Cover image for Economic issues for consumers
Economic issues for consumers
Miller, Roger LeRoy.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
St. Paul : West Pub. Co., [1978]

Physical Description:
xxxii, 511 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Format :

On Order



This text employs an "issues approach" to consumer economics. Each chapter has one or two consumer issues that are highlighted through engaging, real world examples. These real world examples are highly applied aspects of everyday consumer situations.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xvii
Unit 1 The Consumer in Today's Worldp. 1
Chapter 1 The Consumer in Our Electronic Economyp. 2
Scarcity and the Consumerp. 3
Universal Scarcityp. 4
The Necessity of Choicep. 4
Choice and Opportunity Costp. 5
The Tradeoffs Facing Youp. 5
An Implicit Assumptionp. 5
Marketsp. 6
Voluntary Exchange in the U.S. Economyp. 6
Demand and Supply Analysis--A Brief Introductionp. 6
Law of Demandp. 7
Law of Supplyp. 7
Equilibrium Pricep. 8
The Rational Consumer--What's a Dress Worth?p. 8
Relative Pricep. 10
Consumer Sovereignty in a Market Economyp. 10
The Real World of Imperfect Competitionp. 11
Role of Governmentp. 12
The Cyber Consumer--Furnishing a Home Onlinep. 13
Americans in an Electronic Marketp. 14
The Cyber Economyp. 15
Consumer Economics in an Electronic Economyp. 16
Consumer Issues: An Introductionp. 17
Consumer Issue 1: Ethics and the Consumerp. 18
Chapter 2 Rational Consumer Decision Makingp. 25
Decisions, Decisionsp. 26
Rational Consumer Decision Makingp. 26
Values and Rational Decision Makingp. 28
Time Management and Rational Decision Makingp. 36
Consumer Issue 2: Buying Technology-Based Productsp. 39
Chapter 3 A Flood of Advertisingp. 46
Costs and Benefits of Advertisingp. 47
Brand-Name Advertisingp. 48
Other Types of Advertisingp. 50
The Cyber Consumer--Informative Advertising on the Internetp. 51
The Ugly Side of Advertisingp. 52
Deceptive Advertisingp. 52
Consumer Closeup--What Constitutes Bait and Switch?p. 54
Advertising and Your Privacyp. 55
Your Telemarketing Rightsp. 56
Privately Prepared Informationp. 57
The Ethical Consumer--Would You Buy Kathie Lee Clothing?p. 58
How Much Information Should We Acquire?p. 59
Consumer Issue 3: Shopping on the Internetp. 61
Chapter 4 The Many Faces of Fraudp. 67
Personal- and Health-Care Fraudp. 68
The Cyber Consumer--The National Fraud Information Centerp. 69
Consumer Goods Fraudp. 71
Consumer Closeup--When Is a Toupee Not a Wig?p. 73
Federal Trade Commission Rulesp. 74
Protection from Fraudulent Advertisingp. 75
Ways to Avoid Being Victimized by Consumer Fraudp. 79
Consumer Issue 4: Recognizing and Avoiding Internet Fraudp. 80
Chapter 5 Protection for the Consumerp. 84
Sources of Consumer Protectionp. 85
Consumer Responsibilitiesp. 90
Enforcement of Federal Consumer Protection Lawsp. 90
The Ethical Consumer--How Far Would You Go?p. 91
The Cyber Consumer--The U.S. Department of Commerce Home Pagep. 92
State and Local Governments and Consumer Protectionp. 94
Using Small Claims Courtsp. 94
The Global Consumer--Recalls Happen Everywherep. 95
Sources of Private-Sector Consumer Protectionp. 98
Private Industry's Self-Regulationp. 101
Warranties and Consumer Protectionp. 101
Consumer Protection Todayp. 104
