Economics

Why Would Consumers Object to a Policy That Forces Them to Buy Expensive Products They Do Not Want?

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As Nick Gillespie noted last week, the end-of-the-year budget package includes a provision that bars the Obama administration from spending money to enforce new energy-efficiency standards that will have the effect of banning standard incandescent light bulbs. That spending restriction lasts until the end of the fiscal year, and Republican critics of the light bulb ban want to make it permanent. But according to The New York Times, "the delay hardly matters" because "the looming possibility of the new standards…has transformed the industry." As a result, "A host of more efficient products already line store shelves." The Times concedes that "many of the alternatives to incandescent bulbs are more expensive." In fact, all of them are, including compact fluorescent lamps (which cost about six times as much as standard incandescents), halogen bulbs (10 times), the new extra-efficient incandescents (ditto), and LEDs (80 times). Why pay so much more, especially when—as with CFLs, the cheapest alternative—performance may be inferior? Supposedly because you save enough on energy and replacement costs to justify the investment. If so, why not let bulb manufacturers make that case to consumers, who can then decide for themselves?

A noncoercive approach is unacceptable, the Times implies, because consumers are driven by irrational concerns:

Advocates for the new rules point to California, which adopted the national standards a year early. Consumer anxiety there seemed to fizzle once the law went into effect.

"January 1 came and people were able to go out and buy light bulbs," said Adam Gottlieb, a spokesman for the California Energy Commission. "There was no light bulb apocalypse."

Industry executives say they have not found evidence of hoarding or runs on incandescents in California — although that may be because merchants stockpiled 100-watt bulbs, which are still widely available for sale.

At Light Bulbs Unlimited in Los Angeles on Friday, for instance, a sign in the window declared, "Outlawed! Light Bulbs, 100 Watt, Going Fast," with an exhortation to "Stock up now," and a 20 percent case discount offer.

Outside the store, many of the shoppers still knew little about the changing standards, although an employee said cases of 100-watt bulbs had been selling fast all year, as people like Philip Miller came in for more bulbs.

"We have been stocking up, but I think I need to stock up more," Mr. Miller said. He called the new standards intrusive. "It's another invasion of personal liberty by our government," he said.

And Tony Ragonese, a sales associate at Bulbman in Reno, across the state border in Nevada, said the store's sales of 100-watt bulbs had increased by at least 50 percent over the last year, with many of the customers Californians.

Hmm. It does not sound like consumer anxiety has fizzled. Still, how crazy is it to think that forcing people to buy products they do not want is an invasion of personal liberty?

Meanwhile, Politico notes that light bulb manufacturers "spent big bucks preparing for the standards," which they need to guarantee a market for high-margin products consumers otherwise would reject, and are "fuming over the GOP bid to undercut them." Aren't Republicans supposed to be pro-business? Sometimes they are actually pro-market instead, and this is one of those cases. A spokesman for Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, claims "the only people we are aware of who have opposed the bulb standards are some politicians and some conservative commentators." If legislators, regulators, environmentalists, and even the industry all agree this mandate is a good idea, why would consumers object? Maybe because the whole premise of the policy is that their choices do not matter because they are too stupid to know their own interests.

More on the light bulb ban here.

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256 responses to “Why Would Consumers Object to a Policy That Forces Them to Buy Expensive Products They Do Not Want?

  1. Why Would Consumers Object to a Policy That Forces Them to Buy Expensive Products They Do Not Want?

    Because they’re ungrateful, disrespectful, unruly, and unkempt peons. Probably also racists.

    1. From the existential darkness that occupies the space between LA County and New York City

      1. Fuck all the city-Statists occupying good land on the coasts and extracting the wealth of fly-over country into higher, righter, and tighter hands.

        They’ll have their comeuppance; they already acknowledge such in their art.

        1. Jason, tell your mother to stop calling me.
          kthxbye.

          1. Why is it so easy to save the banks ? but so hard to save the biosphere?

            1. ‘Tis easier to save your soul.

              1. To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is.

                -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, Aug. 15, 1820

    2. Shopkeeper: [Homer has agreed to purchase a Krusty doll for Bart’s birthday] Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible curse!
      Homer: Ooh, that’s bad.
      Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt!
      Homer: That’s good.
      Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed.
      Homer: That’s bad.
      Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of toppings.
      Homer: That’s good!
      Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate.
      [Homer looks puzzled]
      Shopkeeper: …That’s bad.
      Homer: Can I go now?

      1. Is this a famous comedy skit?

    3. Drink my semen bitches!

      1. Drink MINE, bitchezzz!

  2. Industry executives say they have not found evidence of hoarding or runs on incandescents in California
    —————————-
    1) would “industry executives” say so if such a run was demonstrable?
    2) how do they know that shoppers did not pick up a pack of bulbs on every grocery trip or every other trip for months at a time?
    3) who gives a shit what the answers to 1 and 2 really are since I don’t recall a mass outcry against the incandescent bulb and a concomitant cry for the curly bulbs.
    We dumb ass consumers, once again unable to make even the simplest decisions for ourselves. It’s a wonder many of us can get out of bed, feed ourselves, get to work on time, and survive the day without Big Nanny directing every step of the journey.

    1. Amazon.com. How does it work?

      http://www.amazon.com/SYLVANIA…..322&sr=8-4

  3. We live in CA and bought four cases of 100-watt bulbs 18 months ago, so we would not run out before senility hits. Just about everyone I know did the same, except for the assholes down the street with the Prius (whose kid doesn’t ride the school bus, though he is in the same class with my son. Precious gets a ride to and from school in the Prius, which certainly uses a lot more gas than his share of the bus would. But hey, they have a Prius, so they are stopping global warming.)

    1. A carpooled suburban loaded up with kids also uses a lot less gas than a Prius per person but try explaining that to a smug asshole.

      1. What exactly are you trying to tell me?

        1. Your condition sounds really uncomfortable! Can I pick something up at the Walmart pharmacy for you? I’m on my way to buy some lightbulbs,

  4. The dirty little secret behind all liberal thought, that you can rarely get them to admit to, is that they simply cannot abide having people come to the “wrong” conclusion.

    If people don’t voluntarily do the “right” thing (as defined by them), then they must be forced, “for the good of society”.

    Of course, conservatives are not immune to this, as can be seen in drug laws they join the left in supporting.

    At the base of this belief is a contempt for the common man, and the belief that we’re all simply too selfish and irrational to be left up to our own nefarious devices. I honestly think it’s a hold-over from earlier times; basically since the dawn of civilization, there has been a “noble” caste which saw itself as an educated and enlightened elite (even if only by virtue of divine favor), and it was their job to force that enlightenment onto the ungrateful, stupid masses.

