Not such a bright idea…

Last week we had a salesman come into work…I can’t remember what company he was from, but they sell basically everything. He handed us a catalog that was about 3″ thick. We gave him a tour of the shop and he was about to leave when he said, “oh, btw, just so you know, the lightbulbs you use in those lights there won’t be available next year. We have lights that you can buy to replace them with, if you’re interested.” When probed further he said, “yeah…the government is making them illegal…but that’s another story,” and like it is treason to doubt the government he quickly added, “and the new bulbs are really much more efficient and…” I wasn’t really talking with him, just listening in, so I didn’t think it was polite to add my two cents, but I wanted to say, “if they are so efficient, why does the government have to force us to buy them?” Were people forced to buy cars instead of buggies? Did the government have to outlaw telegraphs when the telephone was invented? There’s this myth that people are stupid and are only interested in cheap, ugly, inefficient things and that somehow when some of these stupid people become government officials they are suddenly filled with a desire to make our lives better…but we’re just too dumb to appreciate their efforts.

This whole issue of lightbulbs came up the next day when I went shopping for a new desk lamp. There were no 60 watt lamps to be found. Either these 60 watt giant floor lamps or a dinky 40 watt desk lamp. Seriously? What happened to 60 watt lights? While I don’t have a source for this, I’m absolutely certain the reason for a shortage of 60 watt lamps is that the government doesn’t want them made anymore. Isn’t it for me (the consumer) to decide if a product is inefficient? Thankfully I finally found a decent 60 watt lamp at Target that is now giving me enough light to write this post.

If things keep going this way, the government is going to throw us back into the dark ages…literally…

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