There's been a lot of buzz today over the news that a California state politicians is probably getting to introduce the amusingly named "How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act," which would ban the old classic incandescent lightbulb from California by 2012. It's no secret that fluorescent bulbs use up a lot less energy and last a lot longer than incandescents, and are becoming quite popular -- but that still doesn't quite explain the reasoning behind the legislation. In part, it's probably just to get more attention for fluorescent bulbs, but it's really an education issue, not a regulatory one. As people realize just how much they save by going fluorescent, they're making the switch anyway -- and adding legislation to ban the incandescent bulb doesn't make much sense, other than as a way for a politician to pretend he's making a difference. It's great that this legislator wants to get more people to make the switch, but this highlights how politicians use the hammer of regulation to view every problem as a nail.
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