Uncle Nanny: Law of Unintended Consequences
Uncle Nanny is a composite of thousands of know-it-all, post-flower-children government bureaucrats who issue water- and energy-wasting mandates irrespective of the Law of Unintended Consequences (LOUC), and then ride off on their Unicorns into a pixie-dusted Utopia.
Before Uncle Nanny, toilets used 3.0 gallons of water-per-flush. Now toilets are limited to 1.6 gallons-per-flush. Often, one flush isn’t enough. Two flushes total 3.2 gallons for a net water loss of .2 gallons. The San Francisco Chronicle reports: “Skimping on toilet water has resulted in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes, said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission. That has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months. The city has already spent $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in part to combat the odor problem. Now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply of highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite—better known as bleach—to act as an odor eater and to disinfect the city’s treated water before it’s dumped into the bay...” LOUC!
Uncle Nanny ordered dishwasher detergent makers to eliminate the phosphates that keep minerals from clinging to dishes. Trying to get dishes clean, some people bought new dishwashers, only to realize they still had a problem
For years, we never had to pre-rinse our dishes. But post Uncle Nanny, even pre-rinsing in warm water didn’t help. Doubling the detergent didn’t help. Solution: Now, we heat water to pre-rinse the dishes. We use twice the detergent. We add a cup of vinegar to each load plus some kind of special acid capsule. We can only run a half-load of dishes at a time. Ergo: To get clean dishes, we use twice the energy and even more chemicals. LOUC!
Uncle Nanny dictated energy-efficient laundry machines and refrigerators: “Consumer Reports” found that not only did consumers have to pay a higher sticker price for the machines, but they also had to wash their clothes twice because of the reduced performance—using more energy in the process. Furthermore, “Consumer Reports” called the Department of Energy (DOE) out for overstating the energy savings from energy-efficient refrigerators. When “Consumer Reports” conducted its own energy use test, which they claim is much more realistic than the DOE; they found much higher energy use.” LOUC!
Uncle Nanny mandated higher crock pot temperatures: We had a 75 watt-per-hour crock pot you set in the morning, returned at day’s end, and enjoyed “fall-off-the-bone-tender” roasts. Unfortunately, for easier clean-up, we bought an “improved” crock pot with removable insert. But the “improved” model, instead of braising, boiled the roasts into brown shoe leather. We are back to the much higher energy-consuming conventional oven. LOUC!
Note: Cheaper cuts of meat did very well in the old crock pots. Now, lower income groups are, yet again, the victims of Uncle Nanny.
The New York Times says owners of the $39,828 Chevy Volt only have to drive their Volts for 26.6 years before they break even on their fuel costs. We taxpayers subsidize each Volt to the tune $256,824. LOUC!
Uncle Nanny’s zany efforts cause some people to flout the law which, of course, is corrosive to the Rule-of-Law in a free society. Except for phosphates, there are illegal ways (like removing water-flow restrictors), to “fix” almost all the Uncle Nanny-created problems. But, as one revered neighbor suggests: “The day may come when we will see homemakers arrested on our southern border for dealing with illegal phosphate cartels.” LOUC!
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2012. William Hamilton.
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