Big Government Mandates Defective Washing Machines

There is no part of your life statist liberals will not intrude upon and diminish — not even your washing machine:

In 1996, top-loaders were pretty much the only type of washer around, and they were uniformly high quality. When Consumer Reports tested 18 models, 13 were “excellent” and five were “very good.” By 2007, though, not one was excellent and seven out of 21 were “fair” or “poor.” This month came the death knell: Consumer Reports simply dismissed all conventional top-loaders as “often mediocre or worse.”

What happened to them? Federal energy efficiency mandates prevent them from working properly, by limiting water use and eliminating agitator function. Apparently bureauweenies think they should do all the agitating.

Efficiency standards for washing machines aren’t as well-known as those for light bulbs, which will effectively prohibit 100-watt incandescent bulbs next year. 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.

Our rulers want us to use less effective front-loaders instead:

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.

When the Department of Energy began raising the standard, it promised that “consumers will have the same range of clothes washers as they have today,” and cleaning ability wouldn’t be changed. That’s not how it turned out.

In 2007, after the more stringent rules had kicked in, Consumer Reports noted that some top-loaders were leaving its test swatches “nearly as dirty as they were before washing.” “For the first time in years,” CR said, “we can’t call any washer a Best Buy.” Contrast that with the magazine’s 1996 report that, “given warm enough water and a good detergent, any washing machine will get clothes clean.” …

[E]ven though these newer types of washers cost about twice as much as conventional top-loaders, overall they didn’t clean as well as the 1996 models.

That’s liberal “progress” in a nutshell: everything gets worse and costs more due to government decree.

The bad situation will continue to deteriorate, thanks to the familiar alliance of power-mad bureaucrats, insatiable enviro-fascists, and corrupt crony capitalists:

On March 10, the Senate Energy Committee held hearings on a bill to make efficiency standards even more stringent. The bill claims to implement “national consensus appliance agreements,” but those in this consensus are the usual suspects: politicians pushing feel-good generalities, bureaucrats seeking expanded powers, environmentalists with little regard for American pocketbooks, and industries that stand to profit from a de facto ban on low-priced appliances.

Could even a liberal be clueless enough to think the polar bears and delta smelt will live richer lives because we have to run our clothes through the wash three times to get them clean? Only a few. Orwell said the point of oligarchical collectivism is a boot stamping on a human face. The only difference in a soft tyranny like ours is that the boot has been replaced by a sanctimonious bureaucrat’s loafer.

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Next our moonbat rulers will impose these.

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After that, they will impose these.

On a tip from Varla. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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