Unintended consequences?

Make wonders if Consumer safety rules could drive crafters out of business citing Corey Doctorow.

Crafters are up in arms over a seemingly disastrous unintended consequence of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which will require lab certification that lead and phthalates are not present in toys or clothes — sounds good, but crafters warn that this means that “a toymaker… who makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford the $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA.”

As with most governmental licensing and certification regulation, the costs and the paperwork involved are fixed costs that need large volume to amortize effectively. What that means is that the attempt to fix everything with government tends to have a disproportionate impact on the small business and independent entrepreneur.

The unintended consequence is to place risk and hazard on the hobby entrepreneur and independent small operation. This is a cost of assigning the risk for safety and performance over to the government rather than the buyer.

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