Monday, April 18, 2011

Markets In Everything: Toys NOT Made in China


From the No More China Toys website

"In 2007, we walked through the toy department of big box retailers and could not find a toy produced outside of China. Gone were the wooden blocks, dolls and wooden trains we played with as children. These toys were replaced with cheap plastic toys that had character ties to movies and cereals. We then turned to the Internet and were frustrated by the lack of alternatives and lack of country of origin information. We experienced first hand the frustration and angst associated with taking away our child’s favorite toy that was recalled and we routinely threw away toys within a few days or weeks of purchase due to poor quality. These experiences led to the development of NMCtoys.com.

NONE of the toys found in NMCtoys.com are Made in China. When it comes to our own home we choose to keep Chinese Made Toys out of our children's hands."

30 Comments:

At 4/18/2011 9:35 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

". When it comes to our own home we choose to keep Chinese Made Toys out of our childrens' hands."

The kid is going to make the Wal-Mart toy department their first destination, upon receiving a driver's license.

 
At 4/18/2011 9:39 PM, Blogger Johnster said...

I wonder how many of these toys are made with material imported from China.

 
At 4/18/2011 10:13 PM, Blogger Sean said...

And if it's not hatred of China's people that motivates the discrimination, but fear of buying toys with lead from a country where non-trivial amounts of baby formula were lethally laced with melamine in order to make a few extra bucks? Or from a country where you can't effectively sue a producer for making tires where the treads separate due to improper annealing?

It's unfair to blame a whole country for these sins, and it's true that the vast majority of goods from China are just fine (and that the Chinese government harshly punished a number of examples that were publicized). But I certainly won't blame people for such a choice if safety is their concern. "We sell dangerous goods and then you can't sue us" just isn't great branding.

 
At 4/18/2011 10:50 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

My wife has become an Oriental and middle eastern racist. Did not use to be, and I can't say how it happened. She has little contact with either, save the Palestinian who runs a local tienda, and whom she likes.

But she was bitching bitterly on Saturday about worthless cheap Chinese clothes pins.

"All that cheap crap comes from China", she says.



And she REALLY hates the Asian stink bugs.


Wake up, China.

 
At 4/19/2011 4:50 AM, Blogger Chris said...

There is a simple difference between refusing to buy Chinese products and refusing to offer services to the Irish, and it is one even an economist may be able to acknowledge: I do not have to buy anything I do not want to buy, but what I am willing to sell to someone I must sell to anyone. Get it?

 
At 4/19/2011 7:46 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

I agree with Sean. The site started in 2007. That's when Chinese manufacturers had their greatest "economic strain," where they had to cut more corners.

The site may be exploiting other concerns or fears.

Imagine two retailers in a small American town. One is a normal retailer operated by a black immigrant and the other is a discount retailer operated by a white native.

The white retailer sometimes sells products that poisons people and doesn't last long or work well. He pays his employees much less, treats them poorly, and he's a communist. The black retailer doesn't have these "problems."

Would the townsfolks be more likely to buy from the white discounter based on this information, because of lower prices, particularly for their children?

The mom and pop site says:

"We experienced first hand the frustration and angst associated with taking away our child’s favorite toy that was recalled and we routinely threw away toys within a few days or weeks of purchase due to poor quality. These experiences led to the development of NMCtoys.com."

The site is exploiting concerns about China's "lax labor laws, lax environmental laws, lax intellectual property laws and lax tax laws," along with safety and quality concerns.

 
At 4/19/2011 8:07 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Mattel Recalls One Million Toys
New York Times
August 2nd, 2007

"Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, is recalling nearly one million toys in the United States today because the products’ surfaces are covered in lead paint.

According to Mattel, all the toys were made by a contract manufacturer in China. The recall is the second biggest this year involving toys.

Mattel says it prevented more than two-thirds of the 967,000 affected toys from reaching consumers by contacting retailers, like Wal-Mart, Target and Toys ‘R’ Us, late last week. But more than 300,000 of the tainted toys have been purchased by consumers in the United States.

Mattel is hardly the first manufacturer to encounter a breakdown in the Chinese production chain. In recent months, factories in China have been sources of poisonous pet food sold in stores in the United States, dangerous car tires, and lead paint on the popular Thomas & Friends wooden toys."