    That dynamic existed for so many thousands of years, that a few centuries of popular democracy can’t erase it. So instead we see it rear up in other forms, such as the intellectual elitism displayed by liberals, and the moral elitism displayed by conservatives.

    1. It is because they are the direct intellectual descendents of the old New England WASP/Puritan class. The Puritans were Calvinists who believed man was hopelessly fallen and only they the small elect were saved. They thought it was their job to correct and save man from doing the wrong things. The came to build the city on the hill

      At some point in the late 19th Century God fell out of favor as the means to achieving paradise and government came into favor.

      1. I think they’re the descendents of satanists and witches who were driven out of Europe by the inquisition.

        1. No. The Satanists at least knew how to have a good time.

          1. You’re probably right; there’s a lot of mention of orgies of various types in those old witch-hunter manuals.

            1. Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time. – H.L. Mencken

    2. The dirty little secret behind all liberal thought, that you can rarely get them to admit to, is that they simply cannot abide having people come to the “wrong” conclusion.

      Not when that wrong conclusion has negative consequences for other people.

      Of course, conservatives are not immune to this, as can be seen in drug laws they join the left in supporting.

      The left is adamant about reforming drug laws. But you’re right that conservatives are actually the ones disregarding personal freedom in favor of moral judgment.

      the belief that we’re all simply too selfish and irrational to be left up to our own nefarious devices.

      Not “all” but definitely some. Do you suggest that “all” human beings have the self-control necessary to do no harm to other humans without any enforcement?

      a “noble” caste which saw itself as an educated and enlightened elite

      Everyone posting here and most everyone else has ideas about how best to run society. The difference is some actually are educated and enlightened and some actually are ignorant rubes who don’t know what’s good for them. That’s fine as long as their ignorance doesn’t affect me. If it does, I have a right to a government that protects me from them.

      1. The left is adamant about reforming drug laws.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        *deep breath*

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        1. You people are always confusing Democratic politicians with the left.

          1. As you consistently treat republican politicians as the right.

            Ever hear the phrase in sports, “You are your record”?

            Well if you pick a TEAM (in your case the dems), then you are throwing it out there that you support their plank. And guess what: drug reform ain’t on it.

            Which is why most of us refuse to be lumped in with republicans. We don’t want anyone to be confused that we support most of their bullshit.

            But since you do pick a side, it leaves you holding the bag having to explain your support for their shitty positions.

            1. I don’t support a party because I agree with every single one of its positions. Granted the drug war is important to me, but the same practical choice I’ve made applies, even if neither party has the correct platform: one is more likely to make progress than the other. Which do you suppose that is?

              And the GOP has been taken over by the radical right. That doesn’t automatically mean the Democrats are all radical leftists. Right now they can barely make progress with Heritage Foundation policies.

              1. tony,
                what “progress”, pray tell, has the left/Dem Party made re: the rights of individuals to ingest whatever the hell they want? The left is the party of the nanny state, worrying about someone eating a Big Mac. Does that sound to you like the group that would advocate one’s decision to fire up a bong?

                Of course, the Dems have been taken over by radical leftists. The current leadership makes Clinton look like a Bircher. While POTUS sticks us with a 4-million dollar bill for his Christmas vacation – all 17 DAYS OF IT – the EPA is quietly drawing up rules that will force dozens of power plants to shut down. No, nothing radical there.

                1. Externalities Christ FAG!

                2. What progress have you made by sitting around bitching about it?

                  I don’t know if you know this, but a president never really goes on vacation. Bush didn’t even though he spent more time on vacation than anyone before or since.

                  1. “I don’t know if you know this, but a president never really goes on vacation”

                    Agreed, and so it is irrelevant to state Bush had more vacation time.
                    It gives credit to their argument

                    1. Tell your mom to stop calling me.
                      kthxbye

                  2. first point is valid – but O has since beaten Bush on the total vacation time – ditto with golf rounds

                    But im going to guess you were one of the ones bitching about it 8 years ago.

                    1. you guessed incorrectly

          2. You people are always confusing Democratic politicians with the left.

            You people are always confusing “You people” with “We the People”.

          3. Reform drug laws.

            You can have a little weed, but no heroin or crack. We won’t lock you up in prison, we’ll lock you up in rehab.

            1. BTW. It’s for your own fucking good. Like buying CFL light bulbs. See how consistent we are?

              1. Now shut the fuck up bitch and get back to work (for me).

      2. Fuck you. Shit bag.
        Your opinions are not regarded here.

        1. Your comment is awesome when read in Ahnold’s voice.

      3. Tony|12.19.11 @ 6:53PM|#
        “The difference is some actually are educated and enlightened and some actually are ignorant rubes who don’t know what’s good for them. That’s fine as long as their ignorance doesn’t affect me. If it does, I have a right to a government that protects me from them.”

        Fuck you, you sleazy shithead.
        The fact that you’re “affected” is your problem, not mine.

        1. So stop asking me to pay for your handouts like police and courts, dirty moocher.

      4. Or you can have the worst of both worlds and be ruled by a bunch of conceited ignorant twits who affect everyone and protect only their own behinds.

      5. Ah yes. Sitting in various classrooms for 4 years, reading about life from books, and gaining no actual experience in anything other than how to best guzzle that beer bong definitely qualifies one as “enlightened” and ready to tell others how to best live their lives.

        Fuck you, Tony.

      6. Do you suggest that “all” human beings have the self-control necessary to do no harm to other humans without any enforcement?

        “STOP RESISTING — !!!”

      7. Everyone posting here and most everyone else has ideas about how best to run society. The difference is some actually are educated and enlightened and some actually are ignorant rubes who don’t know what’s good for them.

        We could give you some of your money back, but you might not spend it right.

    3. Gojira sez: “If people don’t voluntarily do the “right” thing (as defined by them), then they must be forced, “for the good of society”.

      Yet that’s exactly what Ayn Rand wrote. Do you want kicked out of her Collective?

      …Rand herself?says to a Bolshevik: “I loathe your ideals. I admire your methods. If one believes one’s right, one shouldn’t wait to convince millions of fools, one might just as well force them.”

      How Ayn Rand Became an American Icon?The perverse allure of a damaged woman.
      ?By Johann Hari | Nov. 2, 2009
      ?www.slate.com/id/2233966/

      P.S. It’s telling that the KOCHtupus refuses to link to slate. Just copy and past the URL.

      1. Johann Hari? That Johann Hari?

        I don’t like that article. Please cite the original article that the plagiarist shitbag Johann Hari stole the ideas from.

      2. Whoa.

        Every time I think you can’t be more dishonest, you prove me wrong.

        The line you just quoted comes from a fictional character in We the Living.

