So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Sunday, January 6, 2013
Cash for Clunkers, bad policy
This recent article claims the government's Cash for Clunkers program actually hurt the environment more than it helped.
Because of the requirements of the program, many cars were shredded. The process generated a fair amount of landfill waste. It also consumed a significant amount of energy. The article also pointed out that the program created a shortage of good used cars, inflating the price of those remaining.
What the article did not mention is that actually making a car uses more energy than it will consume in its lifetime. It would have made more sense to keep old cars on the road, encourage proper maintenance, good driving habits, and fewer miles driven. Of course, that would not have given a boost to the car industry, but why should the government be promoting that industry in the first place?
During the 80s gas took a significant jump in price. Small cars were going for a premium. Back then I bought an old Chevy with a 8 cylinder engine. I called it my economy car. The car got about 18 miles to the gallon. However, I only paid $50 for the car. It took another $40 to get it road legal. I drove it for 2 years. The only other repair was a water pump replacement, which I did myself. With no car payments, I could afford a lot of gas.
It made me sad to see plenty of perfectly good cars scrapped for no good reason. Now we know it didn't even benefit the environment.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.