GLENN: Well, but that’s why the government’s going to fix it because they are good at fixing things, you know, especially when they do things quickly, you know. Like, for instance, the bailout. There were no problems coming from that bailout. They did that quickly. This $1.2 trillion stimulus package, don’t worry about it. No, seriously don’t worry about it. They’ve got all kinds of things that they’re going to be doing that is really seriously, no problems are going to — they are going to take a full two weeks to be able to, you know, read it and everything else and then vote on it. Who doesn’t do that, you know, take at least two weeks to read the, you know, something that’s costing over a trillion dollars. No biggie. They got it covered.
For instance, you know the government did the right thing when China started selling us poison toys for our kids, right? What did they do? They, of course, went and said to China, "Look, China, here’s the thing. You sell us poisoned toys and we’re not going to buy anymore of your toys. Or if you sell us poison lead-filled toys, we won’t buy from that toy manufacturer." That’s what we — hmmm? Oh, no, I’m sorry, that’s in the common sense world. No, that’s not what we — we didn’t do that? We passed the Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008? We took a lot of time putting that — no, we just passed that quickly?
Here are the results. Millions of Americans are struggling now, living paycheck to paycheck, some without any paycheck at all. Even families are getting by okay at this moment or doing what they can to save money and cut corners now so they can get prepared for what’s coming later. So whether it’s by choice or because you have to, people are cutting back, doing little things. If you have children, maybe you buy baby clothes now at a secondhand store. Maybe you buy them at a thrift store. Maybe you buy them at — you know the designer baby clothes have always pissed me off. I don’t know if it’s just me. Every time I see somebody with, you know, a onesie, I don’t think designer baby clothes are good in any economy quite honestly. You buy, you know, the Ralph Lauren onesie. Why? Your kid’s going to barf on it. It doesn’t matter how much it costs, doesn’t marry. The horse is going to be covered in baby vomit soon. You might as well have a — if you are going to go for the Ralph Lauren onesie, you might as well go for the prebarfed onesie, one that some rich kid already barfed on and you got it at a discount because you are like, this doesn’t exactly smell like baby barf, this smells like pureed caviar, as processed through a baby. That’s exactly what it smells like, you are exactly right. Because they paid, like, $85 for that onesie that your kid can now barf on for $2.
Anyway, so people go to these consignment shops. Sensible thing to do, especially when people are struggling. That means small businesses are struggling, too. So the government, of course, you know, would have their backs, have the backs of thrift stores, consignment stores, small businesses. Anything that’s getting secondhand kids clothing, you know, kids books, kids toys, right? I mean, if the words "Affordable" and "Kids" are in the same sentence, the government has got to be for it. Plus, didn’t during that bailout, didn’t we talk about how they subsidized wooden arrow toy factory? Remember that toy factory that made the wooden arrows? I don’t even know who’s shooting wooden arrows. That’s politically incorrect. What are you saying, that Indians are savages? Who’s buying wooden toy arrows for their kids? I haven’t seen anyone selling them, buying them. I haven’t seen any kids running to the hospital with splinters in their eyes. I mean, are they sold next to the toy machetes and I just missed them?
So anyway, they’re bailing out the toy industry because they are having a hard time here in America. So, of course, the government wouldn’t do anything to hurt little Sally Muckenfutch and her only source for affordable clothing for children and her only source for, you know, wooden arrows. Unless you’ve read and you see what’s coming on February 10th of this year because of the Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008. When I got a call in my office from a toy manufacturer, he’s just a small business guy — he’s going to be on with us in a minute — he told me the story and I said that cannot be true. What it means, by February 10th of this year, even though common sense will tell you that lead was coming from toys out of China, now the government says that anything that is made for kids under 12, even if it’s secondhand, needs to be tested. Even things that couldn’t have any lead in them like, I mean, lead pajamas. I mean, your onesie has to be tested now. If it’s got the Polo pony or no Polo pony on it, your child’s clothing has to be tested. They are only doing it so they can cover their butts. So this is what’s happening. The typical secondhand store is bidding on thousands of items but each item only costs a couple of bucks. But now they are going to be required by February 10th to test every single item if it is meant for someone under 12. And if it doesn’t get a certificate, every thread, every fiber, every piece of it, every button, every book, every toy, every piece of clothing, if it doesn’t get a certificate, it has to be destroyed by February 10th. I don’t know what that’s going to do to the environment, burning up all that lead. Common sense isn’t something that goes hand in hand with our government, but they’re going to punish every company out there on February 10th just so they can save their own butts because they wanted to be seen for doing something when China sent us lead toys. But again common sense would tell you the problem was coming from China, punish China. But we can’t do that because they are too busy borrowing money from China. So we can’t afford to offend China. But the government can’t be seen doing nothing on lead toys coming in and so while the problem never happened at thrift stores, never happened with U.S. toy manufacturers and never, ever happened with the small toy manufacturer, just the ones that are too big to fail or too big to piss off, the government is going to punish you, they are going to punish the clothing stores, the thrift stores, the goodwill stores, the consignment shops and the small toy makers in America. Rob Wilson is one of those small toy makers in America. You will not believe what he’s going to have to do just to make a finger puppet starting February 10th. He will be on with us, next.