        Quoting it as directly representative of Rand’s views is about as honest as saying “Fluffy thinks zombies are real.”

        Kira is not Rand. As you would expect in a novel with a female protagonist set in the post-revolutionary Soviet Union, there are autobiographical elements to the character, but it is not Rand.

        There is ONE character in Rand’s fiction where the author explicitly went on record saying that the character represented her views. And it ain’t Kira.

        If not even Howard Roark was good enough for Rand, Kira sure the hell wasn’t.

        In fact, the structure of We the Living is deliberately set up so that all three major characters have qualities Rand admires, but all three have significant flaws, which end up destroying them. They are three Gail Wynands.

        1. Oh, it’s even worse than that. The line is, if I remember correctly, from an early draft. It’s not in the published novel in that form – she removed all but the first sentence.

          So it’s a line of dialog for a fictional character in an early draft of a novel, and quoted as though the author had said it in her own person. Bah.

    4. Could be I suppose. But I think it’s pervasive Collectivism.What’s good for the Collective trumps the individual. It stems from our Marxist upbringing. It’s either that or an immature knee-jerk reaction to being told that they’re wrong.

  5. “Aren’t Republicans supposed to be pro-business? Sometimes they are actually pro-market instead, and this is one of those cases.”

    So these people actually believe the caricature of the GOP they created that says Republicans are mindless puppets of Big Business, and resent it when they find it is not true.

    “”allow potential bad actors to sell inefficient light bulbs in the United States without any fear of federal enforcement,” said Kyle Pitsor, the trade group’s vice president of government relations.”

    Translation: “We paid a lot of money to ban competing products. It’s unfair that the government we bought wil not stay bought!”

  6. Sullum’s link for the statement that “CFLs may be inferior” goes to an article bereft of actual data other than a very vague description of his personal bad experience with CFLs. I’m sure he meant to link to a rigourous, repeatable study of the comparative life spans of the two varieties of lighting, so I hope he fixes the link soon.

    1. CFLs are superior. There. Are you happy?

      1. That doesn’t look sincere.

        If Reason were only complaining about having people’s choice taken away, that would be fine. What gets my goat is their emotional attachment to incandescents and indulging economic fallacies to justify said emotional attachment.

        On the other thread, Cavanaugh confuses price with profit for God’s sake.

        1. 1) No, it isn’t sincere.

          2) The choice is all anybody cares about, and rightly so. And the extremely noticeable unpleasant light CFLs cast.

          1. I was all set to let sleeping dogs lie but then you have to go and hate on discrete spectra. It’s on, dude.

            1. FUS DO RAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, MOTHER-FUCKER!

          2. I never understood all the hate for CFLs and then I remembered that I’m color blind. So I can’t see what it is you hate about them. Win for the color blind! Take that, Ishihara!

            1. Why oh why did you have to reveal yourself as a genetic inferior? I used to have so much respect for you, but now, everytime I see you, I’ll only be thinking, “That fuckwad can’t even appreciate the effort I went through to match my vest to the slacks.”

              1. It obviously wasn’t much effort, Urkel.

                1. I’d rather be Urkel than me. I bet he got a full ride to some Ivy League college and then got a cush gov’t research job.

                  1. I think most people would rather be Urkel than you, Jim. But hey, look on the bright side: maybe Terra Nova will get canceled.

                    1. Wouldn’t know; I don’t watch terrible TV shows.

                    2. I hear good things about Terra Nova, but some DO say it blows — what’s wrong with it, Epi?

                    3. RPA: his main complaint is that it doesn’t seem to have any colors.

                    4. It’s terrible. You will hate it. I hate it, and I only watched three episodes. All the PC bullshit that got crammed into Star Trek: TNG? One of the guys responsible for that is the showrunner. All of the completely nonsensical motivations for actions? That’s there too. Ridiculous plot devices that are present solely to advance a retarded plot point? Bingo.

                      It’s like watching a TV show that was written in 1995. It’s painful. Even the sets look cheap and shitty, their vehicles look flimsy, their weapons look stupid.

                      Watch the first two episodes if you want to see how bad it really is.

                    5. Jim: roflmfao, 10 Internets.

                      Epi: I’m very, very tolerant when it comes to being fed bullshit and stupidity by TV, but I must admit that TNG made me cringe, even as a teenager. I’ll watch the first few episodes and see how it goes. What’s your take on DS9?

                    6. Not a DS9 fan. I like my Star Trek flying around the galaxy, not sitting on a space station.

                      You may be tolerant of bullshit, but are you tolerant of really, really shitty writing? Of really, really hackneyed plot devices?

                    7. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR OPINION CRIPPLE!!!

                      RPA: DS9 was pretty good, in that it finally got into the nitty-gritty of actual economic issues, morally ambiguous actions, etc.

                    8. I was always rooting for Bashir to finally get it and fuck Dax like there was no tomorrow. That poor dude, right?

                      DS9 spent a lot of time shitting on capitalism (but much, much more subtly than the other TNG), but it was enjoyable, I agree.

                    9. You may be tolerant of bullshit, but are you tolerant of really, really shitty writing? Of really, really hackneyed plot devices?

                      If it’s in 1930s B-movies, then yes.

                  2. Plus you could devise a plan to win Laura’s heart.

            2. Some are better than others and the color of your walls may affect as well. We have a bunch of CFL’s and they seem pretty good.

              We have some others in our stairwell (which is an orange/tan color) and they look really blue and they take a long time to warm up. Not sure if we bought some cheap ones or what.

              1. puts everything you’ve ever said about cinematography in perspective.

                1. unfair, there is more to it, but color bleed mars visual quality more than anything. Quick test, what is your opinion of the camera work on The Beach?

    2. Who cares? If they are better people will buy them anyway.

    3. I’ve found the quality of CFL’s vary greatly depending on the brand. The cheap bargain CFL’s generally suck hind tit, while the ones made by Phillips or GE (goddamn government tit sucking assholes that they are) are far better.

    4. Sullum’s link for the statement that “CFLs may be inferior” goes to an article bereft of actual data other than a very vague description of his personal bad experience with CFLs.

      CFLs are demonstrably inferior because they would have a very small share of the market if not for government coercion.

  7. which they need to guarantee a market for high-margin products consumers otherwise would reject

    This needs:

    1. A link showing that CFLs have a higher margin than the equivalent number of incandescents;

    2. A link showing that consumers prefer incandescents to CFLs/LEDs.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Who would have thought that it would be light bulbs that give Tulpa such a boner.

      Wait…light bulb…Fleshlight…I think I’m seeing it now!

    2. Here you go:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06…..wanted=all

      Long article that focusses on LEDs, but it points out that the margin on incandescents is negligible, but the margin on LEDs is very nice (and, presumably, the margin on fluorescents is better than negligible), and that people hate fluorescent lights.

