Autocide

The cash for clunkers program ran out of cash within 4 days. And, judging from this New York Times article, the program has been cocked-up from the get-go.

Now, does the fact that the program ran out of money so quickly mean it is “working?” Yes, in the sense that a large number of people turned in their “clunkers” in order to get a better down payment on a new car that got better gas mileage. So far, so good. It’s a stimulus package for the auto industry that may actually work and move some new iron off of dealers’ lots.

However, there is a very obvious, evil downside: autocide. Each “clunker,” most in running condition, must be put down as though they were horses with broken legs. Not shot, but rendered chemically inert. Unusable.

Why is this evil, when it’s intended purpose is to reduce pollution? Because it puts minimal environmental gain against human needs not met. Is it not possible that poor people, including students, might be able to use these clunkers?

It’s not just possible, it’s likely. By killing otherwise usable cars, the C4C program takes viable used cars off the market at the low end. Think that just might result in higher prices for used cars, generally? But hey, isn’t it much better that affluent liberals feel good than poor people get usable transportation?

Al Gore is happy. Too bad about those poor folks.

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One thought on “Autocide

  1. Pingback: lunatic economics « right turns

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