Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Update for some info in my previous post

Just saw this on the Etsy forum, it reverses some of the info in my previous post. Keep up the fight! It seems art dolls, collectibles, and antiques are not covered by CPSIA but there is still a lot of work to be done to fix the law.

Bloggers Unite! CPSIA Blog In

(I'm really late posting this compared to others who are participating, but I wanted to do my bit to help.)

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I've seen quite a few blogs posting about the inauguration of Barack Obama, but none with video from the Inaugural Address. I found this on YouTube (I hope this works, otherwise I'll have to try uploading it again):

Friday, January 16, 2009

A great idea to help save handmade children's products

I found this thread on Etsy, the OP there had a great idea. What if all small businesses/handcrafters/etc got together and sent something they made to President-elect Obama after he's sworn in? Maybe if a ton of handcrafted items hits Washington DC all at once the Powers That Be will finally sit up and take notice. The OP of the Etsy thread picked January 26th as the date she was going to be mailing something to the White House, I've decided I'm going to do it as well. Join us! If you make & sell children's items or have a business that sells other people's handcrafts, send something in on January 26th. The more of us do this the greater impact it will have. Here's the Etsy thread if you'd like to check it out:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is the US headed for a depression?

I found this video on while I was doing my Entrecard drops, this guy has a very interesting take on the way the US economy is going right now:

(Sorry it's just a link to the other blog, I tried posting the video itself but it didn't work.)

One of the points he makes, which I totally agree with, is the US has to normalize our trade agreement with China. China's economy is growing by leaps and bounds from the pockets of the American consumer and it's got to stop. I'm not saying "destroy China, they're evil", not by a long shot. China has a great history of wonderful art and culture. But let them grow or fail on their own merits, not on our backs. The US needs to bring our manufacturing back to our own shores so that our people can have good jobs that pay a decent wage. Let's not forget that the Chinese factories pay their workers pennies a day for the same work someone could do here and actually make a decent living. Slave labor. I think I'd better end here before I go into an incoherent rant, but hopefully you understand what I'm saying.

Even if the governments don't change anything, we as consumers can. I remember not so long ago there were commercials running on TV encouraging people to look for "Made In USA" on the products they picked up when they were shopping. We can all still do that, it may take a bit longer to find what we need but in the end it will be worth it if it helps our economy grow. Isn't it better to support our economy, even if it costs a bit more, rather than encouraging offshore companies that condone safety and human rights violations just to save a couple bucks on an inferior-quality product?


Thursday, January 1, 2009 voting isn't over yet!

The petition on to fix the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act made it to #1 in it's category in the first round! That's awesome! Second round voting starts Monday, January 5th, they're zeroing out the voting totals when round 2 starts. The top 3 ideas in each category will now be going up against the top 3 of all the other categories, let's get the CPSIA petition into the overall top 10 so it will be presented to President-Elect Obama on Inauguration Day. Vote it up using the widget on the right of your screen! We can do it, save safe domestically made children's products!

Out with the old, in with the new

A new year is upon us! Let's all make it the best year we can!