The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created by the Dodd-Frank law, already has undertaken numerous useful initiatives, such as making student loans, auto loans and short-term loans a notch less onerous.

Now it’s produced a study, with action likely to follow, about deceptive language in credit card, debit card, and mortgage agreements. As a result, the Republican House passed a bill cutting bureau funding. Happily, the bill is likely to fail in the Senate.

Almost all of us have signed these infernal pacts. The single most powerful provision in them is “forced arbitration,” which means we’re waiving our right to take lenders to court, and our cases will be “heard” by people they actually hire.

New regulations likely will force lenders into court, and allow consumers to join class actions.

Almost everyone with basic legal knowledge understands this problem and its potential remedy. Sadly, many of these very same people accept the meme about, “Free trade — good! Protective tariffs — bad!” as an article of faith.

Actual developmental history suggests that economic nationalism is the most serviceable strategy, and that the comparative advantage theory, which is the basis of free trade belief, is best confined to economics textbooks.


Acceptance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact currently being considered will be the equivalent of signing a “forced arbitration” clause on behalf of the entire world. Like all these trade treaties, its basic thrust is anti-union.

As a result of unprecedented popular outcry, We the People recently prevented service providers from creating expensive internal Internet divisions. Among myriad other bad effects, adopting this treaty will force them on us, as results of tribunal rulings.

More activism can stop this madness.

James Silin


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