Constitutionality of light bulb ban questioned - Environmental Protection Agency must be called for a broken bulb

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WASHINGTON – Members of Congress are beginning to have second thoughts about the ban on incandescent light bulbs effective in 2014 as a result of an energy bill signed into law earlier this year.
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, says his objection is very basic – the Constitution doesn't authorize Congress to do anything remotely like banning a product that has been used safely and efficiently for more than 100 years in favor of Chinese-imported compact fluorescent light bulbs that pose considerable health and safety risks.
Poe cited the dangers associated with CFLs, which carry small amounts of mercury that can enter the environment through breakage and disposal. He also objected to reliance on the CFL alternatives when, currently, all are made in China.
"Congress passed an energy bill that should be called the anti-American non-energy bill because it punishes Americans for using energy when it should be finding new sources of available energy," Poe stated.
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metspitzer wrote:

The bill did _not_ "ban" incandescent bulbs, it set minimum efficiency standards.
I'm not taking a position, but if it isn't constitutional, neither are CAFE standards for automobiles or most any other regulations regarding performance levels of any product (say drug effectiveness, for another example).
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dpb wrote in message ...

thoughts
efficiency
are
regarding
another
They would do better to set some minimum standards efficiency for themselves, and then follow the standards.
Cheri
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...and where is the sanctioned in the Constitution?

Sounds good to me.
-- Keith
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That some incandescents available at Home Depot already meet.
Also, only certain incandescents are affected - there are many exceptions (colored, flood, spot, appliance, decorative, ones of brightness of "usual 25 watt ones and dimmer, ones brighter than the brighter 150 watt 750 hour ones, other exceptions).
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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| The bill did _not_ "ban" incandescent bulbs, it set minimum efficiency | standards.
So you are saying that in 10 years, I can still buy incandescent bulbs for the few places I actually need them?
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On Jun 20, 10:04 pm, snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:

Incandesants will never go away they are cheap and are better in many aplications like above a stove, in a oven, frige, for lower than -15f, work lights , -15f exterior lights, and where instant on is needed, industry, and in the winter work lights. Actualy an Incandesant bulb is a heater that has a byproduct of 4-6% of very good light! The smart thing to do would be just tax them and give a big rebate to flourescents, and not wait till 2012
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| Incandesants will never go away they are cheap and are better in many | aplications like above a stove, in a oven, frige, for lower than -15f, | work lights , -15f exterior lights, and where instant on is needed, | industry, and in the winter work lights. Actualy an Incandesant bulb | is a heater that has a byproduct of 4-6% of very good light! The smart | thing to do would be just tax them and give a big rebate to | flourescents, and not wait till 2012
LEDs should work fine in a refrigerator. They can scatter them around front and back, and on each shelf. That would solve the "light blocked by the old milk" problem.
I do like the idea of taxing the incandescent bulbs. But I also like the idea of taxing cheap imports.
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snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:

Then there are those who are opposed to using tax laws to promote public policy. Taxes distort the marketplace.
As for taxing imports, this silliness was settled in the 18th Century in Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations." Smith proved that everybody benefits when nations do what they do best and freely trade with other nations who also do what they do best.
Regrettably, not everybody keeps up with the latest economic theories.
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| snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote: |> |> I do like the idea of taxing the incandescent bulbs. But I also like |> the idea of taxing cheap imports. |> | | Then there are those who are opposed to using tax laws to promote public | policy. Taxes distort the marketplace.
And I am not one of those. The marketplace needs to be distorted in a few places. The market for subprime mortgage origination comes to mind as my first place, if you need an example.
| As for taxing imports, this silliness was settled in the 18th Century in | Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations." Smith proved that everybody benefits | when nations do what they do best and freely trade with other nations who | also do what they do best.
As long as all nations are on a level playing field, this would be so. But it is a fact that most nations outside the USA have governments playing a hand in the economies.
| Regrettably, not everybody keeps up with the latest economic theories.
Regrettably, not everybody is open sighted to what all goes on in the world.
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snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net says...

The market for subprime mortgages is being distorted by a bailout (and FannieMay). Without a bailout there would be no distortion. Let 'em sink.

It's impossible for a government to *not* have a hand in economics and silly to think they should (not).

