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Cash for Clunkers: Smothering Innovation?

cashforclunkersCongratulations America! When we give you free money, you take it! And that is the only lesson learned from the "Cash for Clunkers" legislation. The stated environmental goals, of course, were thrown out of the window ages ago. But we gave Americans (and car companies) more free money to levitra en gel sell and buy the inefficient vehicles of today so they won't need to buy the efficient vehicles of tomorrow.

Here's how Cash for Clunkers should've worked. You bring in an old, extremely inefficient and polluting car or truck. The government gives you some money for taking that car off the only best offers buy viagra china road, allowing you (who would otherwise not be able to afford it) to get a more efficient used car, or an extremely efficient new car. New cars, originally, had to be extremely efficient.

Then the environment took a back seat to the auto industry and, unfortunately, it wasn't wearing it's seatbelt when the whole thing slammed into a brick wall.

So, with the environment flying through the windshield, suddenly you can get a cash for clunkers credit for a 15 mpg truck or an 18 mpg SUV or, and honestly this is the worst of it all, a 22 mpg car! Of course, the government has mandated a fleet-wide efficiency of 27 mpg in just two years for cars. So, yeah, we've basically set ourselves up to have a bunch of very good site buy levitra in canada no prescription extremely inefficient cars on the road for the next ten years while new, efficient cars sit on dealer lots, not getting sold because everyone interested in a new car bought one on July 30th 2009. Just one year before true alternative vehicles hit dealer lots. Just two years before the fleet-wide average was bumped up 5 mpg. So basically, what I'm trying to say is *facepalm*.

Welcome to the government trying to spur innovation and, instead managing to stifle it extremely effectively.

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Comments (27)Add Comment
written by Mark, July 31, 2009
Who is responsible for this? The President or Congress? I know Congress sweetened it for the big Auto companies. But this just goes to show that government and big business are useless when it comes to the environment, only we as the people can change things. I for one will not buy another car unless it is an EV, my next car I plan to buy is the Nissan EV to be unveiled on Sunday. My next house will have solar panels and I will as close as possible to off the grid. I am sick of governments dragging their feet. It is time for people to take over.
written by Brett, July 31, 2009
Nice write-up. I was wondering the exact same thing when I was reading about trading in for a 22mpg car. I'd about flip if my car only got 22mpg.
written by Bob Wallace, July 31, 2009
15MPG to 18MPG is a 20% increase in efficiency.

15MPG to 22MPG is a 47% increase in efficiency.

Sometimes perfect is the enemy of good.

Often one can't get the perfect piece of legislation passed in democracy. I'll take good over nothing....

Mr, Low-rated comment [Show]
written by MD, July 31, 2009
Hank you miss the point, it keeps the Democrat voting, unionized auto makers working...

It has nothing to do with the environment...

Just taking care of those that take care of others smilies/wink.gif
written by Bob Wallace, July 31, 2009
Of course it has something to do with helping to keep people employed. I suppose booting people out of work is a good thing to you?

And the levitra overnight way the legislation has a lot to do with getting auto manufacturers back to profitablilty. We now own a lot of GM, getting them back on their feet so that we can sell our stock is a good thing for me.

Remember that originally this legislation restricted the buy back to US manufactured cars. Then it was realized that our trade agreements didn't allow that.

And, I'm guessing, the 22 MPG minimum was probably influenced by the type of inventory sitting on dealers lots and on the profit margin which tends to levitra best buy be greater for larger cars.

And making Democratic votes happy makes sense to me. You want the Republicans voted back into power so that we can totally forget about working on climate change?

You only want programs that have a single purpose? And only if that purpose is environmental?

written by T, July 31, 2009
Also, older cars are much more polluting than newer ones. Exhaust pollution like SOx, NOx, and uncombusted hydrocarbons has improved dramatically in the last ~20 years, which should improve city smog.
written by ajm, August 02, 2009
Thanks. Finally, an intelligent response to a really unintelligent idea. One more way that the Obamanation is throwing the ordering cialis baby-out-with-the-bathwater. smilies/tongue.gif
Also a waste, spent that money elsewhere
written by bobbobberson, August 02, 2009
Seriously a 3 billion solar power plan would have made better use of the money than the cash for clunkers. My 10 year old car still gets better than 22 MPG, and I can't trade it in for a Prius! Makes me mad. It doesn't improve efficiency enough to make the new car worth it. It takes energy to make a new car. It takes energy to destroy a car. The more used cars on the road, the less new cars, the less energy needed to make a new one.
written by Bob Wallace, August 02, 2009
Some people may be looking at the 'cash for clunkers' program incorrectly.