GLENN: I just, coming up I have to share a story with you where somebody has taken The Christmas Sweater and the character, one of the main characters, Russell, who is the life-changing guy in this story and has taken it and says, "Will the change finally come to Darfur and is the Russell character, could it possibly be Barack Obama." It’s bizarre to read an analogy from a book that, you know, we’ve been talking about, we wrote and have it apply, Russell be — well, of course, that’s kind of the savior character, is it? Why not. We’ll give that to you in a little while.
Let me go to Rob Wilson. What is the name of your company, sir?
WILSON: It’s Join the Fun.
GLENN: And you are a small U.S. toy company?
WILSON: Right. We are actually primarily a distributor. We do make a couple of items here in the United States, a couple of wood products.
GLENN: A couple of wood products?
GLENN: And you are concerned, Rob, about the consumer — what is it, the consumer protection safety — the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and you are saying it may put you out of business?
WILSON: It may not put us out of business but right now we carry about 500 different products. To test every one of those products according to this act, it would cost us, you know, in the range of $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 which, you know, is quite a bit above what we would make in a year, you know, in terms of our profit. It’s just unreasonable to think that we can do that. So we’re essentially looking at reducing our product line down to 30, 40, 50 items at most.
GLENN: Because you can’t afford to test all of them?
WILSON: Right. We just have to focus on the best sellers and eliminate all the rest even though there’s demand for them but not enough to justify the testing.
GLENN: Unbelievable. So what will happen to those products? Will they go to a bigger distributor? Will they go to somebody else who can afford it or will they just disappear?
WILSON: They will disappear from the U.S. market. And these are natural products, organic products, products that, you know, far and away concede the new standards.
GLENN: How come you have to test — you know that these products don’t have lead in them.
GLENN: So how come — how does this work? What I understand is like if you’re making a puppet, you are making 30, you know, 30 different puppets but they are all using the same material, you actually have to test the material on each different puppet line if they are made from the same exact material but made from different people?
WILSON: Even if they’re made by the same people. You can take the exact same cloth and cut that into 20 different products and you have to test that 20 times.
GLENN: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Even if it’s in the same building?
WILSON: Same building, same material, same people cutting it.
GLENN: Same piece, same bolt of material, you’ve got to test it 20 times?
GLENN: So — our government at work. So how is this going to right itself here? Is there any chance that you see anybody being able to right this before February 10th? Because February 10th, all of the thrift stores and everybody else, if they don’t have a certificate that says that, you know, onesie doesn’t have lead in it, they have to burn it or destroy it or what do they have to do with it?
WILSON: That’s my understanding. They can’t sell it. Now, whether they, you know, burn it on February 11th, I don’t know. But as of February 10th they are not legally allowed to sell it without, you know, certifying that it meets the standard. And my understanding is that, you know, short of an act of congress, there’s not a whole lot that can be done.
GLENN: Now, do you hold out any hope that you can get a bailout after this act destroys your business?
WILSON: Me personally? (Laughing).
GLENN: You are saying that you are not too big to tail?
GLENN: Yeah, right.
WILSON: No, you’d think the children’s product industry as a whole might be too big to fail. But me personally, probably not.
GLENN: Right. Have you thought about — because this applies to books and everything else. Like a little — if it was a used little Golden Book and it was in a thrift store or now, you know, Little Golden Books has to provide a certificate saying all their new ones are lead-free but it’s a used one, it has to be destroyed unless there — you know, it’s not aimed for somebody under 12. Have you thought about making, like, the last page of a Golden Book, you know, be pornography or, you know, maybe making puppets and have them have, you know, body parts on them but Velcro so the parents could buy it for them and then just take that body part off and throw it away and then give it to their kids?
WILSON: You know, there’s actually been talk about that online, people talking about adding things to their products.
GLENN: Unbelievable. All right. Best of luck to you, Rob. I thank you very much.
WILSON: Thank you.