 
At 4/19/2011 4:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

" But I certainly won't blame people for such a choice if safety is their concern. "We sell dangerous goods and then you can't sue us" just isn't great branding."

I agree that people should be 'free to choose' to buy or not buy from whomever they wish, for whatever reason they wish.

Safety aside, I think most often people select on price, then complain about lack of quality, as if it were a surprise. Perhaps unreasonable expectations are at play. although not a universal truth, the old adage "you get what you pay for" applies often enough to be kept in mind. One should ask "Why is this one so much cheaper?"

As to the wooden toys the NMCtoys people remember fondly, they are NOT remembering that wood was most likely the cheapest material available for toys at that time. A plastic toy might have been an expensive novelty.

Without actually comparing prices, it looks to me like the toys at NMCToys are very expensive. I doubt that this will become a large market.

 
At 4/19/2011 4:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

..."Or from a country where you can't effectively sue a producer for making tires where the treads separate due to improper annealing?"

Although this is certainly an inconvenience for the consumer, and may even compromise safety, the financial burden falls, or at least should fall, on the retailer.

I personally don't hesitate to return even trivial items to the point of purchase if I feel my reasonable expectations haven't been met. They, not I, have the power to force improvements in the supply chain.

 
At 4/19/2011 4:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"All that cheap crap comes from China", she says."

Now that she's aware of that, maybe she will adjust her buying habits accordingly, and not choose only by price.

Perhaps if she bitched instead about her super cheap husband, he would buy her a clothes dryer. :-)

 
At 4/19/2011 5:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Chris

"There is a simple difference between refusing to buy Chinese products and refusing to offer services to the Irish, and it is one even an economist may be able to acknowledge: I do not have to buy anything I do not want to buy, but what I am willing to sell to someone I must sell to anyone. Get it?"

I don't know what or who you are addressing here, as I don't see anything else about selling to others, but I'll just jump in anyway.

You are right about the buying part, at least up until now, but you may soon be forced to buy health insurance whether you want it or not.

You are wrong, however, about the selling part. You may have noticed the signs, usually in restaurants, that read:

"We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."

That means what it says. On the other hand, refusing to sell to the Irish, for example, would be costly in terms of lost sales, and could seriously impact someones bottom line. So, discrimination of this nature is usually only possible at a high cost to the discriminator.

In almost all cases, the bottom line trumps personal biases.

 
At 4/19/2011 5:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The site may be exploiting other concerns or fears."

Do you think? :)

 
At 4/19/2011 8:45 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Ron H.,

Safety aside, I think most often people select on price, then complain about lack of quality, as if it were a surprise. Perhaps unreasonable expectations are at play
You're absolutely right, but think about why that is a bit, and you'll realize that sufficiently low quality essential falls under "breach of contract" in our brains. We expect contracts to be kept and bargain on the only thing visible: price. This almost seems to be a part of human psychology, it's so pervasive.


Although this is certainly an inconvenience for the consumer, and may even compromise safety, the financial burden falls, or at least should fall, on the retailer.
This inconvenience caused accidents that killed people when the treads separated. But yes, the retailer is responsible, by law.

They, not I, have the power to force improvements in the supply chain.
This is where the market doesn't necessarily protect the consumer: it's buyer beware all the way up the chain. The same "assume quality, bargain on price" mentality applies to the retailer too. Generally they feel they *have* to take a gamble on something in order to get the edge on price to make a profit. And 99% of the time, it works out in the short term.
But you might want to think of that any time you put your life in the hands of generic tires, medicine, etc. Efficiency fundamentally means risk, redundancy means security, and a market demands efficiency. So if you want quality or security, you have to be willing to pay for it (and do your research too, or hope someone has done it for you).
Our choice as a society for foods and such has been to pay the government to provide some redundancy (in the form of the USDA, etc). It's definitely been expensive, and you could certainly argue it's been a bad decision, but you can't say we've gotten nothing out of the deal.

 
At 4/20/2011 3:04 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

"This inconvenience caused accidents that killed people when the treads separated. But yes, the retailer is responsible, by law."

Very true, and not to diminish the tragedy caused by these defects, but I'll ask you to consider something:

If you have ever had a tire separate, ether due to defect or to damage, try to remember if it suddenly just disintegrated, or gave you some warning for a period of time, perhaps a long time by going 'thump, thump, thump' as you drove the car. This is typical of a separation, and should serve as a warning that something is wrong, and that you should have it checked.

