The Problem With Mandates

Why can't Senator Rand Paul and others be more like Europeans, so much better — we're told — at accepting '"encouragement" from the state?

But in August 2009, when Europe's ban on old-style light bulbs began, Europeans resisted too. The new regulations left British shoppers, for example, "angry and confused."Sound familiar?

The rebellion of Senator Paul and other legislators was also seen in Europe. "President of European Parliament Industry Committee calls for 'immediate end' to E.U.’s ban on light bulbs," said a December 2010 summary of German news media coverage.

So it's not just Americans who balk at government campaigns to encourage energy-efficient behavior. The simple truth is that people don't like bans and mandates that force them to use products they don't want to use for reasons that, to them, make perfect sense.