Thursday, August 12, 2010

CPSIA - Jobs, the CPSIA and me

I saw this video tonight and it really frustrated me.

Michelle Rena Jones, the unemployed person featured in the video is a victim of our economic downturn, and of Michigan's long dependence on the auto industry. She seems intelligent and highly employable. . . yet she is the part of the long term unemployed. She's not alone by a long shot.

We employ about 150 people in our educational toy business. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to provide these jobs, given the terrible recession, awful State funding prospects, and most importantly, the overhang of the fatal CPSIA. When I thought about Ms. Jones, I asked myself why we aren't hiring right now.

Frankly, our business reflects the punk economy you hear about on TV. Right now, we lack the confidence that we can safely add people, or even more importantly, that we will see the sales volume to support new people. This closes most doors to new jobs at our shop.

Then there's our ole' pal, the CPSIA. What impact does the CPSIA have on our hiring mentality? Hey, I'm the guy who figured out that this government intends to jam me with a requirement to spend $15 million per annum on testing - how do you think it makes me feel? I assume smaller companies, including the crafters comprising the HTA, realize that despite the various promises and wiped-away tears at the CPSC, the new rules offer scant relief to the small fry. The rules mean business death - and that ain't a job program, kids. If we're toast, so are other small businesses. Actually, if we're toast, everyone's toast.

Right now, I cannot abide investing in our business. Expansion is a joke since the federal government has totally abandoned us. Trust has been obliterated, shredded, stomped on. Congress is completely deaf and the CPSC doesn't give a darn - which is why after two years of work and "dialogue", they produced the drivel we were to comment on last week. [For a candid assessment of those rules, please see my comment to Anne Northup's blogpost of August 11.]

Do you think any rational business manager would hire anyone while fearing that costs far exceeding his annual profits are about to be imposed? Forget it - business people suffering under the crushing burden of the wave of Obama hyper-regulation are thinking of how to survive. Bucking the rules won't work, either - don't forget that the agency has the power to press felony charges against anyone who knowingly breaks this law. 2011 is Tenenbaum's "year of enforcement".

Can't wait. . . .

Ms. Jones won't be likely getting a job from a children's product company anytime soon.

Apparently, some people still wonder why voters are angry and why the Dems are being blamed. If anyone seriously can't figure that one out, they're as deaf as the stone deaf members of Congress we will be voting out of office . . . soon.

Very soon.

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