Political Telemarketing

November is around the corner. It’s that time of year again, folks.

foneMy phone number is listed on the government’s “do not call” list, officially known as the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry, which means that businesses cannot call me unless I have an existing relationship with them. The idea is to eliminate unwanted telemarketing calls, which have hit a peak with new robo-calling technology that makes it easier – and cheaper – than ever for these companies to disturb your evening with an unwanted phone call.

Of course, being on the National Do Not Call Registry doesn’t matter to anybody, ever. You see, telemarketers know that there is little to no enforcement. Even if the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) did decide to act, by the time the telemarketer will have closed down that number and moved on to another one. They know they FTC doesn’t dedicate the kind of budget necessary to take any real, effective action against them.

USFTCBut everyone hates telemarketers, so why doesn’t the FTC go after the violators? Because the lobbyists for the telemarketing industry can offer your congressional representatives a lot more money than you do. It’s as simple as that. They have millions of dollars. All you have is a vote.

Which makes the National Do Not Call Registry the posterchild for everything that’s wrong with our government: it offers an empty promise to the public while catering to special interest groups. And the cherry on top is that the generous “donations” from the telemarketing industry are used by these politicians to pay telemarketers to call my home and ask me to vote for them.