      1. Ah, but you’re comparing the margin on ONE incandescent sale to the margin on ONE fluourescent sale, which replaces multiple incandescent sales.

        The margin on a DVD recorder is much larger than the margin on a blank DVD. But selling the latter is much more profitable.

        1. And if that held true for light bulbs, mfgrs would be all for making the incandescents.

      2. So, you’re conceding that people hate fluorescents.

        And I do believe that you are falling for the “we’ll make up for it on volume!” fallacy.

        A fluorescent costs more than an incandescent, AND has a higher margin.

        If a typical 100 watt incandescent costs 50 cents, and has a margin of (lets be generous) two cents, and a typical CFL equivalent costs $4.00 and has a margin (let’s be conservative) of 50 cents, then the seller would have to sell 25 incandescents to make as much as they would on one CFL.

        And CFLs don’t last 25 times longer than incandescents.

    3. “2. A link showing that consumers prefer incandescents to CFLs/LEDs.”

      Google is your friend:
      “Mr. Karney said that in regions where C.F.L. campaigns have been heaviest, 75 percent of screw-based sockets still contain incandescents. Nationally, about 90 percent of residential sockets are still occupied by incandescents, D.O.E. has reported.”
      http://green.blogs.nytimes.com…..ves-urged/
      It’s from the NYT ‘green propagandist’, just so you know where the bias is.

    4. “2. A link showing that consumers prefer incandescents to CFLs/LEDs.”

      If the assumption by the government is not that consumers prefer incandescents then what is the purpose of banning incandescents?

  8. Will the thre way 50-100-150 bulbs also be banned? I’d find out but I’m afraid to google ” Three Way ” at work.

    1. “Safe Search” is your friend, also.

  9. “Aren’t Republicans supposed to be pro-business? Sometimes they are actually pro-market instead, and this is one of those cases.”

    Hey, it’s the holiday season! Miracles can happen!

    1. I think this is more a case of being pro-easily-understandable-wedge-issue than pro-market.

      1. Might be, but I’ll take it.
        And if incandescents weren’t preferred, there’d be no ‘wedge’.

  10. we should ban plastic bags too.

    1. Yeah. Just shove my groceries up a Spotted Owl’s ass. Their talons make good handles for carrying.

      1. I also understand if you are careful roasting them, they taste just like Bald Eagles.

      2. Because those reusable bags are too convenient?

        1. Lewis H.|12.19.11 @ 8:46PM|#
          “Because those reusable bags are too convenient?”

          Spoof or stupidity?
          I’ll guess the later.
          No, they’re not convenient when I want to buy something and haven’t stocked the car with ‘reusable bags’.
          Besides which, it’s none of your damn business.

    2. seattle just banned plastic bags. you are late to the party

      1. Are you just making shit up or completely ignorant.

        Signs point to both. There is no ban on plastic bags in Seattle, there was a vote on a 25 cent bag fee a couple years back, but it lost pretty handily..

        1. Sorry – you missed yesterday’s news in Seattle: City Council unanimously voted to ban plastic bags, and require a 5c. fee for paper, to take effect midsummer 2012. Like the light bulb ban, horribly regressive: hits po’ folk hardest.

        2. “Seattle City Council members voted unanimously on Monday to ban retailers from handing out plastic bags to customers.

          The new ordinance, which takes effect next July, will make it illegal for stores in the city to provide customers with single-use, plastic carry-out bags. But it permits retailers to hand out recyclable paper bags, with retailers charging a 5-cent “pass-through charge” for each paper bag a customer receives.

          The bag ban comes more than two years after Seattle voters rejected a plan to charge customers a 20-cent fee for every plastic or paper bag they received from retailers.”

          Neither ignorant nor making shit up. This is Seattle. It’s impossible to satirize the place.

          1. So stop grocery shopping in Seattle. I’m sure the neighboring suburbs and Tacoma will welcome you business and sales tax revenue.

  11. If so, why not let bulb manufacturers make that case to consumers, who can then decide for themselves?

    Why would light bulb manufacturers care if you save money on electricity?

    Whatever your feelings about whether light bulb technology should be regulated out of the 19th century, energy consumption isn’t just a personal choice, and energy efficiency is clearly a public interest.

    1. Until you pay my power bill tony, it is none of your business. God you are a horrible busy body.

      1. It’s a good thing coal and oil will last forever and never hurt anybody.

        1. If you can prove that you’ve been hurt by them, then please, by all means sue.

          1. Anything that would be a class action of 7 billion is something that should just be regulated up front.

            1. You could sue them directly on behalf of you and your family; no class action needed.

              And even if it was, the class action would only involve people who believe they can prove that they have suffered direct harm.

              1. OK so how do you prove you’ve suffered direct harm from pollution?

                If you can’t, then isn’t that a hole in your thinking? Or do people have a right to endlessly pollute our shared environment forever with impunity?

                1. If you can’t, then isn’t that a hole in your thinking?

                  If you can’t, then the most likely reason is because you haven’t actually suffered any fucking harm. It’s call science jackass, and it’s how we figure shit out.

                2. Tony|12.19.11 @ 7:11PM|#
                  “If you can’t, then isn’t that a hole in your thinking? Or do people have a right to endlessly pollute our shared environment forever with impunity?”

                  OK, it IS shithead.
                  No one else even competes for the false dichotomy gold.

                3. And another thing: if you can’t prove it, then how do you even know it was the coal company that harmed you? You’re intuition? Would you regulate entire sectors of the economy because you feel like something might be bad, even if you can’t prove it scientifically? What special kind of fascist are you?

                  1. Science has amply shown the harm that burning fossil fuels causes. It just may not be harm that can be quantified individually for persons. Environmental harm is a real thing even if it doesn’t fit into a libertarian economic worldview–it’s one of free market fundamentalism’s major flaws. Rather than accept that and alter your premises, most of you guys resort to absurdities like denying that putting a century’s worth of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere has any planet warming effects.

                    1. Tony|12.19.11 @ 10:01PM|#
                      “Science has amply shown the harm that burning fossil fuels causes.”

                      Yes, shithead. Now cite the harm caused by your alternative, shithead.
                      Or shut up.

                    2. Tony|12.19.11 @ 10:01PM|#
                      “…most of you guys resort to absurdities like denying that putting a century’s worth of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere has any planet warming effects.”

                      “Most”? Let’s see the numbers, shithead.

            2. Anything that would be a class action of 7 billion is something that should just be regulated up front.

              Hahahaha, really? Really?

            3. Ummmm… Google “class action”. Spend some time and learn what constitutes a class. Good luck getting 7 people into your action, let alone 7 billion people.

