Have you noticed that modern “efficient” washing machines sometimes really stink — and that clothes emerging from them also may? Or have you wondered why new washers’ electronic displays are reminiscent of the space shuttle or why they can have wash cycles approximating low-Earth-orbit space-flight length? Uncle Sam’s regulations, which now touch virtually every aspect of our lives, are the reason.
Ronald Reagan once said that the nine scariest words in the English language are, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” The feds have long had their claws in appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, and air conditioners (and even in toilets). Unfortunately, Reagan himself helped author the washing machine “help,” signing into law The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987, which established “energy and water efficiency” standards for washers and dryers. More regulations would follow in, for example, 1994, 2004, 2007, and 2018.
The result is that a simple, effective appliance has become more expensive and, many say, less effective. One of these individuals, American Thinker’s Robert Arvay, spoke of his experiences after he and his wife replaced their old noisy washing machine with a modern marvel. With his old washer, you merely “adjusted three knobs for temperature, size, and fabric (heavy, delicate, or medium) and that was about it,” Arvay wrote. “Push start, and come back to a clean load of laundry when the spin cycle ends.” He continued:
The new, high-tech version was a silent wonder of modern technology, but the technology did nothing for the human user. It was designed to conserve water and energy, presumably to save the planet. It had sensors, to measure the load, and electronics to calibrate how much water and power to use.
All that would have been commendable but for two other factors. First, the sensing features were maddeningly slow. They took so long that I would be on the verge of thinking the machine was never going to start. It did this before and after each procedure (wash, rinse, spin) as well, stopping for no apparent reason between each, before finally, at long last, starting up again. Second, the lid would lock. It would lock me, the owner, out of my own washing machine that I had paid for. It was for my own protection, of course. I am too stupid to avoid sticking my head into an agitating or spinning tub. I don’t know how I ever survived the death trap of my old machine for so many years.
Arvay elaborates further on how the modern technology takes control, as if the machine says, “My body, my choice!” But I have my own experiences.
Read the rest here.
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.