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March 5, 1998

The Damned Lobbyists Again

by Ted Mooney

When you get your credit card statements this month, you'll see small enclosures with them: 'Fair Credit Reporting Act Disclosure'. Don't read them, or the rest of this column.

I warned you not to read it. Here's what your elected representatives decided to write into law, quote:
"The information you've provided to us, as well as credit bureau reports and other information we may obtain from unrelated third parties, can now be shared between our family of companies to determine your eligibility for products and services and to market those products and services to you".
 

Your elected representatives decided that the telemarketers who interrupt your dinner each night were at a disadvantage: they didn't know your mortgage balance, or how big your hospital bills were, or the other intimate details of your life. Now they will:

"Don't be hasty in hanging up on Universe Book Encyclopedia, Mr. Mooney. Because I see that you still have debt you are paying off from your psychiatrist visit, and from your wife's heart attack. It's probably guilt over never providing your children with the Universe Book Encyclopedia. Oh, and the way I make out these bills, your daughter flunked out of University and is now going to County College. Shame on you, Mr. Mooney! If you don't agree to get her the tool she needs--the Universe Book Encyclopedia--I'm liable to call the Division of Youth and Family Services on you this very minute".

Now who do you suppose put the idea into your elected representatives' heads that it would be a good law that telemarketers should have access to the financial data you supplied to your bank and mortgage company? Lobbyists -- corrupters of democracy.


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