January 21, 1982

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

An informed and educated consumer is vital to the long-term healthy growth of our economic system. Consumer education can help us make decisions that are right for ourselves and right for our economy. It helps motivate young people to formulate more realistic, attainable standards for a higher quality of life. It helps adults solve problems and make decisions in our increasingly complex financial world. And because consumer education promotes responsible consumer behavior and customer satisfaction, it is beneficial for consumers, business and government.

The American enterprise system has given us the greatest and most diverse outpouring of goods and services of any economy in history. We are the most prosperous nation in the world with unequaled opportunities for individuals to enjoy the fruits of their labors. Honest transactions in a free market between buyers and sellers are at the core of individual, community, and national economic growth.

In the final analysis, an effective and efficient system of commerce depends on an informed and educated public. Consumer dollars shape the marketplace with an expenditure of roughly two-thirds of the gross national product -- almost twice that of government and business combined. The strength of this consumer purchasing power carries with it a responsibility that each citizen wisely decide which economic resources are to be saved and which are to be spent where.

There is a proper role for government involvement in the marketplace. For example, it is the responsibility of government to insure that our food and drug supplies are safe and that defrauders are brought to justice. Too much government regulation, however, simply adds to the costs to business and consumers alike without commensurate benefits. We are striving to correct excesses, at the same time recognizing that informed and educated consumers are our best hope for prosperity, efficiency, and integrity in the marketplace.

As we enter a new era of greater economic freedom, I urge schools, community organizations, the media, labor unions and businesses to develop programs and information so that consumer and economic education and information will be readily available to all.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week beginning April 25, 1982, as National Consumers' Week.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:34 a.m., January 22, 1982]