Being a downer
“you’re such a downer.” I’ve been accused of it before. And again today. I’m a downer on the CPSIA thing. For about two weeks, I’ve noticed many, many new businesses – mostly local – making small items for children. I’m guessing at least 75% either don’t know about CPSIA or don’t think it applies to them. And so I have to go ruining everything by being a big downer and telling them.
Why does it even matter to me? This question was asked of me recently. I’ll tell you.
I guess I could just live and let live. Maybe they’ll never get caught, and maybe their products will never hurt anybody. Maybe. I mean, if I saw a house burning and saw a person inside, unaware of the fire, I could just walk by – they’ll probably notice and get out on time, right?
But, then again. Maybe the State (in charge of enforcement of CPSIA) will see them as the low-hanging fruit that’s easy to bust. They are no doubt looking for smaller businesses who will be easy to make examples of – much like when the Feds busted a few college students for illegal downloads. Maybe they don’t realize that some of their items might actually contain banned substances, and testing would show that.
Actually, in some ways, the more businesses there are who are not even trying to comply, the less likely my own business will be the recipient of government scrutiny. Maybe I should even encourage them to be uncompliant?
But noncompliance, if caught, would be bad, beyond bad. Families could lose everything. They could face jail time. They could spend years and thousands of dollars fighting in court.
And there’s also the basic issue that, if you’re going to have a business, you need to take a few basic steps first, and among those steps is figuring out what laws affect you and how you can comply. (I wrote an article on this very topic over at boulevard designs.)