Law Passed After Mattel Toy Scare Makes Exception for Mattel

Remember the sloppily written "for the children" toy testing law that went into effect last year? The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) requires third-party testing of nearly every object intended for a child's use, and was passed in response to several toy recalls in 2007 for lead and other chemicals. Six of those recalls were on toys made by Mattel, or its subsidiary Fisher Price.

Small toymakers were blindsided by the expensive requirement, which made no exception for small domestic companies working with materials that posed no threat. Makers of books, jewelry, and clothes for kids were also caught in the net. Enforcement of the law was delayed by a year—that grace period ended last week—and many particular exceptions have been carved out, but despite an outcry, there has been no wholesale re-evaluation of the law. Once might think that large toy manufacturers would have made common cause with the little guys begging for mercy. After all, Mattel also stood to gain if the law was repealed, right?

Turns out, when Mattel got lemons, it decided to make lead-tainted lemonade (leadonade?). As luck would have it, Mattel already operates several of its own toy testing labs, including those in Mexico, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and California. 

So while most small toymakers had no idea this law was coming down the pike until it was too late, Mattel spent $1 million lobbying for a little provision to be included in the CPSIA permitting companies to test their own toys in "firewalled" labs that have won Consumer Product Safety Commission approval.

The million bucks was well spent, as Mattel gained approval late last week to test its own toys in the sites listed above—just as the window for delayed enforcement closed.

Instead of winding up hurting, Mattel now has a cost advantage on mandatory testing, and a handy new government-sponsored barrier to entry for its competitors. 

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  • Preston||

    Wow! This is quite a surprise! I would have never thought that a million dollars spent lobbying would have any impact whatsoever on a piece of legislation. Politicians are smart enough to not buy into the bullshit peddled by lobbyists.

    Not.

  • Joe M||

    So typical. All the people railing against capitalism need to understand this story and exactly what it means.

  • ||

    All the people railing against capitalism need to understand this story and exactly what it means.

    That the capitalists with the most money get to play by different rules than their poorer counterparts?

  • Joe M||

    If they get to influence government regulations, yes. That's why the government shouldn't be regulating. Because they will always, ALWAYS, be bought off.

  • Xeones||

    ChiTom, this is exactly why i describe myself as a free-market libertarian, and not a capitalist liberal; the words no longer mean what they used to.

    Mattel already operates several of its own toy testing labs, including those in Mexico, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and California.

    So just a bunch of third-world countries, then? Whoops, i didn't read that right. Sorry, China.

  • ||

    This just proves the free market doesn't work.

  • Preston||

    The problem isn't that the capitalists with the money get to play by different rules, per se, but that the government is large enough to create regulations that create the unfair playing field that exists.

    If there was a true free market, then the smaller companies would operate on a much more even plane than they do now. The way the current system is set up, the big companies are able to game the system by lobbying and donating campaign funds to maintain their market share. Just look at Altria (AKA Philip Morris) advocating for the FDA to regulate tobacco. This will undoubtedly allow them to stay in a leadership position, and limit their competitors opportunities for growth.

    It is a fallacy to say that small government helps big business, when it is, in fact, the exact opposite. Big government greatly reduces competition and innovation, which, in turn, helps those already in power.

  • ||

    The "progressive" response -

    We just need more and betterer regulations drafted by "the right people". Perhaps toy, chidren's clothing and beginner books czars are in order.

    It is not as if the disproportionate impact on small businesses wasn't loudly and clearly pointed out to every corporate fellating politician on the hill. They knew what the impact on small businesses and charities would be. They knew that the lead scare was at best a tempest in a teapot that consumer choice was already well on the way to solving.

    Any politician who claims to have supported this "for the children" should be in stocks in the town square.

  • ||

    The "progressive" response

    Is "we're not truly free until those who disagree with me and my morally superior views have absolutely no power to influence the government; this is the direct result of my lack of absolute power."

  • ||

    J sub D, do you consider me a progressive?

  • Holly Jahangiri||

    Money talks. Consumers' money, too - if anyone will teach it to speak. Does anyone care enough about this to try?

    Here's a list of things Santa WON'T be bringing in our household...

