Let there be light – but only for the 1%

Just heard a story that has pushed me over the edge!

So if my griping turns you off, you can forget about reading any further. Because I have two gripes, short and sweet, or rather not so sweet…

Gripe #1: No more free TV. I never thought this day would come but it’s here now. Even though we all have pretty much accepted it, I personally think it stinks. Like a skunk. I used to be amazed, when reading about how, in the UK, the citizens have to pay a TV tax or they couldn’t have TV. I don’t know how their set-up is there now, but I used to feel really priviledged at living in a country where you could buy yourself a fairly affordable TV set and just plug it into the wall and get TV reception. Well, no more. You have to spend, spend, spend on all kinds of other contraptions and services these days to watch the old formerly free TV. And that gripes me a lot.

(BTW, I am taking literary license here and not making my grammar or sentence structure comply with the rules I usually adhere to so violently.)

The above gripe is an old one, though, and one I have learned to accept, albeit not love.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But gripe #2 has just thrown me over the edge of the cliff and I am in freefall right now.

Gripe #2: The new-fangled “green” energy-saving light-bulbs that we all must have if we want to do any kind of living after dark are now on the market for — get ready — over $50 per light bulb. In fact, the woman on TV just quoted them at $55 per bulb.

W H A T?

We are now going to have to start a savings account in order to afford to buy light bulbs and this is not far down the road… this is NOW! They’re saying that the old incandescent ones are “flying off the shelves” at all the big stores and once they are off those shelves, they are not coming back. Anytime soon. The day of the $50-$55 light bulb is here!


Now if we had only one lamp in our house, yes, I could see buying the one bulb that is said to last 25,000 hours, but we don’t have only one lamp — there are 5 lamps here in just our living alone, there is an outside lamp at the front door outside and another one at the side door, oh, yes, and one at the rear cellar door and also on our deck out back. There is a lamp in the dining room and in the chandelier over the table there are several, maybe 6 or 8? In the kitchen there are 6 in the ceiling lights not to mention the under-counter lights. In the breakfast room there are 2 lamps and an overhead light on the ceiling fan.

Upstairs I have 2 lamps on my expanded desk area, 1 small lamp on my bureau, and 1 swing lamp beside my bed. Paul has 3 lamps in his room, as well.

In the bathrooms, of which we have 1-1/2, there are 5 bulbs, no, 6 bulbs in the first floor loo, and there are 3 bulbs in the lamp over the sink upstairs in the half-bath.

So let’s summarize here. My math may have gone awry counting all these lamps/bulb holders but I get a total of 44 here at Crow Cottage. Of course, they don’t all get turned on at once, but as we need them, they are there.

If, as the powers-that-be want to happen, all the light bulbs in this country are changed to these high-priced energy efficient types, that will mean I will need to spend approximately $2,420 (that’s TWO THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY DOLLARS) just to replace my light bulbs here as they burn out.

So the question comes as to how many of you have been in that number of consumers who have been furiously buying and stashing the old-fashioned type of light bulbs so that the rest of us can’t find them anymore on the store shelves? Anyone want to admit this to me here?

I wonder how much it would cost me to go out and buy 20 years’ worth of the old fashioned kind and to hoard them in the basement so I will never have to fork over $55 for one light bulb to some rich-creep-in-the-1% group who has the nerve to be doing this to the rest of us way down here in the 99%.

I will need to take out a loan to replace my light bulbs. Whose idea was this anyway? And where can I find the little twat? (Note: It seems that we, the 99% taxpayers paid this entity a prize of $10 million to invent this little baby that is going to wipe out all our savings in the coming years. Oh, that’s a good use of our tax money!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There. Those are my two gripes for today. I will be interested to see who supports this new policy and who is ticked off about it as I am.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And God said, “Let there be light…” but no one over all the land had enough in the bank to afford light bulbs, so the Earth stayed dark for the rest of eternity…

Jeers for progress,


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18 Responses to Let there be light – but only for the 1%

  1. Michael says:

    No, Internet isn’t free, but once you’re paying for it you might as well take advantage of the features that come with it. Even though I have satellite radio, I still like Pandora (the free version) and listen to any number of different stations on it, fairly often.


  2. t.s. says:

    Comcast cable bundles TV, phone, and internet, and it’s hard to unbundle the three. I could do without TV, and switch from a land-line phone to a pay-as-you-go cell phone, except that we have terrible reception in the mountains, but high-speed internet is so nice to have, without having to go down to town to a coffee shop to get online. If the economy gets more funky for us living on fixed incomes, then the bundle may be the first thing to go.