            4. I’ll say it again Tony, just in case you missed it last time: FUCK YOU!

    2. For every incandescent bulb I must let go, I’m going to use five CFLs.

      What happens then?

      1. You’re 20x poorer and GE sends a thank you card.

    3. As always there will be unintended consequences. The CFL bulbs burn out almost as fast as the older ones unless you leave them on all the time which kind of obviates the reason you buy them in the first place.

      When a plumber or worker needs a 100 Watt bulb in order to work safely, are you ok with them getting injured and “society” paying the cost for their medical bills? What about the family with small children who end up with one of their kids getting mercury poisoning? Or the family that is short of money due to paying ten times as much for their bulbs and put off their car repairs for a month and then have an accident due to worn brakes? Are these costs to society not worth considering? It is so easy to make your little plans on how the perfect society should be run but it puts everyone in the same one-size-fits-all bin and is extremely unfair and inefficient. But that’s ok, you know best, don’t you Tony?

    4. As always there will be unintended consequences. The CFL bulbs burn out almost as fast as the older ones unless you leave them on all the time which kind of obviates the reason you buy them in the first place.

      When a plumber or worker needs a 100 Watt bulb in order to work safely, are you ok with them getting injured and “society” paying the cost for their medical bills? What about the family with small children who end up with one of their kids getting mercury poisoning? Or the family that is short of money due to paying ten times as much for their bulbs and put off their car repairs for a month and then have an accident due to worn brakes? Are these costs to society not worth considering? It is so easy to make your little plans on how the perfect society should be run but it puts everyone in the same one-size-fits-all bin and is extremely unfair and inefficient. But that’s ok, you know best, don’t you Tony?

    5. “Why would light bulb manufacturers care if you save money on electricity?”

      As a selling point for their product.

      The problem is you are afraid people will not value the qualities that CFLs are better in than they’ll value the qualities that incandescents may be superior in so you desire to force the issue. Banning incandescents is a craven act of cowardice by people insecure in the validity of their own priorities.

    6. …and energy efficiency is clearly a public interest.

      You don’t need to legislate energy efficiency. Everyone has a financial interest in improving it themselves.

    7. See? A Collectivist!

  12. Anyone know if they’ve made advances in the quality of the light? That (besides price and opposition to gov’t bans of consumer products) is my biggest concern. Fluorescent light looks (maybe “looked” if they’ve improved) gray and dingy and flat and depressing to me. Seattle winters are dark enough- I need some full spectrum light to summon the will to live.

    1. You should try different color temperatures to see what works in each room.
      A lower number gives a softer feel.

      1. We don’t need your faggoty canadian “softer feel”! This is Murika, goddamnit, and we’ll take the harshest light you can produce!

  13. Tony|12.19.11 @ 6:44PM|#
    “Whatever your feelings about whether light bulb technology should be regulated out of the 19th century, energy consumption isn’t just a personal choice, and energy efficiency is clearly a public interest.”

    Spoof.
    Shithead isn’t *this* dumb.

    1. No spoof. Heck, we’d still be using candles if Congress hadn’t passed the Light Bulb Act, mandating the invention of the light bulb. That’s how progress is made, you know, through legislation. And here, the progress is mandating use of a product consumers view as inferior!

      1. You’re right.
        I’d forgotten about Hammurabi’s edict requring invention of the wheel.

  14. BTW, what is never mentioned in the “Lasts (N)X Longer” hype is that CFLs do not like to be cycled.
    I use CFLs in a couple of outdoor lights that are rarely turned off and they last forever. The color in those locations really isn’t important.
    In fixtures switched a couple of times a day, they seem to last ~half as long as incandescents.

    1. ^This^ I bought one, installed it in my bathroom. Mistake. Took forever to turn “on”, induced migraines in my husband and daughter, makes a high pitched whine which annoys the hell out of me, and burned out much faster than the light bulb it replaced.I threw it away in the regular trash. Gods have mercy on the poor landfill now to be graced with Chinese mercury.

      1. None of that really happened

      2. I put one in the bathroom with same results but the worst is the high pitched sound which, no matter how they tweak it will always be there. OK outside, as far as I am concerned and inside a disaster.

      3. Gods have mercy on the poor landfill now to be graced with Chinese mercury.

        I’m no scientist, but I believe the elements are the same in every country.

  15. Once I have finished defending to the death Jacob Sullum’s right to light as he pleases, I shall plug in a coal-sipping swizzlebulb and write an op-ed on the joy of having quartz halogen lamps and candles at my disposal as well – much as we love Reason’s sponsors, there is , individually speaking ,simply no economic case for buying the commonplace tungsten 100 watter , and it is seldom worth the ten bucks worth of juice it guzzles in its inconveniently brief life

    Make that twenty bucks in summer, when its heat competes agin air conditioning .

    1. And I’ll stand in line to make sure they don’t outlaw *your* choice.

    2. Make that twenty bucks in summer, when its heat competes agin air conditioning .

      This too. I forgot to mention that, probably because no one was silly enough to claim that incandescents are better because they help heat your home this time.

      1. I’ll argue that if you like. In the winter, the heat is not wasted so they are more “efficient” in that sense. Of course, in summer, they are less efficient overall. I have about 1/2 to 2/3 of my lights as CFL’s but I can afford it. But there are times I will turn on a fixture with an incandescent just for the extra heat it provides rather than turn on the furnace to heat the whole house.

        1. But there are times I will turn on a fixture with an incandescent just for the extra heat it provides rather than turn on the furnace to heat the whole house.

          Dude, it would make more sense to invest in a space heater. One that costs $8 will last you forever and put out way more heat than an incandescent bulb, with the added advantage that you can pack it up and put it in the closet in April rather than continuing to run it all summer.

          1. Keeping a building at 22C is easier when it’s 40C outside then when it’s -22 Outside.
            See, instead of changing the temperature 20 degrees, you have to move it 40 degrees.
            See how the ambient heat from a lightbulb will have more effect one way than another?

            /learn metric already

            1. I’m not really sure what you’re getting at here. The relevant quantity is the amount of heat that the light bulb puts out, and that is the same in summer and winter. If a light bulb can heat a room by a degree in winter, it will also heat the room by a degree in summer. So you can set your furnace a degree lower in January (yay) but you also have to set your AC a degree lower in August (bummmer).

              1. Tulpa|12.19.11 @ 9:49PM|#
                “…but you also have to set your AC a degree lower in August (bummmer).”

                What’s wrong with you? Why do you want cooler temperatures in the summer?
                I’m with the Energy Police and you have not right to cooler temperatures if I say you don’t.
                You should give up your silly desire to be comfortable.

