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Early this year I wrote about the irony of federal stimulus money going into LED traffic lights that save energy and taxpayer dollars. In response to the column, four readers put me on to a fact that I flat missed.
LEDs produce little heat, which makes them energy efficient and long-lasting. But there is more. In wintertime, emitting less heat can let more ice and snow build up on a traffic light and make it harder to spot. Examples exist of fatal accidents resulting.
The facts give us a brisk one-sentence story: Federal stimulus money furnishes traffic lights that save tax dollars and raise the risk from ice and snow.
This chip of a story is a gold mine of rock-solid conclusions. Sort through the pile and pick the rock you like best.
Jagged Rock — Government actions have unintended consequences.
Sharp Rock — All actions have unintended consequences. After all, the auto market unintentionally smogged cities for years and kills more than 42,000 people in crashes every year.
Incompetent Rock — The 42,000 annual deaths show the sheer folly of automakers, drivers, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (choose one).
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