De Facto Mandate
has discovered that it can do business with Big Government
and vice versa the two spooning together like lovesick
newlyweds. Of course, its us the Mundanes who
end up getting screwed.
another example: Back-up cameras for cars.
even necessary to actually mandate such things anymore. The government
was threatening to do that but retreated from actually issuing
the fatwa which had been scheduled to go into effect
beginning with the 2014 model year. (A final ruling
is slated to be issued by NHTSA by December 31.)
the car companies are de facto mandating the things already.
Of the past
half dozen or so new vehicles Ive been issued to test drive
and review, every single one had a back-up camera even though
the proposed mandate (de jure) would not actually go into
effect until 2014. In many cases, the back-up camera is packaged
with GPS, or even with the audio system which in many new
cars includes an LCD display the major cost-adding component
of the back-up camera system (the cameras themselves being pretty
inexpensive). So, if you want GPS or the upgrade audio system
you have to buy the back-up camera, too.
As a practical
matter, any new car thats not a really basic, bare-bones economy
car already has the LCD display so adding the cameras
is an easy thing to do. So, it is done. Why not? It means more money
for all (except the buyer, of course) and the car companies can
bray about their commitment to safety which these
days is what horsepower and sex appeal were to another generation,
long gone. Plus, by being ahead of the curve that is, ahead
of the de jure mandate which will surely come
they will save themselves some hassle.
But what about
saving us their customers some hassle?
There was a
time hard to believe, I realize when businesses actively
worked to please customers as opposed to the government.
Or at least, felt they had to try to please the customer
and saw the government as an impediment.
the rest of the article
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columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2012 Eric Peters
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