Car Seats Are For Losers (But MSG Will Kill You)

Seth Godin, one of my favorite liars, has a post about Steven Levitt and car seats.

Turns out that car seats for kids over 2 are no more effective than seat belts. The data is unequivocal on this.

Godin asks why Americans are wasting $300 million a year on car seats. Well, it’s because liars (marketers) convince us that if we don’t spend this kind of money we’re terrible parents. (He puts a more positive spin on it: "It feels like you’re doing something smart and thoughtful and caring for your child.")

I remember a TV ad from a few years ago where a minivan mom explains why she fills up with premium instead of regular. "I do it for her," she says, and the camera shows her adorable daughter.

Even though her car runs better on regular rather than premium, she–like any caring parent–uses the gas specifically formulated for a sports car because she cares about the future of her child.

She should switch to regular and put the savings into a 529 if she truly cares about her kid.

What we really need is a good liar to tell a story about whether MSG is to blame for autism, ADD/ADHD and other maladies in children. (That link’s for my wife who has become obsessed with MSG in the last month.)

Rich Brooks
Concerned Parent