**Caution: I am getting up on my soapbox now :o)**
I've been thinking a lot about this new law (CPSIA) and felt compelled to share my thoughts. I know we all breathed a sigh of relief when they released the clarification stating that resellers wouldn't have to comply. I know I brushed it off after that was released. What a relief! We can still buy used items for our kids, it won't hurt our pocketbooks, the problem is solved. Hooray! But is it really? It was brought back to my attention yesterday when I received an email from a small homeschool retailer informing me (and everyone else) that they were liquidating EVERYTHING in an effort to get ready to comply with the law. That made me pause and think. This law is still retroactive. It is still going to have a HUGE impact on our (already struggling) economy. Think of all the retailers who are going to have to "dump" their entire inventory. How are these businesses going to survive? Virtually EVERYTHING in Toys R Us is designed for under 12. It will all have to go. The Children's Place, Gymboree, Elephants Trunk. The children's departments in Macy's, Penny's, Target, Wal-mart, Ross, TJ Max, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Parable, Christian Supply. And this is only a small sampling of our local market. We have to remember this is going to be nation-wide. But lets hit closer to home for most of us. What about homeschool-family-owned Timberdoodle? Kingfisher Curriculum Cove? The Learning Parent (they even manufacture some of their own products)? We're talking about getting rid of everything and virtually starting over. Sure, all of these places will have liquidations sales, but lets be real. How many of you have the money to go buy a bunch of stuff right now (even at rock bottom prices)? I know I don't. Sure it would be nice to get all of this years Christmas shopping out of the way early and at crazy low prices, but I still don't have the money. So what do we do? Put it on a credit card? Gee, do you think that will help our already debt crippled society? So if these retailers are unable to sell everything, then what? Can they really afford to swallow the loss? Will they have to file for bankruptcy? Will the government jump in with another bailout? I think this is going to put a lot of small retailers (and possibly some larger ones) out of business.
Now lets discuss where all of these "dangerous" products are going to go. That's right, the landfills. Once February 10th rolls around, these retailers will be unable to sell or even GIVE away this stuff. So that means truckloads, and truckloads, and truckloads (are you getting the picture?) of stuff added to the landfills in one fell swoop. And I would imagine that at least 90% of it will not decompose any time soon. So it will just sit there, forever, taking up space. That will be good for the environment.
Also, let's look at the effect this will have on our work-at-home-parents. The mom who makes diapers or the dad who makes toys to help make ends meet for their families. They wont be able to afford testing, they'll have to close up shop. So now what? Mom has to take a job outside the home? Dad has to take a second job, making it difficult to spend time with his family? What kind of effect is this going to have on their kids? Are they really being "protected"? But I'm sure the government will say it's for "the greater good". It's OK to step on these children because it will help protect the rest.
And speaking of protecting, whose job is it anyway? The governments? The parents? Gods? After all, whose children are they? The governments? The parents? Gods? I think this law definitely steps into the gray area. Whose "rights" are more important? The children's? The parents? This law definitely teeters on that line. Who has more "rights" in this one? The children or the parents? Hmmm..........something to think about.
I could go on and on with this. After all, I haven't even mentioned: Why books? Clothing? CD's? DVD? Why not just test everything that comes in from China? That's where this all started, isn't it? But I will let you cogitate those on your own.
However, I urge you not to let this drop. Let's be diligent. Let's bend the ears of our Representatives. Let's stand up for what is right. This law is flawed in many ways. We need to make a stand and let them know it needs to be fixed. Let's remind them that the government is supposed to be "by the people and for the people".
OK, I'll get down off my soap box now :o)