Photo: LED bulbs; Creator: Geoffrey A. Landis; CC BY 3.0 DEED
The latest bright idea from the Big Government regulators is anything but. As of August 1, a regulatory attack on the free market more than a decade and a half in the making finally went through.
As far back as 2007, the Bush Administration was working to ban the sale of Thomas Edison’s incandescent lightbulb, a technology which had remained largely unchanged for more than a century. One would think that the very symbol of invention would follow the same trajectory as most other innovative technology does. First, the new technology emerges, making life better for people everywhere. Then, as other discoveries emerge, the technology fades away as the demand for it dissolves. That is what happened to the horse-drawn carriage before the automobile and the telegraph machine before the telephone.
Yet, instead of waiting for consumers to stop demanding Edison’s bulb, President Bush sought to force Americans to change their buying habits. President Obama expanded on Bush’s anti-American rule, but President Trump rightly rolled it back.
Now that Biden is in power, the assault on freedom is complete. Americans will be forced to buy expensive LED bulbs instead of having the full choice of the free market.
All this comes in the name of climate change. Because LED bulbs require less energy, the left hopes banning Edison’s bulb will save the planet. However, much like trying to reduce waste by banning plastic straws in favor of inferior paper ones, this is more about making climate alarmists feel good about themselves than actually making a difference.
I have no problem with people who want to use LED bulbs. If you want to spend eight dollars on a lightbulb, be my guest. However, when you want to remove free choice from the market by forcing your preferences on everyone else, that is where I draw the line. The free market system combined with the spark of America’s unparalleled patent system has led to incredible prosperity over the centuries since America’s inception. To abandon those key principles would spell disaster for future generations.