Children's Books in Dumpsters: Washington's Madness Continues

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The kiddie police have begun to march across America, threatening thrift stores, as I warned.

On February 10, workers in America’s thrift stores tossed out every children’s book that was printed prior to 1985. That is the law.

A parent is not allowed to go into a thrift store and buy a book printed before 1985. Those books are now gone.

On the dumpsters filled with children’s books, read this.

Congress has spoken. Well, not quite. The bureaucrats who use Congress as their hand puppet, agency by agency, have spoken. The bureaucrats spend their careers identifying threats to the people. They get paid to do this, and they are paid well. They invent a presumed threat and then terrorize Congress into passing a 500-page bill that no Congressman has read. Then the bureaucrats add more regulations in the name of this 500-page law.

This has gone on since 1913, and it will continue to go on until the system finally breaks down. This is the logic of the system.

Here is the new reality, one week old. If you can still find any pre-1985 books, it is because the thrift store’s managers don’t know they are breaking the law and could be fined or sent to prison if they persist.

Congress passed the enabling legislation law last year: The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. It has 239 sections. I don’t expect you to read it — after all, no Congressman or Senator did — but click the link and skim it: “Most parents are irresponsible and must not be trusted.”

Every Federal law looks like this one. This was true when I was a Capitol Hill staffer for Ron Paul in 1976, and it will be true for as long as the Federal government is solvent by means of (1) our tax money, (2) Treasury debt investors’ money, and (3) Federal Reserve fiat money.

The bureaucrats are now enforcing the letter of the 2008 law. Congressmen will feign ignorance. “Gee, how were we to know?”

Too late. The books are in landfill.

But why? “Stop dangerous lead paint!” Right. The lead paint in pre-1985 kids’ books in minuscule traces. There is no known example of any child being injured by lead paint from a book. No matter. The law’s the law.

This seems insane, but it is the relentless logic of the State: “Nothing is permitted unless authorized by the State.”

The Federal government has authorized abortion on demand. But, once a parent allows a child to be born, that parent is not be allowed to buy the child a pre-1985 book. Such books are too dangerous for children.

This is the logic of Washington. This logic is relentless. It will be extended by law into every nook and cranny of our lives until it is stopped.

This will stop it: (1) the destruction of the dollar, (2) the bankruptcy of the Federal government, and (3) a decision by millions of Americans to say, “I will not obey this law.” Law by law, people say, one by one, “I will not obey. Arrest me. I will hire a lawyer. Maybe I will simply defend myself in a court of law. I will resist.” Gandhi did it. It worked. People will organize, law by law, to clog the courts, jam the legal system, and vote out of office every politician who does not repeal a specific law. Nothing else can stop this madness.

Americans have surrendered their liberties to Washington, one by one. The process is relentless. No insanity is too great for the bureaucrats. Yet the public is oblivious.

It stems from a simple assumption: “My neighbors are irresponsible. They must not be allowed to make voluntary exchanges, no matter how harmless.” This belief leads to a principle of law: Nothing is allowed unless authorized by the State.

Some of your friends may think you are extreme for not trusting Congress and the bureaucrats. Forward this report to them. They may not yet perceive the nature of Beltway madness.

It is going to get much worse. We can be certain of this. Bureaucrats respect only one thing: budget cuts. That’s a long way away. But the destruction of the dollar may not be.

Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com. He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.

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