Katherine Mangu-Ward on the New Government-Subsidized $50 Light Bulb
In 2007, when Congress passed legislation that would gradually ban old school incandescent light bulbs, they added a carrot to the pile of sticks: A $10 million dollar prize to encourage the development of a cheap, green, domestic light bulb to replace the dearly departed Edison model.
Five years later, that bulb is coming to a hardware store near you. It will cost you 50 bucks. It also fails to meet many of the original prize specifications. Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward dissects the feds' failure to encourage innovative technology.