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July 29th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Elizabeth Warren: Fighting for Consumers

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Lately, you may have been reading or hearing about a highly respected Harvard law professor by the name of Elizabeth Warren. To be sure, she has been all over the press. She is being considered to head a new and innovative consumer bureau, and her strong consumer advocacy has some folks quaking in their boots. As it turns out, Elizabeth is a good friend of mine and of the show, and is a good, down-to-earth Oklahoma native! She has worked with our viewers to help them grasp today’s financial realities and the options available to them. She is smart, hard working and connects in a very real way. I am such a fan, I even wrote the forward for one of her excellent books on financial survival, All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. We are so like-minded!

From our very first conversation, Elizabeth talked to me at length about her growing concern that people had little protection from the excesses of America’s financial system. She once said, “Hard-working people have become the turkey at the Wall Street banks’ Thanksgiving dinner.”
Today, in my opinion, largely because of Elizabeth’s passionate lobbying, we now have the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Its sole job is to protect American consumers from unfair, deceptive and abusive financial practices and help people like you and me get clear information on loans and other financial products we purchase from credit card companies, mortgage brokers and banks. It will also do what it can to eliminate hidden charges and other tricks and traps that some lenders use to prey upon consumers.
As you know, I don’t talk politics on this blog or on the show, and I’m not going to start now. What Professor Warren is seeking to do is as bipartisan as it gets! Over the last couple of years, I have worked especially hard at educating others, particularly our young viewers, to not get caught up in the “easy credit” trap and, in turn, get seduced into spending beyond their means. We all have to take responsibility for our choices, but we deserve the straight facts too! That’s what Elizabeth wants to make happen.
Bottom line: I am a huge advocate of this new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As Elizabeth reminded me just the other day, the bureau is not simply going be a watchdog on Wall Street’s titans; it will also be a watchdog on regular consumers, to help people avoid the kinds of mistakes that can result in financial ruin. Each of us is responsible for our own financial choices, and I am a firm believer that when someone chooses the conduct, they have chosen the consequences of that conduct. But we also deserve as much information as we can get to make good choices. And that is what I believe Elizabeth Warren is all about. She recently said to me, “This new agency is all about leveling the playing field a bit, giving people better tools and then holding them responsible — very much the sort of thing you’ve been doing across a broad range of issues for years.”
I appreciate her saying that. And I hope you will take advantage of what she’s done and is willing to do for all consumers. If you want to see exactly what the bureau will doing for us, you can go here.
I could not more strongly support Professor Warren’s appointment to head up this new bureau. But you don’t need me to tell you how to feel about her or the new Bureau. I encourage you to read about it and make up your own mind. I also hope you will write or e-mail your congressperson and tell him or her how you feel. Washington D.C. is always up to something, but this one counts! Whether Elizabeth gets the job or not, I can promise you she will keep pushing as hard as she can on consumer financial issues. She feels that we’re losing too many middle-class American families. I have to agree! 

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25 Responses to “Elizabeth Warren: Fighting for Consumers”

  1. JenniferR says:

    Love Ms. Warren!!!!

  2. Susan Dockter says:

    After supporting and enthusiastically voting for Pres. Obama, I, as a Progressive Democrat, have been disappointed with his first two years in office. But if he does not nominate Elizabeth Warren for this position, I will finally admit he is a big business, banking, corporate sell out…. and maybe was all along. It is past time for moral and passionate people to begin speaking for the common good. Universal Healthcare coverage for all, end the continuous “wars” that the corporations and big business love, repeal the Bush and Reagan tax breaks for the wealthiest 10% of the population. Dr. Phil, please speak up more often.

  3. Janie Lapka says:

    Good job Professor Warren! We really need your expertise!

  4. FosterBoys says:

    Any friend of Jon Stewart is good in my book. He’s had her on his show a couple of times and I like what she has to say.

    But what do you mean about not being “political” on this blog or on your show? Maybe you mean that you try not to be partisan, because you are certainly political. Semantics, I know, but say what you mean and mean what you say.

    Welcome back.

  5. Sue Brennan says:

    I read “The Two Income Trap” as a result of seeing Dr. Warren on the Dr. Phil show. I’m in her court!

