Washington Examiner: Laws in All 50 States Benefit Car Dealerships at the Expense of Consumers

For decades, states have enforced anti-consumer policies that boost car dealers’ profits by sharply raising prices on American motorists. When automobiles first reached the mass market more than a century ago, manufacturers quickly settled on dealership franchises as the best distribution model. The contractual arrangements between dealerships and manufacturers meant that both parties relied on […]

Proposed Taxes May Gorge on Consumer Incomes

American consumers have worked hard to diversify income sources and boost their levels of income.  Their conventional wage and salary income is often supplemented by benefit packages that include retirement-oriented plans.  Many consumers earn rents, interest payments, stock dividends and capital gains.  Some unemployed consumers receive unemployment insurance, but some do not.  A growing number […]

A Computing Question Most Consumers Will Face: Advice on Buying a Tablet, laptop or Desktop

Tablet computers have evolved beyond the novelty stage.   About 10% of U.S. adults now have a tablet computer, 57% have a laptop and 55% have a desktop.  We were drawn to consider a tablet computer by three themes; downsized gear for easier travel, a better backup storage solution and the advantages of a book reader.  […]

Regulators Should Not Be Management Consultants

Heartland Institute to Florida Insurance Commissioner: “Regulators should not be management consultants” Following The Heartland Institute’s release of Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) emails, the state’s insurance commissioner, Kevin McCarty, wrote to Heartland defending his agency’s actions in the weeks leading up to the insolvency of the Northern Capital Group of companies. Christian R. […]

American Consumer Institute Declares Strong Focus on Florida Issues; Names Florida State University Professor as Research Fellow and Launches Florida Website

WASHINGTON – The American Consumer Institute (ACI) announced today that it is placing a strong focus on statewide issues in Florida for 2010.  The organization’s announcement comes after substantial review of a variety of state issues that affect the majority of Florida’s consumers, including property insurance and telecommunications.   ACI’s Center for Citizen Research has established […]

Online Survey: Internet Consumers Want Lower Prices and Better Reliability, Security and Privacy

Much of the quest for developing a nationwide broadband plan has centered on ubiquitous deployment and online speeds, some arguing for speeds well over 100 mbps.  Other policy wonks have argued that we need more competitors and still others want lower prices.  In response to one Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) attempt to slowdown bandwidth hogs […]

Are Commissioners Overcharging the Public?

This investigative report finds that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) may be overcharging insurance companies who pass these costs along to consumers in the form of higher prices.  State laws require companies to electronically file financial and rate information with the NAIC, who set filing fees without state approval or review.  Effectively, states have given away their […]

Competition Drives Cost Savings in Auto Insurance

If one thing stands out from recent news reports on auto insurance in Georgia, it’s that economic regulation and rate review are not needed to protect the state’s consumers from rate gouging. With nearly 90 auto insurance providers in the state, Georgia consumers enjoy more competition and choice of auto insurance plans than they do […]

Citing the Poor Economy, Most American Consumers Expect to Buy Less This Holiday Compared to Last Year

Reston, VA, December 12, 2008 –– In a nationwide survey conducted by the American Consumer Institute, 93.4% of consumers say that the economy is worse than a year ago with only 1.1% saying that the economy is stronger. The results are significantly worse than the Institute’s December 2007 Consumer Pulse Survey, which found that 68.8% […]