The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Thomas Edison Has Been Repealed

It is a measure of the corroding
progress of “Progressivism” that the federal government has mandated
that we turn off our minds. That is, it has ordered light bulb manufacturers to
cease making residential incandescent light bulbs (the wattage is irrelevant)
that we have used for over a century, and purchase the new LED bulbs or the pigtail,
mercury-filled bulbs.
The
cartoon light bulb has served for decades as a symbol of an individual having
an idea, of an individual thinking. This is the latest episode of the government
vandalizing our minds.
Has
the government really ordered us not to think, not to have ideas? Yes. We are
no longer allowed to exercise our personal choices concerning light bulbs. Or health
care insurance. Or gun ownership. Or the schools Americans send their children
to, and what they learn in them. Or smoking. Or the foods we eat, or the beverages
we drink. Or the gasoline we can afford or prefer to put in our tanks. And et cetera. The list of government violations
of our rights, of the usurpations of our freedoms, of the steady invasions of
our lives by fiat law, is long and wearisome to read. If compiled – and I’m sure
someone or some organization has undertaken the task – it would be thousands of
pages high – higher than the Affordable
Care Act
– and a big chunk of them, at the bottom of the stack, would be
yellow with age.
We
are no longer permitted to think that we have choices. The government has made
or will make the choices for us. The lights that will turn on in our minds will
be government lights. Doubtless, penalties will soon be imposed on anyone using
an incandescent bulb in his home or office.
It’s
all in the name of “public service,” or the environment, or the
planet, or energy conservation, or “efficiency standards.” This is
the nature of statism. In particular, of fascism.
In
2007, Congress voted to phase out the incandescent light bulb at the behest of
environmentalists and sundry other collectivist groups. The effective date was
set for January 1st, 2014. A feeble attempt was made by some in
Congress to repeal or emasculate the law. It failed. Many Americans noted the
passage of the law, then, in the midst of other crises, their attention was
diverted and it was promptly forgotten.
But
destroying the incandescent bulb wasn’t necessary, said Congress. It isn’t even
true. We still permit you a choice. All the incandescent bulb must do is meet
our energy consumption requirements. Then you’ll be free to manufacture it, and
Americans will be free to purchase it.
Of
course, like all Congressional standards, the bar was set so high it was out of
sight. There was no way any incandescent bulb could meet such criteria. Everyone
knew it. Especially the bulb manufacturers.
Fox
News
was virtually the sole mainstream news outlet that didn’t chortle or
snicker about this latest assumption of power. In its December 31st
news item, it reported:
When the ball drops on New Year’s
Eve, the year ends — and so does the ordinary lightbulb.
Jan. 1. marks the end of a
seven-year effort to outlaw the ordinary lightbulb, thanks to a 2007 law that
raised minimum efficiency standards for traditional incandescent bulbs far
beyond what the technology can manage.
It’s lights out for the
traditional light bulb, in other words, which was essentially killed by that
bill.
Fox
News quoted a staffer at the Heritage Foundation about the wisdom of the ban.
“The federal government is taking
decisions out of the hands of families and businesses, destroying jobs, and
restricting consumer choice in the market. We all have a wide variety of
preferences regarding light bulbs. It is not the role of the federal government
to override those preferences with what it believes is in our best interest,”
wrote Nicholas Loris.
The
Fox News item discusses the “pros” and “cons” of differences
between incandescent and the new LED and pigtail bulbs.  (Yes, they’re commonly called
“twisties,” but there are some nicknames I refuse to help propagate.)
Contrary to some reports, the
2007 law doesn’t mandate that manufacturers discontinue their bulbs, just that
they improve them: 40W bulbs must draw just 10.5W, and 60W bulbs 11W. The
result is the same: Incandescents simply can’t keep up with those twisty
compact fluorescent (CFL) and newer LED bulbs, and even retailers are buying in
bulk as the calendar winds down.
Home Depot has a six-month
stockpile, according to Mark Voykovic, the store’s national light bulb
merchant. “Home Depot anticipates running out of their stock of 40W to 60W
bulbs six months into 2014,” he told Fox News.
Now
that the cat is out of the bag, I would give that stockpile between one and two
months before its gone.
The
New York Times chortled in high gear. In David Pogue’s March 23rd
2013 article, “New
Reasons to Change Light Bulbs
,” it opened with:
People sometimes have trouble
making small sacrifices now that will reward them handsomely later. How often
do we ignore the advice to make a few diet and exercise changes to live a
longer, healthier life? Or to put some money aside to grow into a nest egg?
Intellectually, we get it — but instant gratification is a powerful force.
You don’t have to be one of those
self-defeating rubes. Start buying LED light bulbs….
…LED bulbs are a gigantic
improvement over incandescent bulbs and even the compact
fluorescents
, or CFLs, that the world spent several years telling us to
buy.
Well,
I guess the U.S. must catch up with the rest of the world. Thomas Edison can go
fry an egg. You’re just a gun-toting, rights-quoting, unpatriotic rube who
refuses to sacrifice for the common good if you don’t see the wisdom of buying
LED or CFL bulbs. Most bulb manufacturers agree. What was that lyric from The Producers?
            “Don’t be stupid!
            Be a Smarty!
            Come and join the Nazi Party!”
And,
like most German businesses and industrial giants who supported Hitler, and
after his accession to power in 1933, offered him the leashes with which to
fashion around their necks, ours all heeled on order from Washington D.C.
The
rest of the world means the European Union. I haven’t read any news stories about
how the African and South American continents are struggling with light bulbs. A
more recent New York Times article of November 1st, “This
Little LED of Mine
,” by Diane Cardwell reminded us:
