We are covering Behavioral Economics in my Energy/Environmental class this week, and people in general like to point out the slow adoption of CFL (florescent) light bulbs as evidence that people are irrational, and thus justifying the law that banned incandescent lightbulbs. (for those of who are not aware, Congress passed a law in 2007 that will ban regular lightbulbs by 2014.)
Still, studies that say CFL light bulbs are obviously better, depend on the assumption that they don't burn out, thus justifying their much much higher prices. Today, I had the third that's burnt out in less than a year of use, and now I have to again figure out how to recycle the d$@# thing. I wonder what the full costs are of government and activists trying to "fix" our irrationality.