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Cash for clunkers

2970 Views 18 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  langweishan
Ok, everyone has heard of this right? I don't know the specifics on all this but I think if you bring in an old car, not more than 25 years old and you buy a car with better fuel economy, you can earn up to 4,500.

This is why it pisses me off.....

What about all the people in this country who DO NOT OWN A CAR! What about the people who have been taking public transportation all their life OR people who sell their car for whatever reason and now just use public transport?

So sell your environment killing car for a less environmental killing car, uncle sam will pay you. BUT never pollute...or decide to pollute even less, you get jack squat, besides higher rider fares.

Anyone else with me on this??
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Cash for clunkers is the best program that has come out of the current stimulus plan. It is direct investment in the industry. It brings old cars off of the road, replaces them with newer, less-polluting cars, and in the process it stimulates the business of the struggling car companies. All of this comes at a relatively low price for the government. It's the kind of program that the stimulus package should be focusing more on providing for the people. It helps people, it helps business, it helps the environment - 3 birds with 1 stone.
The problem with this article is that it assumes it's for environmental reasons. It's not. The whole point is to stimulate the economy, and there have been reports that have proven that it is helping to stimulate the business of the major car manufacturers, which is the entire point. It is a STIMULUS package after all, not an environmental package. And in the process it also happens to help out the environment some.

Sure, the mpg improvement of some of these deals is very limited, but any progress is good progress. I'm not even covering the fact that new cars are safer, and also less expensive to maintain.
An op/ed that I read a few weeks back that I thought made some good points.
On the other hand, investing in a newer car also has its benefits. It means that consumers will spend less money on replacing and maintaining their cars, at least temporarily, and reduce the burden aging cars puts on people. It gets more people into newer cars. It will also mean that these people pay less on gas. Right now, reducing the burden on the consumer is the best program. And they're also safer, and you could argue that this program could even indirectly save lives (no I would never go "cash for clunkers saves lives, it's a good program!" but it's a fact that new cars are safer). And sure it may create a "car bubble" but the fact is is that there never would've been car sales to create this bubble in the first place without this program. The benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

I don't really support it because of the environmental benefits, I support it because of the benefits it gives to consumers. It reduces the costs that aging cars with low gas mileage put on the consumer. The environmental impact is a relatively minor benefit - I wouldn't really consider myself too much of an environmentalist.

Maybe the program isn't a game-changer, but any amount of progress is good progress. Unfortunately doubters will declare it a failure because it's the kind of program whose full benefits cannot be directly measured and whose drawbacks are more readily apparent. The negatives are always easier to focus on than the positives.

The only thing I disagree with is that I think the cars should be allowed to be sold, but this isn't enough of a drawback to make me withdraw my support.
Except that the government ran out of money, the government has not been keeping up with dealers' requests to be compensated and dealers are hesitant to extend the deal to consumers, prices for used cars will go up since the clunker cars have to be scrapped by law, engine parts from clunkers cannot be sold so fixing older cars that people cannot afford to replace will be more expensive, the carbon footprint of making a car to replace a clunker will usually take 5 to 10 years to offset, no stimulus is really happening since this is a transfer of money instead of wealth creation, and this program is creating an auto bubble that will result in a decrease in the purchases of cars for the next 1-3 years. Other than that, though... :|
But those car sales never would've happened without the cash-for-clunkers program. What's better - a temporary spike, or continuously poor sales? With or without the program, the car sales would've picked up at about the same time, but while we're waiting for car sales to increase, there was a temporary spike that resulted in more sales than there would've been otherwise.

So far the government has only invested $3 billion in this program, which is a relatively meager amount especially considering there have been bailout programs that have cost much more money with far less benefit. I'm sure 90% of the people who take advantage of this program will save money in the long-run and be glad that they made the purchase. In the current recession, helping the consumers cut down on expenses is the most effective way to ease the burden it puts on people.
This program is stupid, it made people turn in what were sometimes perfectly good cars that were destroyed. You have taxpayer money going to boost car sales so the companies that already got bailout money will get more money and car sales will pick up artificially. The money ran out and car sales will be lower again, I swear our government is so stupid there is no hope.
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