The bureaucrats are moving quickly. First it's smoking, now it’s TVs. The American tells of a proposal by the California Energy Commission (CER) to regulate big screen TVs – yes, I said big screen TVs.
According to CER, big screen TVs require more energy and their growing popularity is crimping the state’s energy conservation efforts. Trying to capitalize on growing concerns over energy consumption and fears about global warming, CEC recently floated a proposal to give California the authority to set new energy efficiency standards on TVs. Obviously on the defensive, CER sought to clarify itself in an FAQ section on the CER web site and said it is not taking away anyone’s TV. Orwell would enjoy this doublespeak:
Is California considering banning plasma, large screen, or HD televisions?
No, the state is not banning any type of TV. Consumers have the freedom to choose any type and size of television that meets the efficiency standard.
Not banning large screen televisions? It’s like me taking my son to the car lot and telling him he can have any car on the lot, as long as it is a red, four-door six-cylinder Ford sedan and meets my approval. Go ahead, pick anyone you want. Is there a problem?
Max Schultz, the article’s author gets right to the heart of the matter when he says:
To sugar coat the big screen poison pill, proponents claim the measure will save consumers anywhere from $18 to $30 per year. A spokesman for the California Energy Commission was quoted saying, “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to save money.” That’s true although there is no indication these small supposed savings matter to consumers when it comes to deciding what television to buy. Brisk sales of big screen TVs show that consumers are happy to pay the marginal increases in electricity prices in exchange for the benefits, convenience, and pleasure derived froma a bigger television.
The happiness side of the equation is of little interest to regulators. So why stop at the 40 inch threshold? Wouldn’t TVs with a maximum 20 inch screen save consumers even more money? Better yet, think of the savings in terms of electricity and money that could be gained by not permitting consumers to watch TV at all.
Now you know in party why liberals are always miserable. Who would have ever thought the path to progress would be such a happy one.