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Walter Williams on Government Control Over Thermostatsl

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My colleague Walter Williams shares his spot-on insights [2] about the proposal in California to give a government agency the power and authority to remotely control thermostats in private buildings.  Here are some paragraphs from Walter’s column:

Some people might agree with this level of government control over
their lives, but if these amendments become law, you can safely bet
other intrusive energy-saving proposals are waiting in the wing.

For
now, California’s energy Nazis are simply testing how much
intrusiveness Californians will peaceably accept. I can easily imagine
California’s Energy Commission requiring remotely controlled main
circuit-breaker boxes that control all the electricity coming into your
house. That would enable the energy czar to better manage your use.

Say
you’re preparing a big dinner. The energy czar might decide you don’t
need so much heat in the rest of the house. Or, preparing a big dinner
might mean the energy czar would turn off the energy to your washing
machine and dryer while the electric stove is on.

There’s no end to what the energy czar could do, particularly if he
enlists the aid of California’s Department of Health Services. Getting
six to eight hours sleep each night is healthy; good health lowers
health costs. So why not make it possible for the energy czar to turn
the lights off at a certain hour?California’s Department of
Education knows children should do their homework after school rather
than sit playing videogames or watching television. The energy czar
could improve education outcomes simply by turning off the television,
or at least turning off all noneducational programs.Of
course, there could be a generous provision whereby if an adult is
present, he could use a password to operate the television.You
say, "Williams, you must be mad. All that would never happen." That’s
the same charge one might have made back in the ’60s, when the
anti-tobacco movement started, if someone predicted that the day would
come when some cities, such as Calabasas, Calif., would outlaw smoking
on public streets.

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