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Stocks Drop, Thrift Stores Threatened and Spending Tobacco Money

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Stocks Drop, Thrift Stores Threatened and Spending Tobacco Money

Stock values drop as investors await the passage of an economic stimulus bill and the new rules and restrictions that it will come with.

New rules aimed at making toys safer could create major problems for low priced re-sellers like thrift stores.

State lawmakers reassess the wisdom of spending settlement money from tobacco companies on an array of unrelated programs. 

More headlines: listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.

1. CONGRESS 

Stock values drop as investors await the passage of an economic stimulus bill and the new rules and restrictions that it will come with.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Vice President Wayne Crews on why the best economic policy is for government to set certain basic rules and then stay out of the way

“The real problem with recessions is not that we have them, but that politicians help sow the seeds and deepen them with massive political interventions in vast swaths of the free enterprise economy…then prolong them while pretending to be part of an entity (government!) that can help. Government is a force-wielding body that properly adheres to law enforcement and protection of rights. It doesn’t produce wealth or have any relation to that phenomenon except by establishing a limited legal system on which markets can develop–not becoming an economic participant.” 

 

2. SAFETY

New rules aimed at making toys safer could create major problems for low priced re-sellers like thrift stores.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Policy Analyst Cord Blomquist on the families who could be hurt by the new law: 

“It seems the law, passed after the uproar over lead in toys imported from China, places an incredible burden on resellers of toys.  The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) controls for lead in toys down to incredible minute amounts, as low as 600 parts per million, the testing for which is incredibly costly…This kind of reactionary, poorly-thought-out regulation couldn’t come at a worse time. When so many families are struggling to make ends meet, closing down thrift stores cuts off one of the ways that families can afford clothing and other necessities.” 

 

3. LEGAL

State lawmakers reassess the wisdom of spending settlement money from tobacco companies on an array of unrelated programs.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: General Counsel Sam Kazman on the results of the multi-state tobacco settlement that funded so much local spending: 

“The tobacco settlement was an unconstitutional, corrupt power grab by state attorneys general and trial lawyers. It imposed a massive, permanent tax on consumers and funded countless wasteful government programs, while largely ignoring its original health objectives.” 

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI weekly podcast, here.