My blog is about technology, robotics and the future. One very important piece in today’s society is the government of democratic states around the world. They are the policy makers that dictate a lot of regulations, which has and can shift the directions and progress of technological advances.
Recently, the State of California in USA have started to discuss governmental regulations on televisions, and how they should become more energy-efficient than they are today.
– Why do they want more regulation? Have we not realized already that regulations in many ways are the root cause for problems?
There are always up- and downsides on regulations, they might be positive for a group of citizens and have negative impact on others.
Regulation has been implemented more widely and en-compassing than ever before in human history, and the development is frightening.
Let me give an concrete example: The government (California) wants to regulate how much a television can use of electricity. In EU they regulate what type of light-bulbs we are allowed to buy. Do we really want our government to dictate what consumer’s goods we are allowed to buy and use? Have we really come this far (yes, we have, they already regulate virtually everything in our lives)?
This is going to fail
Here is a future scenario I predict has a high probability of becoming true: Panasonic and other television manufactures will fail to meet the energy efficiency demands set by the State of California. Television manufactures will be required by law to improve their practices. Television manufactures will become bankrupt and approach the government for bailouts and support packages. Nobody will complain about it, because of two reasons: They were forced (by the state) to produce and sell products with losses and “hey, it saves the environment”. If anyone thinks this isn’t going to happen, please elaborate and please provide historical examples and evidence that it won’t happen.
Here is a quick history of market economics: When flat-screen TVs first came to the market, they were ridiculously expensive. Only the rich and fortunate could afford one. I remember back when 42” plasma TVs costs more than $25.000. Biggest TVs have always had a cost even more than that.
Technological advanced and innovations costs money, it’s expensive and it’s high risk gambling. This is why it’s important that someone in the society have resources available to promote and finance research and development. If the government takes all the money from citizens and corporations, they have an obligation to invest a lot more into research and development that they do today. Actually, government doesn’t do development – they do public services.
So how does market economics work? The more fortunate spend and invest their capital in the latest products, technologies, services and corporations. This makes it possible to be innovative and try new products and services in a free market.
As the production rate and sales increases and new technology comes improving the production processes and methods – the cost of production comes down dramatically and the effect is cheap products that are available to a much wider range of consumers. It’s incredible what a mid-range family in any western country can afford today compared to only 100 or even 50 years ago.
If we’d have government control on televisions from the first time they came into market, we’d probably all have black-white televisions and CRT-technology. No flat screen LCD, LED or Plasma.
Few people want to realize the fact that in the last 100 years, it’s the poorest people that have the highest percentage of increase in economic income. Too many people ignore this fact and only look at the actual numbers: If someone earns $10.000 and gets an increase of 10%, he will still have a lower increase in total amount of money than someone who earns $100.000 and have a 5% increase. Is it not enough that most people have great opportunities in their lives? Do we really want everyone to earn and own the same amount of money and value – even if someone works a lot harder than others?
Governments should stop doing everything they can to make the rich people poor and instead focus on making the poor people rich. Who do you think are better at spending (saving) money, the government or yourself? Do you want the government to buy you clothes, apartments, televisions, your broadband and computers? Let people keep their money, that way they will be used sensible and not wasted “on the next regulation for the great ‘common good’.”
As I mentioned earlier, this is just one example of thousands that can be made about government control through regulations of everything in the citizens’ lives. The government (in recent times) has never thought that the individual human have a capability of rational thinking on their own, they think we need to be controlled from our own irrational greed and ego. I believe in the ability for every individual to have rational thoughts and best interests in the local communities all around the world.
Take our tax and leave us alone
The government doesn’t think you consider the money you spend on energy to run your household, therefore they want to regulate it. They want us to stop thinking about how much energy we spend, instead they will do it for us.
It’s time to say stop and put the foot down – we need to demand the control back to every individual and reduce governmental micromanagement of the society.
Last note: I’m not advocating against a government that helps the poorest of the poor and provides life support for those in need. My issue is, the reasoning for the government to micromanage everyone. Is it not enough that they take most of our money in taxes, should they also dictate how we use the money we have left after taxes?
(Photo by brandon king, licensed under Creative Commons)