Those “most dangerous” toys lists are an easy way for news editors to fill space before the holidays, but could a note of strain be creeping in? One of the ten on this year’s list from Massachusetts-based W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm) is a recreational art dough that contains wheat (and warns of that fact for allergy sufferers). [AP]
- Safe Drinking Water Act along with other federal laws helped scare consumers away from public fountains and tap water, with unintended bad consequences for health and the environment [Kendra Pierre-Louis, Washington Post]
- Austin, Tex. ban on plastic bags isn’t working out as intended [Adam Minter, Bloomberg View]
- After BP’s $18.7 billion settlement with five Gulf states, here come huge private lawyer paydays [Louisiana Record]
- Energy efficiency in durable goods: mandates “based on weak or nonexistent evidence of consumer irrationality” with government itself hardly free of behavioral biases [Tyler Cowen]
- “How Trophy Hunting Can Save Lions” [Terry Anderson and Shawn Regan, PERC/WSJ]
- CPSC’s hard line on CPSIA testing of natural materials in toys based on “precautionary principle run amuck” [Nancy Nord]
- Is the ideal of sustainability one we ultimately owe to hunter-gatherers? [Arnold Kling]
- “When I asked them why they decided to sell their [toy import] business, they said that they got out because of Proposition 65 and the CPSIA.” [Nancy Nord]
- State tax regimes are getting more aggressive about grabbing money earned in other states [Steve Malanga, City Journal]
- “Still can’t get over the fact that all [development] permits are discretionary in San Francisco” [@TonyBiasotti linking Mark Hogan, Boom]
- How would American politics change if political parties could expel members, as in many countries they can? [Bryan Caplan]
- Defenders of Wisconsin John Doe prosecutor push back against Stuart Taylor investigation [Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via Althouse, more, related on “blue fist” posters and John Doe investigator, earlier]
- “In Britain, Child’s Weight Leads to Parents’ Arrest” [New York Times in June, King’s Lynn 11-year-old; also, Cadbury agrees to “stop making chocolate bars in Britain with more than 250 calories”] More: Pencil-twirling in class leads to CPS referral in New Jersey [Katherine Mangu-War, Reason]
- Should there be judicial remedies — what kind, and for which plaintiffs — when federal spending is politicized? [Daniel Epstein, Federalist Society “Engage”]
A nonprofit in suburban Chicago each year encourages its woodworker members “to craft and donate wooden Christmas toys to less fortunate children.” After donating upwards of 700 toys a year in the past, it will have to discontinue the program in future since it can’t afford the third-party testing required under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, sponsored by area members of Congress Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). “Woodworking hobby magazines have pegged prices for third-party testing as high as $30,000 for 80 items.” Testing is particularly impractical for items made from donated/recycled wood, since each donated wood source needs to be put through separate testing. Another triumph for CPSIA! [Jenette Sturges, Sun-Times/Beacon-News]
PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGE from John Bate’s 1635 book, The Mysteryes of Nature and Art, Wikimedia Commons.
Katherine Mangu-Ward at Reason “Hit and Run” provides two snapshots of the continuing damage being done by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, including the rage-and-despair reaction of Rick Woldenberg (AmendTheCPSIA.com), who says that the new regulations “will jack up Learning Resources’ annual compliance costs to $15 million, FAR in excess of our profits. We have no Plan B — so we are trying to get a new government.” And a commenter points to the “Criticism” and (very partial) “List of Companies Whose Closure Is Linked To CPSIA” sections of the Wikipedia entry.
Related: “Not available because of the CPSIA“: wood-and-beeswax Selecta Spielzeug Rhonda dollhouse dining room, formerly imported from Germany. Why pay a whopping testing bill to clear an innocuous product that’s at best going to sell modestly on this side of the Atlantic? [EuroToyShop.com]
The website of the Golden Cockerel import firm includes a rather elaborate warning as to why its matryoshka are not meant for the under-12 set, at least not since the enactment of the calamitous Jan-Schakowsky–backed law:
the law requires each batch of toys be tested by a 3rd party laboratory to be sure they are “toy safe.” Such tests can cost well over $1000 per nesting doll set! And sometimes, as with our museum quality one-of-a-kind dolls, a “batch” consists entirely of one doll, or only a few, making it totally unfeasible to test.
CPSIA: reserving treasured toys for strictly adult use since 2008.
More: The CPSC has just sided with purported consumer groups and against pleas from the business community in adopting a broad definition of what constitute “children’s products” under the disastrous Barbara-Boxer–backed law: for example, ordinary paper clips must go through costly separate CPSIA testing when meant for kids’ use as part of a science kit with magnets and similar items [NY Times, AP/WaPo (“Kids’ science kits may take hit from safety ruling”), Commissioners Anne Northup and Nancy Nord]
- “Court Vacates $99,000 Fee to Counsel for Plaintiff Who Won $650” [NJLJ]
- Libel-suit target: “Author Simon Singh Puts Up a Fight in the War on Science” [Wired]
- No, they weren’t “worst”: RIP injury lawyer who hyped “10 Worst Toys” list each Christmas [WSJ Law Blog]
- New credit card regulations squeeze small business [John Berlau letter in Washington Post]
- District attorney’s case intake desk should screen out many unjust prosecutions, but often doesn’t [Greenfield]
- AGs’ campaign to drive sex pros off Craigslist has failure built in [William Saletan, Slate; LNL; Declan McCullagh]
- “Nursing Home Company Settles $677 Million Lawsuit for $50 Million” [AP]
- “Judge accused of sexual harassment once helped women sue” [Orlando Sentinel]