In the United States, the incandescent light bulb is set to be phased out by federal legislation by 2014. Thomas Edison's great nineteenth century innovation, which contributed greatly to an increased living standard, is now effectively being banned. It is being replaced with a more eco-friendly bulb that consumes less energy.
However, this bulb has its problems. It costs much more. The light it produces is unsatisfactory to some consumers. You practically have to call in a hazmat crew when one breaks due to the mercury they contain. New research suggests that they may cause breast cancer.
Why can't the decision about light bulb production and purchases be made between producers and consumers? Why does the government need to be involved in this at all? If the government shouldn't be in our bedrooms, why is in our light sockets?