Proclamation 5950 of April 6, 1989
National Consumers Week, 1989
By the President of the United States of America
Consumers throughout the Nation are reaping the benefits of the longest peacetime economic expansion in America's history. This economic growth has produced record employment and an all-time high in real personal income. American consumers now have new choices and new economic power—power enhanced by the freedom to purchase and produce in an open, competitive marketplace.
The theme for National Consumers Week, 1989, "Consumers Open Markets," focuses attention on the ability of consumers to shape the markets of the world and encourage improvements in those that fail to meet consumer needs. When consumers make informed buying decisions, they compel consumer-oriented responses. Because America is not isolated from the world but rather leads other nations in the commitment to free-market ideas, the collective choices of individual American consumers echo around the globe.
On a grand scale, consumerism is nations creating policies that are responsive to consumer perspectives. Consumerism is corporations that make safety their first concern and develop quality products and services. Consumerism is governments using tax dollars wisely, responsively, and ethically. It is also charities that inspire us to support worthy causes with our financial resources.
On a more personal level, consumerism is a parent putting safe, nutritious food on the table. It is families knowing how to spend and save wisely so they have enough money left over to pursue a dream or enjoy a special pastime. Indeed, the marketplace skills of individual consumers play an important role in ensuring that every American citizen enjoys his or her share in our Nation's prosperity.
The basic skills individuals need as consumers are equally vital to being productive citizens. A high school graduate who cannot balance a checkbook, read a food label, decipher the directions for taking prescription drugs, or assemble a product from written instructions has neither the basic skills to function in the marketplace nor those to compete for a job in our information-oriented work force. Teaching these skills is often viewed solely as the responsibility of our Nation's educators; however, I believe it is one we must all share. Thus, I urge Americans from business, government, and the private sector to join with educators in expanded community partnerships to assure that our Nation's educational endeavors prepare young people for the reality of the marketplace, as well as the workplace.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week beginning April 23, 1989, as National Consumers Week. I urge businesses, educators, conununity organizations, the media, government, and consumer leaders to conduct activities to emphasize the important role consumers play in keeping our markets open, competitive, and fair. Further-