...or their own house.
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| snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net says...
|> |> |> |> I do like the idea of taxing the incandescent bulbs. But I also like |> |> the idea of taxing cheap imports. |> |> |> | |> | Then there are those who are opposed to using tax laws to promote public |> | policy. Taxes distort the marketplace. |> |> And I am not one of those. The marketplace needs to be distorted in a few |> places. The market for subprime mortgage origination comes to mind as my |> first place, if you need an example. | | The market for subprime mortgages is being distorted by a bailout | (and FannieMay). Without a bailout there would be no distortion. | Let 'em sink.
Totally unregulated markets are known to have ups and downs that can sometimes get way out of whack. The bailout is to avoid a sinking that would just make it go even further out of whack, or take other markets down with it.
The regulation I would focus on is to have avoided the whole mess in the first place, and provide for a stable growth. The MINIMUM regulation to achieve that would be my goal.
The stupid businesses _should_ sink. But when it's a case of the sinking ship taking other things down with it, that needs to be avoided.
|> | As for taxing imports, this silliness was settled in the 18th Century in |> | Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations." Smith proved that everybody benefits |> | when nations do what they do best and freely trade with other nations who |> | also do what they do best. |> |> As long as all nations are on a level playing field, this would be so. But |> it is a fact that most nations outside the USA have governments playing a |> hand in the economies. | | It's impossible for a government to *not* have a hand in economics | and silly to think they should (not).
How the governments in places like China are managing their economy compared to the USA is a big contrast. It puts the USA in a weak position.
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says...

Perhaps true, but irrelevant.

I agree, but also irrelevant.

Agreed, but also irrelevant. The *point* is that bailing out those who made bad bets allows them another chance to do so and telegraphs a terrible message to everyone else. *THAT* is distorting the market.

Also true, but irrelevant.
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| says...
|> |> |> |> |> |> I do like the idea of taxing the incandescent bulbs. But I also like |> |> |> the idea of taxing cheap imports. |> |> |> |> |> | |> |> | Then there are those who are opposed to using tax laws to promote public |> |> | policy. Taxes distort the marketplace. |> |> |> |> And I am not one of those. The marketplace needs to be distorted in a few |> |> places. The market for subprime mortgage origination comes to mind as my |> |> first place, if you need an example. |> | |> | The market for subprime mortgages is being distorted by a bailout |> | (and FannieMay). Without a bailout there would be no distortion. |> | Let 'em sink. |> |> Totally unregulated markets are known to have ups and downs that can sometimes |> get way out of whack. The bailout is to avoid a sinking that would just make |> it go even further out of whack, or take other markets down with it. | | Perhaps true, but irrelevant. | |> The regulation I would focus on is to have avoided the whole mess in the first |> place, and provide for a stable growth. The MINIMUM regulation to achieve that |> would be my goal. | | I agree, but also irrelevant. | |> The stupid businesses _should_ sink. But when it's a case of the sinking ship |> taking other things down with it, that needs to be avoided. | | Agreed, but also irrelevant. The *point* is that bailing out those | who made bad bets allows them another chance to do so and telegraphs | a terrible message to everyone else. *THAT* is distorting the | market.
NOT bailing them out just exacerbates the market decline. The correct thing to have done would be to separate the bad decision makers from any benefits of the bailout. Unfortunately, laws are not in place to do that effectively.
There needs to be certain regulations on this. Where bad decisions can only affect ones own profits, the government really has no need to be involved. But where bad decisions can affect the whole economy, the government has a genuine interest to be involved.
Generally, bankruptcy proceedings can separate a loser from his losses. Those who own a losing business get to lose their business that way. That may well be an adequate remedy for situations like this. But if more is needed, maybe jail time for the bad actors?
I did suspect this housing mess needs to have some people put in jail. But the laws may not have made it sufficiently clear to do it this time around. To the extent that is so, the laws need to change.
|> |> | As for taxing imports, this silliness was settled in the 18th Century in |> |> | Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations." Smith proved that everybody benefits |> |> | when nations do what they do best and freely trade with other nations who |> |> | also do what they do best. |> |> |> |> As long as all nations are on a level playing field, this would be so. But |> |> it is a fact that most nations outside the USA have governments playing a |> |> hand in the economies. |> | |> | It's impossible for a government to *not* have a hand in economics |> | and silly to think they should (not). |> |> How the governments in places like China are managing their economy compared |> to the USA is a big contrast. It puts the USA in a weak position. | | Also true, but irrelevant.
You sure to consider a lot of things to be irrelevant.
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says...

I agree somewhat[*], but that wasn't my point.
[*] This isn't a binary decision. The note-holders can be left to choke in their own sludge. Buy up the mortgages from the failing mortgage holders for nothing, turn around and sell them for more than they're worth. It might take a while, but the real estate market *will* come back. When it does, the Fed makes out like a bandit. In the mean time, let the people (the ones who actually occupy the houses) stay for the $$ on the original note. There are a billion ways to skin this cat, making sure the next guy doesn't take useless paper and perhaps turning this sow's ear around.

Where do you draw that line? ...other than the obvious fraud involved.

You can jail them for fraud. How do you jail them for bad financial decisions? Your answer is too simple to be of use.

What do you propose to make illegal that isn't already?