If you have had that experience, did you get any warnings? Did you fix the problem before it caused you a serious problem?

I'm certainly not blaming victims for their own demise, but 'buyer beware' is always there. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own safety. We can place blame anywhere we like after the fact, but relience on others to keep us safe isn't wise.

Generic, or Chinese tires aren't necessarily the problem either. remember the Firestone 500 fiasco on Ford explorers? Those tires were made in Illinois. Problems like this are just a consequence of mass production at reasonable prices. Zero defects may be a goal, but not a reality.

"...sufficiently low quality essential falls under "breach of contract" in our brains. We expect contracts to be kept and bargain on the only thing visible: price. This almost seems to be a part of human psychology, it's so pervasive."

That's a result of dealing with discounters like Walmart, Kmart, and Target. We get lulled into thinking we never assume any risk, and therefore don't have to think before we buy, because if we are unhappy for any reason, the merchant will refund our money, no questions asked.

"This is where the market doesn't necessarily protect the consumer: it's buyer beware all the way up the chain."

Absolutely. And the self interest of each actor in the chain forces them to make the customer happy at each link in the chain, or they won't remain in business. More careful competitors will gladly take their place.

This is something that Chinese manufacturers are still learning, as their experience in 'free markets' has been fairly recent. Their communist history hasn't provided them with concepts like competition & failure. Eventually they will reach the quality levels we now expect from Japan. Of course, their prices may be higher also.

Free choice is great, ain't it?

 
At 4/20/2011 3:20 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

"Our choice as a society for foods and such has been to pay the government to provide some redundancy (in the form of the USDA, etc). It's definitely been expensive, and you could certainly argue it's been a bad decision, but you can't say we've gotten nothing out of the deal."

Yes, it certainly has been expensive, and what I CAN say is that we would probably get the same level of safety without the USDA. That old self interest and competition keeps producers as honest as the USDA does, IMHO.

I'm aware that USDA inspectors in a chicken processing plant inspect by watching whole birds pass by on a conveyor belt. I'm not sure how they can tell which ones are stuffed full of Salmonella and which aren't. Problems occur despite the USDA.

I feel the same about restaurant health inspections. Killing customers or making them sick can put a restaurant out of business faster than government inspectors can. They can't afford even rumors. We have too many other choices. People still occasionally get sick at reasaurants despite the inspections. Safety at 100% doesn't exist.

 
At 4/20/2011 8:56 AM, Blogger Sean said...

Ron H.,

Eventually they will reach the quality levels we now expect from Japan. Of course, their prices may be higher also.
I would expect that, yes. But the shift with Japan was not as gradual as you imply: there was a turning point where the Japanese embraced a culture of quality to compete with us (although results naturally lagged a bit). China hasn't done that yet.

I feel the same about restaurant health inspections. Killing customers or making them sick can put a restaurant out of business faster than government inspectors can. They can't afford even rumors. We have too many other choices. People still occasionally get sick at reasaurants despite the inspections. Safety at 100% doesn't exist.
Absolutely, safety at 100% doesn't exist, and definitely rumors of "I got sick eating at restaurant X" have been more effective at keeping me away from problem restaurants than health inspectors that never saved the day.

But on the other hand, when 100 people got sick from E-coli or Salmonella from bagged spinach or any of the other recent food scares, the CDC tracked down the actual source of the problem of nailed them. You can bet that kicked a lot of producers in line, and that would have been impossible without our regulatory system: the incentive to squeeze out supply costs is just too strong for the market alone to provide that at this time. Tracking down and publicly flogging the perpetrators is actually a deterrent. Is everyone paying for such a regulatory system that some don't want? Yes.

 
At 4/20/2011 2:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

"But the shift with Japan was not as gradual as you imply: there was a turning point where the Japanese embraced a culture of quality to compete with us..."

Yes, it was sudden with Japanese manufacturers. Not only did they feel the need to compete with us, but with Korea and others who also had low cost manufacturing.

I don't know if you are old enough to remember how many years we used the phrase "cheap junk from Japan" before they finally decided to prove us wrong. It was exactly the same attitude we now have about Chinese products, and when they get it right it might be "cheap junk from Vietnam", or wherever the lowest cost producers are. Something we may sometimes forget is the fact that these poor contries can only improve and become wealthy if someone buys their products.

