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I'm tired of mandating technical progress via decrees

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ManasK.RayChaudhuri
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re: I'm tired of mandating technical progress via decrees
ManasK.RayChaudhuri   8/14/2011 4:57:08 AM
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Agree with you.It has happened in India that a Prime Minister had run away with the laurels of a fantastic transformation of Communications fron a brilliant technocrat.

EREBUS0
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re: I'm tired of mandating technical progress via decrees
EREBUS0   8/13/2011 9:53:15 PM
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Governments often forget that they exist to SERVE the people, not RULE over them. Setting government standards is all for political show. Few of the mandates in the last half century has done anything but change which pockets the money goes into. This one is no different. Actually solving the real problem would remove the money being used to sway the government officials one way or the other. Why solve a problem if you can get both sides to line your pockets? QED

seaEE
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re: I'm tired of mandating technical progress via decrees
seaEE   8/13/2011 5:19:08 AM
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A product should sell itself based on its own merit, not on a government mandate. There is an obvious incentive for LED manufacturers to design a product that will replace incandescent lightbulbs. At some point, LED technology and integration will reach a point where it can compete with incandescent bulbs based on its own performance and price. This is when the switch should be made, not prematurely by government mandate. I always remember a conversation I had with a buyer once. The buyer had impressed me for quite awhile with his knowledge of technical terms on various components, and I was actually beginning to think he knew quite a bit about engineering, when one day he was trying to procure some 1A fuses, and he asked me, if we couldn't just some easily obtainable 5A fuses because after all they were a better part. This comment brought me back to reality quickly. The government can talk technical, but I believe the actual technical knowledge can often be fairly superficial.

zeeglen
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re: I'm tired of mandating technical progress via decrees
zeeglen   8/12/2011 9:47:45 PM
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Remember the 1.6 GPS (gallons per flush) political mandate in the USA? Easy enough to limit the H2O usage to 1.6 gallons, the resulting problem was the "double flush per poop", which completely negated the politically intended water conservation. On the bright side, the manufacturers of commodes did eventually make efficiency improvements, so all was not lost. The point is that mandating smacks of big boss attitude ("all will pay who disagree with me!"); better to suggest and let those who actually do the design improvement to work at their own level of progress.

ssunda
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re: I'm tired of mandating technical progress via decrees
ssunda   8/12/2011 8:16:07 PM
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I am not sure how government intervention into technology innovation does not spawn more social fat in terms of influence peddlers, venture cpaitalists who have "connections" with former Prime Ministers and the like. Yet again, undernourished beaureaucrats jealous of commercial successes would like a piece of the pie for no sweat.

DutchUncle
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re: I'm tired of mandating technical progress via decrees
DutchUncle   8/12/2011 7:04:21 PM
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Goals are necessary. Mandates, however, lead to such "improvements" as replacing all of the 75-watt bulbs by 65-watt, which *do* use 10% less energy but DON'T give the light expected when my house was designed and the fixtures were installed. The mandate only said 10% savings, so that's what the light bulb companies gave us - not the same amount of light for 10% savings. I just hope they don't try to achieve the new MPG ratings by making the cars out of tissue paper.

blommep
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re: I'm tired of mandating technical progress via decrees
blommep   8/12/2011 11:47:06 AM
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Although I would agree with you that it is not possible to achieve major scientific or technological breakthrougs simply by mandating it, I do not understand clearly the relevance of this point to the fuel efficiency standards: I am driving a more than 10 year old car (Golf TDI) with rated fuel efficiency of 48mpg (not sure whether the US number is the same but it is 4.9l/100km european mixed cycle that I converted to mpg) and afaik the 2011 model is already above 60mpg. Although a Golf is not a very big car (but not the most aerodynamic either), this still indicates that the technology required to get to 54mpg is realistic and not very far-fetched, and expecting bigger cars to achieve this efficiently 14 years from now does not sound like an unfeasible research challenge, but rather a relatively minor improvement in technology that should be achievable if (and only if) the car makers are forced to take fuel efficiency into account during vehicle and engine design...

Bert22306
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CEO
re: I'm tired of mandating technical progress via decrees
Bert22306   8/11/2011 9:23:50 PM
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I think these mandates always result from the feeling that open market forces aren't enough to achieve the desired outcome. There is the underlying belief that the true cost of, in this case, driving automobiles, is way higher than the price of gasoline would suggest. In other words, that we the people are actually paying a big unseen cost. I don't find this totally off base. E.g., the fact that we are embroiled is so many Middle East conflicts can be attributed directly to our thrist for oil. So we are paying a huge price that's not reflected at the pump. Having totally oblivious politicians setting specific goals is galling. But then again, having people happily buying 6000 lb monstrosities with huge, blunt frontal area, just to "prove" their manhood in the case of men, or hide their timid nature in the case of women, is at least as galling. What's more galling of the two? That's a tough one. I dunno.

Code Monkey
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re: I'm tired of mandating technical progress via decrees
Code Monkey   8/11/2011 9:04:25 PM
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Mandating efficiency standards is the only way to raise them. See today's "Quality Sucks" article. Most consumers go for the bottom line, social costs of inefficiency be damned.

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