  3. TopsyTurvy says:

    I don’t believe in the more expensive lightbulb theory, sounds like scare-mongering to me. Canada has required CFL lightbulbs for about 5 years now. They started off expensive – about $10 per bulb – and now are down to the prices I showed you for your area, about $1.25 per bulb.

    The prices fell, they didn’t go up.

    And, BTW, using CFL lightbulbs will lower your electricity prices too. It takes much less power to light a CFL bulb.


  4. Bex says:

    So many questions, and I am totally befuddled too.

    TT: It wasn’t an advert on TV I saw, it was a combination of web site reportage and an interview with someone on a news show who spelled out all the ins and outs of the new light bulb era which she says will be befalling us but not today, not tomorrow, but one day sooner or later. If big business can slowly ease us into having to buy a light bulb for $50, they will find a way to do that. Yes, you can buy cheaper ones – now – but this will not always be the case.

    Nina: If you buy a TV here, and you plug it in and expect to get any reception, forget it. All the stations here have gone digital. That means that we need either a digital converter box (which we have on 3 of our 4 TVs in this house) which cost $ every month on our cable bill, and for the “main” TV we have a bigger cable box which allows us to have hundreds of channels (most of which carry crap unfortunately). You cannot just plug in a TV here and get any reception of any kind. It costs me over $100 (I think it’s up to $101 and change now) for cable TV. Also, internet anything is not “free” as it costs me close to $100 for my internet/telephone carrier each month. So that $200 month just for TV, phone (which I hardly ever use) and internet access. That doesn’t include my cellphone which is a pittance amount at $18.40/mo.

    I don’t know if that answered any of your queries here or not.


  5. Michael says:

    Where I live I can’t get clear reception on over-the-air radio stations. I chose to buy a satellite radio subscription, but there are also lots of internet radio stations available free, in all kinds of genres. As for light bulbs, I’ve been switching to CFL bulbs as my old fashioned ones burn out, but they haven’t cost me anywhere near what you’re hearing they are, and they last so long that I’ve only had to replace one in all the time I’ve been using them. In the end, I think I’m probably saving money (and energy, I assume). And as for Mitt, well, I’ve always thought he was a rotten snake. Thanks for further confirmation.


  6. Nina Camic says:

    Bex, my dear, we just looked you up on the Internet because we were befuddled as to why you would suddenly face the charges you write about here. (We just pick up free TV and believe me, there’s plenty of it where we are — major networks, public TV (the best!) — all there, all free.) Ed just looked up Salem’s freebies and you have the same type of palate — all good stuff. So, what has changed for you recently?

    As for light bulbs — I just don’t see the prices you cite. The new ones, the CFLs (rather than incandescent) come in soft tones, daylight tones, round shapes, you name it — and they’re about a buck a piece. You can use those, no? You don’t have to go the LED route.

    So, help me out here — what am I missing?


  7. TopsyTurvy says:

    Bex, don’t let those TV ads for the outlandish CFL lightbulbs fool you, the lightbulbs are NOT that expensive. We had ads like that when we first had to start switching over to those bulbs too, but they really are NOT that expensive.

    Here is a listing of CFL lightbulbs from Bex’s own local HomeDepot (and you know you can get bulbs cheaper than what they sell them for at HD).

    If that link works you’ll see that you can get those bulbs for as little as about $1.25 per bulb.


  8. Ericmayer says:

    We stopped watching television ten years ago. We’d watched less and less and when we moved where we are, at the base of a mountain, we got virtually nothing on the set for free but static so we figured the heck with it.

    I hope regular bulbs won’t actually cost $50. I haven’t bought any sort of new types yet. I strongly suspect they will not last as long as they claim.


  9. Bex says:

    No, Em…that’s the crummy part, Mitt didn’t notify anyone and he just cancelled them en masse and they were stranded wherever they happened to be. He should have organized it so that if he lost, they would know they were on their own and out in the cold, but he didn’t. He’s not much of a man or even a human being IMO. I hear he’s moving out to his CA home – you guys can have him… we are sick to death of him here on the East Coast.

    And Beanie, yes, they ARE charging for radio now… at least all the good stations – I can only get a handful of crappy stations for free. Sirius radio costs money but that’s what it’s all about now. Michael (Bunt Sign) says he has pay-radio and loves it, and I wish I could get it because I love radio, but after paying for internet and TV/cable etc. there isn’t any $$ left for radio.


  10. mz. em says:

    All I can say is I’m still grateful we can plug in the TV and get one basic channel (NBC and their sister station the CW5) and a couple of public television channels out of Los Angeles.