  • Bronwyn||

    I wonder when they'll start coming after me and my crafty peers?

    Sold a baby quilt last week, am shipping off a set of custom aprons to a return client, and have a pile of bibs and overalls for delivery to The Makery here in Louisville.

    I'm just waiting for the hammer to fall. Practically inviting it too, I guess. Not sure if this makes me rebellious or stupid, or both?

  • Bronwyn||

    Mattel/Fisher Price won't be getting any of my dollars, Holly.

    Actually, I'm buying up the classic Fisher Price toys of my youth from ebay.

    Nothing new, though.

    Does anyone know if Melissa & Doug were on the right side of this?

  • Holly Jahangiri||

    Let's not let this degenerate into a partisan rant - it was pushed through and almost UNANIMOUSLY approved, in an unseemly rush, towards the end of 2008. It is a bipartisan disaster - both parties are responsible, as are those who jumped on the "but it's for the SAFETY of our CHILDREN!" bandwagon, without reading the law and understanding what it entailed.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Yo, fuck Barbie. (Or Ken, if that's your thing.)

  • Holly Jahangiri||

    Thanks, Bronwyn. Rebellious or stupid, I don't know - but I'm right there with you. I want to start Operation Rescue the Children's Books. Because books printed prior to 1985 are at risk (in some cases, already being destroyed) due to this law.

    I say we relabel them all as "collectibles" or ban children 12 and under from the libraries - I'm willing to be the "subversive mom" who checks them out and lets her kids read them. Can't you just see the headlines now: "CPS Removes Kids from Home, Mom Providing Them Hazardous Waste in the Form of BOOKS!" (Okay, so my youngest is 13, but I put BOOKS in their CRIBS when they were babies!!)

  • ||

    We could eliminate teen sex abuse if we kill all children at age eight.

  • creech||

    Bronwyn is a terrorist who needs to be hauled off to Gitmo and subjected to endless days of viewing pictures of children maimed by greedy makers of toys (also knows as WMDs).

  • Bronwyn||

    Holly, I'm linking to your blog on my fb and lj pages. It's nice being able to defer to those more eloquent than myself :)

    As with the healthcare "debate", where opponents of the plan du jour are labeled as racist murderers, those of us who opposed the CPSIA are callous baby killers.

    Baby killers armed with hand-carved and hand-sewn toys.

    Watch it!! She's got a knitting needle!

  • Joe M||

    Come on, P Brooks, that's a little extreme. Let's just go with mandatory lobotomies and castrations.

  • Bronwyn||

    Is that a knock on my door?

    *CRASH*

  • Xeones||

    I hope you don't have a dog, Bronwyn.

  • ||

    I gotta stop being a sucker and working for a living, and become a landlord, then I can profit from all this rent seeking.

  • Bronwyn||

    To the disappointment and sadness of my husband and 2 year old son, no, Xeones, we do not at the moment have a dog.

    Good thing, too, because Rozsda (may she rest in peace) was known for enthusiastically greeting threateningly lunging and wetting the floor assaulting with bodily fluids anyone who came through our door.

  • Holly Jahangiri||

    Thank you, Bronwyn.

    It occurs to me, though, that the opponents of the healthcare plan must want it to pass - instead of arguing on point, they show up and try to drown out any rational debate or discussion. It's a bit like this, actually; latch onto a few fearmongering buzzwords ("child safety," "lead tainted," "toxic toys" - or "death panels," and "nanny state," and "government corruption") and people's brains miraculously shut down. They don't have to work very hard; no thought it required, because who in their right mind can't tell right from wrong when someone's throwing those buzzwords around?? You'd have to be a moron, or a nutcase...

    Unfortunately, that's exactly the kind of thinking that leaves us with messes like this.

  • Bronwyn||

    Buzzwords kill any and all rational thought.

    It's for the children!
    Tough on Crime!
    Food safety! (For the Children!)
    Free healthcare for all! (Especially the Children!)
    No Child Left Behind!

    I wish these people would stop trying to protect my children. That's *my* job.

  • ||

    I wonder what the kids would think if you could demonstrate the fascinating effect of logarithmic compounding interest.

