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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How Many Politicans Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

Once again a California politician is using a non-issue to gain publicity by telling us we need him to protect us from a horrible scourge.

Here locally it's trans-fats. But local Assemblyman Lloyd "The Bachelor" Levine after trying to ban grocery bags and dating televison anchors has now moved on to making illegal the incandescant light bulb. When lightbulbs are outlawed, only outlaws will have lightbulbs.

The San Fernando Valley based lawmaker is seeking to ban the Edison invention in California by the year 2012. Newer technology fluorscent lightbulbs are far more efficient and save more electricty and energy.
When lightbulbs are outlawed, only outlaws will have lightbulbs.
That being said, why do we need government to get us to make the switch? The market can easily persuade consumers to use the bulbs because it makes good financial sense. In fact, Wal-Mart is one of the major retailers encouraging its customers to buy and use the energy saving bulbs.

Someone needs to alert the Bachelor that the market can handle a matter like this quite effectively and we don't need government to make the choice for us.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

If the people didn't want a politician to regulate business, they wouldn't have elected the Bachelor.

The people want regulation!

The people have spoken!

Quit cock-blocking!

January 30, 2007 11:18 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Actually, one can make a very good case for requiring grocery stores to charge for bags, and reguiring people to use energy-efficient light bulbs.

Under the current system, the true cost of the disposable bags (i.e., the resulting massive pollution) is not included in the price thereof. Economists call this an "externality." Charging for the bags would encourage people to bring their own bags, and re-use them -- as most people do in my environmentally friendly France.

As for energy efficient light bulbs, they seem to be a cost-efficient way to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and to, in effect, generate more electricity without having to expand plant capaciy.

The trans-fat thing, by contrast, is crazy. Let people eat what they want. Solve murder before you solve bad eating habits.

January 31, 2007 8:35 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Walter if stores want to charge for them, fine. Customers will either accept that or go somewhere else. We don't need the government to make it happen.

I discussed the grocery bag non-issue with our old friend Stuart Waldman. I told him that Trader Joe's sells cloth grocery bags and runs contests to encourage customers to use them and to recylce their other bags. That's a good market based solution to the problem. Some stores like Ralphs have grocery bag recylcing but don't provide any incentive to customers to reuse them.

And even if you do charge for them, that doesn't mean people will recycle them. There will still be bags tossed about.

Concerning the light bulbs Wal-Mart has a great market based approach. They're making the case to their customers that the bulbs are environmentally friendly and money saving.

Responsible corporations like Trader Joe's and Wal-Mart enacting market based solutions are the answer to these issues.

The Bachelor being a solution in search of a problem is not. Like you said, let him solve the problem of murder instead.

January 31, 2007 10:11 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Compact fluorescent bulbs are crap. They put out harsh, unnatural light. LED lights are our only hope to get away from incandescents in my estimation. By the way, Whole Foods pays you for every bag you bring from home to bag your groceries.

January 31, 2007 11:37 AM  

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