit.  Often times, they are simply seeking to delay legislation and continue making money--more money than they spend on the lawsuit--in the meantime.

So while I am not against a larger state role, a federal emphasis on consumer protection tends to be more successful in the courts.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Are you talking about having the government in general do more or are you asking who should do more, the states or the federal government?  Post #1 assumes you are asking the first of these while I assume you are asking the second.

You could argue that states should do more than the federal government because they are smaller and more "agile" governments.  The federal government can take forever to get laws passed and new policies implemented.  You can argue that states should do more because their governments are less cumbersome and more responsive.  That would mean that they could respond to new threats to consumers more easily than the federal government could.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I think that there is only so much the stares can do. A lot of products are imported. States can regulate services more successfully than products. For example, there is fairly recent legislation regarding nail salons. New rules protect consumers from unsanitary conditions. Because all of the activity takes place in the state, it is easier to control than a product manufactured in a different state and shipped in.
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Equally, however, you could argue that the states should do less. There is a tendency to treat the public as stupid sheep who need to have everything spelt out for them and need to be "mothered" by governments and told what they can and can't do. Surely it is the job of governments to make sure information is available so that its population can make an educated choice based on their own intelligence.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An advocate of states rights would probably agree that individual states assume a stronger stance in virtually all decision making. What is good for people in, say, Idaho may be seen differently by people in Florida or Hawaii. The bureaucracy in Washington has long been blamed for failing to understand local problems, and consumer protection is not exempt from such matters.