Saturday, January 17, 2009

Solving the Poverty Problem: Kill the Poor

From the LA Times, article by Alana Semuels, January 7, 2009

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has given preliminary approval to changes in new lead-testing rules after complaints that the measures could have forced thrift stores and sellers of handmade toys to dispose of merchandise or even go out of business.

If formally adopted, the changes approved on a first vote Tuesday would grant exemptions to last year's Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which seeks to ensure that products for children do not contain dangerous amounts of lead.

As currently written, the act would require all products aimed at children 12 and under to be tested for lead and phthalates starting Feb. 10. Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable.

Large manufacturers and retailers say the cost of testing will not be a burden. But small businesses such as handmade-toy shops and thrift stores say the requirement would force them to spend tens of thousands of dollars to test products such as clothing, in which the threat of lead is almost nonexistent. Many thrift stores said they would be forced to stop selling children's clothing or close altogether.


ATSRTWT

Actually, it makes perfect sense. You should definitely make it harder for really poor people to put inexpensive clothes on their children during (a) a bad recession, and (b) the coldest winter we have had in a while. Wait...no...I was wrong. That doesn't make sense.

Look, there has been no rash of injuries and deaths from these clothes, or toys. It is just a way to protect the big corporations that make big contributions.*

*("Large manufacturers and retailers say the cost of testing will not be a burden. But small businesses such as handmade-toy shops and thrift stores say the requirement would force them to spend tens of thousands of dollars to test products such as clothing, in which the threat of lead is almost nonexistent. ")

Golly, I wish Public Choice were not such a deadly accurate way of understanding the political world.

(Nod to Roxanne, who knows stuff)

6 comments:

Simon Spero said...

Don't worry: Unless it's ammended in time, the same bill will require all books to be pulled out of children's libraries so they can be tested (at twice the price of the book, apparently).

But it'll all be ok. Someone on the Obama transition team says there's nothing to worry about.

http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1470

Your lack of trust in our new insect overlords is clearly a result of having read too much.

Simon Spero said...

Oh, and has Jane Fonda convinced the liberals it's ok?

Amy Sterling said...

I've seen the lead in children's books information too.

Norman said...

CPSIA is the sloppiest, most wrong-headed pieces of legislation I've heard of in a while. Thinking about why it has support makes me depressed.

Shawn said...

think of the children, Norman, the children.

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