European regulators have also
been pushing consumers to switch to more efficient bulbs. Last year, the
European Union completed its phaseout of 40-watt bulbs, the last common
incandescent model still available.
And
federal regulators here seem to be in cahoots with the manufacturers.
For several years, manufacturers
have been making LED lights that increasingly mimic incandescents, while steadily
bringing down their prices. Big-box retailers like Wal-Mart are jumping into
the market, offering their own brands of the bulbs, often for $10 or less.
Regulators are getting involved,
too. The Environmental Protection Agency recently finished overhauling lighting
standards for its Energy Star program, making it easier for more LEDs to
qualify for generous discounts. And California, a leader in all things green,
is going even further, with elaborate new requirements to control not just how
much electricity the bulbs use but how the light feels.
Am
I exaggerating or hallucinating when I accuse America manufacturers of
cooperating with a fascist scheme to subject Americans to the will of
Washington? Well, let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth. Fox News also had this
to report:
While consumers might not
appreciate the drop in choices, they should like their plunging energy bills,
said the National Electrical Manufacturers Association – the main trade
association for bulb builders.
“NEMA’s members are in the energy
efficiency business,” Phallan Davis, a spokeswoman for NEMA, told FoxNews.com.
“Electroindustry products are becoming more and more energy efficient and the
systems that often manage their use add to energy and cost savings. NEMA
believes that energy efficiency policies, for the residential, commercial, and
industrial sectors, should be a central component to any national energy
policy,” she said.
And
those “energy efficient” policies will join the nutrition efficiency policies,
and the health efficiency policies, and environmental efficiency policies, and
solar efficiency policies, and the banking efficiency policies, and every other
efficiency policy an ambitious policy creator can imagine and shepherd through the
venal, corrupt halls of Congress.
There
are countless Americans who are completely oblivious to the fundamental issues,
such as Katherine Salant, whose November 19th Washington Post
article, “Say
goodbye to the incandescent bulb
,” is a front-seat demonstration of
myopic pragmatism:
Though the LEDs are not exact
equivalents of the 60-watt bulbs they replace, they are close enough that most
consumers will not, in my estimation, experience much of a change (when I tried
several in my own house, my husband didn’t notice a thing).
Based on my home testing, and
rating five LED 60-watt equivalents for both price and performance, the two
that seemed the best bet for most homeowners are CREE’s
“Soft White LED 60 watt Replacement”
 and Philips
“11w – 60w,”
 (available at Home Depot for $12.97 and $14.97
respectively). They are both Energy Star rated, which means that they are both
eligible for rebates when local utilities offer them.
In addition to a pleasing color
of light (they each are 2700 degrees Kelvin, close to the 2800 degrees for an
incandescent 60-watt bulb), both bulbs have excellent “light distribution.” That
is, when switched on, the light shines both up and down, making these suitable
for reading as well as for general use.
There
you have it, from an expert who has a degree in architecture from Harvard. Like
the global warming issue (aka the “climate change” issue), the lumen
“science” is settled. She’s “tested” it. You, too, won’t experience
much of a change. The test, after all, is about near-equivalence. Rights? What rights?
What has politics to do with the issue? Are you with the Tea Party or
something? Go away. I’m not interested in that intellectual stuff.
The
advocates of the new bulbs and their friends in the press keep blithely nattering
away about the alleged energy cost reductions and longevity that would balance
out the prices of the new bulbs, as though that will compensate for being
denied the choice of setting one’s own standards. But are those germane,
legitimate issues? Where in the Constitution is the article that empowers
Congress to regulate candle light, or gaslight, or electric lights? Some facetious
Supreme Court justice might cite the commerce clause or the “public
welfare” clause, as the Court did when it sanctioned ObamaCare, or
socialized medicine and health care.
The
energy consumption comparisons are irrelevant. The brightness differences are
irrelevant. The costs are irrelevant. The issue is not whether or not the new
bulbs are any better or last longer. The issue is the government robbing Americans
of their freedom of choice, with the assistance of America businesses and
manufacturers, who cave at the first sign of government interest in what they
are doing or not doing.
Thomas
Edison did not work under government orders or try to comply with government standards,
nor would he wish to. Today, his freedom of thought has been abolished by the
“efficiency” experts of a vast bureaucracy. And so has ours.

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2 Comments

  1. Slade Calhoun

    Apparently Americans in general are quite, ah, tractable. Light bulbs today, mandatory colonoscopies tomorrow. When the bad times come, and all of America becomes Detroit or the Starnesville of Atlas Shrugged, I intend to flay and render the hides of environmentalists, among others, for lamp oil. No moral hand-wringing whatsoever.

    Just kidding. Heh, heh.

  2. Unknown

    If you are planning on Buy led bulbs online and you do not have a chance to visit the nearest shopping center, you should consider purchasing them on the internet. The pros with purchasing on the internet are that you do not have to spend your efforts and effort viewing the nearest shopping center. All you need to do is to place your order and you will have the lights sent to your front door. The other advantage of purchasing on the internet is that you will have access to a wide range of styles other than the ones available in the nearest shopping center. When purchasing on the internet you should understand that there are many fraud websites therefore you should be careful and ensure that you do your research and recognize reliable websites to buy from.

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