Why is the government mandating
Energy-efficiency mandates for other consumer goods, such as clothes dryers and room air conditioners, were evaluated similarly: by the agencies’ own estimates, the costs of these regulations outweighed the environmental benefits they achieved. In order to justify these mandates, the agencies assert that consumers and businesses are irrational when buying energy-intensive goods and thus receive massive benefits if the government restricts their choices.
Public individuals or organizations can also be required to fulfill public mandates. Thomas Jefferson himself was a great proponent–particularly of the smallpox vaccination, which he received shortly after its development in 1796.Those parents have opted out of the medical practice: their children have not received the required tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine, commonly known as TDa P.They also ignore the key policy implication of behavioral economics, which is that it is more effective to address poor decision-making through soft regulatory “nudges” such as providing clearer information to consumers, rather than going straight to using costly mandates that restrict choice.Given the political unpopularity of the more economically sound approach of levying a tax on pollution, we are opting for policies that are advertised as environmental protection but are justified by weak claims of consumer protection.According to North Carolina state law, children must have up-to-date vaccinations or face suspension.
The decision to vaccinate doesn’t merely affect the child in question, but can also affect a family’s community by threatening the health of other children. Some people, such as Phil Plait, argue that the community impact is so great, the government is right to mandate vaccination.
Our recent backgrounder, “The Energy Efficiency Free Market Act: A Step Toward Real Energy Efficiency,” goes into more detail. Many of the appliances are also regulated by the federal government, from the oven and refrigerator, down to the standby light on the microwave. TVs, showers, air conditioners and heaters, washers and dryers, backyard swimming pools, toilets—these are just some of the other things regulated by the federal government. In fact, it’s an important factor in many Americans’ purchasing decisions.
But there are a number of reasons why the federal government should not be mandating it: But if the government didn’t set mandates, wouldn’t companies stop producing energy-efficient products?
Through the DOE, the federal government is busying itself regulating how much energy the appliances Americans buy are allowed to use.
At issue isn’t health or safety, or even unfair business practices.
Refrigerators, which the DOE points to as a success story, are just one example of why there’s no reason to worry: The Standards Program has driven remarkable gains in the energy efficiency of household appliances and equipment, resulting in large energy bill savings.