Was it a poorly conceived program aimed at reducing carbon released into the atmosphere?

Or was it part of the economic stimulus package designed to help our economy climb out of the great "We don't need no stinkin' regulations" recession?

If it is an economic stimulus program then it would make sense to include cars that aren't "the most efficient". Those cars are 1) probably what are clogging up dealers lots and need to be sold so that manufacturing can start up, and 2) the units on which manufacturers/dealers make most money, there is a very low profit margin on small, efficient cars.

I'll hold that "cars for clunkers" is mainly a stimulus package and we are greatly benefiting that we have a pro-environment congress and administration who designed the program to cheap cialis uk boost the mileage of the bottom end cars on the road from 20% to greatly more. (Nothing forbids someone turning in their 12 MPG big, nasty pickup on a 45 MPG Prius.)

Just think, had this program been created a few years back one could probably have gotten a check from the government for trading their banged up Prius for a Hummer.

Cash for Clunkers
written by karenc, August 02, 2009
The restrictions of the cash for clunkers prgram prevents many people from qualifying. In those cases, charity car donation is an excellent option. The donor gets a tax deduction and buy tramadol at cheap price online the charity gets the proceeds from the sale of the donated car.
written by Bob Wallace, August 02, 2009
1) Has to have been insured and registered to the same owner for the previous year.

I take that to be a measure that the car was running and on the road for the last year. Rules out the '73 Plymouths that have been slowly rusting away out behind the barn for the last 20 years. Nothing gained by getting them off the pump.

And "same owner", I assume would mean that this program is aimed at helping out people toward the bottom. Get some efficiency into the hands of people whose budgets are already strained.

2) Car has to run.

See response to #1.

3) Car has to have terrible gas mileage.

Had this been a "help the car manufacturer and dealers only" bill, then one would have been allowed trade in anything, including efficient cars that should be left on the road for someone to use.

Anything I missed?

Your GOP shoots itself in the foot. Again....
written by Bob Wallace, August 02, 2009
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will lead Republican opposition to the popular cash-for-clunkers program in an attempt to generic viagra without prescription block additional funding when it comes up for consideration in the Senate this week.

The House voted 316 to 109 Friday to pour $2 billion more into the program, which has proved so popular that it is running out of money before anticipated end-date in November.

But Republican senators, led by McCain, will try to block it.

“My children and grandchildren are going to have to pay for these cars and we’re helping auto dealers while there are thousands of other small businesses that aren’t getting the help,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. “The role of generic cialis overnight shipping the federal government is not to run the buy levitra on the internet used car business.”

About all the support that the GOP has left is the "under-educated" class. That and large business.

So here they go, blocking Bubba's opportunity to trade in the old Ford pickup on a shiny new Ford pickup.

And pissing on the auto industry with their millions of workers, dealers, and suppliers.

And slowing down the economic recovery for all of us.

(BTW, $2 billion? We spend something like $9 billion on bottled water every year.)
written by tate, August 03, 2009
I am always disappointed with how slowly and link for you genuine levitra online subtly this "movement" is. By the time anything makes its way through the US government, it is almost like no change at all. For such a "tough" people, we sure are wusses.
written by Fred, August 03, 2009
that was not a good idea
written by Oakleigh Solargroupies, August 03, 2009
The American public should be happy with cash for clunkers. Anyone who has been living under a rock and driving a gas-guzzling vehicle can get a bailout and buy a slightly less gas-guzzling vehicle at a big discount! When are responsible, green-living people going to get their bailouts???
relax dude
written by jm, August 03, 2009
we bought a prius lots of people did
written by tonia, August 04, 2009
My 'clunker' is a perfectly good 91 Ford Taurus (yes I know but beggars can't be choosy) that still gets better than 22 mpg even with its V6. I keep it off the road by walking...How about giving me free money to get a slick new commuter bicycle?!
written by Bob Wallace, August 04, 2009

So, with the environment flying through the windshield, suddenly you can get a cash for clunkers credit for a 15 mpg truck or an 18 mpg SUV or, and honestly this is the worst of it all, a 22 mpg car!

