Guidance documents are statements of policy issued by your favorite alphabet soup of agencies, which more often than not translate into law, despite rarely going through the notice-and-public comment period required of most regulations. Wayne Crews’ study “A Partial Eclipse of the Administrative State” puts the number of guidance documents—just one form of regulatory dark matter—at more than 13,000 over the period 2008-2017.
Looking at what our government has done in the past can give us a good idea of what they might be up to in the future, so here is a look at how granular such guidance documents can be. Each one might be small, but when there are 13,000 of them per decade, mostly without outside review or accountability, they add up. This week takes a look at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Protecting our youth from the dangers of drawstrings. If the Consumer Product Safety Commission has their way, we won’t lose any more kids to hoodies.
- Thought the danger could be stemmed with only one drawstring guidance document? Wrong.
- The same rules for the pool apply to Halloween: walk, don’t run, from house to house. Also, if you know of points in your neighborhood that spontaneously combust, this is the guidance document for you.
- Also, guidance on flame retardant sleepwear, for when things in the bedroom also spontaneously combust.
- Here is some form of guidance on play yards, because someone at the Consumer Product Safety Commission had a free afternoon.
- Guidance on sling carriers, and why there is significant danger in them.
- Fads will need guidance too. Fidget Spinners came and went, and they had a guidance document that covered them, too.
- Information and bassinets/cradles, making sure your rocking angle isn’t too great.
- Information on a non-full sized baby crib.
- If need guidance about full-sized cribs, please feel free to consult the agency’s regulatory robot.