Aug 18, 2009

Random (clunked) thoughts

I have had a hard time digesting the whole thing about the cash for clunkers program. Let's say that I have a huge problem with the fact that perfectly working cars are being destroyed, for the sake of having more people stuck in new car loans and to give the false promise of the economy getting better for... a couple of weeks?

I can't help to think that nine years ago, when I first arrived to this country, a $1,200 Ford Tempo was the car that we could afford to buy.

Was it a clunker? Maybe, but for me, it felt like a Mercedes and it took me from point A to point B, which is the ultimate purpose of any means of transportation, no?

There are many poor and low income working families in the community where I live and work (both immigrants and Americans) that use old clunkers because that it what they can afford. And I've known several local charities that rely of old car donations to help people in need.

However, it seems none of that matters anymore. And when you dare to question it with someone else, you run the risk to be taken as a harsh critic of Obama, like if he was really the center of the world. Not that I am a fan at all... yep, that hopeless, right winger, fear monger that I am.

So, in order to vent out my frustration, I compiled a list of reasons (articles) that explain why I think this has been another huge mistake shoved down our throats by our current administration, and yes, we are the ones paying for it.

C4C is wrong because:

1- Maybe, because... it is just another dumb stimulus idea?

2-The stimulus effect is just another case of smoke and mirrors to try to make us see the rabbit coming out of the magician hat, when the reality is the cute bunny has been living in your back pocket for a long time. “The rebate program is … emblematic of the administration’s unwise approaches to economic policy making. It borrows money to generate economic activity, which in effect borrows growth from the future, since eventually that loan will have to be paid back through higher taxes.”

3-Because it was, yet another, futile exercise where our government interfered in market dynamics that do not understand? Some sort of pan para hoy y hambre para mañana pseudo-solution?

4-Because it is hurting the charity programs who help those who need it the most. So much for the change and helping the poor… right. With friends like these, you hardly need enemies…

5-Because there was a legislative effort (Sen. Tom Coburn) to prevent the destruction of the still working clunkers to allow its donation to charities instead, and that amendment was killed by 56 of our so-savvy senators? I'm just saying... with those friends...

6-Because there are plenty of real life examples of not-so-good- outcomes.

7-Because there is catch behind the goal of protecting the environment by using more fuel efficient cars: "The money for the program is coming out of the Department of Energy’s share of the stimulus, leaving less cash left for them to apply towards green technology, and the process of manufacturing new cars while junking clunkers is apt to consume more energy than is saved by consumers trading up for more fuel-efficient cars."

And, again, I find it hard to believe that in order to save the planet, we have to destroy working cars that can solve the transportation problems of a lot of people that can not afford to sink themselves in a car loan.

8-A lot of people opposed to it, even though you probably never saw that news in your local TV channel. Many people opposed the program (54%, to be more exact), even if they would happily accept the money – it’s hard not to fall for the fallacy of free money in the current times… you know.

9-It was badly handled and managed, like everything else handled and managed by the government? And the so well-though program ran out of money after one… week?

10-There has to be something really wrong about it when even a liberal democrat calls the program a “screwed-up bureaucracy”

11-Despite being you, the taxpayer, the one that is and will foot the bill for many years to come (see clunked thought #1 and #2), the White House seems to believe that there is not need to such a thing called “transparency”, and that are really not smart enough to need to know how the program was handled.

12-Apparently, our current government tried to - using a “fishy” waiver in the C4C program website - grab private information about Americans through the dealer’s records? And when the whole thing popped out in a TV show, in less than 72 hours they changed the terms went into what we call “recoger cordel, rapidito, rapidito

13-Because it was very easy to use the program to buy… another muscle gas-guzzler car? Unintended consequences of not-very-well-though boondoggle programs at taxpayers’ expense, brought to you courtesy of your savvy and omnipotent federal program.

14-Because the net gain, according to the government’s own department of highway safety data, went toward foreign brands? FYI, the top ten clunkers are Detroit brands. The question is, of course, are they getting the message?

15-Because our federal government has now given people an incentive to stay in a cycle of car debt.

I'm just saying... just some thoughts from this cluttered mind.


Juju said...

All true girl! All true!

Cubanita said...

You know what? Since I started listening about this whole thing I haven't been able to stop thinking about how many people in Cuba will solve a lot of their daily stresses if they could only have one of those gas-guzzlers, still working, old clunkers this country is destroying.

Again, in matters of poverty and priorities, things are very, very, relative when you take a look around the world.

Relativity... what a wonderful concept!