    Nothing like Saving the Children when its actually the kids who will pay for it, plus interest.

    In a perverse way, all those kids in Chinese factories making junk for our kids which gets our cash that Chairman Mao then loans back to us to save our children from said junk, are doing more for their future then we think...

  • ||

    brotherben, the question is do you consider yourself a "progressive"?

    Do you, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary, look to the government to solve every problem in society or do you possess healthy amounts of cynicism and skepticism?

    BTW, I like you bb. Don't always (usually?) agree with you but I perceive you as an honest, civil and intelligent sort.

  • ||

    "In a perverse way, all those kids in Chinese factories making junk for our kids which gets our cash that Chairman Mao then loans back to us to save our children from said junk, are doing more for their future then we think..." -


    i love that statement. not only is it true, but it identifies what statists won't admit. whenever libertarians start talking about deregulation, statists always claim we want to put children to work in sweatshops. missing completely the fact that us labor standard and trade regs simply export child labor to other countries. the real barrier to child labor in this country is wealth, quality of life, and culture. if people were really that interested in employing kids, they would do it!

  • ||

    J sub D, thanks for the kind words.
    I asked the question after you posited the progressive response. My thought was this. A country that was founded and governed by the wealthy landed gentry doing things in the best interest of wealthy corporations comes as no surprise to me.

  • ||

    Do you, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary, look to the government to solve every problem in society or do you possess healthy amounts of cynicism and skepticism?

    People in this country need to redevelop a strong sense of personal responsibility including the realization that their life is a result of their choices. With that realization they also need to decide ether to be happy with their circumstances or work to change them.

    I do believe that the government has a duty to address some of the problems of the people. However, I am jaded enough to strongly doubt the govts ability to do anything in an efficient and productive manner.

  • JB||

    Anyone who works for Mattel is a whore.

    When your company is a rent-seeking whore, you are a rent-seeking whore.

  • JB||

    We could eliminate teen sex abuse if we kill all children at age eight.

    Abortion...it's for the children.

    Well, them and other fetuses.

  • robc||

    Let's not let this degenerate into a partisan rant

    It is partison. Libertarians vs The World.

  • ||

    It is partison. Libertarians vs The World.

    Fuck off, slavers!

  • robc||

    P Brooks

    If I ever run for office, I have my slogan now.

  • robc||

    I wonder if I would gain or lose more votes from having "Fuck off, slavers" yard signs, bumper stickers and billboards? Not to mention TV and radio ads.

  • Robert||

    Expect a boom in clothing for midgets and other dwarves.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    When your company is a rent-seeking whore, you are a rent-seeking whore.



    Why are you blaming them?

  • ||

    That the capitalists with the most money get to play by different rules than their poorer counterparts?

    That the government, and the so-called "progressives" have completely given up on any notion that the market should remain a level (i.e. fair) playing field for all competitors, and decided that it should be "engineered" to "create jobs" and benefit the "national interest". Hence we get massive bailouts for the Big Three, because we have to "support US industry", and narrowly focused tax breaks for "green energy" - whatever that means.

    And once you get the government trying to manipulate the economy to favor or disfavor particular industries (depending on whatever the conventional wisdom thinks is good for us at the moment), you are going to get lobbyists vieing for such favor.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I don't blame Mattell here, do you guys? After all, the buck stops with the government - they are the ones who ultimately dictate how much influence they are willing to sell.

  • ||

    MOTHER fuckers.

    We just became a Mattel-free house.

    I don't blame Mattell here, do you guys?

    Yes. Mattel largely created the mess to begin with and then found a way to get themselves exempted. Fuck them.

    Fuck the CPSI too, but that's a different ball of wax.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Yes. Mattel largely created the mess to begin with and then found a way to get themselves exempted. Fuck them.



    Ah, so Mattell is to blame for the actions of the government now. I see.

  • ||

    TAO:

    no, they're just complicit. but your point is that the pols are the primary dicks? correct.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    that's not even my point, ransom. Mattell is exercising its First Amendment rights, and doing so rationally as well. Face it, if the government said that there was a list of 100 people getting drafted, wouldn't you do your best to get off of the list? Setting aside the fact that the draft deserves violent revolution, so far as I am concerned, I don't think that makes you "complicit" in the draft.

