The big banks and the credit card companies recently scored a big win over consumers with the assistance of all of Minnesota's Republican congressional delegation. Every Republican House of Representatives member voted in favor of eliminating a consumer's rights to join class actions when they've been ripped off by their banks or credit card companies. You need to understand that no one can be forced to participate in a class action, it is totally voluntary. But our Republican representatives decided we weren't qualified to make that choice. This works to the benefit of the banks and credit card companies because they know that almost no one is going to go to arbitration over being ripped off to the tune of $30 or $40. Who has the time to do that? On the other hand, for the bank this can be immensely profitable when you multiply that $30 or $40 by millions of customers.
What our Republican representatives forget is that one of the purposes of tort law is to discourage the kind of conduct in the first place. We would all be a lot better off if the banks and credit card companies didn't steal from us in the first place. The only way to keep them honest is to make sure that when they do get caught doing that, the penalty is severe. A massive class action with millions of claimants gets their attention. Your or my $40 arbitration case doesn't even register on their radar.