Saturday, March 28, 2009
Too busy laughing at the hoops some people are having to jump through to notice the real danger an all-intrusive state can be, The Houston Chronicle places an AP story about detergent smuggling in the "News Bizarre" section of its online edition.
The state of Washington has, on environmentalist grounds, banned dish-washing detergents containing phosphates in Spokane County. It will make the ban statewide next year unless a few husbands decide to stand up for their wives and oppose the move.
This not only violates individual rights, it has led to the following predictable result:
Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.But strike that last sentence. The hard water problem had been solved -- by phosphates -- until the state invaded the kitchens of private citizens and forced them to stop using detergents that actually worked. The real culprit isn't hard water, but the government.
The government is supposed to prevent us from having our lives hindered by thugs who want to order us around, and force us to act contrary to our own best judgment. Instead, it is arbitrarily and sanctimoniously sentencing citizens to easily-avoidable, time-wasting drudgery.
Washing dishes may seem like a small thing, but it is part of an alarming pattern that has included everything from people being threatened with jail for washing cars and having to screw in inferior light bulbs to taking on enormous amounts of undeserved financial burdens.
When I turn on every light in my house this evening at 8:30 p.m., I'll be sure to run a load of dishes and a load of clothes. And I'll make doubly sure I'm using phosphates when I do.
PS: For a discussion of how a proper government might deal with legitimate issues concerning the disposal of chemicals harmful to humans, please refer to the comment thread here.