Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property.”     Milton Friedman

March 6, 2009

Stimulate Economy By Rethinking Kid Toy Law

by Brad Warbiany

Oh, the unintended consequences keep coming in:

Larry Neill has $118,000 worth of small motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles sitting on his lot in Missouri’s capital city. He’ll be fined if he sells any of them.

Neill, who owns Larry’s Motor Sports in Jefferson City, cannot sell or repair the bikes because of a new federal law that bans lead from all toys intended for children younger than 12, including small motorcycles and ATVs.

“These little products are the gateway to our business,” Neill said. “When some bureaucrat in Washington decides we can’t even sell these products, it’s just pretty unfair.”

Neill isn’t alone. A national motorcycle trade group says dealers across the country cannot sell roughly $100 million worth of the child-sized bikes. Including parts, service, accessories and personnel, the market could lose nearly $1 billion annually, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council.

But… But — it’s for the children!

This was covered prior to the law taking effect, with dire warnings by toymakers and others that it would dramatically impact business. It was claimed that the law was too broad, and that it would have impacts far in excess of reasonable safety restrictions. The detractors were ignored, and now we see their claims come true.

I’m stuck reminding people, again, that laws have consequences. Not consequences in the macro sense, but real consequences to real lives. It doesn’t matter whether those consequences are intended; they still occur.

PS – This marks The Liberty Papers’ 3,000th post!

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