Regulation

CPSC Cribs

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welcome to my crib

Yesterday, more than 100,000 perfectly good, legally manufactured cribs were transformed into junk by Congress and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which has done serious damage to small toy manufacturers and murdered the market in vintage children's books, is still working its dark magic, despite efforts at repeal.

The CPSIA is the poorly-crafted legislative gift that keeps on giving. Another provision in the law mandates new safety standards for cribs. Generally, when ungraded product standards are passed, they apply to newly manufactured products going forward. In this case, manufacturers and retailers were both given the same drop dead date: June 28, 2011. That means the standards are essentially retroactive. Cribs that were legally manufactured before the new standards kicked in cannot legally be sold. Thus the 100,000 junker cribs. 

A couple of the CPSC commissioners have registered their objections to the way these reforms have been handled: Commissioner Anne Northup estimates losses from stupid implementation of the new standards at $32 million. And Commissioner Nancy Nord, who has a great blog called Conversations with Consumers, sums up the mess caused by an "unnecessarily chaotic" rulemaking process: 

Our actions today may have the result of driving some retailers selling perfectly safe cribs out of business.  We will never know because we will never bother to find out.  Once again, I find I am repeating myself: this is no way to regulate and the public deserves better.

Daycare providers protested the new standards, arguing that new rules would cost the industry half a billion dollars. They won nearly two additional years to replace their cribs—the cribs weren't recalled, they're just rendered out of date by the new laws—which signals that the CPSC doesn't really consider the old cribs death traps. Many sellers notified the commission they they were going to be screwed by the new rules. Nonetheless, a last-minute move to give retailers more time to sell perfectly safe cribs was voted down 3-2. 

Via Walter Olson.

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  1. And people say the Obama administration is anti-business.

    1. I’m sure the teabagging businesses will do something racist like write these cribs off and not pay the taxes they would have owed on the sales, just to make Obama look bad.

  2. new rules would cost the industry half a billion dollars.

    Obama needs to get those consumer spending numbers up if he wants to win in 2012.

    Of course this will ultimately lower consumer spending but Obama adheres to the same school of economic growth that Shrike does.

  3. But it is all about saving the children–what are jobs compared to that?

    1. Jobs are…a way to actually feed the childre???

    2. Jobs are…a way to actually feed the children???

  4. For the children.

    You just don’t get it, do you?

    For the children!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Hey, it is gonna take a lot of people to destroy the old cribs while the factories work overtime to make new safe cribs. That’s job creation bitches!

    1. And think of the job creation when crib stores close!

      You need movers to come take their inventory away, and painters to paint the sign for the store that will take their place, and auctioneers to hock the fixtures. And bankruptcy judges!

      Please, will no one think of the bankruptcy judges?

  6. We used to dream of living in cribs that choked us to death! There were a hundred and fifty of us living in a shoebox in the middle of the road.

    1. OT: are you into Straight Line Stitch at all? Recently ran into them for the first time on youtube, and my first thought was, “This is something Warty would enjoy”.

      1. Yeah, they’re cool. Sort of an American version of Arch Enemy.

      2. In that it’s a metal band with a chick singer, that is.

        1. I’ll have to look into Arch Enemy. I was just glad to be able replace My Ruin as my go-to chick lead singer metal preference.

  7. Look, you can’t expect me to take care of every undercapitalized pizza parlor crib store out there. What do you want from me?

  8. That’s nothing. When I was a baby they used put us on tree tops. Apparently it was a rockin’ good time when the wind was blowing, but I don’t even want to tell you what happened when the bough broke.

    1. The cradle fell?

    2. What the heck is that lullaby supposed to mean? I felt like I was terrorizing my daughter when I sang it to her. “Daddy, no, not the tree cradle!”

