Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Folly of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act

I have been following with some interest the efforts of Senator Jim DeMint to make the public more aware of the massive defects inherent in the CPSIA of the last year. This act was passed in a mad rush to stem the ominous tide of (mostly Chinese) lead in cheap children’s toys and products and, also, an additive to plastics that makes them pliable. DeMint has noted that the wholesale regulations have long-ranging consequences that no one foresaw and have hit small time mom and pop businesses (not to mention resale businesses like charity thrift shops) especially hard. They require expensive and extensive testing of so many products geared toward children and provide for an outright ban on the sale of some products (like children’s ATVs) that have a high lead content in parts that would never be ingested by any semi-sentient child. (In the case of the ATVs the lead is in the battery pack . . . and may I just say that if you’re kid is sucking on the battery pack of his motorbike, lead is probably not the most important concern on your plate . . . ) Hugh Hewitt is doing an excellent job of following this story, interviewing knowledgeable sources, and considering the economic and liberty implications of the legislation.

Discussions - 2 Comments

Who buys chinese goods at mom and pop's when walmart exists. This seems a odd argument, that safety is bad because it hurts mom and pop stores which are being run out of business by imperial walmart and its hordes of slave products and now mom and pops can't afford to sell the very products that put them out of business. I think mom and pop's are more likely to sell micro manufactured stuff so I don't get this at all. Mabye I need to join the 100 Tibetin Monks taken by the Chinese for reeducation on the anniversary of the Dalai Llama's flight. How dare anyone aim unfare legislation at a country that snatches children from remote villages to work in sweatshops, has forced labor camps for political dissenters, and mobile execution vans for organ harvesting. Shameful, really that we target this Utopian society with our small minded concerns over childhood safety.

Brutus, the bill was aimed at these cheap Chinese lead tainted goods . . . but, of course, its doing more than that. And the WalMarts and Targets of this world will do just fine. They can afford to do the testing, eat the losses on surplus product that must be destroyed, and hire lawyers for extensive legal challenges. It is the smaller shops and resale shops that suffer. It's also killing American shoe manufacturers . . . and motorbike mechanics (you can't even legally work on one of these "toxic" tike bikes under this law). If you think this is really about China and that my ire is up on behalf of WalMart, you're kidding yourself. It's just a stupid law written by people who had no idea of what they were doing. It will kill American businesses and American jobs--even ones that you like. Kinda like the stimulus . . . No one read this thing either before it passed. But you ought to read about the thing before you go off on another one of your rants.

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