It's Not Really a Climate Thing: It's about Control

Fascism, Communism, Nazism -- all gifts to the world from Europe. Now it's nonsensical worries about climate change resulting in deliberately built-in inefficiencies in everything from household appliances to transportation methods.

Compared to the U.S., Europe’s love of control-down economics leaves it in the dust:

“The US GDP is five times that of Germany, seven times that of France and UK, 10 times of that of Italy, and 14 times of that of Spain in 2018.” And when the UK leaves the EU as I predict it will, the gap will be much larger.

Still, the control freaks of the left are determined to copy the European model and hamstring us in ways that make us easier to control.

I’ve spent a great deal more time overseas than juniors on their semester abroad in Avignon have, and I can tell you that everything from working mothers to GDP are beset by control economies. It takes forever to do the laundry in Europe. The machines may save energy and water but it leaves housewives having to spend much, much longer to get the family laundry done. So much time it takes to accomplish normal household chores that full-time working mothers are rarer there than here. 

When comparing employment statistics between the United States and the EU, we find that:

  • Women are more likely to be managers in the United States than in the EU.
  • Labor force participation for women is lower in the EU than in the United States.
  • Part-time employment among women is greater in the EU than in the United States.

The gender wage gap is larger in the EU than in the United States.[snip]  In EU countries, women are also more likely to hold part-time jobs than in the United States. This suggests that EU policies have not helped women remain in full-time positions and advance their careers, opting instead to pursue jobs with fewer hours and more flexibility.

In recent years, motivated by bugaboo claims -- first about depleting supplies of energy and then about climate change (“the social cost of carbon”) -- the Department of Energy regulated home appliance efficiency. The net result was reduced efficiency and product performance.

Do homeowners really want to wait two hours (twice what it once took) to get these dishes done? This administration thinks not.

Like many other Obama-era DOE standards, the marginal energy and water savings were likely not worth the added cost to consumers, but what really set the dishwasher standard apart was its impact on product performance. It added significantly to the time it takes to do a load, which at more than two hours was about twice what it took before federal regulators got involved.

However, the underlying statute, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, contains provisions protecting consumers from efficiency standards that reduce product features and performance, so on March 21st, 2018 the Competitive Enterprise Institute petitioned the agency to set a new standard. DOE granted the petition last week and has formally begun a rulemaking to determine whether a new efficiency rule is warranted that would permit dishwashers that can do the job in an hour.

DOE should be applauded for righting this regulatory wrong. But even better than fixing bad regulations is preventing them from happening in the first place, and towards that end DOE is considering a number of useful process reforms that would discourage anti-consumer efficiency standards in the future. The agency should also consider excluding the social cost of carbon from appliance rulemakings so that this program can’t again prioritize climate activism over consumers.

After undoing the ridiculous appliance standards, I’d hope the administration takes a look at the policies trying to force us out of cars by reducing, instead of increasing, traffic lanes for cars -- providing reserved bike lanes already severely choke traffic as population grows. Regardless of how many people bike around Amsterdam to the delight of visiting college juniors from America, it doesn’t fit most of the U.S. or its  people.

MOTUS looks at Portland for an example but it’s become ubiquitous.

Let me posit this hypothesis, liberalism is the new secular Puritanism. Instead of believing in a just and almighty God they believe in government. Instead of basing their beliefs and religion on the Bible they base it on their own – ever-expanding -- belief system: the principles of government. The Puritan ideal of living a life of pious, consecrated actions translates for the new Puritans to insisting that YOU live a pious life, consecrated to THEIR principles. Because you were born too stupid to determine what’s best for you. Hence the need for social engineering; here’s an example of that at its finest:

Portland to create ‘equitable mobility’ task force to investigate how to charge people to use local roads.

Portland City Council approved a plan Wednesday to study short-and-long-term strategies to charge people to use city streets, an effort intended to reduce congestion and curb carbon emissions as the region expects as many as 500,000 new residents by 2040.

The city will create a Pricing for Equitable Mobility task force to study and recommend potential road user fees -- such as cordons, where drivers are charged to use certain streets in the city center or potentially more robust freeway tolls in the area… 

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the transportation bureau, said the city must take bold steps to try and get people out of their cars. “We are going the wrong direction on transportation,” she said.

In other words, they are going to pursue (taxpayer-funded) ways to manipulate you to do what we want you to do, which is “get out of your cars.” No matter how they attempt to package and sell it, it’s always about control. And it’s always them, controlling you. 

Contrary to the claims of those who want to get us out of our cars and into public transportation, cars make increased productivity, less dense population, housing, and work opportunities possible. People are not, as they often are in European urban centers, confined to living close to work on bus and metro lines or in biking distance, shopping in the same corridors, and schooling their children in the same paths. It makes them easier to control and limits their choices. Near me, it is not unusual for people to work in Virginia, drop their kids off at school and after-school activities in D.C., and shop and live in Maryland.  Using public transportation or bikes would make this quite impossible in any reasonable amount of time.

It’s of a piece with the Left’s wish to control dialogue through Facebook and Twitter, YouTube, and such, and through the censoring of contrary opinion by deeming it not “politically correct.”  But there, too, I see a ray of rising anti-totalitarianism .We do not like this nonsense.

Among the general population, a full 80 percent believe that “political correctness is a problem in our country.” Even young people are uncomfortable with it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24. On this particular issue, the woke are in a clear minority across all ages.

Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness -- and it turns out race isn’t, either.

Whites are ever so slightly less likely than average to believe that political correctness is a problem in the country: 79 percent of them share this sentiment. Instead, it is Asians (82 percent), Hispanics (87 percent), and American Indians (88 percent) who are most likely to oppose political correctness. [snip]

The one part of the standard narrative that the data partially affirm is that African Americans are most likely to support political correctness. But the difference between them and other groups is much smaller than generally supposed: Three quarters of African Americans oppose political correctness. This means that they are only four percentage points less likely than whites, and only five percentage points less likely than the average, to believe that political correctness is a problem.

It’s always about control and the left thinks they should control all the levers. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ chief of staff admitted it this week, telling a crowd: “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all. Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

I can’t imagine American voters opting to put idiots like this in charge. Neither does Tom Maguire

I remain shocked (in a totally non-shocked way) that Dem "strategists" seem to be seeking a progressive Presidential candidate whose coattails should let them sweep Congressional districts in Brooklyn, Manhattan, San Francisco and a few other urban enclaves while losing most of the country.

Do they understand "swing districts"? Do they understand that winning Brooklyn with 85% of the vote doesn't send more people to Congress than winning with a mere 75%?

I beg you: Don’t let them know this.

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