  • robc||

    Mattell is to blame for the actions of the government now. I see.

    They paid for it, unlike the second "l" you keep trying to give them.

    Why cant I blame BOTH Mattel and the government? Is there some rule against spreading blame around?

  • robc||

    TAO,

    If I bribed an official to get off the list, I would be complicit.

  • robc||

    TAO,

    As I always argue, there are correct means to follow. Bribery (usually) or rent-seeking (always) are not moral means. Draft dodging or civil disobedience of violent overthrow could be moral means.

  • robc||

    TAO,

    Okay, not really complicit, but also behaving improperly. The draft is still the fault of the congress. If I bribed officials to have you drafted, I would be complicit.

    The 2nd is closer to what Mattel did.

  • ||

    Ah, so Mattell is to blame for the actions of the government now. I see.

    No, but they are responsible for their shitty QA standards that allowed their toys to be such a neon sign for the pols to act and pass the CPSI.

    Mattell is exercising its First Amendment rights, and doing so rationally as well.

    Hey, ADM is just excercising the right to redress when they petition the state for an corn-fed ethanol mandate that fucks all of us with higher food prices and shitty gas, and that lines their pockets with higher profits, merely by conincedence.

    The 1st Amendment makes rent-seeking OK. Gotcha.

  • ||

    TAO:

    i see your point, and can't really argue it.

    still, ya wanna hold the rent seekers at least partially accountable. i guess that's freedom of association, and the proper method. don't use govt. but use $ and ridicule to punish them...

  • ||

    i don't think he's saying it's moral, but rational.

    it's a weird area, like conspiracy.
    if you help plan a crime are you guilty? what is you offense?

    i have trouble w/ conspiracy as an prosecutable offense.

  • JB||

    I don't blame Mattell here, do you guys?

    Yes, I do. They and everyone who works there are rent-seeking whores.

    A company like Mattel can do the right thing and not try to rig the market in their favor. They can issue a statement saying "we could lobby to get special exemptions, but we provide quality products at a good price and we do not fear competition as it only makes us stronger."

    Here is a story from one fancy restaurant I went to. Waiter comes over and we put in a drink order. He ids my friend and I (both 28 at the time), but she doesn't have her passport on her. He declines to serve her. I ask for the manager and state that we are both 28 years old.

    The manager says that he understands, but he can't serve her and that they didn't make the law. I ask him if his restaurant has ever done anything to address the stupid law (letter to the lawmakers which frequent his establishment, etc.). He replied no and then I told him not to offer platitudes to his customers and instead do something about a law which he finds stupid. He went away chastened, and needless to say I've never been back to that restaurant.

  • robc||

    ransom,

    There action is rational and constitutional, but I can still blame them.

  • ||

    i don't think he's saying it's moral, but rational.

    All sorts of things that we would consider to be rational can also be amoral or unethical.

    A violent criminal will still have a sense of self-preservation, despite his crime, and will shoot back when cornered. That doesn't make it right. (No, I'm not comparing Mattel to a violent criminal...)

    Yes, the feds are the ones passing this idiotic law. I already said to fuck them for that. They are also doing it because Mattel's actions allowed a media hysteria to form, which drove the legislation.

    I can't boycott the guvmint, but I can boycott Mattel for their stupidity, culpability in creating a HUGE burden for smaller competitors, and now their chicken-shit behavior.

  • robc||

    I can't boycott the guvmint

    You can, but that falls into the irrational category.

  • ||

    robc--I would say that is the *only* thing that is rational. ;-)

  • moosecat||

    sometimes you just have to "abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system"

  • The Angry Optimist||

    At the end of the day, the Congressperson is the one who presses the "yes" or "no" button. Like I said, it is on their heads however much influence they want to make salable. Mattel is not the whore here: Mattel is just battening down the hatches and giving itself the best position it can in a bad situation.

    A company like Mattel can do the right thing and not try to rig the market in their favor. They can issue a statement saying "we could lobby to get special exemptions, but we provide quality products at a good price and we do not fear competition as it only makes us stronger."



