A Light Bulb of an Idea

Suppose you knew that a heavily-demanded, glow-giving product, cherished for more than a century, was about to become illegal. And suppose you wished to continue being a USER (gulp) of this product and maybe even a DEALER of it (double-gulp) after the ban takes effect.

What would you do?

Stock up.

Cato Institute analyst Doug Bandow recently and publicly stated, quite bluntly, that he will “become an entrepreneur — as a black market operator.”

So why is a dignified fellow like Bandow descending to such a desperate measure?

He likes light bulbs, and, 100-watt incandescent light bulbs will be illegal in this land of the free come January 2012, with lower-wattage incandescent bulbs prohibited a year later.

Bandow prefers incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs because of the softer light they offer, among other reasons. And he dislikes the market-mangling already happening because of the impending prohibition.

Never mind which form of artificial light is better for which purposes by the lights of mere consumers. Those calculations are all individual and freedom-dependent. Meanwhile, “politicians in Washington believe they know best and are determined to inconvenience the public in the name of saving energy.”

At Townhall, back in 2007, I wrote about the government-mandated switch to fluorescents. I didn’t bring up the idea of a black market in light bulbs, but I did insist that some of us would “rather fight than . . . have them tell us how to switch.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

9 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jan
    18
    9:21
    AM
    Rick

    I buy up as many light bulbs as I can. The editor of our Detroit News does the same. I asked him if light bulb police would come around…he said it would not surprise him…and my home depot is in no hurry to replace all old bulbs..new ones are crowding them out. Thanks

  2. Jan
    18
    11:05
    AM
    COVE DWELLER (JUDY JOHNSON)

    WE THINK ALIKE. I HAVE BEEN HOARDING FOR OVER A YEAR.
    I REMEMBER THE 1970′S OUTCRY ABOUT THE DANGER OF FLOURESCENT LIGHTING IN OFFICES, CREATING MOOD SWINGS, EYE IRRITATION, HEADACHES, NAUSEA ETC., AND THE WARNINGS THAT WERE ISSUED BY PROFESSIONALS IN THIS AREA. GREEN MADNESS PREVAILS. IF WE ARE REALLY WORRIED ABOUT ENERGY, WHY AREN’T WE BUILDING SAFE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS, LIKE FRANCE. IT’S THE ONLY REALLY SMART THING THEY HAVE EVER DONE.

  3. Jan
    18
    12:14
    PM
    Drik

    The French, THE FRENCH FOR GOD’S SAKE, are getting 85% of their domestic energy, safely from nuclear energy, yet American’s are being told we can’t do it.

    We are the energy king of the world. We have more oil reserves than the rest of the world combined. We have more gas reserves than the rest of the world combined. We have more coal reserves than the rest of the world combined. If we were just using those, instead of nuclear energy, it would be over 150 years before we would have made a substantial dent in our energy reserves. We have shortages of energy because of our government, just like we have a deficit and debt because of our government. Just like we have inflation built in and coming because of the government.(inflation was a govenrment invention, courtesy of WOodrow Wilson and his economists) Energy prices will “necessarily skyrocket” because of the policies of this government, not because there is a shortage. And it will take continued careful major effort on the part of this government to ensure that same skyrocketing, else our free market would extricate itself and find ways around this. This government, through its regulation, is enforcing the need for the American people to be rescued. It is creating the need for government through these regulation.
    When the government tells us that it is the solution, keep in mind that it is the origin of the problem.

  4. Jan
    18
    2:33
    PM
    Mark Read Pickens

    The only silver lining I see here is it gives people more reason to hate politicians.

  5. Jan
    18
    3:44
    PM
    Dan Fitzgerald

    A major problem with fluorescence is the interaction with computer screens, where the refresh rate is either 60 Hz or 72 Hz. AC power is 60 Hz, which means that the current reverses direction 60 times per second. It’s too quick to consciously notice, but your eyes do react. Now, incandescent bulbs light up, and the tungsten doesn’t cool down and heat up again 60 times/sec: it stays hot, no 60Hz refresh. Fluorescents do; again, like the monitors, we don’t consciously notice, but the muscles in our eye sockets do react. With a computer screen & a fluorescent, it is unlikely and rare that the refresh rate will be in sync. So your eyes are reacting to two different refresh rates, causing fatigue.

    I’ve been stocking up on incandescents for a while.

    I’ve heard that there is a flourishing trade in toilets from Canada, where there isn’t a restriction on tank sizes, so you don’t have to flush twice.

    BTW, I once saw a graffito in a sports bar in Ct: “Flush twice. It’s 384 miles to Washington, D.C.”

  6. Jan
    18
    8:58
    PM
    Kenneth H. Fleischer

    I have a few cases of incandescent lamps, all ready for the demand in a few years. I like CFL’s, myself, and I started using them many years ago, but I also know why some persons prefer glowing filaments to UV-emitting gases driving phosphors.

    Please don’t tell the Feds about this; I don’t want to be indicted on possession-for-sale charges.

  7. Jan
    18
    9:55
    PM
    Patti McElligott

    I have been stocking up on the light bulbs for 2 years and can safely go to my grave knowing my children will have them thru their lifetime to.
    I hate being dictated to by the gov’t as to my light bulbs…I have several old family lamps that have come down thru the family…the kind a lampshade has a bracket and sits on the light bulb. That can’t be done with this new bright idiotic bulb that I will need a hazmat team if one breaks!

  8. Feb
    4
    9:23
    AM
    RJ

    I made the mistake of believing that the new light bulbs were the way to go.

    Unfortunately most of them failed in a few months. (Don’t install them in a bathroom, they can’t deal with the moisture.)

    Anyway, I am proposing that this legislation be repealed.

    How can that be done, you ask.

    Mail your failed light bulbs to your congressman.

  9. Feb
    4
    9:37
    AM
    RJ

    I failed to add an important fact:

    See: Why Is Congress Requiring Poison Light Bulbs?
    At:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/01/028215.php

    When mailing your failed light bulb to your representative, include a print out of the blog noted above.

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