American Elephants

How Crayons Are Made by The Elephant's Child

I love watching assembly lines, seeing how things are made. It’s no wonder so many science fiction stories portray a society that suddenly doesn’t work at all; and we’re all left to try to cope, and we don’t know how to make anything useful. Did you learn how to make fire in Boy Scouts? And snares? We are useless without our electricity and creature comforts.

Congress Wants To Mandate Your Efficiency. Bad Idea! by The Elephant's Child

There is a mindset that seems to be derived from the propaganda about all things “green.” We humans have not properly cared for the earth. We use far too much of the earth’s bounty. Our lifestyle and profligate overuse of natural resources is killing the earth and depriving the world’s poor of their fair share of the bounty. Climate change is destroying the earth and it’s our fault. We need to use less of everything. Turn off the lights, drive less, buy an electric car to save energy, save water. There are just too many people, have more abortions, fewer kids. Endangered species.

Even if you recognize that all to be sheer hogwash, there’s a mindset that remains. They have been very vocal about their fraudulent claims. It brings out the nannies. They want to make better choices for you consumers, because they’re smarter than you are.

Congress has been determined to legislate efficiency mandates for American homes and businesses since the late 1970s. The most recent legislation is being reintroduced tomorrow with a House companion bill coming on Friday. The bill from Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), has supposedly been modified from previous renditions to make it more acceptable.

There are some basic requirements:

  1. The free market rewards efficiency without any intervention from the government.
    Congress should focus on removing the policy and regulatory barriers that diminish the market incentives to pursue efficiency upgrades.
  2. Consumers and Businesses have other preferences.
    Federal mandates assume that everyone has the same needs and make purchases for the same reasons. Not true. The “Energy Star” designations are notably faulty. the DOE latest rule for dishwashers¬† show that almost 20% of households will see no improvement at all, yet costs have skyrocketed.
  3. When a technology offers more efficiency and lower costs, Americans do not need to be compelled to invest. Congress’s guess about what consumers want may not match reality. Front-loading washers and dryers have been far too costly and unpopular.
  4. Mandates risk taxpayer resources to subsidize private sector efficiency. The mandates distort, and usually raise, the prices involved. and distort the marketplace to consumer’s grief.

You might let your representatives and senators know that this is not acceptable. and Congress has no business mandating efficiency. They have already made a mess with twisty lightbulbs, low-flow showerheads, low-flush toilets, none of which have improved anyone’s lives.

A Rose Garden Temper -Tantrum: by The Elephant's Child

Gun Control was going to be President Obama’s big issue with which to attack Republicans. If Republicans don’t support more gun control and more background checks in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting to allay gun violence, then they obviously don’t care about our children. The Toomey /Manchin gun bill has gone down to defeat in the Senate, and a new Gallup poll indicates that gun control is an important issue for about 4% of the people. 96% would far rather that the government’s attention turned to jobs, unemployment, and the budget.

The President is addressing the public right now, to tell us how annoyed he is that we didn’t pass his bill. He has so far lied about it four times. He keeps saying that 90 percent of Americans want increased background checks, never mind Gallup. He is really angry, and wants to blame the irresponsible Senate, which won’t go down well. Of course he accepts no blame himself. His use of some of the Newtown families, he believes, was a principled effort, and he is offended that some found it offensive.

There is nothing in the defeated bill that would prevent any of the mass shootings that have happened over recent years, including at Newtown. Obama has long been on record as believing that people should not have guns. His unfamiliarity with shotguns was well demonstrated when the White House came up with a photo of the president “shooting skeet” at Camp David. I’ve only done that once, but the clay pigeons aren’t straight out in front of you, they’re up in the air, trying to imitate birds. The President doesn’t much like Camp David anyway, he’s a city person, more comfortable in an urban environment, according to Michelle.

The President’s rapport with Congress is declining. He acts as if spending time with members of Congress, even Democrats is an unpleasant chore. Being two months late producing a budget is not just annoying, but jams up the process in Congress. His assumption that he is above the rules and needn’t follow anyone elses schedule will not endear him to the people in Congress who have their own schedules to meet. Nasty exhibitions of anger at not getting his way are not going to help.

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