I haven't posted about it, but I've been following the story of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) since Neil Gaiman first brought it to my horrified attention.

The CPSIA is the most recent example of a feel-good, paternalistic law that has far more horrible consequences than previously believed. On the surface it seems like a good idea--let's keep lead-based paints out of products going to our children. But when you read and consider the actual effects of the law, it goes far beyond preventing toy manufacturers from using lead-based paints in their products. In a time of recession, when many people depend on thrift stores, this law has put that entire industry in danger. It will destroy many small businesses who will not be able to afford the prohibitive costs of testing. And then there's the destruction of books, which is the focus of the article linked above (and what this will mean for our libraries).

The law is over-broad and over-reaching, as anyone with any common sense can see. But far too many people in power refuse to see what they've done. Congress has already refused to consider amendments that would undo or mitigate some of the most damaging sections of the law, much less throw the law out.

Still, I think it's worthwhile to write your representatives about it and bring it to the attention of any local media you can. In the meantime, I hope that most of the books that have been affected by this terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad law are not destroyed and can make a triumphant return to bookshelves everywhere within a few years. (And that my local thrift stores aren't shut down. And that small toy manufacturers aren't forced to retire and leave the market entirely to Mattel.)


amiguriken: (Default)
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