I have apparently been quoted as "admitting" that the CPSIA is a "job creator". I wonder what kind of person could so profoundly misunderstand, or intentionally misconstrue, my testimony at the April 29 hearing. Even more to the point, I wonder what kind of saps those people think they are fooling. It really insults intelligence, if you ask me. Other than testing companies, plaintiff lawyers and government agencies, it is hard to find a company or industry that thinks the CPSIA will help them employ more people. The law does not create economic activity - just wastes lots and lots of money.
Quick aside: I find this remark, even if in made in passing, to be bizarre. Is someone really defending the CPSIA by asserting that it actually benefits the economy? The purpose of the law was never to help companies like ours - if anything, the law was motivated by Congress' absolute malice toward manufacturers of children's products. The volume of data to the contrary is overwhelming. To portray the law as a generous act of economic stimulus is so far removed from truth as to invite the term "Big Lie". Inez Tenenbaum was quoted today attempting a similar act of legerdemain when she contended that markets will be lifted by surging consumer confidence under the CPSC's watchful eye. This recasting of reality is dangerous - if these people ever find anyone they can persuade with nonsense.
For those of you who missed it, I noted in my oral testimony at the April 29 hearing that our QC department grew from one to four people. In addition, we have a CPSC Bar attorney on retainer and work with another Washington law firm on other representation matters relating to this mess. This has been taken as my "admission" that the awful CPSIA creates jobs. Yippee, we're saved!
I write this blog myself. No CPSIA jobs there, unfortunately.
I testified that our company's testing costs increased 8x because of the CPSIA, with the prospect of another 3x increase to come after the CPSC lifts its testing stay in 2011. [I get lightheaded at this thought.] We have also seen sharp increases in QC personnel costs plus other frictional operational costs relating to safety under the new law. It's ugly. We estimate the total annual cost increase SO FAR to be $450,000 for our company. This money has to come from somewhere. We are unable to increase our selling prices in a recession, yet the costs must be recouped. Guess how we did it.
Our headcount records speak to the stimulative effect of the CPSIA. As of July 31, 2008, immediately prior to passage of the CPSIA on August 14, 2008, LR employed a total of 162 full-time team members. After only four months of magical CPSIA job creation, the ranks of our employees fell to 145 by December 31, 2008. By year end 2009, our headcount had shrunk by one more, to 144 people. As of March 31 of this year, after almost 20 months of CPSIA fun and games, we had 141 employees. At least our QC department is growing . . . .
I will freely admit that we are probably creating jobs galore in China where we do all of our product testing. It's too expensive to test in this country. The reported 8x increase in our testing costs reflects our intense effort to control costs. I have no idea how many jobs our testing created in China. Nonetheless, I am sure Mr. Waxman's handiwork is stimulating the Shenzhen region nicely.
So is it really fair to say that I "admitted" that the CPSIA creates jobs?
I don't mind being misquoted or even to have my testimony under oath twisted beyond recognition. It's not a problem for two reasons - first, no one is being fooled, and second, the truth is obvious in this case.
So guys, if it helps you to misquote me or to attribute absurd "admissions" to me, go ahead. Everyone knows how "stimulative" this law has been. Our Casualties of the Week have documented business deaths attributable to this law for months. The HTA put a list of victims of the law into the record for the April 29 hearing. I have published over 400 blogposts that add measurably to the data on the costs and consequences of this awful law.
The truth is well-known. And the people who twist it are also well-known. And their efforts won't soon be forgotten - especially when we go to the voting booth in November. Can't wait!