Minister of Vacuum cleaners
Its spooky when you create an example of the insanity of central planning by selecting a product at random and then explain how central planning would fail in managing supply of said product.
The real problem with central planning (a communist / Marxist economic paradigm) is that the real world is simply far to complex to model for a handful of bureaucrats. I used the example of vacuum cleaners and explained the insanity that ultimately you would need a minister for each product, of course each minister would need a salary and then attempt to manage production and supply of vacuum cleaners. Ultimately this is a fascist corporate monopoly and completely impossible to do.
After giving this example to a European tourist she mentioned that the European Union was about to ban the sale or importation of high powered vacuum cleaners.
I laughed hard.
This insane knee jerk reaction really made me laugh. I was imagining people hoarding vacuum cleaners soviet style. Then it actually happened.
So the next trip of why Marxism fails is this, why are there so many different types of vacuum cleaners? Because people have different needs.
You might find your eye drawn to the red out lined words “Pets 2000W”, some people have pets and need more power to remove animal hair form the floor.
So how is the minister of vacuum cleaners going to know what kind of vacuum cleaner the people want? Why would he care? Where is the additional motivation for the minister to innovate or increase the efficiency of production.
After you start asking yourself these questions, you will realize the impossibility of central planning.
So why the sudden hatred of high power vacuum cleaners?
Supposedly it is an energy efficiency measure. Strangely these bureaucrats failed to notice an important trend (because of course they have no incentive to care at all). Central planners refuse to think of people as individuals and would rather people fit tot he economic paradigm rather than the economic paradigm needing to fit the nature of people as individuals.
The important trend:
The decoupling of electric power consumption with GDP. These days it seem we are either using as much power as we could possibly desire, and/or able to more with the same energy consumption.
If you consider how much of the GDP is generated by computers (algo trading, software and data processing industry) and how much more efficient they have become in terms of teraflops per MW of the last few decades this chart make some sense.
Are you going to feel less or more comfortable at 23C than at 22C, there is even a limit to how fussy people want to be a about heating and cooling along with a greater focus on energy efficiency. It would seem the west has lost its appetite for electricity consumption.
So is it really going to make any sense to vacuum for twice as long with a 1000W vacuum cleaner, than once with a 200W vacuum cleaner? No and I would bet there is a sweet spot where energy is reduced and cleaning is maximized. So any way would you vacuum all day just for the sake of it,?well no. We are talking about a device that get used infrequently and for short periods of time.
I guess the minister of vacuum cleaners has to justify the high office he/she wants to hold.
I should admit now that I am a capitalist pig with two vacuum cleaners each of 1000W.
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