    Earth to JB - please come back from the Planet Fantasia.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    they are responsible for their shitty QA standards that allowed their toys to be such a neon sign for the pols to act and pass the CPSI.



    "Aw, did you see that slutty skirt on her? She was asking to be raped! She wanted it!"

  • ||

    good reminder moosecat...

  • ||

    "Aw, did you see that slutty skirt on her? She was asking to be for all the other women to be raped too! She wanted it! And then she held down the other women while they were raped! And then she laughed at them while she made out with the rapists and made them order her drinks!"

    FTFY

  • Joe M||

    The manager says that he understands, but he can't serve her and that they didn't make the law. I ask him if his restaurant has ever done anything to address the stupid law (letter to the lawmakers which frequent his establishment, etc.). He replied no and then I told him not to offer platitudes to his customers and instead do something about a law which he finds stupid. He went away chastened, and needless to say I've never been back to that restaurant.

    They can be shut down for breaking the law. The amount of resources they would need to change that law, versus the financial gain of removing the law, are totally out of proportion.

    As for the rest of it, I have to agree with TAO: Mattel didn't lobby for the standards and then get out of following them. They just tried to protect themselves. In the former case, they would really be bastards for using the government as a club. In the latter case, they are merely rational actors.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    no, JW, you didn't "Fix that for me". Perhaps you're a little out of your intellectual depth here too.

  • mark||

    TAO, so in the absence of intervention, would there be any legal remedies for parents whose kids' brains were damaged from the lead paint? Could Mattell argue that they never said there was NOT any lead paint in their toys, so caveat emptor, bitches? What am I supposed to say to people I work with, who are directly affected by this law, and hate the competitive advantage now attained by Mattell, but nonetheless think it's a "good thing" that government is "making sure" that children's toys are lead free?

  • Joe M||

    The government isn't the only agent that can testify to a product's efficacy and/or safety.

  • ||

    Nice talking to you again TAO. Always a pleasure.

  • ||

    ChicagoTom | August 31, 2009, 11:12am | #
    All the people railing against capitalism need to understand this story and exactly what it means.

    That the capitalists with the most money get to play by different rules than their poorer counterparts?



    Yes, ChiTom, that's exactly what happens when govt sticks its regulatory finger into the free market pie. Thus, one who wants to level the playing field for the poor vs. the rich should oppose govt regulation.

  • ||

    TAO,

    The politicians who voted for the bill were acting rationally, too. If they voted against it their election opponents would run ads saying they wanted to kill your children with poisoned Asiatic toys. If you want to find someone who was actually acting irrationally, look at the electorate who set up such perverse incentives in the first place by being so damned ignorant and gullible. But it's hard to boycott the electorate, unfortunately.

    But the larger point is that acting rationally in one's own self-interest does not make those actions automatically moral and blameless. (Heresy, I know, to an Objectivist, but keep an open mind, brother.) Apple is acting totally in their rational self-interest when they deny my claim under their extended warranty due to an obscure provision displayed in 4 point type on page 22 of the warranty agreement. Does that mean I have to applaud their rationality and buy a bunch more stuff from them? Nope.

    Indeed, if enough people boycott them for their rent-seeking behavior, it will make such actions irrational. That's kind of the point.

  • JB||

    Earth to JB - please come back from the Planet Fantasia.

    There are plenty of companies which do not hire whores (lobbyists) to suck off Congresscritters for special exemptions. Actually that is the majority of companies in this country.

  • JB||

    The amount of resources they would need to change that law, versus the financial gain of removing the law, are totally out of proportion

    Did I say otherwise?

    However for how many times they say things like 'we don't like it, but it's the law' they could have taken 15 minutes to write a letter to Congress. So the next time they have to deal the issue they could say 'we don't like it, and have complained to the morons that run this country'.

    As for getting shut down, that's not likely to happen and it was at their discretion to serve us. They were playing Cover Their Ass with a bullshit law they have done nothing to oppose. And I question any sort of restaurant who hires people that cannot tell the difference between a 19 and a 28 year old.

  • ||

    That the capitalists with the most money get to play by different rules than their poorer counterparts?

