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Consumer Rights

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Daniel J Cross

Dr. Virginia Rae

BUS 100-100F


Consumerism: “A social movement that focuses on four key consumer rights: (1) the right to be safe, (2) the right to be informed, (3) the right to choose, and (4) the right to be heard.” (Kelly & Williams, 2014 p. 55)

Ethics: “A set of beliefs about right and wrong, good and bad.” (Kelly & Williams, 2014 p. 50)

Corporate Responsibility: “Business contributions to the community through the actions of the business itself rather than donations of money or time.” (Kelly & Williams, 2014 p. 59)

Consumers Rights

The modern day consumer has a right to do whatever they please. If a consumer wants to smoke a pack a day, drink Bud Light all day, and eat McDonalds for every meal they have a right to. The companies providing these vices have every right to profit off it as well. The only involvement that the government should have is to mandate that the producers provide the ingredients and dangers of using their product. Although the government already does that, our public school system implements health education classes at various grades all over the nation informing each and every student about the dangers of fast food, tobacco products, alcohol, or illegal drugs using a slew of scare tactics and explicit documentaries trying to scare the young from ever touching the substances. In addition to public education informing citizens there is a social movement enacted by John F Kennedy called consumerism, makes it law that every company has to give extensive information pertaining to the ingredients in their products (Kelly & Williams, 2014 p. 58). Every person consuming one of these knows the dangers and chooses to ignore them. Even if the government decided to step in and outlaw these vices held so close by many the prohibition would only cause crime rates to skyrocket. John F Kennedy defined the consumer rights in a speech during the 1960s as: The Right to be Safe, The Right to be Informed, The Right to Choose, and The Right to Be Heard (Kelly & Williams, 2014 p. 58). The responsibility of consumer’s health is ultimately up to the consumer. The consumer has every right to do what they please when they please and it is only economically sound to profit off their desires.

Cigarettes are proven to be terrible and ultra-addictive for the user. While the percentage of smokers have gone down due to educating the public on the dangers of them it is still a norm in society to see a group of teenagers smoking a pack of cigarettes out on their porch. Nine out of ten cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking and eight out of ten cases of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease are due to smoking. It is estimated that on average smokers die 13 to 14 years sooner than a non-smoker (Tobacco Facts and Figures, 2015). There are public campaigns constantly trying to inform the American public of the dangers of smoking but some do not care. It is up to the businesses to provide quality products at fair prices, even if these products are proven to kill users. The Right to Be Informed is a law that requires firms in every industry to provide the public with extensive information about their product. The right to be safe also forces companies to inform users how dangerous their product could be. On a pack of cigarettes there is a label on the box clearly stating that use of this product can cause cancer and death, but the corporations distributing them lack the business ethics to care about their consumer.

Fast food companies are also just as guilty for pumping their consumers full of diabetes causing foods and making the food cheaper and more available than any other food. When the topic of irresponsible fast food companies are mentioned. McDonalds has a daily customer traffic of 62 million, serving 75 hamburgers a second. From 2011 to 2013 McDonalds planned to open a new restaurant every day in China (Lubin & Badkar, 2012). All this would be great news for the economy if the company wasn’t so toxic for their consumers. With chemicals like Ammonium Sulfate found in their bread, silicone oil found in their chicken mcnuggets, and tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) found in a whopping 18 menu items at McDonalds (Activist, 2015). McDonalds clearly has no Ethics when it comes to their consumers, all they care about is the gross profit.

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