  6. Linda RH says:

    I can appreciate your efforts to remain non-partisan Dr Phil. People need help no matter which way they lean politically.
    It seems to me that the we as a nation have become used to the notion of debt for purchases. It’s going to be a difficult habit to break, especially now that restrictions are put on getting your cash. (Recently my bank charged me for withdrawing cash! I was insulted and offended!)
    I think the advice you give repeatedly on your show is correct, even if it is hard to take: when it comes to anything besides your home, if you don’t have the cash don’t buy it. Vehicles are a toss up, sometimes there’s no getting around going into debt if you need one, but it should be a last resort.
    Always read the fine print as any sort of credit always comes with a “gotcha.”
    Keep up the good work, America needs this wake up call.

  7. Linda RH says:

    I will say this, at the risk of sounding partisan, the administration is doing a poor job of using our taxes wisely and doesn’t seem to be inclined to do better in the future. It becomes imperative for us as individuals to not only set examples of good personal fiscal responsibility, but to cut the purse strings in Washington so that our leaders will be forced to do so also.

  8. Tammy says:

    This does not relate to your post, but I wanted to bring your attention to it. Last week, there were three mothers of autistic children that killed their child. One murdered two of her children, then called 911 and admitted to it. One shot her son and then shot herself. Another killed her 6 month old because she suspected her baby of being autistic.
    There are those that are excusing these parents actions because of the stress of raising an autistic child. As a mom of an autistic child, this sickens me. As far as I am concerned, there is no excusing or rationalizing their actions.
    These have not been the only moms to kill their autistic children. It has happened before. I think now would be a good time for Dr. Phil to address this on his show.

  9. FosterBoys says:

    Today, I am celebrating the 10,000th view of my pro-marijuana legalization music video. Thank you, thank you, no really, thank you.

    You know what would help our economy? Legalize marijuana.

  10. Sara says:

    Finally someone wants to be on our side – woohoo! Love ya, Elizabeth, and hope you get the job! :)

    As for politics, really, haven’t both major parties sold out for money? I can’t even call them Dems and Reps anymore, but instead the Republicrats and Demoblicans they’ve become. All they’re doing now is ruining what made America great while hiding their hurtful politics behind all the smoke and mirrors they can muster. It really has become We The People vs Most Politicians. Shame on them!

  11. LuanneT says:

    yes yes, I am a big Elizabeth Warren fan, first saw her on a few PBS shows and now she pops up everywhere. Love the fact that she never refers to anyone or anything as left or right, liberal or conservative, she just talks great common sense and FACTS behind the actions, no matter what party has presented them. Good to know you like her too Dr. Phil, I wonder who could possibly NOT like her. As a rare “centered” being, I DO want to help her as much as I can. I will hit that link! thanks!

  12. Dr. Warren,
    We as conumers can certainly use someone who can help ud. Would you be the one who could help the senior citizens in getting it known that we need discounts every day, not just one day of the week or one day of the month, we need it every day. Seniors are a large part of the populaton now who do a lot of buying, traveling, and purchasing large items. Myself, I was forced out of my job after 23 years in the medical profession by the outsourcing of our jobs and being the age I was (66 years) there have been no jobs out there with the economy as it has been. The times I have had the opportunity of getting a discount on food, was certainly a plus for that establishment. The seniors have contributed so much for the ones coming after us that it should be a given that we deserve the discount. Please help this group of consumers.

  13. This is in regard to those people, not deserving of being called a parent, who murdered, and I again say murdered their children because of the suspicion of autism. What they are relating to the world is children with autism do not deserve living. My answer to them is they are the ones who do not deserve life and certainly do not deserve being given those precious children. One person admitting that she wanted normal children, her mother may have thought the same about her as apparently she was not “normal”. My GOD My GOD how can they stand living with themselves every day having those thoughts. Sure children do not come with manuals on parenting but even an animal learns that. Watch a mother bird, what does she do? If she is a Mockingbird and sees you messing with her little ones, I say watch out, the hair will certainly fly and it want be her feathers.

  14. Pat Kemp says:

    Elizabeth Warren is wonderful — She really cares about protecting hard working American families. We have been seeing the middle class in this country disappear for decades. The (near) worldwide economic collapse and this terrible recession and suffering happens when we are not protecting our middle class. Thank you to Elizabeth Warren for standing up to Wall Street and demanding and end to the fraudulent transactions, transparency in financial transactions and common sense regulations. Thank you Dr. Phil for being a voice a common sense and compassion — like Ms. Warren.