"But on the other hand, when 100 people got sick from E-coli or Salmonella from bagged spinach or any of the other recent food scares, the CDC tracked down the actual source of the problem of nailed them."

I think the ability to identify and track sources is of great benefit, not only to consumers, but to producers, and I think most producers support it. In fact, I suspect that if CDC and government regulatory agencies didn't exist, producers would create such agencies themselves. after all, it's in every producer's best interest to find a problem quickly, so those who are clean can avoid suspicion & get back to business as soon as possible.

The difference with a private entity, funded by producers themselves, would be that the cost would be part of the cost of the product, and only consumers of the product would pay for it.

If I never eat spinach, I wouldn't pay to ensure spinach quality.

"You can bet that kicked a lot of producers in line, and that would have been impossible without our regulatory system:""

I don't agree, for the reason stated above.

"...the incentive to squeeze out supply costs is just too strong for the market alone to provide that at this time."

Again, I don't agree. Squeezing too much can ruin a producer. And, if not now, when has it ever been, or when will it ever be a better time? I think you underestimate the power of the market.

One of the problems with mass production is that when a problem occurs, it can spread quickly. We see large numbers of people affected at once. I doubt that numbers would be lower if everyone grew their own produce, but we wouldn't hear about them.

"Tracking down and publicly flogging the perpetrators is actually a deterrent. Is everyone paying for such a regulatory system that some don't want? Yes."

Maybe a voluntary certification system for producers would be better. I could choose between USDA inspected spinach, and none USDA inspected spincah. I could decide for myself whether the difference in price was worth it.

My dentist has a certificate prominantly displayed in his office announcing his membership in the ADA. The intent is to reassure me that he knows his stuff, but in reality, it can't. If I could save money by using a non ADA dentist in whom I had confidence, perhaps I should consider it.

In fact, I have done just that. I have had dental work done in Mexico, at a clinic that specializes in treating US patients, at a small fraction of the cost in the US. I have been unable to detect a difference in quality. Maybe I'm just lucky, but if so, so are many others. Such clinics are very popular, and very busy.

Obviously, the Mexican dentists aren't members of the ADA. I chose a non ADA dentist because of the price advantage. I would do the same with a US dentist if the price difference was enough.

 
At 4/20/2011 4:09 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Ron H.,

In fact, I suspect that if CDC and government regulatory agencies didn't exist, producers would create such agencies themselves
Maybe, but I doubt it. My understanding is that companies didn't exactly take it kindly when asked to label country of origin for produce. Of course, a good part of that must be the non-voluntary aspect: no one is ever happy about being *forced* to do anything.
Managing supply chains is valuable, but I wouldn't think on a per-item basis.


Again, I don't agree. Squeezing too much can ruin a producer.
And does, continuously. Don't expect that to change.

And, if not now, when has it ever been, or when will it ever be a better time?
I don't know. But it's not beyond belief that shipping and tracking costs could drop a lot with technology, or that customers could place more value on the information.

I think you underestimate the power of the market.
It's not the power of the market I doubt here: it rewards what consumers will pay for. And that seems to be low, low prices. So it's consumers I doubt: their access to information, and their willingness to value what is important (you know, what I value :) ).

Maybe a voluntary certification system for producers would be better
Such a hypothetical system certainly has the potential to be better, but it's no sure thing. Aren't the ADA and AMA
more like Medieval Guilds with the power of law behind them? Even financial ratings agencies, where there is more competition, end up quite vulnerable to capture. What is surprising is how relatively non-corrupt the relevant government agencies are.

In fact, I have done just that. I have had dental work done in Mexico, at a clinic that specializes in treating US patients, at a small fraction of the cost in the US.
Now, that's very interesting. I'm curious how such examples work out in a broader scope of things. You hear horror stories of non-licensed medical professionals performing abortions and other procedures with terrible consequences. I'd love to know the greater story on medical tourism: the upsides and the downsides. There's probably a lot to be learned there.

 
At 4/20/2011 4:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

Something else to consider about food safety is the fact that much better control of harmful microorganisms is available, but we choose not to use it due to the cost it adds to products. Almost 100% safety of food leaving the producer's dock could be achieved by this method.

