MoveOn.org makes like ignorant consumers are a protected species

Since I’m such a valuable member of the MoveOn community (read: I have an email address to which they can keep sending requests for money), I was sent this little morsel.  An email both warning me about the dangers and evils of Corporate Banking(!) and explaining to me how Government can help.  I’ll reproduce their email, titled “The Fine Print” [cue ominous music]:

Dear MoveOn member,

Have you ever read your credit card agreement? Really read all that legal jargon in the tiny font?

Me neither. The big banks count on us not to because that fine print is where they hide the “gotchas” that cost consumers billions of dollars each year on credit cards, mortgages, and student loans

Now, President Obama and Congress are stepping in by creating a new “financial products” watchdog agency to protect consumers. In the same way that we keep stores from selling exploding toasters, this agency will have the power to keep lenders from offering “exploding” loans.1

Of course, the big banks hate this idea. And their lobbyists are swarming congressional offices trying to kill the new agency.2 

That’s why it’s so important that Rep. McHugh hears pushback from regular folks now. Can you call him today and ask him to support a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency?

Dear Move On,

Or — OR — you could just read the fine print.  I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but exploding toasters don’t come with legal copy and a required signature that says you understand the toaster might explode; correct?  This isn’t even an apples/oranges comparison, MoveOn.  You’re comparing Apples to Orangutans.

No, I don’t believe I’ll be calling John McHugh and begging him to support another piece of crap legislation.  For one thing, I’m sure he doesn’t need my prompting anyway, if Capntax is any indication. 

Your email suggests something that I sincerely hope more people begin to understand: you honestly believe that the people on your side are complete idiots.  You are honestly out there, advocating for continued consumer ignorance, under federal protection by the Mighty Hand of Obama.  This isn’t protection from the Big Bad Banks.  Theoretically, the Fine Print ought to take care of that.  No, what this is is simply protecting Consumers from the consequences of their own willful ignorance.  Again, a complete lack of respect for your patrons.

Normal people don’t consider as equals those who must be protected from themselves.  In general, we call those people “children.”  And I have the sneaking suspicion that you do, too.