  15. Blgspc says:

    I, too, am grateful for Elizabeth Warren’s good work. (Any port in a Storm!)
    I agree with Linda RH, basically.
    Though MOST of the time with THIS Administration, I have repeated this Prayer: ‘Lord, please keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand FIRMLY over my mouth!’

  16. Jim Wells says:

    Leaving aside the fact that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is her idea, Prof. Warren has demonstrated repeatedly her unwaivering advocacy on behalf of consumers in her testimonies against the tricks and traps of the financial services and in her work on the Congressional Oversight Panel trying to get to the bottom of the financial crisis which has cost millions of Americans their homes, their jobs and/or their life savings. Naming anyone else but this truly independent thinker will be a sell-out of the American public to the greedy and dishonest big banks. Perhaps the greatest validation that Prof. Warren is EXACTLY the right person for the job is the overwhelming push-back from the banking industry and its sycophants in Congress and government agencies. The very people to blame for the current economic crisis. And the people that Prof Warren will prohibit from hurting consumers into the future.

  17. paolosilv says:

    Excellent little article.We do need some kind of protection from these banks. I’ve spent more on fees than received in interest on my account!


  18. Linda RH says:

    Hmm, I just learned that the Center for American Progress has listed economics literacy and US history among educational courses it deems not very important. (The CAP is funded by George Soros, who is the backer for many of the progressive liberal programs out there today and many progressive liberal campaigns for Congress.)
    So how does this square with the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? While I think that Ms Warren is genuinely concerned and would make a highly qualified administrator of this bureau, just how is dumbing down our schools to ignore personal financial matters going to help her? And what about future administrators in this post? Is she being used to create a sense of credible concern by the administration?
    It is too much big government meddling into sane, common sense banking rules that created the housing bubble and subsequent meltdown. My thoughts are that they don’t want regular folks to understand too much…easier to keep on hoodwinking them that way. Meanwhile, this new bureau could be another tactic to make us think Obama is doing something helpful when he really isn’t.

  19. austin gil says:

    she is not smart,she is brilliant. we need to reform our economic infrastructure. the fellows who are there now,are beholden to the big banks. this woman has the interest of the general public in her heart and mind.

  20. Salome says:

    Obama seems to have a propensity for selecting women who are single, divorced, and/or childless. With a strong, independent wife, maybe he needs to have other women around him with whom he can play the role of “MacDaddy”.
    Warren is also a strong , independent woman, and I doubt that she would respond to anyone other than her father as a “Daddy” figure.
    I think if Obama was going to nominate her, he would have said so by now.

  21. Mary says:

    I am hopeful that our culture is on the road to healing. Unfortunately I am concerned as I read and hear comments that indicate people are too quick to judge and expect immediate change. I want to remind everyone that it’s our demand for instant gratification that got us into this complicated mess. This did not happen over night and it will not be resolved for a long time. I would like to remind people to post-pone instant judgment and be part of the solution. In short, stop griping and ask what you can do to pitch in to creating a solution.

  22. Nike Air Max says:

    i think that I just learned that the Center for American Progress has listed economics literacy and US history among educational courses it deems not very important.

  23. Brian says:

    I’am so sick with some people and there obsessive “war” with the rich. I’m not rich and not speaking like a hypercrit here, but people really need to wake up and start looking at the big picture. When you start taxing the wealth and start taxing these big corporations who do you think is going to pay for it? them? of course not you. So why do people continue to be at war with this subject. Where at a time where we need more jobs, and more investments not more taxes. So stop playing politics and start using your head. BTW my comments were based on a couple of comments that i saw not specifically about Ms. Warren

  24. I’am so sick with some people and there obsessive “war” with the rich. I’m not rich and not speaking like a hypercrit here, but people really need to wake up and start looking at the big picture. When you start taxing the wealth and start taxing these big corporations who do you think is going to pay for it? them? of course not you. So why do people continue to be at war with this subject. Where at a time where we need more jobs, and more investments not more taxes. So stop playing politics and start using your head. BTW my comments were based on a couple of comments that i saw not specifically about Ms. Warren

  25. Thank you for sharing the information.I like it very much.it is of vital importance for me.

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