Gustavo Volmar

Low incidence of consumers

The preponderance of consumption domestic is evident in the global economy. Even in countries like China, whose recent economic growth has been sustained by the export of manufactures, the government has reached the conclusion that to maintain high rates of expansion it is necessary that the participation of the consumption domestic GDP rises. And in countries like ours, with trade deficits and accelerated foreign debt, the concern is that the consumption it can be very high in relation to the investment, and not the other way around.

But if he consumption is so important in our economy, one might wonder why the consumers, as a group, have so little impact on public policy discussions. Yes, as voters every four years or through the distribution of their expenses, they do have influence over the election of the authorities and the decisions of the businessmen, but in the policy debates those who participate are business, union, professional and governmental.

The lack of strong private entities representing the consumers It has allowed groups of merchants, unions and other sectors to claim to be interested in consumer protection, when many times their arguments are motivated by their own interests. It has also caused Pro Consumidor, a state agency, to be expected to take charge of monitoring quality, advertisements, components, expiration dates, weights, prices, volumes and other attributes of the products, exceeding in some cases the limits imposed by free competition. .

The atomization of the consumers prevents them from exercising the influence that due to their importance in the economy corresponds to them. It is a sign of our unwillingness to join efforts and coordinate actions, usually preferring each person to try to resolve their issues individually.

PhD in Economics from Columbia University specialized in companies, markets, forecasts and risk.

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