20.4.17

ALLOCATIVE EFFICIENCY IS NOT IMPLIED BY PRODUCTIVE EFFICIENCY.

Cases in point: those water-saving toilets and showers. Your Shower Is Lame, Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Work, and Your Clothes are Dirty.
The water pressure in our homes and apartments has been gradually getting worse for two decades, thanks to EPA mandates on state and local governments. This has meant that even with a good showerhead, the shower is not as good as it might be. It also means that less water is running through our pipes, causing lines to clog and homes to stink just slightly like the sewer. This problem is much more difficult to fix, especially because plumbers are forbidden by law from hacking your water pressure.

The combination of poor pressure and lukewarm temperatures profoundly affects how well your dishwasher and washing machine work.

As for the heat of the water, the obsession over “safety” has led to regulations that the top temperature is preset on most water heaters, at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is only slightly hotter than the ideal temperature for growing yeast. Most are shipped at 110 degrees in order to stay safe with regulators. This is not going to get anything really clean; just the opposite. Water temperatures need to be 140 degrees to clean things.
Some of the work-arounds are straightforward: take longer showers, flush the toilet two or three times, use mechanics' cleaning supplies (sparingly) in the laundry.  But maybe the Wise Experts ought pay more attention to the unintended consequences, and the propensity of people to develop work-arounds.
So let’s put it all together: lukewarm water, low water pressure, low-energy appliances, water-conserving technologies, flow stoppers in showers, low-flow toilets, plus no phosphates in detergent. You have here a perfect recipe for a non-working home and a more miserable life, all courtesy of government regulations. Some you can fix if you are creative; others hopelessly ruin many once-great features of American homelife.

Donald Trump spoke the truth but he only knows a fraction of it. One of the great achievements of modern technology was to bring the best appliances and the conveniences they offer into every home. Government regulations have systematically taken all that away from us, seriously diminishing the quality of our lives.

If the public knew the whole truth about this, the anti-government feeling alive in the land would intensify beyond anything we’ve ever known. In the meantime, don’t blame the manufacturers. They are the victims, along with the rest of the public. We are all trying to live better lives but the government won’t allow that to happen.
Perhaps. But the appearance of Doing Something is more important to the People Active in Politics than whether or not what they sell as For Our Own Good actually Does Any Good.

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