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toxins from DC

from the LA Times: Barring a reprieve, regulations set to take effect next month could force thousands of clothing retailers and thrift stores to throw away trunkloads of children’s clothing. The law, aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children, mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and younger — including clothing — be tested for lead and phthalates …

STOP right there. Do not for one moment believe the law was made to protect the children. Neither the children nor their parents lobbied for this, bribed for this nor wrote the verbiage that the legislators passed. FOLLOW THE MONEY. This was written as all mercantilist laws were, to protect political patrons from competition.

I work in a Goodwill where over 3/4ths of our 28-person crew work selecting, sorting and moving merchandise to display. I could go to 100 garage sales and never find the selection of even the smallest Goodwill store. Prices vary quite a bit, but ours are always very low and the quality standards we try to maintain are high. I think it is more economical to shop a good thrift store than cruising the garage sales, but am all for people doing both.

At most, 10% of our sales are of kid stuff, including toys. I really, really dislike every last piece of our too-dang-big plastic toy selection that is always being destroyed by the little monsters, and would DUMP IT ALL if I could. The kid clothes we sell mostly for .99 to 1.99 and that’s about all the market will bear. They are hardly worth the processing time and effort, but are a good service we provide to families. The stores won’t be hurt much at all by this. The customers, however, will be.

And THAT is the point of this law. Drive the customers to shop at the new retailers and buy new from Mattel, Disney, Hasbro and such. Sharing and reuse are profanity in their board rooms and they aren’t ashamed to write toxic legislation to prevent it.