Ace of Spades HQ has the details. What's happening here is that Washington State Democrats have banned phosphates from dish detergents because it's cheaper than upgrading their water treatment plants - excuse me, 'better for the environment' - in Spokane County as a test bed for a banning of the stuff statewide in 2010. Unfortunately, there's a reason why they put phosphates in dish detergent: it softens 'hard' water, which the Pacific Northwest has an abundance of (it can be softened at the water treatment plants, but, again, the Democrats think that banning phosphates is cheaper). Hard water + no phosphates in dish detergents = dishwashers don't work properly - so people are now getting into their cars and driving to Idaho, where people are happy to sell them all the phosphate-enriched dish detergent that they want. And anything else, while they're there. They can go to other parts of the state, too - but that obviously will go away next year. How long it takes before Washington Democrats close the borders to phosphate smugglers is anybody's guess; I'm picking 2011.
So, to recap: a good-intentioned policy position by the Washington Democratic party has instead degraded quality of life in its target area, increased the use of burned hydrocarbons in its target area, cost local retailers business in its target area, and is not being particularly successful in its stated objective. And yet there is no indication that this program is being recognized as a failure: so it's still pretty much on-track to be adopted statewide anyway. And if you actually don't like having food encrusted to your plate, you're expected to pretty much suffer. And if you complain, you'll probably have to listen to an inevitable - and smug - lecture from somebody who thinks that he knows how to organize your life better than you do.
Isn't one-party rule grand, Washington State?
Crossposted to Moe Lane.