Virginia Postrel produced a small quilted hatbox on stage, then opened it to reveal… an ordinary incandescent light bulb. Surely (she said) all strains of conservatism could agree that it was wrong for government to outlaw this bulb?
As a Princeton undergraduate, Virginia had sat in the very room in which we were speaking and been taught by some of the inventors of the cap-and-trade idea. They argued then that government should get out of the business of prescribing solutions to problems - like banning light bulbs to fight global warming - and instead set general rules that enabled people to experiment with the best solutions.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Light bulb conservatism
Personal matters prevented it, but I would have loved to attend this panel discussion on the future of conservatism: