For years our government has been regulating peoples actions in the public square. From organized prayers on public property, to religious symbols, even speech which may be construed as discriminatory has been banned from public areas. The FCC determines what may or may not be said on television and radio, and the Department of Education determines what your children are taught in school. More and more the “land of the free” is becoming the land of the regulated. A Bill recently introduced in the House,H.R. 1547 would prohibit the sale of certain inefficient light bulbs, and require the development of a plan for increasing the use of more efficient light bulbs by consumers and businesses. Sponsored by Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., this bill effectively would regulate the way Americans can light their own homes. As World Net Daily points out, this is not a new idea:
This follows action in the European Union, just weeks ago, to phase out incandescent bulbs within two to three years. Australia has taken similar action. Canada is well on the way to a ban. Similar legislation has already been introduced in California Legislature.
But guess where the drive originated?
Fidel Castro started the trend in Communist Cuba two years ago. His buddy in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, beat the rest of the West to the punch by emulating his hero and inspiration in Havana.
The alternative to incandescent bulbs would be fluorescent bulbs. As World Net Daily points out however, they are not without their own problems:
They contain the deadly pollutant mercury. You can’t just throw them in your garbage can when they burn out or they will break and contaminate land and water. Instead, you’ll find out after this switch is mandated that you have to take the dead bulbs to hazardous-waste sites. Either that, or expensive new recycling programs will have to be instituted. In all likelihood, they will involve gasoline-burning trucks rumbling through your neighborhood and highly trained hazardous-materials teams.
In no time, it will be a criminal offense for you to throw away light bulbs in your garbage can â€“ something you routinely do safely with those obsolete incandescents.
Yet that may not be the only problem with fluorescent lights. Studies have linked them with depression, suicide rates, skin cancer, anxiety, sleep disorders, attention-deficit disorders, electro-magnetic pollution, headaches, eye strain and DNA damage from radiation.
The author Joseph Farah goes on to point out he is unsure of the accuracy of those studies, however I do not feel the studies accuracy is relevant at this point. What is relevant is wether we as a Country want elected officials regulating something as basic as the way we light our homes. Our Country was founded on the free market system, with the principle that the products deemed to be best for the consumer are purchased, while other products simply disappear from the market due to lack of demand. The fact our Government feels the need to prohibit the sale of certain inefficient light bulbs, is proof enough there is a consumer demand for those bulbs. On a personal note, I only use incandescent bulbs in my own home, I prefer the light they emit over that of a fluorescent bulb. A products efficiency is not judged solely on the power it uses, but also on the result it produces. If the Government wants to rid us of those pesky “inefficient” light bulbs, maybe they should consider offering incentives to businesses who can design a new bulb which operates more efficiently, while producing the same results. Government regulation is not a bright idea.