Where’s the FTC When You Need Them?

Hey kids! Let’s build a perpetual motion machine in the back yard!

No, Andy Hardy and the gang never uttered this absurdity. But Toyota, in a recent series of commercials, is making up for that deficiency with a commercial that makes the modern-day equivalent statement. Here’s the commercial-


Did you catch that last bit? “Who knows? We might be able to create the world’s first self-sustaining amusement park.” Now if we could just get Congress or the UN or somebody to just repeal those pesky laws of physics- you know, especially those stupid and wasteful laws of thermodynamics.

Now does anybody reading this really think that one can create more energy through the use of a magical Star Trek-like “Hybrid Synergy Drive” by merely stepping on the brakes than gets used to run the car? Or an amusement park? But Toyota unabashedly implies that it is a possibility. Well, maybe if we all close our eyes and wish REALLY hard and make a wish and just BELIEVE, everything we wish will come true! The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is usually pretty hard on companies that make wildly exaggerated claims in advertising. Apparently Toyota gets a pass on this one.

This is, of course, the basis of much of the argumentation driving so-called “green energy” schemes- wishful thinking and, physical impossibilities like wind farms and giant banks of solar cells in the southwestern desert, etc. that take the place of fossil fuels. And all driven by “government- business “partnership,” meaning corporate welfare where the corporations demand the money and the politicians dutifully provide it- in return for contributions to re-election campaigns. Meanwhile, one technological box canyon after another is proposed, carried out to the point of failure, abandoned and replaced with a new cockamamie project. All with accomplished with bond issues, tax-abatements and taxpayer-supplied subsidies (often mis-labeled “investments”- mislabeled because with an investment a return is usually expected).

Perhaps it’s time to stop stop dreaming of perpetual motion devices, laughably mis-named “smart meters” (really just glorified government-controlled on-off switches that will be used to create rolling blackouts during peak-use periods and shortages created by government bureaucrats who refuse to approve the construction of additional power generating plants, as they have been in Colorado and California already) and develop REAL replacements for fossil fuels, like nuclear, perhaps.