The Best of Intentions

We are often told that government acts with the best of intentions. Personally, I believe it, but also realize that the road to hell is indeed paved with the those very same good intentions. This scenario is about to play itself out when it comes to toys. In the wake of the scandal over the toys from China that contained lead and other harmful substances, Congress passed a law called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act which was supposed to rectify the problem through a whole host of regulations. Unfortunately, the government solution may be as bad as the problem of unsafe toys itself.
As abundant materials on the Handmade Toy Alliance point out, these laws, by adding a $300 – $4,000 fee per toy in the form of testing and licensing costs, this law will actually make it tougher for domestic, small-scale toy producers to stay in business. There were a few excellent letters to the editor in the Wall Street Journal on the topic as well.
The fact is that the large toy companies that import toys from China can easily fold testing and licensing costs into the cost of their mass-produced toys, small, domestic producers will go out of business. Congress is now considering amending the legislation which is set to take effect in a few weeks, but this really is an excellent example of what well-intentioned government policies can do when they are actually implemented.

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