    Yup. Every time.

    And the funny thing is, that somebody gets special treatment any time any power is exercised by any government, anytime, anywhere. Even in shithole countries without any real capitalists around, or totalitarian hellholes with definitely no capitalists allowed.

    It almost makes you think the real inherent problem here, the thing we should be trying to minimize, is government power.

  • Holly Jahangiri||

    Many of us have written to and called Congress, only to be met with platitudes, outright nonsense, or silence.

  • ||

    R C Dean, it's the power of money that is the problem. If hyperinflation comes to us as some predict, then Obama will have done his part to lessen the power that money wields.

  • ||

    I can find love for the man in the most silliest of problems.

  • ||

    If hyperinflation comes to us as some predict, then Obama will have done his part to lessen the power that money wields.

    That will only affect the poor schlubs whose assets are dollar-denominated, not possessors of capital and huge ... tracts of land ...

    ie, not the people who are throwing chips around in the high-stakes poker game that our federal government has become.

  • ||

    That was intended as a sorta sikly little joke.

  • Bronwyn||

    Mattel certainly did lobby for the provisions in this law prior to its passage. They are absolutely to blame for the spate of lead-laden toys that hit the market and prompted the media hysteria and set the congressbeasts into Do Something Mode.

    These laboratories of theirs were certainly in place before the CPSIA and we all know how effective they were. Now they are managing to maintain the status quo for themselves while their lobbyists ensured that the rest of us get raped up the ass with regulatory requirements with which we can't possible comply.

    And JW's correction of your rape metaphor was closer to the mark than you know, TAO.

  • ||

    brotherben,

    We laugh because it's funny and we cry because it's true.

  • mark||

  • The Angry Optimist||

    And JW's correction of your rape metaphor was closer to the mark than you know, TAO.



    No, actually, it was not. JW directly blamed Mattel's lead fiasco on Congress passing a law. That is wholly analogous to "getting what you deserve for setting up an attractive target".

  • Joe M||

    I'm planning on avoiding Mattel anyway.

  • ||

    No, actually, it was not. JW directly blamed Mattel's lead fiasco on Congress passing a law. That is wholly analogous to "getting what you deserve for setting up an attractive target".

    Way to completely miss the point.

    Mattel was culpable in CPSI passing in that their sloppy manufacturing standards were the match that lit the fuse. They didn't pass the bill, but their behavior was instrumental in crafting it.

    Now, they don't want to bear the burden for the consequences of their behavior after being the primary instigator. That's the chicken-shit part and what pissses me off the most.

    Being rational doesn't make it right by default. That they had a hand in the language of the bill doens't surprise me at all. The passage was a forgone conclusion, so in their view, "lying back and enjoying it," knowing their competitors would be hamstrung more by govt action and aiding that process was a strategic decision, one that begs to be punished by market forces.

    "In late August 2007, Mattel, the largest toymaker in the world, hired a new lobbying firm, Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart, to lobby on the bill. One of their lobbyists on this issue was Sheila Murphy, recently the legislative director for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic member of the Commerce Committee's Consumer Affairs subcommittee. Klobuchar became a cosponsor of the bill in late September 2007.

    Hasbro, the world's No. 2 toymaker, had never had a Washington lobbyist, according to federal lobbying filings, before October 2007, when the company hired the Duberstein Group, headed by Ken Dubertstein, the former White House Chief of Staff under Ronald Reagan. Since then, Hasbro has spent $500,000 on lobbying.

    But these industry giants weren't resisting regulation-they were embracing it. Carter Keithley, president of the Toy Industry Association-of whom Mattel is the biggest member-told this columnist "we were early proponents of adopting mandatory laws to require toy testing."



    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/TimothyCarney/Washington-toy-story-shows-why-regulation-helps-the-big-guys38690727.html

  • ||

    A thought experiment on TAO's rationality standard being the get out of jail free card.

    Let's say that you live in a rural community. Your family has had the town's only well for drinking water and has so for several generations. This is in Libertopia, so the family has been selling the water rights to the town at a reasonable market price. It was an amicable arrangement.