Consumer Issue 5: Getting Help for Consumer Problemsp. 106
Unit 2 Budgetingp. 117
Chapter 6 The Consumer as Wage Earnerp. 118
Investment in Human Capitalp. 119
Rate of Return for Educationp. 119
The Changing Job Scenep. 120
Occupational Wage Differentialsp. 121
The Global Consumer--Preparing for a Career in the Global Economyp. 122
Occupational Choice and Incomep. 123
The Cyber Consumer--Career Guidance on the Internetp. 124
Nonmoney Incomep. 125
Gender and Jobsp. 126
Problems in the Workplacep. 127
Jobs through the Year 2006p. 127
Consumer Closeup--Equal Athletic Opportunitiesp. 127
The Problem of Inflationp. 130
Varying Effects of Inflationp. 132
Inflation and Consumer Decisionsp. 132
Real and Money Valuesp. 133
Consumer Issue 6: How to Choose and Start a Careerp. 134
Chapter 7 You Have to Live with What You Havep. 140
Consumers Need a Spending Planp. 141
Democratic Decision Makingp. 142
The Family Councilp. 142
College and Budgetingp. 143
Budget Making, Goals, and Value Clarificationp. 143
The Cyber Consumer--Finding Financial Aid Onlinep. 144
How Does the Typical Household Allocate Its Income?p. 145
Creating a Budget Planp. 146
Reviewing Your Budgetp. 148
Fitting It All into a Lifetime Planp. 148
The Rational Consumer--What Is a Necessity?p. 149
Budget-Assistance Programsp. 150
Consumer Issue 7: Budgeting for Recreation and Leisurep. 151
Chapter 8 Paying for Governmentp. 158
The Whys and Hows of Taxationp. 159
Personal Federal Income Taxp. 162
The Rational Consumer--Taxes on Tipsp. 163
The Cyber Consumer-Tax Assistance from the IRS Onlinep. 165
Consumer Issue 8: Preparing Your Income Tax Returnp. 166
Unit 3 Major Consumption Expendituresp. 175
Chapter 9 The $850+ Billion American Dietp. 176
Choosing the Food We Eatp. 177
Government Labeling and Inspection Requirementsp. 178
The Global Consumer--Exporting Genetically Modified Foodsp. 183
Food Labels and the Consumerp. 183
Nutritionp. 183
Food Additivesp. 186
The Cyber Consumer--Online Dietary Guidelinesp. 190
Health, Natural, and Organic Foodsp. 193
The Growing Trend toward Convenience Foodp. 193
Getting the Most for Your Food-Shopping Dollarp. 195
The Rational Consumer--Truth in Weight-Loss Programsp. 197
Consumer Issue 9: Shopping for the Lo-Cal Dietp. 198
Chapter 10 Purchasing Household Productsp. 205
Clothing, Happiness, and Budget Considerationsp. 206
Why So Many Clothes?p. 207
Indications of Qualityp. 208
The Powerful Fashion Industryp. 212
Government Regulationp. 212
The Cyber Consumer--Shopping for Fashion on the Internetp. 213
Choosing Durable Goodsp. 214
Consumer Durables as an Investmentp. 215
Evaluating the Purchase of a Consumer Durablep. 215
Servicing Your Consumer Durablesp. 219
Consumer Closeup--Rent-to-Own Agreementsp. 221
The Special Case of Buying Furniturep. 221
What to Do When You Have a Complaintp. 224
Consumer Issue 10: Finding the Right Deal for a Consumer Durablep. 225
Chapter 11 Getting There Is Half the Worryp. 230
We Depend on Cars in Many Waysp. 231
The Trend toward Safer Automobilesp. 231
The Social Costs of Drivingp. 232
The Private Costs of Drivingp. 233
Deciding When to Buyp. 234
Deciding What You Wantp. 235
Getting the Best Deal on a New Carp. 236
The Rational Consumer--Do You Have the Right to Know?p. 238
The Cyber Consumer--Purchasing Cars Onlinep. 240
