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Cash for Clunkers - Good or Bad Idea?



  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    ~40,000 used car sales per year seems right, so we're in agree ment on the numbers.

    I understand your arguments, which represents the pro-C4C point of view, but I'm of the persuasion that individuals are better judges of when useful assets should be retired than the federal government. Individuals can take the factors that you mentioned, and, more often than not, make a more informed decision on what's best for them. Pollution and safety rules and inspections address those particular issues.

    I agree with you that there are subsidies that are more harmful than C4C. In terms of one-time versus repeated budget expenses, however, most European countries have had numerous C4C programs. Once the taboo is broken, it's relatively easy for politicians to enact subsequent ones.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,057
    I still think C4C was primarily a give to the auto dealerships. It increased their sales volume and their margins. Of course, that all came at the expense of the poor car buying public. Car prices are distorted right now because of remaining issues from the Tsunami. It is always about supply and demand. C4C interferred with the natural workings of that basic economic premise.

    I'll go you one further and suggest that the gov should also stop using the tax code as an economic preference tool.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,727
    Just after 9-11, car sales dropped down to nothing, then GM started their 'Get America Rolling' campaign.
    It sparked car sales. C4C did the same thing.
    You are not recognizing the psychological aspect of auto sales.
    C4C was an informal bailout for auto dealerships. but it worked.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • berriberri Posts: 10,057
    C4C was an informal bailout for auto dealerships. but it worked.

    Sure did - dealers got to gouge a bigger profit margin off the consumer thanks to Uncle's intervention. It drove up sales price and dealer profit while it lightened the consumer's wallet bigger than it should have. Another screw over the middle class accomplishment under the guise of economics.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    You said it, berri
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "I'll go you one further..."

    I agree.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited October 2011
    The important difference between Get America Rolling and 4C4 is that the former was a private initiative, rather than the government favoring one industry over others, using deficit financing.
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,459
    That's a two-way street. Blame the dealers for the gouging but also blame the consumers for simply taking C4C dollars alone instead of adding them on top of a negotiated good deal.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • berriberri Posts: 10,057
    I don't totally disagree with you. However, this was not a level playing field. The gov offered C4C for a very limited time window in effect putting a lock on supply. The demand side constituted many strapped buyers trying to get something for their old clunk and improve their transportation situation. In effect, the consumer was only a second derivative here. C4C was structured to primarily help the dealers - improved sales and margins, reduced inventory. The buyer's leverage was handcuffed by the manner the program was implemented. I believe dealers are a decent source of congressional political donations, so I guess we shouldn't be surprised at how the program was passed and implemented. Of course, the gov track record over the past few decades in housing is pretty sad, so we probably shouldn't have expected smarts in vehicles either.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited November 2012
    "Premature Retirement? Old-Car Owners Bristle at Proposed Ban"

    Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

    The Citroën DS, a landmark design, may not always have Paris because of a proposal to ban vehicles made before 1997 to help reduce the city's air pollution.

    Published: November 21, 2012

    "BY proposing to reduce air pollution by banning vehicles made before 1997, Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has angered vintage car owners and motorist groups and raised concerns among those who say they cannot afford new cars.

    Mr. Delanoë’s proposal is part of a wider push by local authorities to comply with European regulations and establish a low-emission zone around metropolitan Paris, including many suburbs, by 2014. The plan would extend the mayor’s efforts to make the city more pedestrian-friendly by reducing the number of cars. These efforts include introducing the Vélib’ bicycle rental program, establishing the Autolib’ electric-car rental system and cutting vehicle traffic along the banks of the Seine.

    Mr. Delanoë has been mayor since 2001, but will not run again in 2014. 'In Paris, where polluting industries have nearly disappeared, cars are the main source of pollution today,' he said in a statement presenting the antipollution plan to city councilors.

    But the ban would include many of the most recognizably French cars, including the Citroën 2CV, known as the Deux Chevaux; the Citroën DS, celebrated for its clean, distinctive design; the Renault 4L, a practical Everyman’s car of the 1960s and ’70s; and many classic Peugeots.

    The mayor’s critics say he is doing everything he can, in his last years in office, to discourage driving. Among the disgruntled are collectors, who fear they won’t be able to take their vintage cars for a spin.

