Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's my government doing in my washing machine?

Here's yet another example of big government overreaching itself. The Wall Street Journal reports:

It might not have been the most stylish, but for decades the top-loading laundry machine was the most affordable and dependable. Now it's ruined - and Americans have politics to thank.

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."

How's that for progress?

The culprit is the federal government's obsession with energy efficiency.

. . .

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." Those were the good old days.

. . .

Now Congress is at it once again. 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. And there are green tax goodies for manufacturing high-efficiency models ...

There's more at the link. Recommended reading.

Would someone please explain to me how it's even remotely Constitutional for the Federal Government to mess around with my washing machine? Furthermore, why are my tax dollars being wasted on such puerile pursuits, when there are so many important matters needing attention - not least of which is our trillion-dollar-plus deficit, caused in part by precisely such wasteful expenditures?



Anonymous said...

I'm glad I've got a 20-yr old top-loading washing machine. Had to replace the motor in it last year, but that was cheap compared to buying a new, cheaply-made, machine! That old machine should last indefinitely--they were once made to last. And anything that can wear out can be replaced for far less than a new machine's price.


raven said...

Just went through this, ended up replacing a old washer with the cheapest one I could find- bells and whistles have replaced solid engineering.
OH- and 20 years of relentless activist attacks on my way of life have made me a foe- I HATE "environmentalists" -and I used to be one. Those SOB's have pushed the law of diminishing returns to the point where it is so counter productive as to be laughable- ask any repairman-yeah, the washer may save ten cents in electricity over a year- but it has to be replaced in four years, instead of 15 years- what sort of energy does that burn?
They are a bunch of stupid, arrogant dogooders who barely have the smarts to twist a screwdriver , and the feckless bastards are driving our society backwards at full throttle, in pursuit of an impossible perfect dream, while a peanut gallery of Marxists smugly look on and applaud as we dig our graves with recyclable shovels.
All those scum have done is drive every last manufacturing job in the USA to China, where the commies can use slave labor and dump the toxic waste direct into the rivers. GOOD JOB, you a** holes! great results!! All you have done is relocate pollution to another country where the are NO CONTROLS WHATSOEVER, deprive Americans of jobs, cripple our nation economically and add billions to the war budget of our mortal enemies.

Dad29 said...

BTW, the Gummint has damn near eviscerated refrigerators, too.

Anonymous said...

As long as I can find a used top loader if mine dies.I will not buy one of these new POS machines.My wifes Aunt has one that is always molded and smelling bad.

perlhaqr said...

I don't even understand how you bugger up the design of a washing machine.

Are they made to not agitate as well? I mean, that's really all there is to it. You put in water and detergent, and swish it around, and then drain it out, right?

Boyd K said...

I have a whirlpool duet HE setup that, while not the most expensive, certainly cost enough to make anyone in my parents generation choke.
I have a thick cotton bathmat from costco. The HE washer won't spin it. Doesn't matter if there are a few things in with it, or if it's alone. The washer runs up enough to make it seem like it's going to spin then stops. And repeats that 5 or 6 times.
Old machine works fine (until I rent out the house with that machine in it...). It's just a -bath-mat-...