          2. Cheapest one at Home Depot:
            $14.99
            http://www.homedepot.com/Elect…..cm_mmc=SEM|THD|G|VF|D27EElectrical|Heaters|ShopElectricHeaters_SL&skwcid=TC|13168|space heater||S|e|8509580797
            And then you can pay 20 bucks for the bulb that isn’t doing that.
            Besides which, I don’t care what you think Tulpa, and it’s none of you business how I chose to light my home.

            1. Home Depot? Why don’t you buy it from Saks Fifth Avenue and really help the economy.

              They have them at Walmart in March for $8. Shop Smart, shop S-Mart.

              1. They are a fire hazard.
                Ceramic heaters are more efficient and safer, but not $8.

                1. They’re only a fire hazard if they fall over or have something flammable touching them. Presumably you’re not going to have that happen when you’re right there.

                  1. Tulpa|12.19.11 @ 9:53PM|#
                    “They’re only a fire hazard if they fall over or have something flammable touching them. Presumably you’re not going to have that happen when you’re right there.”

                    Was that the two-step or the waltz?
                    How much bullshit are you going to post defending your desire to tell people how to live their lives?
                    Are you willing to shoot someone who desires incandescents?

                  2. The isn’t the first time I’ve seen you make the “if accidents never happen” bullshit excuse. I think last time was “well if you never drop the cfls you don’t have to worry about them being broken.” What world do you live in?

                    1. Apatheist|12.19.11 @ 10:43PM|#
                      …”What world do you live in?”
                      One where Tulpa is allowed to make the rules and everyone else has to follow them.
                      A tin-pot dictatorship.

                    2. That’s not what I said. I said that if you’re talking about an ordinary ceiling fixture or whatnot, the chances of that bulb getting broken are tiny unless you’re really trying. If you have kids I definitely understand not wanting CFLs in lamps that are within their reach. That’s why I support choice.

                      I mean seriously, on every other issue libertarians are making fun of people who let fear of the improbable dictate their decisions. On this one suddenly we become nervous nellies again.

                    3. I don’t think dropping a light bulb is improbable. Yeah, it’s not going to fall out sitting in the fixture but when you change them out, every once and a while one is going to slip.

                    4. The very first CFL I bought broke before I could get it into the fixture.

                      Because they contain mercury, the packaging is nearly impregnable. I had to go at it with a pair of scissors. When it finally gave way, the bulb torqued out of my hand and flew through the air and smashed on the floor.

                      Shit breaks, dude.

                    5. Yeah, and even if they are in the lamp in the ceiling, there can be trouble.

                      I was putting the door on my new refridgerator and stood on a chair to put the top pin in, and “bam!” put my head right in to the fancy new CFL in the ceiling fan. Broken glass all over the place, and a hell of a headache for the next several hours.

                      Fuck those bulbs.

                    6. My estimation of my fellow H&R commenters is taking a serious nosedive with all these anecdotes.

                    7. I guess I was projecting my own manual dexterity onto my fellow commenters. I apologize.

                      Who the hell is buying all these CFLs when they’re hanging time bombs? They’ve been in stores for over 15 years, so someone must be playing fluorescent roulette.

                    8. On every other issue libertarians are in favor of allowing individuals to make their own choices. On this one suddenly libertarians are in favor of allowing individuals to make their own choices. But yeah, I could see how that might seem inconsistent.

                    9. Again, my issue isn’t with allowing photonic choice, it’s with spreading anti-CFL propaganda.

      2. Because people have all their light bulbs on when the sun is out?

        1. I can’t believe Tulpa just repeated that nonsense; he got the same response a week or so ago.

          1. And I refuted it then, too.

            1. Tulpa|12.19.11 @ 9:09PM|#
              “And I refuted it then, too.”

              No, you did your tulpa-dance around it as you’re doing now.
              “And interior rooms like bathrooms, massage rooms, saferooms, etc. are going to need lighting even during the day.”
              Yep, those saferooms really need constant light!

              1. The only dance I’m doing is the logic dance. If you have two left feet that’s your own problem.

                And there are plenty of folks here who enjoy it when I bust a move.

        2. Summer nights tend to be warm, too. And interior rooms like bathrooms, massage rooms, saferooms, etc. are going to need lighting even during the day.

          1. Does the AC cool your bathroom in summer?
            Do you take hot showers in summer?
            The hot shower is canceling out your a/c
            If you have that kind of money to throw away, you can send it to my paypal.

            1. I’ve never argued that hot showers are good because they heat my home in the winter.

              1. Did you study with Arthur Murray?

                1. oops; @ Tulpa
                  “Did you study with Arthur Murray?”

                  1. No, I think Tulpa dances to dubstep.

  16. I’m replacing my incandescents with whale-oil lamps. Much more natural, and the flickering light is quite soothing.

  17. I’m replacing my incandescents with whale-oil lamps. Much more natural, and the flickering light is quite soothing.

    1. But your whale oil lamps are hurting me. Regulate!

  18. This is Pip. I don’t post at night and thisis off-topic, but someone needs to call this shit out. I’m watching The News Hour on PBS and Gwen is interviewing some guy at The White House about the payroll tax vote and behind him, half obscured by American flags, is a big fucking countdown sign that seems to say that if Congress doesn’t act, American’s taxes will go up in X days, hours, etc.

    It takes awhile for government to come up with a plan to design and procure a sign like that. There is no greater example of what a shithole Obama is. Someone needs to look into the putative purpose and the development history of that sign.

    1. Please tell me you’re not the Pip who hangs out at the Franchise bar in Plano.

      1. You don’t find it crass that they’ve got a telethonesque countdown sign all ready to go? No? Well then, as you were.

        1. I didn’t express an opinion on it one way or the other; it’s just that I know a guy who posts on several political websites as “Pip”, and he’s a buddy of mine at a bar we frequent. Just didn’t know if it was you.

    2. Ha!
      I laugh at your puny sign!:
      “The cost of the public outreach amounted to nearly 30 percent of the $3.7 million spent on rail planning in the region during the 2010-11 fiscal year, rail officials said.
      In addition to the meetings, money was also spent on posters, mailers and electronic communications.”
      http://www.signonsandiego.com/…..-pr-costs/

    3. Did you really need to remind us who you are with your first sentence?

      1. Is that you R? This is Bill.

  19. As I’m not a politician or a conservative commentator so I felt compelled to introduce myself to Mr. Bingham. Now he knows at least one ‘real person” who is for freedom of choice . . . in light bulbs. http://bingaman.senate.gov/

  20. Breaking: Winnipeg reaches the 19th century.
    http://www.winnipegfreepress.c…..94673.html

  21. Hmm. It does not sound like consumer anxiety has fizzled. Still, how crazy is it to think that forcing people to buy products they do not want is an invasion of personal liberty?

