Saturday, July 11, 2009

Toy Story -- Another Annoying Author Weighs in on CPSIA

This article appeared online last winter in the Washington Monthly:
Toy Story: Does the reform of a small agency herald the return of competent government oversight?

When I started reading the article, I was actually thrown off as to the author's real position, when he started: "In late July, when the presidential race was a dead heat and the country’s banks were not yet nationalized, Congress—opposed by just four Republicans—quietly voted for the return of big government." When I hear "return of big government", I think negative thoughts, so I mistakenly thought at this point that the author was against the passage of the CPSIA.

He cleared up my misunderstanding quickly. Well, maybe not so quickly. First he went through the history of the CPSC for several paragraphs. And then his true position on the law finally came out, or maybe he didn't mean these section the way it comes across to me, someone who has been fighting the CPSIA for many months now.

I sent the following letter to the Washington Monthly today in response to it:

I probably found out about the CPSIA law last winter about the same time this article was written, but I just now encountered it. I hope it is not too late to comment on it.

I was curious as to whether or not Mr Blake has done any additional research on the effects that this law is having on companies -- this law that he so eloquently praised several months ago?

I hope that his comments were made in honest ignorance to what this law is really doing: "The biggest issue, however, has always been whether the president and Congress even want the CPSC to succeed. With the passage of this summer’s legislation, it seems they finally do. The new law offers a realistic approach to oversight, mandating third-party lab testing for all children’s products—a reasonable alternative to keeping tabs on the vast network of foreign supply chains or simply handing responsibility over to the companies themselves."

I hope Mr. Blake is just not familiar with what these "realistic approaches to oversight" really mean...Is he not aware of what all this third-party lab testing "for all children's products" really involves? I hope that is the case!

For one thing, he talks of "the vast network of foreign supply chains" as if that is the only group being affected by the CPSIA...No, this law also affects domestic companies...And it doesn't just affect the bigger companies...It affects ALL companies manufacturing products for children 12 and under...including those who are producing one-of-a-kind handmade and homemade items. I would love to know how Mr. Blake thinks that these testing requirements are a "realistic approach to oversight".

If he would like to do some more research on this article, he could start with the CPSC's own website. A second website he might want to check out is:

Thank you for your time.

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