Thus spake the government.

Does government care about your dirty laundry?

(Excerpt from The Mises Institute article "Why Everything Is Dirtier" by Jeffrey A. Tucker 05/05/2011)

"If you read between the lines in the almost-candid moments of government statements, you can see what is going on here. In 2009, Clive Davies, a product engineer with the EPA, granted an interview with the New York Times that focused on home products. You might wonder what a product engineer is doing working for the government rather than the private sector. This interview shows why. Every one of the questions he is asked concerned the effect of home products on the environment. Not even one actually probed the essential question of whether the products actually work.

Mr. Davies's job is to decide whether to affix a supposedly valued designation to products: Designed for the Environment. It's pretty clear that anything that actually cleans, washes, or scrubs probably can't earn the designation. An empty box that claims to be detergent stands a better chance of gaining the government seal of approval than a detergent that actually works.

Then we get to the end of the interview, in which he is actually candid about the goal: the elimination of detergents (meaning the elimination of clean). Davies concedes that this would be the best possible result. And what does he recommend instead? Vinegar and "elbow grease" — the old-fashioned phrase for "scrub harder."

Thus spake the government. That's the future as these bureaucrats see it. It's a future of elbow grease, meaning manual labor unassisted by any products of free enterprise like machines and detergents that work.

 It's a future in which our clothes are dirty, we have no soap that works to wash our bodies, our dishes are full of gritty film, our floors are grungy, our windows are smudgy, everything more or less stinks like vinegar, our toilets don't work, our trash is hurled in a pile out back, and vast amounts of our time are spent scrubbing things instead of reading, singing, writing, or conversing. It is a future just like the long-ago past, complete with wash tubs, wash boards, and outhouses — along with their attendant dirt, disease, and deprivation.

"It is a future just like the long-ago past, complete with wash tubs, wash boards, and outhouses, along with their attendant dirt, disease, and deprivation."
My own enlightenment on this issue came within the last year. Like millions of others, I had forgotten what a clean dish looked like. Dish-washing soaps, with no big announcement, eliminated phosphate from their formulas under pressure from the EPA and laws from state governments that banned them. The idea was to help the fish in their oxygen competition with algae (even though the household contribution to algae creation is negligible, and the scientific evidence on the issue of algae's effect on fish runs in all directions)."