They may have merit but are irrelevant to the point being raised in this thread. IOW, a strawman (or red herring - take your pick).
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|> There needs to be certain regulations on this. Where bad decisions can only |> affect ones own profits, the government really has no need to be involved. |> But where bad decisions can affect the whole economy, the government has a |> genuine interest to be involved. | | Where do you draw that line? ...other than the obvious fraud | involved.
I draw the line where the decisions affect the public in general, the nation, and the economy. For it to be a violation, there has to be regulations or laws in place. There are lots of little lines to draw, and I don't have all the answers. I just know that where thet are drawn now isn't good enough.
|> Generally, bankruptcy proceedings can separate a loser from his losses. |> Those who own a losing business get to lose their business that way. |> That may well be an adequate remedy for situations like this. But if |> more is needed, maybe jail time for the bad actors? | | You can jail them for fraud. How do you jail them for bad financial | decisions? Your answer is too simple to be of use.
See above. If the decision involves something that will have an impact beyond just the deciders finances, or the finances of his company, then it needs to be regulated/legislated. The specifics would depend on what is involved. There are lots (thousands) of little areas that might be subject to this.
What I'm proposing is the general idea. Specifics still need to be worked out.
|> I did suspect this housing mess needs to have some people put in jail. But |> the laws may not have made it sufficiently clear to do it this time around. |> To the extent that is so, the laws need to change. | | What do you propose to make illegal that isn't already?
I don't know, yet. If everything done by that executives that caused this mess really is already illegal, then lets put the bastards in jail. If we can't (now) then we need to explore why not and fix things so we can in the future (and make sure they understand these changes).
|> |> |> | As for taxing imports, this silliness was settled in the 18th Century in |> |> |> | Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations." Smith proved that everybody benefits |> |> |> | when nations do what they do best and freely trade with other nations who |> |> |> | also do what they do best. |> |> |> |> |> |> As long as all nations are on a level playing field, this would be so. But |> |> |> it is a fact that most nations outside the USA have governments playing a |> |> |> hand in the economies. |> |> | |> |> | It's impossible for a government to *not* have a hand in economics |> |> | and silly to think they should (not). |> |> |> |> How the governments in places like China are managing their economy compared |> |> to the USA is a big contrast. It puts the USA in a weak position. |> | |> | Also true, but irrelevant. |> |> You sure to consider a lot of things to be irrelevant. | | They may have merit but are irrelevant to the point being raised in | this thread. IOW, a strawman (or red herring - take your pick).
Well, for the original thread topic, yeah, China is irrelevant.
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says...

The idea that nothing should be done that "affects the public in general" scares the shit outta me! Such sentiments would make Stalin grin.
It would be impossible to draw all this "little lines". There isn't just one issue here; most of it hyped by the press out of all recognition.

You and I *certainly* disagree here. It is impossible to have an open society and one where people can't have an affect outside their little sphere, as well.

The devil is always in the details. It's that devil I'm afraid of.

Not everything bad that happens is illegal, nor can it be. Nor, indeed, should it. Life is about risks, and should be. Making everything that is bad "illegal" also eliminates the possibility of "good". If you want to live as a drone, move to France. ;-)

As such they simply are tools to push emotional buttons thus aren't useful, assuming your intent is to exchange information rather than propaganda. The mainstream press is good at this.
--
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snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:

Not to draw too close a parallel, it is worth looking at the stock market crash of 1929. The laws of the time did not prevent ignorant investors from getting into things way over their head. Certainly some brokers encouraged this as a way for the average 'Joe' to make money. Brokers extended lucrative credit to novice investors that bought stocks on margin because 'everyone' was doing it, and nobody defaults, they just flipped the stock and turned it over to another stock. So brokers weren't losing out and actually made money on the commissions. They didn't worry so much about 'bad risk' borrowers because boom times helped all. They 'got away with it' for a few years because the borrower could always just 'flip' the stock for a goodly profit and move on.
Then stock prices fell and borrowers couldn't pay back the margin-calls. Lots of lenders lost money, lots of borrowers lost all their stocks. Money supply dried up.
Any of this sound familiar? Just replace 'broker' with 'mortgage broker' and 'stock' with 'real-estate'.
After the crash, stricter regulations were put in place about buying on margin and most people got smarter about buying on margin. Probably a similar thing will happen now with mortgages.
daestrom
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daestrom wrote:

Won't happen.
If stricter rules were employed in the mortgage market, those traditionally deprived, downtrodden, and discriminated against couldn't afford a home beyond their means. Further, segregated and gated communities would remain off-limits to other classes of citizens.
The minions that determine the final regulations are committed to equality of outcome.
Whatever laws the legislative branch writes or whatever rules are implemented by political appointees, the silliness will prevail.
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snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMgmail.com says...

That is not the problem at all. The real problem is "toxic CDOs" and the margins the people who rolled these instruments used. Add in any *slight* downturn and you have a instant busted bank. Like the crash above, the margins on these real estate budles is quite low (as low as 3%, AIUI). A *minute* downturn and it's in negative territory. When you start getting defaults...

True, but not really this issue.

That is definitely true. There is no end to silly season anymore.
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