Monday, September 07, 2009

"Cash for Clunkers" - Bad Idea

Some parents we know who live in Palm Beach County have a daughter newly enrolled in the New World School of the Arts here in Miami-Dade, a very competitive program. She needs a car, and the family is not well off. She could find a room in a home near MetroRail, which has a stop downtown near the school, but she really needs some sort of car to get to the station, run errands and the like. She needs a clunker, actually. Something cheap.

But the supply of those cars has diminished, thanks to the government program that is considered one of the few successes of the Obama administration. An automobile that runs well enough on less than 18 MPG would be fine for this student. It would be fine for other people trying to make do in this economy. Because there are fewer such cars, used car prices have gone up, making them less accessible.

I oppose government getting into bed with industry and hurting poor people; don't you?

For an economist's dim view of the program, look here. More on unintended consequences of this program here. Still more here.

No comments: