Monday, December 8, 2014
ABC’s consumer warnings are actually a fraud!!
Just before thanksgiving ABC did a few consumer protection stories warning the public that products at factory outlet stores are often inferior quality compared to brand names that are supposedly better quality and much higher prices. There is almost certainly a significant amount of truth to their stories; however they are selectively warning the public about fraudulent marketing scams and actually participating in more than they expose.
They routinely decline to tell the public about some of the most basic principles of marketing and that advertising expenses have been skyrocketing over the past several decades while manufacturing expenses have been slashed.
This means that the amount they mark up from the factory are are much higher than they used to be.
The reason ABC and other commercial media outlets decline to tell the majority of the public about this is quite simple.
A significant portion of the increased profits have been going to them in the form of advertising revenue. They have an obvious incentive to remain silent that is almost never mentioned.
On top of that they practically never mention the fact that proprietary information laws often make it illegal to disclose many of the marketing tactics they uses.
The news segments exposing the lower quality products being sold at so called "factory outlet stores" pointed out the fact that they use the phrase "compared to" implying that the products are the same except for the price when, according to their reporting, they aren't. Some of the higher prices for the higher end items were about $198 or $249; and the items they were compared to are about $99 or $119. Even these lower priced items are outrageously priced although people that don't use more than a minimum amount of critical thinking skills might not realize it since these marketing scams have been escalating gradually for decades while the retail and manufacturing outlets along with media outlet have been consolidating.
These "consumer protection" warnings were essentially ads for traditional designer clothes and the fashion industry.
We rely on the traditional media for our information about just about everything; but they have a financial incentive to deceive us about just about everything. This sounds cynical; but it isn't hard to confirm that it is also true.
They rarely ever mention that over the last few decades real factory direct outlets have been disappearing since the factories have all been moving overseas. It doesn't take a genius to see that when we grow cotton in the USA ship it half way around the world where it is manufactured into clothes by people who don't get paid enough to live a decent life then they ship it back and create expensive propaganda ads about how efficient this system is.
A larger portion of the money we give to retailers is used for shipping, advertising, union busting activities, campaign contributions, and other bureaucratic expenses designed to increase the profits for those that already have more money than they need, than they use to manufacture the actual product.
If they don't pass these expenses on to the consumer where would they get the money to pay them?
Most people in the United States probably don't realize it but some other countries actually do a better job trying to protect their consumers from epidemic levels of consumer fraud or at least they try to. This is almost certainly more likely to be reported in foreign or alternative media outlets, since the traditional commercial media outlets are unlikely to expose fraud that they're involved in. Recently Deutsche Welle Journal did a story about consumer protection Germany where mentioned an organization that tested consumer goods and it seemed to do a much better job than anything that we have in the USA. A search of the internet didn't turn up this story but it did turn up The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection or Bundesministerium which sounds like what the Deutsche Welle Journal mentioned.
I don't know how well it works but it can't be worse than what we have in the USA which involves constantly trying to deceive people with misleading ads and virtually no accurate information about how consumer goods are brought to the public from traditional news or political establishments.
If the public wants discussions about how to restore factory direct options and the real efficiencies that have been abandoned with globalization they can't rely on the commercial media to come up with it.
Instead they have to come up with their own ideas at the grass roots level and push them from below, at least until there is major media and political reform.
If there is any doubt about how corrupt the current system is and how inept it is at informing the public about the scams by large oligarchies the books like Big-box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-retailers By Stacy Mitchell, No Logo and The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism By Naomi Klein should easily expose many of these scams; however until there are major reforms the oligarchies will continue to control all the large institutions with little or no accountability.