    Now, say you are the current owner of the well. It's operated safely for about 100 years, but suddenly, you discover, it's become contaminated with arsenic and other metals at a level that could be toxic. You can't trace the source of the contamination, but let's assume that it's natural and no foul play is at work. Complicating matters is that the town has found other water recently, but it will cost too much money to tap this source and the owner of this water wants twice that of what you currently charge.

    The problem is that this well is your only source of income and you have no marketable skills otherwise. You have a large family and saw no need for other skills as the well has operated efficiently and profitably for a century. It's not a life of leisure, but it's comfortable.

    You do have an online for-fee, fetish porn site you operate on the side that no one, I mean NO ONE, in the community knows about, certainly not your family, but it's small and not generating all that much income. The income is certainly not enough to live on, it's only been spending money, and this is a very conservative community you live in. Your site is popular in decedent Shelbyville, but nowhere else.

    People are starting to get sick, presumably because of the well water contamination. No one has died and probably won't because the levels aren't at a concentration that would be fatal, but half the town feels like shit and are losing work as a result. No one suspects that the water is the source of the illnesses.

    Do you tell the townsfolk? If you do, they'll stop buying water from you and there goes your family's source of income. If you don't, nothing really bad will happen, other than some sick people, and your family continues to be fed and clothed and your porn site stays secret. You decide to say nothing and work on finding the source of the contamination in the meantime. There's no way of knowing if you will find it nor if the contamination will worsen.

    Rational self-interest or unethical weasel-baggery?

  • ||

    JW, unless you have the skills to test for and determine what contaminants are present, you had a lab do it. If you did it yourself, at home, you have other marketable skills. If you had a lab do it, you are screwed because now their is a dated paper trail for the lawyers to follow when they sue your ass for makin the folks sick. Your other marketable skill is web site design and operation from your experience wuth the porn site.

    You have lots of marketable skills from your business ventures and risk losing everything if you continue to sell the sickness causing water. and a douchebag to boot.

  • ||

    should have read, "and ARE a douchebag..."

  • ||

    ben--Assume that a lab did test the water, as it did every year, and this year it found the contamination. What a test won't tell you is where the contaminator comes from.

    Any anyone can set up a porn site. Making money on it, that's another story. Don't tell me you *pay* for your porn!

    Also assume that if his wife found out about his side job, that would be the end of his marriage. It's a very conservative community. Somebody has to be the black sheep.

    You have lots of marketable skills from your business ventures and risk losing everything if you continue to sell the sickness causing water. and [are] a douchebag to boot.

    Sure, that's my view as well, but he is acting in rational self-interest in preserving his income stream for now. And yes, he is taking a BIG chance by not divulging this information. However, the question remains, is rational self-interest enough to absolve him of his liability?

  • ||

    "However, the question remains, is rational self-interest enough to absolve him of his liability?"

    If your only moral tenet is rational self-interest, there is no "liability" to speak of other than toward YOURSELF. So, I guess if you do whatever preserves you - be it offering a broader range of porn on your site, or hoping your community is deformed by the water enough to go TRULY balls-out on the fetishism - any decision that keeps you in the green is the "right" one.

  • sex toys||

    Mattel certainly did lobby for the provisions in this law prior to its passage. They are absolutely to blame for the spate of lead-laden toys that hit the market and prompted the media hysteria and set the congressbeasts into Do Something Mode.

    These laboratories of theirs were certainly in place before the CPSIA and we all know how effective they were. Now they are managing to maintain the status quo for themselves while their lobbyists ensured that the rest of us get raped up the ass with regulatory requirements with which we can't possible comply.

    And JW's correction of your rape metaphor was closer to the mark than you know, TAO.

  • UK Sex Shop||

    This is just outrageous misfeasance by Congress to allow Mattel, who clearly turned a blind eye to product safety, to continue using cut-rate foreign labor while other innocent actors are forced to shoulder a massive regulatory burden.

  • Designer Toys UK||

    Hmmmm, interesting news story. On one hand its great that safety has been raised through this but not sure on the method implemented by congress here.

  • cam privat||

    This is not justest, small businesses will suffer because of it.

  • Vibrators||

    Great oppsite sex attracts :)

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