2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #168
Recently the California Energy Commission announced that as of the year 2020 all houses built in California must include rooftop solar panels to generate electricity. Now I know that most people favor conservation and the environment, but this mandate has three big problems. In the first place, how can non-elected bureaucrats have the authority to dictate such an order? If at all, this should be done by elected legislators. Secondly, this will add somewhere between $10,000 and $30,000 to the cost of each house – which will violently exacerbate our housing shortage. Thirdly, if the overall goal is to reduce mankind’s pollution of the environment, we must take into account that most solar panels are now being manufactured in China with the use of coal-fired electric plants. So that certainly works against the overall conservation efforts. What group supports this dictatorial measure? Well, the solar panel industry certainly likes it and, you can be sure, lobbied hard for this result. (Of course, this only underscores the ancient truth that if you want to rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on the help of Paul.)
But, fundamentally, how can we in a Republic have the government dictating which consumer products we must purchase? Not only does this not make sense from a Liberty standpoint, it also is bankrupt from an economic one. With the current state of solar panel technology, it will take about 20 years for a typical homeowner financially to break even. Of course over time, as the technology improves – which it certainly will – many homeowners will logically choose to purchase the solar panels on their own. But artificially requiring them to do so now with today’s technology will not only result in them being punished economically, it will also logically result in fewer more efficient solar panels being used in the future. Once again, Liberty and the Free Market System provide a far better approach. So we must stop this and other bureaucratic mandates. They simply don’t work, either from a theoretical or a practical sense!
Quote of the Week: “The sexiest thing I ever saw was a blank paper and a pencil.” Frank Lloyd Wright
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President