7.14.2006

Between The Lines


A couple of days ago, I published the official statement from the Federal Trade Commission regarding the pending R511993. There was one paragraph that I could not get out of my mind. Here is the paragraph:
The FTC has brought more than 200 enforcement actions against business opportunities using the Franchise Rule since it took effect in the 1970s, and numerous cases against work-at-home and multilevel marketing companies under Section 5 of the FTC Act. Since 1995, the Commission has conducted 12 sweeps on business opportunities.
Here's what bothers me about this statement within the context of the next actions the FTC wishes to embark.

The agency was intended to safeguard the public and maintain, at minimum, the ethical conduct of businesses. Through it's history, the Feds have created many, many, many, (get my emphasis?) rules and regulations advertised to achieve some level of confidence in the public perception.

If the profession of Network Marketing is so replete with fraud and unscrupulous shysters, why have there only been "more than 200 enforcement actions" since the 1970's?

If the best recommendation by the FTC today is to presume guilt of ALL those promoting a business opportunity and introduce extremely damaging regulations, why have there only been "12 sweeps on business opportunities" in the past 11 years?

The action brought by the Federal Trade Commission to address what is being advertised as a pervasive condition, in my opinion is the equivalent of trying to kill a fly with an F-22 fighter. There is no questions that it is easier to levy fines than it is to prove guilt.

Part of my reservations of this issue lies in the inclusion of ALL that market their business opportunity with honesty and integrity and are considered on equal footing with those that are truly screwing people. The honest business person, the family seeking a way to improve their quality of life or just earn enough to stay a step ahead of their debts; these are the people that will be hurt by R511993 as it stands today.


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