As the elections approach, I am happy to see a growing awareness of government intervention in our day-to-day lives, although whatever they do has less effect on me at my age. About fifteen years ago, in those simpler times, I had a wake-up call.
I had just proudly replaced our kitchen faucet with an expensive, top-of-the-line model from a major manufacturer, but within days, my wife complained that the water was coming out much more slowly than from the old one. It took a long wait to fill a bucket for cleaning and was even noticeable for just cooking purposes. I timed how long it took to fill a bowl and compared it with the bathroom faucet. She was right—the new faucet took almost twice as long.
Maybe the faucets came with different sized cartridges, so I called the company, Price-Pfister, from the number on the installation instructions. Immediately, I was connected with a man who knew exactly what I was talking about.
The federal government, he told me, had passed a law that required a lower flow in all new faucets, but I could easily fix it. Take out the cartridge and I would see at the bottom of the hole a white plastic restrictor that looked like a washer. Just pluck that out and the faucet would be fine. Most plumbers, he told me, routinely remove it whenever they install a new faucet to avoid such complaints.
His instructions worked, the faucet was much better, and only days later did I realize the immensity of the imposition. My own elected government decided we were wasting water because we were too stupid to adjust the flow, so they would do it for us. Our time was worth nothing. Besides, they allowed the restrictor to be easily removed, so only the really stupid would be affected. Thanks, elected officials.
This was the same administration who decreed the V-chip limiting programming for children be built into every new TV set. But I don’t have any children in the house anymore, and even if I did, I would be aware of what they were watching and deal with any problems myself. Too bad. I had to pay for the chip anyway. To this day, every new TV still has this chip, even with a far greater threat from the Internet, and I doubt not one in 10,000 gets used. Most people are not even aware that it is still there. We just pay for it.
Now I need to go to the hardware store to stock up on incandescent bulbs. Love you, Government!