Economic Issues for Consumers (with InfoTrac ) / Edition 10

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This text takes a practical, applied approach to consumer issues by presenting current information in a manner that is easy for students to comprehend. Covering the basics of both theory and practice, the text is designed to help students learn to make informed consumer decisions, both now and in the future. Coverage includes helpful advice on consumer issues and warnings about common fraudulent practices.
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Editorial Reviews

Miller (Institute for University Studies) and Stafford (Niagara County Community College) offer a new edition of this time tested introductory text. Coverage includes topics such as budgets, taxes, major purchases, financial management, fraud, insurance, debt, risk management, and retirement planning. Every chapter concludes with a "Consumer Issue," with advice on applying the principles outlined in the chapter. The ninth edition features a greater focus on the uses of the Internet. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780534628529
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 10/22/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 10
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger LeRoy Miller has served on the faculty of several universities, including the University of Washington, Clemson University, and the University of Miami School of Law, where he taught intellectual property law, entertainment law, and other subjects. Widely published, his work has appeared in the INSURANCE COUNSEL JOURNAL, DEFENSE RESEARCH, CALIFORNIA TRIAL LAWYERS JOURNAL, ANTITRUST BULLETIN, WISCONSIN LAW REVIEW, and CONNECTICUT LAW REVIEW. He has authored or co-authored numerous textbooks, including BUSINESS LAW: TEXT & CASES: LEGAL, ETHICAL, GLOBAL, AND CORPORATE ENVIRONMENT; THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT: TEXT & CASES: ETHICAL, REGULATORY, GLOBAL, AND CORPORATE ISSUES; BUSINESS LAW TODAY; and THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT TODAY. He completed his studies at the University of California at Berkeley and University of Chicago.

Alan D. Stafford is a Professor Emeritus of Economics and Director of Planning for Niagara County Community College. He earned an MBA and MEd in Social Studies Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Professor Stafford taught secondary social studies for fourteen years before joining the faculty of NCCC in 1981. He is the author or co-author of a variety of economics and consumer economics texts and received the New York State Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1998.

