Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I just added this button on the right:

Save Handmade Toys

So what's it about? We all, I'm sure, remember the problems with toxic toys imported from China. There was a lot of pressure on Congress to do something, and the something they chose to do was to pass a law requiring vigorous testing of all products sold for children. Which sounds great until you think of the millions of cottage makers out there making toys (or furniture) in their garages, basements, and sewing rooms. As more than one person has put it, the people hurt the most by this law will be the people who have already earned our trust.

Put another way, once this law is passed, and all these boutique manufacturers are put out of business, your only choice will be to buy toys from companies big enough that they can afford the expensive testing. And if you don't trust the testing, you're sort of screwed. But why wouldn't you trust the testing? I mean, look how well it's worked for the beef industry, right?

I'd call it a coincidence, but I'm old enough now to have seen this happen again and again. Big business screws up --> Congress threatens regulation --> Big business hires lobbyists --> lobbyists make sure that new regulations are harder on small businesses than big ones.

So, anyway, click the link and see what you can do about it. I'm particularly jazzed about voting for it on Change.gov. How cool is it that our new president has a site where we the people can tell him what ideas we think are most important?

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