National Consumers League

From the Experts Blog

NCL staff is hard at work for you playing watchdog on a variety of issues. Get to know the latest From the Experts!

A Senator John McCain remembrance (1936-2018)

Washington is a funny place. Ordinary people ­–congressional staffers, lobbyists, or in my case, public interest lawyers­– often find themselves mingling with very prominent, famous people at receptions, cocktail parties, testifying at hearings, attending press conferences, or walking down the halls of the Russell Senate office building. It was on several of those occasions that I saw Senator John McCain in action.

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How tariffs hit home for low-income consumers

Earlier this year, I examined how 25 percent tariffs on a range of Chinese goods would impact smartphone users, particularly low-income consumers who rely on their phones as their primary means of Internet access. As new data comes out about the impact of tariffs, it’s becoming clearer that these tariffs will hit low-income consumers particularly hard.

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Rosé explosion leading to fraud in wine industry

Haley SwartzRosé – the pink wine that incorporates the skin of red grapes and the flavors of all other varieties – has exploded in popularity over the last five years. Rosé consumption is particularly skewed among millennials and during the summer months, aided by gender-inclusive hashtags, the development of new, millennial-targeted brands, and the particularly “Insta” quality of a pink wine. Consumption of rosé has now eclipsed white wine in France, and in the United States, data indicates Washington, DC is the “capital of rosé,” – illustrating its ubiquity across political and social cultures.

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‘Innovation’ = airline speak for finding new ways to gouge consumers

Brian YoungIf you have been listening to the airline industry, you may think that now is one of the best times to fly. According to its lobbyists, fares are down, and the airlines are working overtime to provide their customers with new and innovative products. However, in reality, if you have spent any time shopping around for a ticket, you are probably intimately aware that all of this “innovation” serves one purpose: to stifle what little competition remains in the airline marketplace and to implement new and creative ways to gouge consumers.

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Carpenter v. United States: Impacts on privacy legislation

The U.S. Supreme Court decision last week in Carpenter v. United States will shape the relationship consumers have with their wireless devices and the services they use every day for years to come. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that by obtaining cell-site records, the U.S. government performed a search. By doing so without a warrant, this search was judged unconstitutional, violating petitioner Timothy Carpenter’s Fourth Amendment rights and reversing two previous decisions.

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