The MPG difference between clunkers crushed and new cars purchased is averaging 9.6 MPG.

That's 15 -> 24.6. A 64% improvement.

Or 18 -> 27.6. A 53% improvement.

Did it help or hinder///
written by EcoGirl, August 05, 2009
Most of the 2009 cars have better fuel mileage than the 2008 models so i think it would have been better if they waited another year. The voucher would have been available for cars with a higher EPA fuel mileage standard
written by Bob Wallace, August 05, 2009
EcoGirl -

Are you familiar with the saying "The perfect is often the enemy of the good"?

This guy named Voltaire said it first back 350 years ago or so, and it still applies....
It worked for us
written by econan, August 06, 2009
I have a Toyota Tundra that I need for my boarding stable. It gets 18 mpg. We try never to buy pfizer levitra drive it unless its for the farm. I had a Ford Explorer that got 14 mpg. The Explorer was just barely running. We didn't want to sell it to anyone. That would put it back on the road. If we had junked it, the parts would have kept other inefficient Explorers on the road.

We clunked the Explorer and its 14 mpg for a new Yaris and its 35 mpg. While I understand that we are all waiting for the new generation of more affordable E efficient autos and more importantly for those of us who have farms, a truly efficient pick-up truck. But this is the best solution for us given the current choices we have and just try! cialis mail order can afford.

If clunking my Ford keeps Toyota workers producing more
fuel efficient autos like the Prius and Yaris then it works for me, right now.
written by Cherie Braun, August 06, 2009
"So, with the environment flying through the windshield, suddenly you can get a cash for clunkers credit for a 15 mpg truck or an 18 mpg SUV or, and honestly this is the worst of it all, a 22 mpg car!"

This is incorrect. The vehicle turned in must have averaged 18 mpg or less when new. There are two levels of propecia sale rebate, $3500 or $4500 depending on the difference in the mpg of the new vehicle. So trading in an old truck that averaged 15 mpg for a new smart at 36 mpg gets you $4500, while a car with lesser mileage might only count for the $3500, depending on the spread.

Indeed, the deal should have been that you could trade in your low mileage car for one that is very efficient, i.e., gets 30 mpg combined or more. But since most American cars don't meet that standard, that would have put a lot of money into the pockets of the non-American manufacturers. It was both an environmental improvement program and an economic stimulus program.

We have been fighting for the environment for decades -- you should know by now it always a few tiny steps at a time!
But we don't have any clunkers
written by Gretchen, August 07, 2009
We are dependent on our cars be there is no public transportation within six miles of where we live. I'd love to trade in a clunker for a Prius, but our cars are old Toyotas and Volvos, which get 22 to 36 mpg. Have you noticed that nobody is trading in foreign clunkers?
Most are looking at the wrong things...
written by nick, August 07, 2009
Umm... We do realise that CARS is just a scheme to get government control over your computers, right?

This pops up when you log on to the website:This application provides access to the DoT CARS system. When logged on to the CARS sytem, your computer is considered a Federal computer system and is the property of the United States Government. It is for authorized use only. Users (authorized or unauthorized) have no explict or implict expectation of privacy.

There's more, but I'm sick and tired of warning people who don't care, so if you care, look into it. If you don't, no need to hate here, find somewhere else.

Thanks and YIN,
written by cage, September 01, 2009
Basically this was just an auto company bail out. We cant make real environmental policy because smaller companies trying to come in with innovative products don't buy off enough politians.
No, THIS is how "Cash for Clunkers" should've worked
written by Cynthia, November 06, 2009
Instead of scrapping all those old cars, they should have put people to work converting them to bestellen cialis online more fuel efficient electric, hybrid or multi-fuel vehicles. We read stories every day about people deciding to convert their vehicles; why not make it a way to employ people and levitra cheap canada actually help the environment?

Oh, wait; the Big Three wouldn't have benefited so much, would they?

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