Nothing beats Baby Cakes backlit by the sun. All majesty and splendor and pink ears.
"But why worry about making a product so good people feel they have to have it, when you can instead get the government to tell them they have no choice?" asks WSJ editorial board member Brian M. Carney rhetorically in his must-read "Bye Bye Lightbulb," a window into the way Congress and the president run mercantilistic interference for chosen clients behind a smokescreen of environmental concern:
OK, they did not exactly ban them. But the energy bill passed by Congress and signed by President Bush [blogged here] sets energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs that traditional incandescent bulbs cannot meet.
Spiral-type compact fluorescent lamp. "Many CFLs are designed to replace an incandescent lamp and can fit in the existing light fixtures formerly used for incandescents," according to Wikipedia.
As we blogged last April on what we called "the spectacle of our fellow Americans congratulating themselves for replacing light bulbs":
Glenn Reynolds had the last word on the virtues of CFLs [compact fluorescent lamps] months ago when he noted that low-energy bulbs were already making inroads driven by market forces.
It appears, however, that the powers that be and the lobbyists who enable them can't wait for the invisible hand to deliver the goods. Carney continues cynically:
Now, I'm sure that Philips and GE and Sylvania all want to make the world a better place and so on. But if they can do so while at the same time getting the government to force their customers to pay 10 times as much for their products, well . . . did they mention that they're making the world a better place? The light bulb that costs 10 times as much does, it is true, last four times as long. But if you're a lightbulb maker, that's a pretty good trade.
If you're a consumer, you have to decide that for yourself. Except that, after the ban, you won't be allowed to any more. You just got traded up, forcibly, to a "better" product.
The halogen spotlight in the kitchen combines with late-afternoon light streaming in the window to bring out the peaches-and-cream loveliness of all that is Tiny.
Creeping nanny statism and cryptic subsidization of major manufacturers -- a marriage made in Beltway Hell.
Update: Major species subsidization under way at Friday Ark #172 at Modulator.
Update II: Goomp in the comments:
I think Brian Carney misses the real force behind the move to CFL light bulbs. While I have no doubt the manufacturers are pleased with the laws mandating their use, the real driving force is the "I want to feel important and noble" urges of environmental nutcakes whom lawmakers wish to accommodate.
Exactly. That would be Schopenhauer's informational and reputational "cascades" of sheeplike belief formation that cause flat-earthers to crowd the cultural ether in every era.
Update: Maggie's Farm links.