Tom Purcell, FloydReports.com
I need to buy a new washing machine. I guess I’m out of luck.
I refer to a fascinating article written by Mark Thornton for Mises Daily, part of the Ludwig von Mises Institute website (mises.org).
Thanks to the government, you see, washing machines aren’t what they used to be — and they’re getting worse.
It wasn’t long ago — prior to World War II — that folks washed their clothes by hand or used clunky hand-cranked machines.
During the postwar consumerization boom, labor-intensive clothes washing was made easy by automatic electric machines.
In 1956, Wisk, the first liquid laundry detergent, offered a vast improvement over the soaps Americans had been using to clean their clothes.
Competition among detergent and washing-machine makers continually improved the quality of both.
To be sure, clothes washing had become so easy and effective, even clumsy oafs such as I could do it with little effort.
But our government is unwittingly reversing our washday advances.
Thornton cites a 1996 Consumer Reports test of 18 washing-machine models. Thirteen were rated excellent, five as very good.
In fact, any decent detergent and any machine would get your clothes nice and clean back then.
In 2007, Consumer Reports tested 21 models. Not one of them was rated excellent. Seven were rated as poor, the rest as mediocre.
What’s worse: Consumer Reports found that in most cases, the clothes were as dirty after washing as they were before!
True, some high-end front-loading machines fared slightly better, but they are much more expensive and, the report found, have issues with mold.
Why are newer models so much less effective than 1996 models? The answer is….