Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

I think the government is actually performing a useful service here.

We all know that people have a hard time identifying and reasoning about high-cost, low-probability risks. The government, because it's aggregating numbers over practically all the hospitals in the country, can identify these oddball cases -- these cases are hard for individuals to discern.

So, they found one -- a service in itself. But, what to do? I don't want to have to keep track of all these oddball risks (un-obvious, and with no significant upside). So, as in the case of various bassinet, bicycle, handrail, and staircase design errors, they are made off limits.

Easier for everyone. Next problem.




There's a difference between identifying risks and forcing people to act risk averse.

I'm all for the government continuing to act as a consumer's advocate, as they should be. However I do not feel comfortable when the government makes these decisions for me.


They haven't made any decision for you. Even after the rule goes into effect, you'll still be allowed to buy & sell magnets of the exact same size, strength, and finish as the Buckyballs.

The CPSC ruling is only devastating to Buckyballs because they are primarily marketed and sold as toys, and when they stop being able to do that, far fewer people will buy them.


I was more talking in generalities in that specific comment, though the government has certainly effected my decision when buying similar magnets, which is arguably just as offensive.

I still fail to see your logic that this legislation will prevent these magnets from being sold to people who want them as a novelty. When taken completely out of physical stores sales held steady. The market has clearly communicated a demand, and they will buy them whether they are marketed as novelty toys are not.

If the CPSC's main goal is to prevent Buckyballs from coming into contact with toddlers this band aid legislation seems like a laughable effort.


The CPSC doesn't care if you buy magnets! They only care about how they're marketed! The CPSC is not trying to keep magnets away from you. They are not trying to abolish any kind of magnet. This isn't the war on drugs. They care exclusively about one specific packaging.

And, if you're a complete freaking moron and buy magnets and stuff them into the mouths of your children, well, not to sound too callous, but the CPSC isn't going to care so much about those magnets.

They'll probably care more about the quantity of lead paint you must have somehow ingested to make such a dumb decision.


The CPSC wants to ban marketing of such products as toys or puzzles. We all (or, I'll concede, perhaps only most of us) agree that this is so, and no more!

The issue is that I think that said ban will affect the structure of the market for such products, which (if I am correct in thinking this) will affect me by raising the cost of said products and reducing the quality of said products and related accessories/packaging.

Given that I regard the CPSC's process of making decision based on the existing statistics as misinformed, it seems entirely reasonable to me to regard this as a problem. Where exactly am I going wrong here?


I don't think there's anything wrong with this reasoning at all! It seems well-informed and carefully reasoned. I disagree with it, but so what?


> I disagree with it . . .

Because . . . ?

> . . . but so what?

Well, I obviously care somewhat about your opinion. Otherwise I wouldn't have posted all this stuff. And you obviously care somewhat about the existence of this marketing campaign (that being essentially what this piece of news is). Otherwise you wouldn't have posted all this stuff.


How do you feel about building codes? Plumbing and electrical codes?

Do you agree the issue is deciding where the government chooses to intervene with a "shall not" directive, or do you reject such directives entirely?




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: