Signup for our free newsletter:

The Ban on Light Bulbs is Irrelevant

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted December 23, 2013

liiightbulbWhen news first hit that the classic incandescent light bulb we’ve been using for more than a century would be phased out (as directed by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act), folks went crazy.

It was as if we would soon be denied food and water.

People, it’s just a light bulb. Better yet, it’s a light bulb that utilizes an antiquated technology, is highly inefficient and for producers, not that great of a money-maker.

Truth is, companies like GE (NYSE:GE) and Philips have been more than happy to embrace the phase out of the traditional incandescent light bulb, as new technologies will help these companies usher in a new wave of profits.

As a free-market supporter, I have no problem with this.

Of course, the question is, should the government be involved in placing a ban on a particular product in an effort to help industry generate more revenue?

I would argue that the answer to that question is no. And while I don’t back government intervention in issues like this, I’d be hard-pressed to deny that for the sake of energy security and environmental sustainability, the outcome won’t be particularly bad.

Still, I completely understand how some folks have been upset over the way these old light bulbs are being phased out. Truth is, this is absolutely a case of big government intervention. My question, however, is why are we getting so hot and bothered over light bulbs when we have much bigger fish to fry?

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

While conservative bloggers and journalists have been decrying the over-reaching hand of Uncle Sam, and liberal bloggers and journalists have been cheering on the ban while refusing to even entertain the reality that the ban, is in fact, an abuse of power in Washington, a lot of really bad stuff has been going down.

On the morning of December 19, I read a scathing piece by a conservative blogger on how the environmental movement forced us all to use light bulbs that no one wants.

That same day, the U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA), which included in the legislation, the ability of the government to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without a trial and to empower the armed forces to engage in civilian law enforcement.

My friends, I’ve seen more about this stupid light bulb ban than I have about the NDAA. Hell, I’ve heard more about the rant of a guy who makes duck calls for a living than I have about the NDAA. Am I the only one that sees the problem with this?

Look, I’m the last person to walk away from the heavy hand of government thugs. And although I haven’t bought incandescent light bulbs in years (because they’re insanely inferior to modern CFLs and LEDs), I don’t think the government should be deciding how you light your home. But can we please get our priorities in order?

Between the NSA scandals, the IRS scandals, the Obamacare mess, the never-ending war in the Middle East and the conga line of Constitutional and civil rights violations that are happening on a daily basis (many of which affect our collective ability to thrive and prosper in a free market economy), the last thing I really give a damn about is the phase out of a technology that, in this day and age belongs more in a museum than in our homes, offices and warehouses.

So is this ban an example of an overbearing government? Sure it is.

Does it affect my ability to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No.

If you really want to get fired up over the destruction of this once-great Democracy, I suggest you worry less about light bulbs and more about the fact that the government is actively destroying your ability to create and protect wealth.

Don’t kid yourself. While we’re debating about light bulbs and political correctness, the Fed is out to put you in the poor house. And if you don’t believe it, click here.