Why Did They Outlaw Lightbulbs?

  • August 4, 2023

As of a couple of days ago, it is illegal for retail stores to sell lightbulbs. Well, incandescent lightbulbs. The reason for this is simple.

They are inexpensive.

And that is always a problem for the grifters who operate the machinery of the government, which is used to enrich themselves and their attendant lampreys in corporate America, who profit from impoverishing us.

There was a time when it cost less than a buck to buy two 75 watt incandescent bulbs – and it wasn’t 50 years ago, either. It was before the federal government decided it would “save people money” by forcing them to buy LED lightbulbs that cost five-times-plus as much.

Few ask the obvious question: If it “saves us money,” then why is it necessary to force people to buy it? Wouldn’t a money-saving device be appealing to people?

Well, not if it costs a lot of money, in which case you lose money. The EV is an obvious parallel example. The government touts how much people will “save” – by spending a third or more on the car. Of course this makes no sense to the not-innumerate and it also doesn’t take into account the fact that people who cannot afford the EV won’t be “saving” anything.

The same logic-reversal (and viciousness) applies with regard to the recent – and also parallel – proposals to out-regulate conventional water heaters by making regulatory compliance costs so high that the company’s that make them won’t be able to make “compliant” models that people can afford, assuming they can be made “compliant” at all.

But the government says: You will save so much money! A on-demand/tankless water heater system uses less energy to heat water and your electricity bill will be lower! This may be true – as regards the power bill – and assuming that the cost of electricity doesn’t go up on account of all of this government-decreed demand for more of it. But it does not take into account the bill – for the tankless/on-demand water heater. Which will cost you two if not three times as much as a conventional water tank – and that is probably lowballing it because it doesn’t take into account the effect of the elimination of alternatives upon the price of tankless/on-demand water heaters nor the effect of increased demand for them, artificially created by government eliminating alternatives to them.

It’s the same with what’s happened to incandescent bulbs. When they were still available, people could buy them rather than LED-type bulbs. This alternative applied downward pressure on the cost of LED-type bulbs; if they were priced too high relative to the value they returned, most people wouldn’t buy them.

The same with EeeeeeeeVeeeees.

There are people who would – and who can afford to. But they buy for different reasons than “saving money.” For them, the value of an EeeeeeeeeeVeeeee or an LED-type lightbulb is that it is (supposedly) “green” and they are willing to spend money for the sake of that.

But they aren’t saving money.

The government knows that perfectly well, of course. It knows that while many people aren’t philosophers and don’t have much understanding of politics, they do understand the bottom line. They know what doesn’t “save them money” – and generally avoid buying it. Especially when they cannot afford to buy it.

And that is why the government must force them to buy – even if they can’t pay.

How many Americans can afford to spend $2,500 on a tankless/on-demand water heater rather than $1,000 for a new replacement water tank? Many Americans haven’t got $1,000 in cash money on hand to buy a replacement water tank. But the government wants to “save them money” by making them spend twice or three times that sum on an on-demand system. And a third again as much (or more) on an electric car that will “save them money” they haven’t got much of anymore, having been obliged by the government to spend most of what they have left over after government has stolen most of what they earned (and devalued what they have left) on “money saving” necessaries such as $14 for a four pack LED replacement bulbs that used to cost $2.50 when people could still by incandescents.

But – don’t worry – there’s lots of money being made by all of this. The italics to in the interests of etymological honesty.

In the free market, money is earned, via free exchange. You have something to sell. I see value in it that is at least equal to if not greater than the value of the money I have to exchange for it.

In a “planned” economy – a play-nice word for the grift-driven, influence-peddling, rent-seeking economy we’re caught up in – money is made, by grifters who can buy influence that results in rent-seeking deals such as the one that will make a lot of money for the manufacturers of LED-type bulbs, who were making much less when incandescents were still available – and people were free to actually save money, by purchasing them rather than LED-lights that cost them much more money to buy.

. . .

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