    Think of it like a tax…

    1. Where’s that quote come from?
      That’s dumb enough to qualify as Krugmanesque.

  22. The Iraq War is finally over. We toppled the old Iraqi government because Saddam refused to allow weapons inspectors to verify that he wasn’t violating the ban on weapons of mass destruction.

    Can you imagine a future if the USA signs a treaty to stop Global Warming? Just picture the year 2065, when a future USA president invades a country to make sure that its government isn’t secretly distributing incandescent light bulbs.

    I don’t think most people realize that laws and treaties only remain if they are enforced. When someone supports the ban on incandescent light bulbs, it means he supports sending swat teams in to go after people who violate this ban.

  23. Are incandescents really that much worse for the environment than those fucking scented candles people burn constantly? If anything, they should ban those fucking things. I was in Target the other day and made a wrong turn down the candle aisle. I almost puked my fucking guts up.

  24. See what you miss when you don’t shop for yourself.

  25. You fucking peasants will do what you are told. Buy the damn bulbs I tell you to buy and STFU. It’s for the planet. Ah … just checked my iPhone, and Barack wants me to hop in the limo and meet him at AF 1 for a jaunt to Hawaii. Got to go.

  26. Off-topic, but this might make shithead turn off his/her computer:
    “There are a number of people who have knowledge in this field that estimate humanity’s chance at making it through this century at about 50 percent,” Schwall says.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/…..1MD58T.DTL
    WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!
    You’d think he might have stumbled onto Malthus at some time in his life.

  27. Rachel Maddow is right in the middle of a 15 minute Ron Paul commercial right now. I think she’s doing it to piss off Fox News and the Republican establishment, but who cares?

    1. I know there will be some crossover voters but I’m still not sure whether positive Maddow coverage is a good or bad thing.

    1. Shit. I meant “compared to this, your Christmas party sucked”

      1. No, I think you got it right the first time; they had more sucking with their 5 to 1 ratio

  28. If Edison were as good as his PR hacks, he would have preempted this debate by inventing incandescent bulbs thermoelectrically powered by spiral wick whale oil lamps.

    1. better if they were powered by oil of baby seals

  29. Mitt Romney is doing the Top 10 list on the Letterman show tonight.
    Please, hold your applause until the end.

  30. Ron Paul now LEADING in Iowa.
    http://slatest.slate.com/posts…..socialflow

    1. Cue Max
      10, 9, 8,…..

    2. Lefty polls are not trustworthy, except when they agree with our deep-seeded desires.

  31. Here’s something awesome that’s completely NSFW, and should not be viewed by children or those with delicate sensibilities.

  32. somehow I always thought the 49ers cheerleaders should be dudes.

  33. i can’t believe all this arguing over the intricacies of which lightbulb is better.

    that’s not the point

    the point is … it is not the place, role, or within the authoritah (or should not be) of govt. to tell individuals WHICH LIGHTBULB THEY CAN CHOOSE by limiting market choices.

    govt is free to make those choices (within proper process) as to how to light govt. buildings

    1. “the point is … it is not the place, role, or within the authoritah (or should not be) of govt. to tell individuals WHICH LIGHTBULB THEY CAN CHOOSE by limiting market choices.”

      Tulpa disagrees.
      As does shithead.

      1. well then if that’s the case, then they are wrong

        and so it goes…

        as long as my choice of lightbulb doesn’t cause a cloud of radiation over the greater seattle metropolitan area, it’s none of govt’s fucking business what form of light i use!!!!

        i think i shall install a neon lightbar on my cruiser just to say FUCK YOU to govt.

      2. No I don’t. I’m pro-choice AND pro-CFL.

        1. Pro-choice on this side of the vagina at least.

        2. if that’s the case, then i’m cool with you. i have NO idea which lightbulb is better (*realizing that better depends on the question… “better for what?” and it;s often about tradeoffs ).

          advocacy is one thing. i support it.

          limiting choice is not

        3. Tulpa|12.19.11 @ 11:28PM|#
          “No I don’t. I’m pro-choice AND pro-CFL.”

          I see. All that stuff up-thread was just, oh, hints, right?
          Glad I’m wearing boots; walking through bullshit that deep could get messy!

          1. All that stuff upthread was in reaction to the totally gratuitous disrespect for CFLs that permeates this place. Reason does not merely argue for choice, they impugn the honor of fluorescent lighting in general.

            1. i looked back and from a cursory glance it appears that tulpa was advocating choice, just not agreeing necessarily as to which was better

              but MEGO after the first few lines.

              1. My Eye Got Oily?

                1. My Eyes Glaze Over… an old journalist acronym stolen from PJ ORourke

    2. the point is … it is not the place, role, or within the authoritah (or should not be) of govt. to tell individuals WHICH LIGHTBULB THEY CAN CHOOSE by limiting market choices.

      Of course, it is completely OK for govt. to tell individuals what they can grow and consume in the privacy of their own homes.

      1. not imo. to paraphrase a feminist… MY BLOODSTREAM MY CHOICE

        1. Your right to do jenkem ends at my nose.

          1. Please die in a fire.

            Sincerely,

            All other “Reason” commenters

            1. I have one of those dangerous space heaters running so this might be your lucky night.

            2. you don’t speak for me.
              Don’t you dare touch a hair on the ass of my Dear Tulpa.

              1. um… i feel dirty.

              2. Settle down, the only people touching Tulpa’s ass-hairs are other dudes.

                1. I don’t even have any ass hair. I shaved it off because it got messy with the peanut butter.

                  1. peanut butter and honey on toast I love….Hmm, never had it on a dick

                    1. Breaking all the rules when we get together,
                      Anything at all are you ready to do,
                      Breaking all the rules we can eat away,
                      Just me and you, o whoa oooh oooh whoa

                    2. when I’m done with you, you’ll be singing in the rain pain

                2. count as a dude now?

  34. Tulpy-Poo: Using electric heat makes my house 35% humidity.

    1. Relative to what?

      Relative humidity is a God awful means to measure moisture in the air. Dewpoint is much better.

  35. Sounds like a plan to me bro.
    http://www.Complete-Anon.tk

  36. Politico’s article is incredibly clueless. They assume Republicans would support anything that any business would want. These lightbulb makers paid off Congress to get 25 cent bulbs outlawed so they could sell $8 and $50 lightbulbs. No Republican or anyone else should be for that.

    I don’t want my Congressman to be pro-business, I want him to be pro-freedon which by that way helps honest businesses and everyone else.

    1. These lightbulb makers paid off Congress to get 25 cent bulbs outlawed so they could sell $8 and $50 lightbulbs.

      Price != profit.

