Words of wisdom

Referring to the forthcoming ban on “plain-vanilla 100-watt incandescent bulbs” (California is already there), Virginia Postrel writes:

If they’re really interested in environmental quality, policy makers shouldn’t care how households get to that total. They should just raise the price of electricity, through taxes or higher rates, to discourage using it.

Instead, the law raises the price of light bulbs, but not the price of using them. In fact, its supporters loudly proclaim that the new bulbs will cost less to use. If true, the savings could encourage people to keep the lights on longer.


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