Monday, July 27, 2009

Cash for Clunkers counterproductive, cruel

Here's the email I just sent my Senators:

It was difficult to choose a category for this message, because the problem spans many areas the government has its tentacles in.

A co-worker told me today about the $4500 trade in he got under "cash for clunkers" -- and that the perfectly serviceable vehicle he traded in will be destroyed.

Why are these vehicles not being recycled, given to the needy working poor or to welfare recipients who can not find work due to lack of transportation?

I work every day with people who are desperately trying to get off welfare, whose cheap clunkers -- real clunkers costing $2000 or less -- constantly break down, leaving them stranded, sometimes costing them their jobs. They desperately need these "cash for clunkers" vehicles that are being casually destroyed in the name of environmentalism -- meaning that these poor people are stuck driving cars even less fuel-efficient than the trashed "clunkers". So even the "green" goal isn't realized, as poor people are stuck driving pathetic heaps of junk that are barely roadworthy.

Does nobody in Washington have a clue? Or is this some sort of animosity toward the working poor and people who are aspiring to become at least *working* poor and no longer on the dole?

I am outraged beyond words at this callous waste of a desperately needed resource that could make such a significant difference in people's lives.


army_wife said...

I had no idea that the "Cash 4 Clunkers" cars were destroyed. What a disgusting waste. Environmentalism, my foot. Whatever happened to "reduce, reuse, and recycle" and "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"? I heartily agree that these cars should instead be made available to folks who can't get or keep jobs solely because they do not have reliable transportation. Speaking just in terms of "what would benefit the government" (and even omitting the helping-others-because-it-is-right factor): If we could help folks to be independant of government aid, wouldn't it be more beneficial for the government to do so rather than just waste perfectly good vehicles?

Destroying these vehicles instead of reusing them for the remainder of their useful life is just wrong. What a waste of something that could really make a lasting difference in someone's life - the gift of being independant, knowing that you have a job and support yourself independant of any handouts.

Kathy said...

Ah, but Army Wife, you're actually assuming that the government wants people off government aid. I actually don't believe that any more. Here's the deal -- everyone has the right to vote. Most people vote for the person who promises to do the most for him. The more people you have on the government dole, the more people you have ready to vote for the people who promise to keep more welfare coming. The more people they can get dependent upon the government (either directly by welfare, or indirectly by working for the government bureaucracy, or working in a field that requires close connection with the government, such as CPAs, whose livelihood depends on the convoluted tax code, for example, or the aerospace industry), the more you keep people ready to vote for the people who promise to keep the pork coming, or to keep people in their jobs. When the government becomes such a large employer, there's bound to be trouble, because no one is going to vote himself out of office nor out of a job. Couple that with people who will not vote their monthly welfare checks to be cut off, and you have a huge number of people who can be counted on to vote for those who promise to keep the status quo, or even to increase it.

"Helping others" is a nice campaign slogan, but the people in power don't give a d@mn about helping others -- only keeping themselves in power. This is why charities work better than government subsidies or programs or other interference. Giving clunkers to people who can't afford *anything* makes sense; which is why the government isn't doing it.

As the title of the post says, it *is* counterproductive and ultimately cruel -- much like the move in the late 90s through early 00s to get people into homes. It's a nice idea, but they couldn't actually afford their homes, so the "blessing" turned into a curse. And people who would have been happy and productive in a small home with a small mortgage, or in a rental or an apartment, instead became disgruntled, bankrupt, foreclosed on -- and it fed the housing bubble which burst, and trapped people in mortgages they couldn't afford, and with houses that were worth less than the mortgages they carried. Which forces people into the dirt with a burden of debt they can't carry. Which then prompts them to look to the government for help.

Farming votes. Sickening.

I don't blame everyone in some huge conspiracy theory. Not yet, anyway. I can see different people playing small roles for their personal aggrandizement, which just happened to collide together into a "perfect storm" that swept people under. But I think that vote farming is very real, and some people are purposefully increasing the welfare class, to get socialism in through the back door, since it would fail otherwise. But soon we'll be socialist, too, unless something drastic changes.

It's not about helping people; it's about power. And they're phasing out older cars; newer cars have more technology (such as GPS, which can track your movements, leading to a tax on mileage, instead of or in addition to a gas tax) which can be used against you. Again I reiterate -- I'm not a conspiracy theorist, yet. I can see how things *might* be made to work against the masses. I hope I'm wrong.

Amy said...

Ah, but Army Wife, you're actually assuming that the government wants people off government aid. I actually don't believe that any more.

I totally agree. Whether through making promises to people or just making economic situations unmanageable for middle-income families, it seems that pushing people onto government welfare is the goal.

Success, individual responsibility, etc. are all passe.

Unknown said...

Actually the cars are being recycled the parts are being reused.
The Cash 4 Clunkers rebate is for cars that are fuel inefficient. So there will be plenty of Honda Civics, and Toyota Camry's around for your poor people to drive. There are also plenty of minivans around that get more than 18 miles to the gallon.So even the single mothers with multiple children with different fathers will be taken care of.
Lastly thanks so much for wanting poor people to drive cars that will cost more in gas yearly than the care is worth, and/or are expensive to fix. Also thanks for not turning this back on the state local and federal governments and saying why don't you lower the speed limit, and increase viable public transportation. Both of which will save energy,save everybody money, reduce traffic accidents saving the public money on paying the medical bills for the uninsured, and a good public transport would allow a lot of people to greatly reduce driving or chunk their cars altogether. It would also help poor people because not only would they save fuel, and upkeep on an auto, they would also save on the auto insurance.
Or better yet why don't those of us with cars just give poor people a ride.

Christina Dunigan said...

Those of us with cars are at work.

People are being stuck with cars that get 12 mpg while the government trashes cars that get 18 mpg. How is this reducing gas consumption?

And would you like to come up with a viable rural transportation plan? I'm sure a fellow as brilliant as you can do that easily.