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Friday, March 18, 2011

Notable Mention

Yesterday in the WSJ there was an op-ed from Sam Kazman of the CEI titled "How Washington Ruined Your Washing Machine"
Some highlights:
"The culprit is the federal government's obsession with energy efficiency. Efficiency standards for washing machines aren't as well-known as those for light bulbs,.. [nor[ are they the butt of jokes as low-flow toilets are. But in their quiet destruction of a highly affordable, perfectly satisfactory appliance, washer standards demonstrate the harmfulness of the ever-growing body of efficiency mandates.

The federal government first issued energy standards for washers in the early 1990s. When the Department of Energy ratcheted them up a decade later, it was the beginning of the end for top-loaders. ... Front-loaders meet federal standards more easily than top-loaders. Because they don't fully immerse their laundry loads, they use less hot water and therefore less energy. But, as Americans are increasingly learning, front-loaders are expensive, often have mold problems, and don't let you toss in a wayward sock after they've started."

I love places like the CEI precisely because they focus on speaking to people in practical terms, as well as doing serious economic research. I love finding great examples of government failure in everyday life, hopefully it will render audiences more skeptical.
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  1. I just threw out my HE washer and for the years I was tortured by it, I swore the next women's movement would be to demand provisions for water for our washing machines. Laundry is a SERIOUS matter for home-makers and working moms alike. And I'm only half-joking when I say that.

  2. "...hopefully it will render audiences more skeptical.

    this must be one of your humor posts, professor. do you honestly believe that those needing convincing will become skeptical of the one institution that they rely on to lead them down the path of perfection?

  3. Professor please comment on the Wisconsin judge ordering a TRO on Walkers Budget Bill. I need your perspective and hopefully find a silver lining.

  4. I HATE my State of the Art front loading washing machine. If you still have an old-fashioned top loader, never give up on it. Even if it has to be re-built.

  5. "I love places like the CEI precisely because they focus on speaking to people in practical terms, as well as doing serious economic research."

    Yes, exactly. Conservatives often use words like "liberty," which might mean a lot to conservatives like me, but I sense just sounds like another empty word to most people. We need to put these words in practical terms for people who would otherwise let them go in one ear and out the other.

  6. Just like the low-flow toilets requiring double or triple flushing to do their jobs, so, too, the new HE front loaders require items be run through twice in order to make clothes appear to be clean - and the second time requires an extra rinse to get rid of all the suds. Government standards indeed. I'm just thankful the government didn't get involved when I selected my wife, but having said that probably got some bureaucrat - somewhere - thinking creatively.

  7. What nobody seems to mention is that incandescent light bulbs are 100% efficient when used in winter in a house that is heated electrically. Indeed, they are more efficient than other electric heaters in that you can also read by them while they are heating the house at 100% efficiency.

    Of course, CFLs are just as efficient, but they cost a hell of a lot more and you can't dim them, they don't work in a cold garage or outdoors in winter, and they take forever to light up to full brilliance.
    Perhaps if we had any scientists or engineers in Congress, the Supreme Court or the Presidency, we would see the light.

  8. "didn't get involved when I selected my wife, but having said that probably got some bureaucrat - somewhere - thinking creatively.

    Washington is going to be able to control every American with this policy. My guess it will be in effect long before the 2012 election. Who is going to run as a conservative when their children/grandchildren can be harassed 24/7 by government Bureaucrats? The government official can pick out any child and harass them. Who is going to be able to stop them.


  9. I love my top loader. I refused to buy a front loader a few years back when our old washer broke. I bought a non digital commercial grade top loader with the hope that it will last a long time. I wanted something that an old school repair guy could service if needed. The front loaders were outrageously priced and you have to purchase the pedestals separately which is a few hundred more dollars. I am thankful for my washing machine, glad I bought it when I did. I hope it lasts a long time.

  10. Everyone I know who has bought a front loader, haven't found them to be a time or energy saver, and they don't clean clothing as well as a top loader, plus there are other problems that the sales person won't tell you about, such as a chronic problem that occurs more often than not.. and nothing you can do prevents it, water spills into the outer drum, where it accumulates, forming mildewy smells, and mold growth. You can't clean it either, you end up having to pay for a service visit.