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Table of Contents

Unit 1 The Consumer in Today's World
Chapter 1 An Economic Foundation for Consumer Decisions 1
Scarcity 2
The Necessity of Choice 4
Demand and Supply Analysis--A Brief Introduction 6
Consumer Sovereignty in a Market Economy 10
The Real World of Imperfect Competition 10
Americans in an Electronic Market 12
New Technology--New Responsibilities 14
Consumer Economics in an Electronic Economy 15
Confronting Consumer Issues: Being an Ethical Consumer 16
Chapter Summary 21
Key Terms 22
Questions for Thought & Discussion 22
Things to Do 22
Internet Resources 23
Selected Readings 24
Chapter 2 Making Rational Consumer Choices 25
Decisions, Decisions 26
Rational Consumer Decision Making 27
Values and Rational Decision Making 28
The Decision-Making Process 31
Pitfalls in Rational Consumer Decision Making 34
Time Management and Rational Decision Making 37
Confronting Consumer Issues: How to Buy Technology-Based Products 40
Chapter Summary 45
Key Terms 45
Questions for Thought & Discussion 45
Things to Do 46
Internet Resources 46
Selected Readings 47
Chapter 3 A Flood of Advertising 48
Costs and Benefits of Advertising 49
Brand-Name Advertising 50
Other Types of Advertising 52
The Ugly Side of Advertising 54
Advertising and Your Privacy 57
Your Telemarketing Rights 58
Privately Prepared Information 59
Confronting Consumer Issues: Rational Internet Shopping 63
Chapter Summary 67
Key Terms 67
Questions for Thought & Discussion 68
Things to Do 68
Internet Resources 68
Selected Readings 69
Chapter 4 The Many Faces of Fraud 70
Consumer Products Fraud 71
Steps to Take to Protect Yourself 79
Internet Fraud 82
Confronting Consumer Issues: The Dangers of Identity Theft 87
Chapter Summary 91
Key Terms 91
Questions for Thought & Discussion 91
Things to Do 92
Internet Resources 92
Selected Readings 93
Chapter 5 Protection for the Consumer 94
Sources of Consumer Protection 95
Consumer Responsibilities 100
Enforcement of Federal Consumer Protection Laws 101
State and Local Governments and Consumer Protection 104
Using Small Claims Courts 105
Sources of Private-Sector Consumer Protection 108
Private Industry's Self-Regulation 110
Warranties and Consumer Protection 111
Confronting Consumer Issues: Finding Help for Consumer Problems 114
Chapter Summary 122
Key Terms 122
Questions For Thought & Discussion 123
Things to Do 123
Internet Resources 123
Selected Readings 124
Unit 2 Budgeting
Chapter 6 The Consumer as a Wage Earner 125
Investment in Human Capital 126
Occupational Wage Differentials 129
The Problem of Inflation 133
Confronting Consumer Issues: Choosing the Right Career 140
Chapter Summary 145
Key Terms 145
Questions for Thought & Discussion 146
Things to Do 146
Internet Resources 146
Selected Readings 147
Chapter 7 Creating a Living Budget 148
Consumers Need a Spending Plan 149
Budget Making, Goals, and Values Clarification 152
How Does the Typical Household Allocate Its Income? 153
Creating a Budget Plan 154
Reviewing Your Budget 156
Fitting It All into a Life-Span Plan 156
Budget-Assistance Programs 157
Confronting Consumer Issues: Budgeting for Recreation and Leisure 159
Chapter Summary 164
Key Terms 164
Questions for Thought & Discussion 164
Things to Do 165
Internet Resources 166
Selected Readings 166
Chapter 8 Paying for the Government 167
The Whys and Hows of Taxation 168
Personal Federal Income Tax 172
Confronting Consumer Issues: Preparing Your Income Tax Return 175
Chapter Summary 183
Key Terms 183
Questions for Thought & Discussion 184
Things to Do 184
Internet Resources 184
Selected Readings 185
Unit 3 Making Consumption Expenditures
Chapter 9 Choosing a Healthful Diet 186
Choosing the Food We Eat 187
Government Labeling and Inspection Requirements 188
Food Labels and the Consumer 194
Nutrition 196
Food Additives 199
Health, Natural, and Organic Foods 203
The Growing Trend toward Convenience Food 204
Getting the Most for Your Food-Shopping Dollar 205
Confronting Consumer Issues: Good Health and Weight Control 208
Chapter Summary 212
Key Terms 213
Questions for Thought & Discussion 213
Things to Do 213
Internet Resources 214
Selected Readings 214
Chapter 10 Purchasing Household Products 215
Clothing, Happiness, and Budget Considerations 216
Indications of Quality 218
The Powerful Fashion Industry 220
Choosing Durable Goods 221
Consumer Durables as an Investment 222
