I just heard an interesting interview yesterday on the local Walt Bodine radio show. He had a guest on discussing political advertising. He talked about how people often ask why political ads are allowed to make such misleading and sometimes downright false claims.
The answer, of course, is that there are first amendment issues, and they basically get to say what they want. The best defense, he said, is good objective journalism.
My sentiments exactly. When I resist government legislative restrictions on credit counseling and the debt recovery industry, my position is that it's not the government's place to limit or regulate what credit counselors do (unless they're outright breaking the law, and some credit counselors do that). If there are bad players in the credit counseling industry, it's up to journalists, loudmouth bloggers like me, and entities like the Better Business Bureau to step in and call them out.
What we don't need is government passing more restrictions on an industry they don't understand. And right now, the only people helping legislators understand the industry are those with enough money to hire lobbyists--and that ain't the true non-profits.
I'll continue to maintain that if the media does its job well, we'll be able to keep in check many of the profiteers in the credit counseling and the creditor world as well. If an information campaign about, say, universal default warned everyone not to sign up with creditors and banks who employ that despicable practice, the creditors and banks would eventually stop doing it. Much better than rushing to Washington to get our Big Brother-nanny government to take care of us. That keeps us weak, dependent, and powerless.