    'For me the 2CV is part of French heritage, of Parisian heritage,' said Xavier Audran, 44, who lives in the 20th arrondissement and owns a Citroën CX, several 2CVs and a motorbike — all of which would fall under the proposed ban. 'I wouldn’t be able to leave my home with my vehicles.'

    The ban would apply to private and commercial vehicles that would be older than 17 years in 2014 and therefore do not comply with existing European standards for the tailpipe emissions that cause smog.

    A spokesman for the city estimated that 367,000 cars would be affected. Also targeted are heavy trucks older than 18 years and motorcycles older than 10.

    The plan to set up low-emission zones here and in other volunteer cities was initiated by the previous center-right government. But the current French ecology minister, Delphine Batho, said in September that the plan had been rushed through to avoid European sanctions and needed to be overhauled.

    A ministerial council in January is to flesh out the legislative details of the low-emission zone and the old-car ban, which the mayor does not have the power to enforce. But Mr. Delanoë, a prominent Socialist, has strong allies in the national government.

    Other measures in the antipollution plan include applying new speed limits on the beltway that surrounds the city and in the city itself.

    'This measure goes in the right direction, because these vehicles pollute much more than recent vehicles, especially for nitrogen oxide and diesel exhaust particles,' said Karine Léger, assistant director at Airparif, an independent organization that monitors air quality in the Paris region. She said that car traffic had been cut by 25 percent over the last decade and that air quality had improved.

    Julien Bargeton, deputy mayor in charge of transportation, said the city needed to move past the car. 'In a dense city, the car can’t be the favored transportation mode,' he said. 'There is room for cars in the city of tomorrow, but they can’t take up all the room, as they do today, with public spaces that are widely reserved to car traffic, even though 60 percent of Parisians don’t own a vehicle.'

    But opponents of the proposal argue that it will disproportionately affect poorer suburban households unable to replace the old cars they use to commute to Paris. They say the mayor’s proposal to couple the ban with social support measures — like a free six-month Autolib’ subscription or a cash for clunkers program — isn’t realistic.

    Jean-François Legaret, a center-right city councilor and the mayor of the city’s first arrondissement, said a cash for clunkers program wouldn’t fall under the mayor’s control. 'And the 'Autolib’ doesn’t offer the same flexibility of use as a private vehicle,' he added.

    Pierre Chasseray, director general of 40 Million Motorists, an auto club with 320,000 members, agreed. 'There has to be an economic incentive,' he said, arguing that any cash for clunkers rebate should apply to used cars as well as new models.

    Motorist lobbies say the city authorities are intentionally trying to make it impossible for cars to circulate freely and fluidly here. 'The mayor is betting that one day people will be so disgusted with their car that they won’t use it anymore,' Mr. Chasseray said. 'But he is completely wrong —we will always need vehicles.'

    Other cities have age restrictions on cars, including Berlin, where for two years diesel vehicles have been outlawed if they do not meet emission regulations enacted in 2005. In Singapore since 1990, residents have to bid to buy a Certificate of Entitlement, which enables them to own a motor vehicle for 10 years, after which they are forced to scrap the car, export it or pay to extend the certificate."
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,913
    edited November 2012
    Maybe that mayor needs to be put in front of some French justice, if you know what I mean.

    367000 cars before 1997 in metro Paris? From my experience in France, that's a little tough to swallow - and the fleet there seems much older than in Germany. But do gooder public sector types and facts seldom meet.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Or was it another government supported environmental boondoggle??

    For each ton of metal recovered by a shredding facility, roughly 500 pounds of shredder residue are produced, meaning about 3 to 4.5 million tons of shredder residue is sent to landfills every year. This shredder residue typically consists of a mix of materials including polyurethane foams, polymers, metal oxides, glass and dirt. A partnership between the American Chemistry Council, Argonne National Laboratory and USCAR has been working on a way of extracting more of this material, specifically the plastic. Argonne estimates that recycling just the plastic and metal would represent 24 million barrels of oil saved each year. Unfortunately, that did not happen with the 690,000 vehicles scrapped during the Cash for Clunkers program.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Seems like I read a while back (years ago, lol) that companies were paying for first rights of refusal to purchase mining rights to dumps and landfills. Don't think the processes quite make economic sense yet to start recycling on that level but one of these days we'll likely see it. Around here all the copper mine tailings have been reworked at least once but they are just looking for one type of ore.
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