      1. From wikipedia:

        Yet another theory has it that the lyrics, like the tune “Lilliburlero” it is sung to, refer to events immediately preceding the Glorious Revolution. The baby is supposed to be the son of James VII and II, who was widely believed to be someone else’s child smuggled into the birthing room in order to provide a Roman Catholic heir for James. The “wind” may be that Protestant “wind” or force “blowing” or coming from the Netherlands bringing James’ nephew and son-in-law, William III of England, a.k.a. William of Orange, who would eventually depose King James II in the revolution (the same “Protestant wind” that had saved England from the Spanish Armada a century earlier). The “cradle” is the royal House of Stuart.[5] The earliest recorded version of the words in print appeared with a footnote, “This may serve as a warning to the Proud and Ambitious, who climb so high that they generally fall at last”,[6] which may be read as supporting a satirical meaning.

        This was the version that I was told in my English History courses.

  9. Every time I read about these sort of things, I think about the classic science fiction story “With Folded Hands.”

    I am convinced that the March of the Nannies will not end until everything that is fun is eliminated.

    1. Don’t be silly, it won’t be eliminated. It will be prescribed, but only by the regulatory agency that administers fun.

      “I must not have fun. Fun is the time-killer. Fun is for children, customers, and the help. I will forget fun. I will take a pass on it. And while it is going, I will turn a blind eye toward it. Where fun is gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain–I, and my will to win. Damn, I’m good.”

      1. Really, fun should be a four letter word.

        1. Foon?

          1. Fuun. Which I always took to mean that something was, you know, extra fun.

            Usage: That wasn’t fun, it was fuun.

  10. Commissioner Anne Northup

    I hadnt exactly wondered what had happened to my ex-congresswoman, but now I know any way.

    Queen of Pork.

  11. You need to make it more expensive for poor people to have children. How else are you going to get the population down? Hell on the Social Security actuarial numbers though.

  12. This is going to force me to buy a new bed for #1. We bought a crib that converts from a crib to a toddler bed to a twin bed with the addition of bed rails (sold separately). We didn’t buy them at the time, thinking we’d get them later on when #1 was older. Now we are at that time and I can’t get the pieces I need because her crib is no longer legal for sale, and neither are the parts used to convert it.

    Is there no new frontier to which I can escape?

    1. Put the baby in a pulled-out dresser drawer, like they did in the olden days.

      Done and done.

    2. Put the baby in the backyard to sleep. Grass is soft and you can’t roll out of the ground. It’ll toughen little Tyler or Dakota up.

      Caution: Your baby might get covered in ants. That’s what the hose is for.

  13. Regulation is always good and always pay for itself.

  14. You mean I have to go to Maxwell Street for a decent crib now?

  15. Our actions today may have the result of driving some retailers selling perfectly safe cribs out of business. We will never know because we will never bother to find out. Once again, I find I am repeating myself: this is no way to regulate and the public deserves better.

    Send Mattel your smelliest brown turd in gratitude for writing this atrocious piece of legislation.

    And while you’re at it, why revoke their exemptions to the law’s third-party testing requirement?

  16. A couple of the CPSC commissioners have registered their objections to the way these reforms have been handled

    I’m guessing these ‘couple of comissioners’ are the two that voted against these new regs and timelines?

    Wow, five unelected bureaucrats who can change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, and affect consumer products to the tune hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Ain’t democracy great?

    1. We should apply the same standards to democracy as are being applied under these regulations.

      1. It appears defective, and should probably be recalled and destroyed.

  17. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills when I read this stuff. Sheesh.

    1. You invented the piano-key necktie, what has the government ever done?!

  18. Don’t forget the fact that not only is it illegal for manufacturers and retailers to sell them, but it’s also illegal to sell them at places like yard sales. I can’t wait to see the cops handle this. *rolls eyes*

    1. There are no shortage of pissed off, busybody neighbors with an ax to grind.

    2. Many cities have laws against selling used mattresses buried in their health code.

      I, for one, consider myself fairly active in the black-market trade in cribs, toddler beds, and adult mattresses.

  19. This was reported on 9news in Denver last night. The intro contained the phrases “these dangerous cribs have been linked to hundreds of injuries and deaths” and “Parents no longer have to worry about their children being in danger.” And there was a shot of a baby doll shoved up the side of a crib, hanging by its neck between the bottom and side of the crib. And I remembered why I stopped watching the local news.

    1. Is Kathy Sabine still on 9News? She’s a reason to watch local news…

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