Friday, July 31, 2009

'Cash for Clunkers' Extension a Disgrace

Flush with success in losing lots of money in the auto business so far, the House of Representatives wants to borrow $2 B more from whomever wants to lend the government the money so that, in a parody of the "broken window" parable of Bastiat (scroll down to section 1.6 after clicking on the link) that debunks the idea that destroying property to stimulate economic activity is a good thing, useable cars get physically destroyed so that more expensive new ones get sold.

If the government wants fuel efficiency and some degree of fiscal rectitude, it should simply raise the gasoline tax. Period. That will reduce miles driven by "clunkers" while providing both an ecologic benefit and some much-needed revenue. But some people can use a "clunker" as a second or third family car for limited use without harming the environment much. Taking cars that would otherwise stay in use to be scrapped before their time is as wrong as FDR's policy of raising prices for the flesh of dead animals by killing the baby animals was in the Depression. Though cars presumably feel no pain when squeezed to their final end or when a poison is put into their engine.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

1 comment:

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. What are policy makers thinking? We could just buy carbon offsets. And you're right that number of miles driven is more important than fuel economy. Nevertheless gov't is paying people to ruin good engines by running them with Na2SiO3 in the oil. It sounds like some kind of bizarre insurance fraud.