American Elephants

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.


Losing Your Freedom… a Little at a Time by The Elephant's Child

How much are you willing to allow the government to interfere in your life? To what extent are you willing to give up personal freedoms? We have already been told what kind of shower heads we may have, and what kind of toilets we shall have in our bathrooms. Soon, we will have to change from incandescent lightbulbs to the fluorescent kind. California is considering outlawing fireplaces. When is enough enough? When do you get out the pitchfork and march on city hall or your congressman’s office?

Today, the Japanese government institutes its compulsory “flab checks” for all workers over the age of 40. To stem Japan’s “soaring obesity,” the health ministry has mandated that all waistlines among its 56 million workers over age 40 be below ‘regulation size’ of 33.5 inches (for men). Any company failing to bring its employees’ weight under control — as well as the weights of their family members — will be fined up to 10% of its earnings by the government.

According to government officials as reported by the Independent, 27 million Japanese — that’s about half of all adult workers! — have health indices (cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and BMI) that don’t meet ideal numbers. They will be targeted for mandatory medical intervention. That means compulsory medication, because, as we know, health indices have been set so low that most adults with normal aging will fall on the wrong side.

You can imagine the array of weight loss gimmicks and health and fitness machines now being marketed. And “special undergarments” for Japanese businessmen (girdles) are now popular. [Read the whole thing.]

This is happening in a country with almost no fat people. We live in a country where both of the candidates for the Democratic Party nomination want to install government-controlled health care. If you find the idea of government-paid health care appealing (and please remember that the only money the government has, it gets from you) then, having given them control of the purse-strings, you have given them control of your health and your body. It might be wise to keep the Japanese in mind.

Certainly a part of this is the current “fad” of deep concern about obesity, in the media. When the buzz reaches a certain level, bureaucracies feel they must “do something”. And that, too, is a problem.

“A free society, if it is to remain free, requires citizens who take the risk of standing up to be counted, on the issues of the day.”

~Walter Wriston

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