      1. Yes, yes, price is not the same as profit.

        But in this case, even if 50 cent bulbs yielded 100% profit, the 10 dollar bulb would have to have a profit margin of less than 5% to match the 50 cent profit of absolutely zero cost bulbs in our though experiment here.

        Trust me, profit margins are higher than 5% considering the retailer and the factory both have to make money.

        But go ahead and show me I’m wrong. Lay out your logic for us to see that they make less money on 10 buck bulbs.

        1. Or better yet, start a store that makes 5% gross profit margin. I’d shop there until you went out of business which would be very fast.

  37. Gee, from the title I thought it would be an ObamaCare article.

  38. The spastic uncertainty of this range-of-the-moment government is about as deadly as the creeping / steady statism. Ban the bulb, un-ban it – for a while; extend the payroll tax cuts – for 2 months; wipe out Medicare providers (doctors) w/ reductions in reimbursements – or wait another year… Are we to believe that in another year taxes won’t be doubled, and retroactive to 2001 – until they aren’t, and it becomes tripled and retroactive to 2006 (in the spirit of bipartisanship)?

    We’re in the thick of irrational times. No good will come of that.

  39. Still, how crazy is it to think that forcing people to buy products they do not want is an invasion of personal liberty?

    Sounds sort of like ObamaCare….

  40. It seems that much space has been wasted in the comments trying to prove that incandescents are, a priori, bad or good. However, isn’t the idea that it should be up to the individual consumer to decide this, depending on the circumstances? It might make sense to buy incandescents for heat as well as light if you live in Nome but not Miami. It might make sense to by cheap, disposable incandescents if you move a lot and don’t want to schlep an LED bulb around for the next 20 years. It might make sense that if you are an artist or photographer who requires a certain quality of light that you would want that choice. Is there really a point in trying to prove that anyone who thinks that incandescents are better for anything is deluded (even Easy Bake ovens)? People discount future money differently, if they didn’t, there would be no such thing as borrowing and lending money. Since this is so, then some will value short-term savings over long-term and vice versa.

  41. I live in California. I have responded to the ban on 100 watt incandescents largely by replacing single 100 watt lamps with two 75 watt lamps.

    Everybody wins! Except, you know, the people who were supposed to win.

    CFLs are really pretty genuinely terrible. I tried ’em out extensively, and they’re just… bad.

  42. There are stores that just sell lightbulbs?

  43. In Edison’s day, inventions, innovation, luxury-improving tools, unimaginable mobility and improved communications exploded and touched anyone living in a free culture. In fact, that innovation was a contagion. The question of that day might have been: how can I harness nature to make life better / funner? Fast forward through 10 decades of control-freaks’ creepage: “I have an idea for product xyz“, the committee: “ya, ya…is it Pb-free? Did you put the recycle-sticker on the packaging? You can’t build it in this state and you can’t move production to that state…”

    We should have floating cities, moon mining, neighborhood nuclear power plants, flood mitigation / drought mitigation using gigawatt power plants & pumps. We should be 100 years ahead of where we were 10 decades ago.

    It’s ground to a snail’s pace. Brother, we asked for it!

    1. We should be 100 years ahead of where we were 10 decades ago.

      What’s your measuring stick for “100 years ahead of 1911”? Hint: there ain’t none, outside of people’s fantasies.

      1. One of my examples doesn’t seem too far fetched (to me), except for the fact that regulations wash the idea out of existence before it can ever gain consideration: Can we agree that floods and droughts could both be addressed – at least in part – by gigantic pumps? Can we agree that gigantic pumps are impractical for lack of enormous power sources? Can we agree that nukes are technically capable of enormous power? What’s the biggest hurdle in all of this? Hint, a mountain of paper with strings of words, backed by a gun.

        1. Well, that’s one way of putting it.

          Come to think of it, that’s the only way of putting it.

  44. The 2012 sale of regular 100W incandescents was never banned
    Only the manufacture and import.
    Since stores are stocking up, it will not change things for consumers
    short term.
    http://freedomlightbulb.blogsp…..ar_18.html

    Long term is a different story:
    Incandescent technology for ordinary lamps will effectively be banned,
    on the mandated 45 lumen per Watt end regulation standard

    Explanation of light bulb regulations,
    official links,
    and updates on the 7 US local state repeal bills
    http://ceolas.net/#li01inx

  45. This is all about rent-seeking. The big companies have bought the way to raising the bar the little guys have to jump over by lobbying behind the scenes for standards like these, so that they face little or no low-priced competition, and can charge exorbitant prices for their “newer, better” products.

  46. He wants us to buy health insurance that we don’t want. Who knows what will be next?

    As far as I know, 3-way bulbs are still available: 50, 100, 150 W.

  47. Bulb manufacturers lobby gov’t to ban 100W incandescents b/c they are commodified. No profit margin.
    I am unhappy with crappy 60W and 40W. Out of desperation I pay $6 for a CFL or $12 for a halogen.
    Profit goes up.
    It’s got nothing to do with energy savings. I can still buy a tri-light bulb and a “rough use” bulb at higher wattages.

  48. Why pay more for newspapers when internet news is available for less and is environmentally better?
    Why not eliminate printers and paper and shut down the power consuming offices?

  49. I’ve got a couple of CFLs in my house, and I’ve not noticed many issues with buzz or coloration, but some of them do have problems with taking a long time to turn on after I’ve flipped the switch. I’ve not had them long enough to speak on their life, but I’m not surprised given that regular tube florescent light bulbs have never liked being cycled, so why should we expect that their smaller, twisted brethren be any different. The good news is that I have kids who have yet to figure out that the light switch works both directions, on AND off, so maybe they’ll survive and save me some money in the long run for that reason.

    They are concerning, though, because I know I’ve dropped enough incandescent bulbs over the years trying to put them in overhead fixtures, so it’s only a matter of time until it happens with a CFL, and then there’s the mercury issue.

    But all of this is neither here nor there. The matter here isn’t which is better, incandescent or CFL. It’s, as usual, government officials thinking they know what I need for me better than I know. Especially since, time and again, it seems like the government forces these “great ideas” down the throats of the populous, only to have years later studies reveal that the savings aren’t there after all, or they’re inherently more dangerous than what we thought, etc.

    Of course, it really isn’t about what’s best for the people, or the environment, though – it’s about which causes’ lobbyists have their hands deepest in the politicians’ pockets. The bottom line is still the bottom line – not our bottom line, mind you, but the bottom line of those who think they know what we need better than we do.

    I will say that the article does get one thing right, though. We really are too stupid as a populous, and clearly need someone to take care of us and tell us what’s best for us. I give you as proof of this the politicians that “we the people” keep voting for. If we are so stupid that these are the people we keep sending to Washington to act on our behalf, we really do need to be protected from ourselves.

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