Well, our all-knowing Congress appears to be doing it again—hunting mice with a cannon.
Somehow, I missed all the prior controversy over a new law about to take effect: the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). But then, the mainstream media has barely mentioned it.
It seems that this act threatens to drive out of business tens of thousands of small makers of children’s products (not just toys—it appears that zippers and snaps are now considered “lethal”). Moreover, any thrift shop that sells secondhand children’s products (including clothes) will be put at risk for liability.
I am still trying to get up to speed on the elements of this new law, but attorneys are referring to February 10, 2009 as “bankruptcy day”—the day the new law takes effect. Apparently, that is when all manufacturers must “freeze” inventories of children’s products, and components of children’s products, until they can be modified (or destroyed) to comply with CPSIA. Many small businesses in this industry will not be able to afford such a drastic requirement. This could impact as many as 50,000 small businesses…not to mention the impact on retail stores and thrift shops.
It seems like Congress, in its infinite wisdom, will be putting people out of work faster than their stimulus plan can create new jobs. But then, I guess most members of Congress believe it is their duty to protect us from ourselves.
For more information on CPSIA, check out CPSIA Chronicles, February 6.
FLASH: There has been a partial and ineffective reprieve (check out the Chronicles). What’s going on in Washington makes the Keystone Cops look organized.