Today is an important day for American consumers. Today was to have been the day when those troubling telemarketing firms were to have ceased calling your home at virtually any hour of the day or night. But despite some last-minute Congressional action and a half-dozen lawsuits, it appears that the calls will continue for the time being.
Americans in overwhelming numbers are adamant in their opposition to the daily stream of telemarketing calls. A national no-call list was to have taken effect today with at least 50 million homes already signed-up. A district judge however ruled last week that the Federal Trade Commission lacked the authority to implement the no-call list. So Congress - with amazing speed - approved legislation that would allow the no-call list to be approved. That measure was signed into law earlier this week by President Bush.
But yet another judge has ruled the no-call list violates the free speech provisions of the Constitution and thus, the entire fiasco remains in temporary limbo. Regardless of the legal maneuvers, sooner than later there will be a national no-call list and, if successful, it will reduce those bothersome calls by 80 percent.
Granted, there will be jobs lost when telemarketers are forced to cease the calls. And that is bad for those employed in the industry. But their rights to employment end when they make an uninvited and unwelcome call at night to my home trying to sell me something I neither want nor need.
Missouri's no-call list will not be impacted by the federal list. It is a separate issue. But the federal list will expand the number of those unable to call and we urge its approval as soon as humanly possible.
I am a strong advocate of the free enterprise system on which this country was founded. But there is a point beyond which the calls are an invasion of my privacy. If I want someone to call my home with an offer of some kind, I will inform them of such. Until then, mail me something I can discard without reading. But don't dial my number unless invited.
The numbers clearly show that a majority of Americans agree.