Leasing versus Buyingp. 240
Should You Choose a Used Car?p. 242
Final Guidelines for Consumersp. 244
Financing That Purchasep. 244
Know Your Lemon Lawsp. 246
The Rational Consumer--Choosing the Right Repairp. 247
Consumer Issue 11: How to Avoid Fraudulent Car-Repair Practicesp. 248
Chapter 12 Putting a Roof over Your Headp. 252
Why Are We Willing to Pay So Much?p. 253
Renting versus Buyingp. 253
If You Decide to Buyp. 257
The Ethical Consumer--Conflicting Values and Sprawl Controlp. 259
Making the Offerp. 262
Title Examination and Insurancep. 262
Different Types of Homesp. 263
Paying for Your Homep. 265
Different Kinds of Mortgagesp. 266
The Cyber Consumer--Mortgage Calculators on the Internetp. 267
Creative Financingp. 270
Mortgage Repayment Termsp. 271
The 15-Year Mortgagep. 271
Closing Costsp. 272
The Rational Consumer--Finding Rental Informationp. 274
Consumer Issue 12: Renting a Homep. 275
Unit 4 Financial Managementp. 281
Chapter 13 Banks and the Banking Systemp. 282
Depository Institutionsp. 283
Federal Reserve Systemp. 283
Different Types of Checkable Accountsp. 284
Selecting the Right Accountp. 288
Certified Cashier's and Traveler's Checksp. 289
Selecting the Right Bank--Beware before You Depositp. 289
How to Avoid Banking Problemsp. 290
How to Settle a Complaint with a Bankp. 293
Electronic Fund Transfer Systemsp. 294
Consumer Closeup--How Much Is Convenience Worth?p. 297
The Trend toward a Cashless Societyp. 297
The Ethical Consumer--The Ethical Use of Cyberspacep. 298
The Cyber Consumer--Online Banking Servicesp. 299
Consumer Issue 13: Coping with Computerized Banking Servicesp. 300
Chapter 14 The Indebted Consumerp. 305
The Indebted Societyp. 306
Sources of Creditp. 306
Why Borrow?p. 308
Saving versus Credit Buyingp. 309
What It Costs to Borrowp. 311
Truth-in-Lendingp. 312
Consumer Closeup--A Tale of Woep. 313
Regulation of Revolving Creditp. 313
Equal Credit Opportunityp. 315
Fair Credit Billing Actp. 316
Fair Credit Reporting Actp. 316
Fair Debt Collection Practices Actp. 317
The Cyber Consumer--Checking Your Credit Historyp. 318
Going into Personal Bankruptcyp. 318
Why So Many Bankruptcies?p. 319
The Ethical Consumer--Bankruptcy: Who's at Fault?p. 319
Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcyp. 320
Chapter 13 Plansp. 321
Consumer Issue 14: Coping with the Credit Mazep. 322
Chapter 15 Savingp. 331
Why Save at All?p. 332
What Determines How Much You Save?p. 333
The Nature of Compound Interestp. 335
Alternative Vehicles for Savingp. 336
Floating-Rate Deposit Accountsp. 338
U.S. Savings Bondsp. 339
Treasury Securitiesp. 340
The Cyber Consumer--Investigating Savings Option Onlinep. 341
How Much to Save?p. 342
Consumer Issue 15: Creating an Individual Savings Planp. 343
Chapter 16 Investingp. 347
The Simple Facts about Investingp. 348
The Risk and Rate of Return Tradeoffp. 348
Some Facts about the Stock Marketp. 348
The Rational Consumer--Who Wins in an IPO?p. 349
What Affects the Price of a Stock?p. 351
Making Money in the Stock Marketp. 351
Mutual Fundsp. 354
The Cyber Consumer--Checking Out Mutual Funds Onlinep. 357
Is There No Way to Get Rich Quick?p. 358
Watch for Those Sure-fire Schemesp. 359
The Global Consumer--Buy Them When They're Downp. 359
Pensions and Retirement Fundsp. 360
