Freedom Grows Dim
Having set minimum efficiency standards for cars and appliances, it is no surprise that some in the Federal Government will attempt to take steps to free us from our oil addiction by mandating increased lighting efficiency.
In fact, despite the Government hating that never ends, there might be some unintended consequences that work out well for me over time.
One of the most amazing discoverys I have made is that all those nincompoops who posted that we could never buy incandescants again should have consulted light bulb manufacturers instead of radio and tv personalitys. In fact Philips VP Randall Moorehead has been quoted as saying “Everyone In The Industry Knew … We Could Still Make Incandescent Light Bulbs” Under The New Standards". It is amazing how many were so fearful of never being able to illuminate the dark again, they simultaneously failed to illuminate us.
I also learned that more efficient light bulbs will destroy the economy and reduce GDP. Has anyone told the politicians what they are doing to us? It turns out that more efficient lighting means lower electricity usage, which in turn means lower electric bills, which in turn means I keep more of my own money in my own pocket rather than contribute it to GDP growth through my electric bill. Since my cost of living will be lower, I might be able to pass those savings on to you, my employer or my customers, rather than having to raise prices to pay for electricity. That is one theory, another is that I will raise prices anyway and keep the change!
Since these efficient incandescants last longer and will be replaced less often, that will be another devastating blow to an economy desperate to recover it's inexorable transfer of my pitiful income to wealthy investors in electric companys. Of course when our money is not transferred to wealthy investors, we get to keep it. This is yet another example of Government at its worst! But I can use a few extra bucks in my pocket, so I guess I can stand it.
As we all know from earlier posts on the subject this efficiency standard was legislated in 2007 and the efficiency standards are phased in from 2012 until 2014 nationwide. Unfortunately we also know that Government intervention into free market forces suppresses innovation. “There’s a massive misperception that incandescents are going away quickly,” said Chris Calwell, a researcher with Ecos Consulting who studies the bulb market. “There have been more incandescent innovations in the last three years than in the last two decades" . This quote seems to violate the free market belief that Government legislation supresses innovation, but don't be fooled into thinking that Government legislation spurred innovation. We all know it just doesn't!
I am not sure what I will do with the savings from the first new electric bulb I am dragged kicking and screaming to buy against my will, but I certainly will not happily buy more efficient incandescants and save even more money. Maybe I will just burn it to spite global warming and protest against me saving money.