RVIA Economic Impact Study

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.

Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .

Finance Regulators Move Ahead With Arbitration Rule

Thu Jul 13, 2017

According to a story posted on the Competitve Enterprise Institute (CEI) website, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced on Monday it is finalizing its rule banning the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in financial contracts. The draft rule received more than 110,000 comments, many of them critical. Virtually all the critiques were rejected out of hand, and the final rule is substantively the same as the draft rule.

Many of the comments, including some of CEI's, focused on the methodology of the internal study on which the CFPB based the rule. This study rejected large amounts of academic research into and data on the effectiveness of arbitration and purported to establish that arbitration was used to restrict the use of class action lawsuits. The study concluded that banning arbitration would protect consumers and be in the public interest.

Thomas B. Hudson, a columnist for RV News magazine and a partner with Hudson Cook, LLP, says the arbitration agreement's possible removal would be a huge hit to some RV dealers.

"RV dealers who have been using arbitration agreements as their first, best line of defense against class action lawsuits filed by their customers will lose that protection unless this rule is blocked or overturned," Hudson says. "Welcome back to the bad old days of class action risk."

The study was flawed. As CEI noted:

The CFPB study is flawed owing to the incomparability of the data it attempts to compare. Attorneys routinely challenge arbitration provisions to protect their own special interests. As a result, consumers often have been thwarted in their efforts to exercise their right to submit to arbitration.
The CFPB arbitration study also completely overlooks resolution of customer complaints that do not result in legal disputes. Resolving a consumer’s valid complaint is much less expensive than either arbitration or litigation. Businesses resolve customer disputes every day without resorting to arbitration. The CFPB does not even measure such resolutions. All the CFPB acknowledges are the revealed preferences of defendants to arbitrate far more challenging consumer claims. Meanwhile, the Bureau characterizes class actions that result in a fraction of a percentage being paid to the class (often pennies on the dollar, as in the Checking Overdraft cases) while the attorneys are awarded millions as a “victory” for consumers. Enriching well-heeled attorneys does nothing to make consumers whole.

Moreover, the CFPB’s own data showed that arbitration resulted in more money, quicker, for the consumer than class action. (Other criticisms of the study can be found in this Mercatus Center paper).

Read the full story.