Consumer Issue 16: Making Personal Investment Plansp. 363
Unit 5 Risk Managementp. 371
Chapter 17 The Health-Care Dilemmap. 372
The Foundation of Insurance--Risk Poolingp. 373
Our Need for Medical Insurancep. 373
The Government Steps Inp. 374
The Insurance Frameworkp. 374
The Supply of Medical Carep. 376
Drug Regulation and Its Costsp. 378
High-Tech Medicinep. 379
The Malpractice Systemp. 379
Who Can Afford the Medical Bill?p. 380
Consumer Closeup--Should You Have a Right To Know?p. 380
Health-Care Dilemma--or Crisis?p. 381
Tackling Waste and Inefficiencyp. 381
Mandatory Health Insurance Coveragep. 387
The Ethical Consumer--What do You Do When Your Insurer Says No?p. 388
The Clinton Administration Tries but Failsp. 388
The Cyber Consumer--Searching for Medical Insurance Onlinep. 390
Consumer Issue 17: Purchasing Medical Carep. 392
Chapter 18 Insuring Your Home and Your Automobilep. 400
Insuring Your Homep. 401
Automobile Insurancep. 406
Medical Payment Insurancep. 407
The Cyber Consumer--Searching for Home Protection Onlinep. 407
Collision Insurancep. 408
Comprehensive Insurancep. 408
Uninsured Motorist Insurancep. 408
Accidental Death Benefitsp. 408
What Determines the Price of Auto Insurance?p. 408
No-Fault Insurance, Pros and Consp. 410
Consumer Closeup--Protecting Your Insurance Rightsp. 411
The Rational Consumer--Are Air Bags Really Safe?p. 413
Consumer Issue 18: Choosing a Lawyerp. 414
Chapter 19 Life Insurance and Social Securityp. 419
Life Insurance and Our Need for Securityp. 420
Premature Deathsp. 420
History of Life Insurancep. 420
The Basic Types of Life Insurancep. 421
The Cyber Consumer--Searching for Life-Insurance Protection Onlinep. 422
Some Specialized Insurance Policiesp. 429
Adjustable Life Insurancep. 430
Other Types of Life-Insurance Policiesp. 430
Reading a Life-Insurance Contractp. 431
Consumer Closeup--Honesty Is the Best Policyp. 431
Choosing a Sound Life-Insurance Companyp. 432
Involuntary Benefit Programs--The Case of Social Securityp. 433
Consumer Issue 19: How to Meet Your Insurance Needsp. 438
Unit 6 Looking to the Futurep. 445
Chapter 20 Your Retirement Yearsp. 446
Planning for Your Retirement Yearsp. 447
The Disposition of Your Propertyp. 449
The Cyber Consumer--Searching for Will Preparation Advice Onlinep. 454
The Taxation of Wealthp. 454
What if You Become Incapacitated?p. 456
A Work about Organ Donationp. 457
Consumer Issue 20: How to Make Out Your Will and Plan for Your Funeralp. 459
Chapter 21 Environmentally Responsible Consumer Behaviorp. 467
Scope of the Problemp. 468
Dangers at School and in the Workplacep. 469
Consumer-Created Pollutionp. 469
Economic Causes of Pollutionp. 471
Environmental Legislationp. 471
Who Pays the Cost of Environmental Protection?p. 474
Environment as a Global Concernp. 476
Consumer Closeup--Teaching Environmental Responsibilityp. 478
The Cyber Consumer--Global Warming Information Onlinep. 479
Consumer Issue 21: Costs and Benefits of Living a "Green" Lifep. 480
Chapter 22 Consumers in a Changing Worldp. 485
What the Future May Holdp. 487
Globalization of the World's Economyp. 487
The Cyber Consumer--Buying Imported Goods Onlinep. 490
Who's Watching You?p. 491
Consumer Closeup--When Your Boss Reads Your E-Mailp. 493
Ethical Choices and Medical Technologyp. 495
A Closing Thoughtp. 497
Indexp. 501