Sick of hearing about CPSIA? Tough!
Ha. Because I sincerely believe this is one of the most important consumer issues out there.
From National Bankruptcy Day, an economic impact study:
Following is a summary analysis of the interim results from the Economic Impact Study collected between 31 Dec 2008 and 10 Jan 2009 which measured the responses of manufacturers, component suppliers and retailers. The cut to the chase summary shows over 70 million dollars worth of inventory must be destroyed on February 10, 2009 (National Bankruptcy Day) and of those enterprises that expect to survive the fall-out (61% will not), over 40 million dollars in lost product sales are anticipated. The “average” respondent of this survey shares the following characteristics:
80% of their products are children’s goods. They expect to lose their business (61%). If a retailer, they can’t get testing services due to accessibility, logistics or finances (71%). They will have to close their business (34%) and destroy product (28%).
It goes on from there.
I am writing in response to the letter dated January 16 to Commissioners Nord and Moore of the CPSC signed by Reps. Henry Waxman and Bobby Rush and Senators Rockefeller and Pryor (January 16 Letter). See http://energycommerce.house.gov/images/stories/Documents/PDF/Newsroom/nord%20moore%202009%201%2016.pdf. In this letter, Congressional leaders urge the CPSC to clarify “confusion and misinformation” under the CPSIA in a “clear and understandable manner” and specifically, to address the application of the new law to certain books and clothing items, resellers like thrift and consignment stores and component testing and to provide guidance to small businesses. Notably, the letter counsels that “greater communication and expedited action by the Commission will improve compliance with the law and lead to more effective and efficient achievement of the law’s goals.” I respectfully disagree. In large part, I believe this letter mischaracterizes the nature of the problem with the CPSIA by implying that with a few regulatory tweaks and a little more guidance, everything will be “fine”. This is patently untrue and misleading in itself. Furthermore, with economic conditions as they are today (see http://video.forbes.com/fvn/business/er_retailers011409 – 200,000 stores are expected to close in 2009), the negative economic implications of this law have the potential to be catastrophic without an IMMEDIATE serious reconsideration of legislative approach. See also http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html and http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/2009/01/15/toys-lead-retail-ent-law-cx_rb_0115bovarnicksafetylaw.html?partner=relatedstoriesbox . By attempting to prop up a poorly-conceived law, I believe that Congress is fiddling while Rome burns. This did not work out well for Rome or Nero, and will not work out well for the United States in this case.