The Foundation for Economic Education has an article about why modern American appliances suck.
And they do.
When I was stationed at Ft. Buchanan, they installed new "efficient" front-load washers into the housing on post. They were so "efficient" that we had to run the loads TWICE in order to get the soap out of our clothes, doubling our water usage on laundry.
Don't get me started on low-flow toilets. I'm a bigger than average guy, but not a monster by any means. And there has never been a low-flow toilet than can flush my morning constitutional in one flush, meaning I have to stand by and do two or three flushes. Which means lots of extra water.
One of my friends from another post recalled that they used cloth diapers, which required lots of washing. But they lived in Germany at the time, and the water heaters there actually HEAT THE WATER, which meant that the diapers came out of the wash CLEAN! Try doing that with an American washer, and an American water heater, which is more like a water warmer, and you'll end up with a bacteria laden lump of crap in your washer.
Why do we put up with this kind of horrible machinery? Government. Plain and simple.
It's far past time we said "Fuck the government".