    As for the lights, we called in the power company for their make your house energy efficient, and they replaced all of our lamp bulbs. I feel I have less lamps than you do Bex but still I have a five light bulb lamp over our dining room table/desk. They replaced all our lamps for free.

    On the Romney situation, it does not surprise me in the least. One can see how long his largess lasted. I do hope he at least notified his staff about not using their cards.
    What a cheapskate!


  11. Beanie says:

    Ah! No wonder the older light bulbs have been selling like mad lately! I agree with you though, $50 for a bulb is excessive, and I don’t like the light from the curly ones. Glad I have a backstock.

    As for TV, I hate that I have to pay to watch the basic TV. Are they going to start charging for radio, too?


  12. l'empress says:

    One more about the “entitled”: Linda McMahon (of WWE fame) hired people to work around the polls on Election Day. When she lost, she didn’t pay them. “The check’s in the mail,” say her staffers, but the workers haven’t received any checks.

    If you’ve been reading me for long, you know I am married to a TV addict. I had to pay for cable, of course, but now it’s the cost for my internet, so I’ll take it.


  13. Carol says:

    I think the $50 bulbs are for the new LED lights. The other newer bulbs are expensive but only cost a few dollars. I don’t like the light and have stocked up on a few of the old bulbs just for my painting lights. I guess the LED bulbs are a brighter light and use much less electricity. You can buy a 25 watt bulb that puts out as much as a 100 watt bulb. But I sure can’t afford a $50 light bulb.


  14. Bex says:

    I just read this story from here and wanted to squeeze it in for your perusal (totally off my topic):

    Mitt Romney showed the size of his largess when, after losing the election, he cut off funding to the credit cards for thousands of his staffers, leaving some stranded and without a revenue source.

    Many campaign workers found themselves in restaurants, or cabs with an anxious vendor waiting to be paid and the staffer’s credit cards declined. Mitt Romney left them holding the bag, and he was no longer willing to foot the bill. Some workers found themselves stranded in strange cities across the nation, hundreds or thousands of miles from home, without a penny in their pocket and no plan of action to take next.

    This entire scenario is a window into the type of man Mitt Romney is at his core. When there is nothing to lose, and the cameras are not rolling, he is a ruthless individual.

    Some members of the Romney staff took it in stride. MSNBC.com reported one staffer who, when asked about the credit cards being cut off, shrugged and said: “Fiscally conservative.”

    As is often the case, the perspective of the situation depends on how one looks at the situation.

    I knew this about him all along, having suffered under him as Governor here in Mass. for 4 years, most of which time he was out of the state running for other office. So glad this country did the right thing last week!


  15. Betty Lou says:

    I guess I’m really lucky to live where I do as management replaces my light bulbs when needed. They also do all of the maintenance needed in my apartment. Sometimes I have to wait for a while, but I figure it’s worth the wait.


  16. sandy from iowa says:

    we dont have tv since the change over…I am not paying to watch it…I didnt watch all that much before the change.
    BUT this light bulb mess is making me nuts…I HATE THE NEW ONES..the lighting makes everything have a yellow look to it..
    I will go to candles before i Pay 50 bucks for one bulb.
    I do have a few on hand..the three way ones…you cant buy those now either.
    I AM WITH YOU …HATE all this change in my way of life


  17. Bex says:

    Good idea Rhu… Christmas presents! Only one bulb per person, though. That could really add up if you’ve got lots of friends and family.

    I would also be interested down the road to see if these high-prices stick or if they go down dramatically like the cost of computers, etc. has gone down over the decades. And also would like to know if the prediction of the 25,000 hour life is correct or just a panacea to get us to part with our green in order to stay “green.” I will want to hear the minute someone’s $50 light bulb burns out after only 2500 hours rather than 10 times that long…

    (I’ve just found some of these babies for $16 and change each and have ordered 4 of them on amazon…I hope the post is gentle with them!)


  18. Rhubarb says:

    Regarding “Plug”–a serviceable, sturdy, reliable, but homely horse is called a plug (or a nag). So maybe that’s where the rowboat/dinghy got its name.

    Yes, I agree with you about the loss of free TV. Used to be, you bought a set, then watched for free. Now you have to have to pay every month. So good at figuring out ways to separate you from your money….

    Yeah, I know the new bulbs are expensive, and I am buying them one at a time. Hmmm…maybe that’s what I’ll ask my family to give me for Christmas. Light bulbs! Better bulbs than another sweater that I’ll never wear, right?


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