 
At 4/20/2011 4:27 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Ron H.,

but we choose not to use it due to the cost it adds to products. Almost 100% safety of food leaving the producer's dock could be achieved by this method.
It sounds from the entry (which matches my intuition) that costs are not the primary concern. For example, some people already believe the enormous growth in allergies in developed countries comes from not being exposed to enough bacteria, at least the non-fatal varieties. Seems like there's some damned if you do and damned if you don't going on there.

 
At 4/20/2011 5:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

""So it's consumers I doubt: their access to information, and their willingness to value what is important (you know, what I value :) )."

Consumers define the market. Are they not to be trusted? Should "we" who are so much smarter than the masses make decisions for them? Shouldn't we all be "free to choose"?

"What is surprising is how relatively non-corrupt the relevant government agencies are."

You're kidding, right? Lets look at some examples of agency capture at USDA:

Open the PDF at this link.

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/reports/usda-inc-how-industry-captured-the-u-s-department-of-agriculture-2/ open the PDF.

This is old, but only shows that the problem isn't new.

http://www.jstor.org/pss/2095701

And a couple more:

http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/weekly_2003/usda_captured_meatpacking.html

http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/kjpp7&div=22&id=&page=

These are just a few quick examples, and may not be entirely on topic, but you get the idea. If you're interested, I'm sure you can find more & better information.

"Aren't the ADA and AMA
more like Medieval Guilds with the power of law behind them?
"

Yes, they are exactly like guilds. Their claim is that membership, which is almost universal in the US, somehow ensures the quality of doctors & dentists. We know this is often not the case.

The same is true of the claim "USDA inspected".

 
At 4/20/2011 5:29 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Ron H.,

Consumers define the market. Are they not to be trusted? Should "we" who are so much smarter than the masses make decisions for them? Shouldn't we all be "free to choose"?
The short answer is yes.
The slightly longer answer is that I, like everyone else in society, delegates choices. We have no other option, since we simply can't be informed of everything.
Would private, consumer-paid ratings agencies with full disclosure from the entities they rated be more effective and reliable? Yes, and I hope we move towards more of those and less of government in those roles. But it seems that competition doesn't arise because people think government fills the role. And it also does seem difficult to get people to pay for consumer ratings (although I suppose they might be more willing if taxed less).

But one question in my mind is: is it possible for elected officials to legitimately hold the delegated authority to make those decisions? I think the answer is yes.
And their performance seems to be similar to any large corporation in a relatively uncompetitive industry with a few conflicts of interest.


You're kidding, right? Lets look at some examples of agency capture at USDA:
It seems every time I think that because I haven't heard much, there's not much to hear, there's someone to disabuse my notions ;) I'll have a look through.

 
At 4/20/2011 5:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

"You hear horror stories of non-licensed medical professionals performing abortions and other procedures with terrible consequences."

Yes. You may be thinking of
this story as I am. But note that this douchebag was licensed.

"The clinic was shut down and Gosnell's medical license was suspended after the raid."

And that a government agency failed:

"State regulators ignored complaints about him and failed to visit or inspect his clinic since 1993, but no charges were warranted against them, District Attorney Seth Williams said."

Don't you have to wonder if taxpayers were getting their money's worth from the state? Where was the AMA in all of this?

Such atrocities can't be prevented entirely, but it appears that in this case,the trusted watchdogs were asleep. Perhaps we could be our own watchdogs.

"I'd love to know the greater story on medical tourism: the upsides and the downsides. There's probably a lot to be learned there."

I suspect so. I have no other experience, but in my case, I paid $175 each for 4 crowns, that would have cost me $6-800 apiece. After 6 years, I have no complaints.

I have read articles about medical tourism that all sound positive, at great savings. I suspect we will have more of this if Obamacare is implimented, and treatment becomes rationed. Some of the stories I've read, involve patiients from countries with socialized medicine, where wait times are extensive, or procedures aren't availabe at all.

I'm sure there are also bad experiences, but I haven't read them.

 
At 4/20/2011 6:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

"Seems like there's some damned if you do and damned if you don't going on there."

That's for sure. It's hard to kill just the bad germs. I think there is also a perception that irradiated food is dangerous.

Maybe we can help build immunities by encouraging our children to NOT wash their hands.

