Thursday, March 19, 2009

CPSC OHV Ban - Conspiracy, Hypocrisy, or Bad Government

Over the last few days, The General has received a lot of emails from
off-roaders who are asking why youth-OHVs and related products did not get the same sort of exemption that the sporting goods industry apparently received from the CPSC.

After all, youth OHVs and related OHV clothing/safety gear are considered to be part of, or related to, the sporting goods industry and those products are often sold along side of each other at multi-venue retail shops.

(photo of a youth training wheel set was taken today at a major retail chain -- this product would be banned at Malcolm's shop if used for a youth dirt-bike)
Those questions are good ones. In fact, they are validated by a recent statement given to The General from a spokesman of the outdoor industry about how basically the youth outdoor/sporting goods industry was not impacted by the CPSC lead ban.

That statement is supported by a Feb 12 article from the Sporting Goods Industry Association that talks about how sporting goods ARE NOT a toy and hence deserving of the CPSC reprieve.

SGIA Article
Another article where non-motorized "sporting goods" are given a pass

Based on that information, The General decided to take a trip today to a major national discount retail chain store and see if they are selling almost identical youth “sporting goods” that Malcolm is prohibited from selling.

While there were some youth products that had “CPSC approved” decals on them, there were many sporting goods (youth baseball gloves, youth training wheels set, youth swim/goggle sets, bicycle tire tubes, etc) being sold with no “CPSC approved” sticker.

Unlike the non-motorized sporting goods industry who got an apparent pass from the CPSC, it appears that some government bureaucrats have decided to use political science instead of sound science and common sense to take a whack at the “motorized sporting goods industry” (i.e. OHV) causing great economic harm and personal hardships.

Is it a conspiracy? I’m not going that far since I know many people in government and most don’t have the energy or time to develop and implement elaborate conspiracies.

Is it hypocrisy? That is a charge that appears to have some merit since the CPSC has used a double standard that judges non-motorized vs. motorized sporting goods differently.

However, the charge of “bad government” is applicable since this CPSC ban on youth OHVs should have never gotten this far. Now we have dealerships going bankrupt and shops still in business like Malcolm’s dealership is preparing to employ civil disobedience as a tool of last resort.

The question is will current efforts by Congress to fix this problem be enacted in time to save family businesses and/or will the CPSC do the right thing and issue a stay in the next week or two?

Those are good questions to which The General does not have the answer.

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