Evaluating the Purchase of a Consumer Durable 223
Servicing Your Consumer Durables 226
The Special Case of Buying Furniture 228
Confronting Consumer Issues: Saving Money by Saving Energy 232
Chapter Summary 237
Key Terms 237
Questions for Thought & Discussion 237
Things to Do 238
Internet Resources 238
Selected Readings 239
Chapter 11 Satisfying Transportation Needs 240
We Depend on Cars in Many Ways 241
The Trend toward Safer Automobiles 243
The Social Costs of Driving 245
The Private Costs of Driving 245
Deciding When to Buy 247
Deciding What You Want 247
Getting the Best Deal on a New Car 250
Leasing versus Buying 254
Should You Choose a Used Car? 256
Final Guidelines for Consumers 257
Financing That Purchase 258
Know Your Lemon Laws 259
Confronting Consumer Issues: Reputable Repairs for Your Car 262
Chapter Summary 265
Key Terms 266
Questions for Thought & Discussion 266
Things to Do 266
Internet Resources 267
Selected Readings 267
Chapter 12 Choosing a Place to Live 268
Why Are We Willing to Pay So Much? 269
Renting versus Buying 269
If You Decide to Buy 273
Making the Offer 278
Title Examination and Insurance 278
Different Types of Homes 279
Paying for Your Home 280
Different Kinds of Mortgages 283
Creative Financing 285
Mortgage Repayment Terms 286
Closing Costs 287
Confronting Consumer Issues: Renting a Home 289
Chapter Summary 293
Key Terms 294
Questions for Thought & Discussion 294
Things to Do 294
Internet Resources 295
Selected Readings 295
Unit 4 Financial Management
Chapter 13 Banks Help Consumers Save and Spend 296
Why Save at All? 297
Where Should You Stash Your Cash? 299
How Banks Help Consumers Save 302
Saving by Buying Government Securities 305
How Banks Help Consumers Spend 307
How to Avoid Checking Problems 312
How to Settle a Complaint with a Bank 317
Confronting Consumer Issues: How to Use Electronic Banking 318
Chapter Summary 324
Key Terms 325
Questions for Thought & Discussion 325
Things to Do 326
Internet Resources 326
Selected Readings 327
Chapter 14 Using Credit Responsibly 328
Sources of Credit 329
Why Borrow? 331
Saving versus Credit Buying 332
What It Costs to Borrow 334
Consumer Credit Legislation 335
Equal Credit Opportunity 339
Fair Credit Billing Act 340
Fair Credit Reporting Act 340
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act 342
Subprime Lending 343
Predatory Lending 344
Going into Personal Bankruptcy 345
Confronting Consumer Issues: Making Credit Decisions 348
Chapter Summary 356
Key Terms 357
Questions for Thought & Discussion 357
Things to Do 357
Internet Resources 358
Selected Readings 358
Chapter 15 Investing for Your Future 359
Some Facts about the Stock Market 360
Making Money in the Stock Market 363
Mutual Funds 366
Is There No Way to Get Rich Quick? 369
Watch for Those Sure-Fire Schemes 370
Pensions and Retirement Funds 370
Confronting Consumer Issues: Making Personal Investment Plans 375
Chapter Summary 382
Key Terms 382
Questions for Thought & Discussion 382
Things to Do 383
Internet Resources 383
Selected Readings 384
Unit 5 Risk Management
Chapter 16 The Health-Care Dilemma 385
The Foundation of Insurance--Risk Pooling 386
Our Need for Medical Insurance 386
The Government Steps In 387
The Insurance Framework 387
The Supply of Medical Care 389
Drug Regulation and Its Costs 391
High-Tech Medicine 391
The Malpractice System 392
Who Can Afford the Medical Bill? 393
Health-Care Dilemma--or Crisis? 394
Tackling Waste and Inefficiency 395
Universal Health-Insurance Coverage 400
Confronting Consumer Issues: Purchasing Medical Care 406
Chapter Summary 413
Key Terms 414
Questions for Thought & Discussion 414
Things to Do 414
Internet Resources 415
Selected Readings 415
Chapter 17 Insuring Your Home and Your Automobile 416
Insuring Your Home 417
Automobile Insurance 422
Confronting Consumer Issues: Choosing a Lawyer 430
Chapter Summary 434
Key Terms 434
Questions for Thought & Discussion 434
Things to Do 435
Internet Resources 435
Selected Readings 436
Chapter 18 Life Insurance and Social Security 437
Life Insurance and Our Need for Security 438
The Basic Types of Life Insurance 439
Some Specialized Insurance Policies 445
Reading a Life-Insurance Contract 447
Choosing a Sound Life-Insurance Company 449
Involuntary Benefit Programs--The Case of Social Security 449
Confronting Consumer Issues: How
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