Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act as Bad as We Thought

Remember how leftists mocked when, earlier this year, people warned that the hastily passed Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act granted overly broad powers to regulate even small businesses and thrift shops? Well, it’s actually worse than people thought. Reason quotes from the the official CPSA Handbook for Retail Stores and Product Resellers:

This handbook will help sellers of used products identify types of potentially hazardous products that could harm children or others. CPSC’s laws and regulations apply to anyone who sells or distributes consumer products. This includes thrift stores, consignment stores, charities, and individuals holding yard sales and flea markets.

You rarely go wrong in assuming that government will grab all the power it can. 

6 thoughts on “Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act as Bad as We Thought”

  1. On the plus side, if government starts enforcing regulation against garage sales, ordinary people – that is to say, voters – may start to realize just how costly regulation really is, and may gain a new appreciation for the high cost of business regulation.

  2. Taking this phenomena just a small step forward: With enough laws, totalitarian regimes can intimidate individuals (and small groups) by making anyone a charged criminal when it suits the aim of the bureaucracies. I think I’ve noticed a definite chill in the air during the last three or four months.

  3. “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” — Ayn Rand

  4. Hmm. Isn’t the textbook example of incomplete information market failure a USED car market. So, I guess someone should be able to sell a child faulty car seat (or one that’s been rendered unsafe by having been in a wreck) as long as it’s used? Or is the point here that everyone should know that any used item is suspect?

  5. J.Bang, you miss the point: If you sell a child’s item at your garage sale, it is up to you to have proof that it is lead-free. It is up to you–or a thrift store–to pay for the test. Item after item after item–and the equipment is exotic and each test is very expensive.

    But you’ll do it or face criminal charges. Or quit selling “good used” children’s toys and clothes. Poor folks buy children’s clothes at GoodWill. Oops! “Used to buy children’s clothes at GoodWill.”

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