"Would private, consumer-paid ratings agencies with full disclosure from the entities they rated be more effective and reliable?"

Consumers Union, publishers of "Consumer Reports" is an excellent example of this type of private rating agency, and I support them with my subscription. They provide tons of usefull information, and publish surveys of customer experience with a variety of products, although I don't always agree with their premises or conclusions.

There are others, but none come to mind at the moment.

"But one question in my mind is: is it possible for elected officials to legitimately hold the delegated authority to make those decisions? I think the answer is yes."

I agree. That is their ONLY function. We have, in fact, created a clear, concise framework to guide and limit them at the federal level. If I remember correctly, it's known as the US Constitution. It's too bad so much of government today has slipped out of those chains and operates outside of it.

As for agencies like the USDA, I have trouble finding where in that framework their authority comes from. I think it doesn't exist.

 
At 4/20/2011 8:38 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Ron H.,

Consumers Union, publishers of "Consumer Reports" is an excellent example of this type of private rating agency, and I support them with my subscription. They provide tons of usefull information, and publish surveys of customer experience with a variety of products, although I don't always agree with their premises or conclusions.
True, and my wife and I subscribed as well. I'm generally supportive, but haven't been blown away by the quality.
My wife is much more familiar with the Consumerist and a number of such sites than I, but it really seems like they have a long way to go to fulfill their promise.

We have, in fact, created a clear, concise framework to guide and limit them at the federal level. If I remember correctly, it's known as the US Constitution. It's too bad so much of government today has slipped out of those chains and operates outside of it.
We let them. The saying is that with Democracy, you get the government you deserve. I think there's a lot of truth to that.

As for agencies like the USDA, I have trouble finding where in that framework their authority comes from. I think it doesn't exist.
I really think most people want agencies like the USDA. If that changed, we could get rid of them.

 
At 4/20/2011 8:45 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Ron H.,

Such atrocities can't be prevented entirely, but it appears that in this case,the trusted watchdogs were asleep. Perhaps we could be our own watchdogs.
Maybe. I think watchdogs will always fail a non-trivial amount of the time. They really do cut down on "crimes of opportunity", but we still rely mostly on people's basic decency. It really is too costly to look over people's shoulder's most of the time.
After all, one could probably shoplift from any store at will unless burdened by a negative stereotype. But I never will. Societies are built on honor, honesty, and compassion. You certainly can't make any real amount of freedom work without them.
So bad eggs tend to get a fair amount of time to stink the place up before they are removed.

 
At 4/20/2011 9:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

"I really think most people want agencies like the USDA. If that changed, we could get rid of them."

Perhaps they do, but it isn't something the founders provided for. All such federal agencies are basically unconstitutional. State level agencies could perform those functions. There's an amendment process that could be used to provide for a USDA if it was really important.

 
At 4/20/2011 9:24 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

"They really do cut down on "crimes of opportunity","

I won't belabor the point, but I challenge you to support this with some evidence. I can find plenty of counter-examples, starting with Bernie Madoff.

 
At 4/21/2011 8:45 AM, Blogger Sean said...

Ron H.,

. There's an amendment process that could be used to provide for a USDA if it was really important.
And there's nothing wrong with pushing the government to slim down and get its ducks in a row. We should definitely call up Congress for exceeding its authority. But if push came to shove, do you really believe Congress couldn't get the 2/3rds vote together to grant itself the authority to do what it's already doing?


I won't belabor the point, but I challenge you to support this with some evidence.
Oh, great, homework. :) Well, that's a fair request. Unfortunately, it's a really bad week to scrape up research time: busy week at work and in-laws visiting this weekend.
So I'll concede my point as an unproven allegation at this time. :)

 
At 4/21/2011 9:03 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean

"But if push came to shove, do you really believe Congress couldn't get the 2/3rds vote together to grant itself the authority to do what it's already doing?"

That part might not be too difficult, but ratification by 3/4 of the States would be another matter.

Consider the many State lawsuits currently pending against Obamacare, and you will get a sense of how resistant the States are becoming to Federal overreach. They are again flexing their constitutional muscles, as it should be, in my opinion.

After all, the States created the federal government as their agent, and are the ultimate deciders of Constitutionality.

"So I'll concede my point as an unproven allegation at this time. :)"

Fair enough. :)

 

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