Cash For Clunkers; Screw the Poor


Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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40 Responses

  1. Avatar Dave says:

    I can’t wait for the White House response to this one.

    I’ll bet they’ll accuse Mark of being from Mars.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    At least they tried!Report

  3. Avatar Ryan says:

    Wow. All the smug concern-trolling today is really incentivizing my continued reading of this blog.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Could we get a working definition of “concern trolling”?

    The cynical definition I used to have is “not being on board despite claims to lifelong party membership” but don’t see how that definition applies as used above.Report

    • Avatar Ryan in reply to Jaybird says:

      Can we table that discussion by agreeing to convert “smug concern-trolling” to “snotty smugness”? It doesn’t really matter what you call it; it remains the fact that this place has been a crushing bore today for anyone who deviates even slightly from the conservative economic line.Report

    • Avatar sidereal in reply to Jaybird says:

      The cynical definition I used to have is “not being on board despite claims to lifelong party membership” but don’t see how that definition applies as used above.

      Hm. My working definition is ‘pretending to fret that some action of members of party A might turn out to hurt party A, when in fact the fretter is opposed to party A’.

      But I think we’ve reached the point where ‘glibertarian concern troll’ has become the non plus ultra of content-free political insults. I intend to employ it slavishly. “Noted glibertarian concern-troll E.D. Kain opines. . ‘ etc. Good times.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to sidereal says:

        Can opposition to Cash 4 Clunkerz be, like, opposition to money being spent poorly?

        I mean, if I am a Secret Republican Operative (or SRO), and I show up and scream about spending money that won’t be spent well or wisely or usefully and scream about how it’s going to end up doing more harm than good and then when the money turns out to not have been spent well or wisely or usefully and, yep, it looks like more harm was done than good, painting that as something that only someone opposed to the Democrats would focus on strikes me as… well, it strikes me as a pretty goddamn effective way to change the subject.

        Hrm. I may have to rethink this.Report

        • Avatar sidereal in reply to Jaybird says:

          Was that intended as a reply to me? I wasn’t accusing anyone of being a concern troll. I thought we were having a conversation about vapid political insults.

          I don’t have an opinion, at all, about Cash for Clunkers, because the only thing I know about it is that my 70K Subaru Outback didn’t qualify, and that if it would have I’m slightly more likely to have bought a new VW Rabbit. Which might make me a glibertarian. I really don’t know. My opinion of your opinion of Cash for Clunkers is that I approve of your having it and it seems well thought out.Report

      • Avatar Dave in reply to sidereal says:

        Hm. My working definition is ‘pretending to fret that some action of members of party A might turn out to hurt party A, when in fact the fretter is opposed to party A’.

        That’s how I see it.

        The jaw dropper for me on concern trolling was Joe Klein and Fox News. I mean, did he really have to use the term sedition? That was just nuts.Report

  5. Avatar Trumwill says:

    The effect on Cash for Clunkers for thrifty used cars should be minimal. Those typically get above 18mph and thus are not among those being destroyed. They shouldn’t be driving the prices up except on used cars that were getting poor mileage which tend to either be bigger vehicles or muscular ones. Not cars that were selling for $2500 in yesteryear.Report

  6. There is no doubt that cash for clunkers has caused a significant increase in the price of used cars. It has also caused a significant decrease in revenue from car donation.Report

  7. Avatar M.Z. says:

    The funny thing is that prices of used vehicles have been increasing for over a year. While it would be convenient to blame cash for clunkers, the real reason is much more mundane: during recessions there is a substitution from new cars to late model used cars in an effort to save money.Report

    • Avatar Scott in reply to M.Z. says:

      So you don’t think that cash for clunkers exacerbated that trend b/c it distorted the market?Report

      • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Scott says:

        In a small segment of the used car market, perhaps. The “late model used cars” weren’t eligible for C4C, so not much effect there. If anything, C4C helped by pushing people to buy new cars and thus lowering the demand for LMU and creating a greater supply for used cars.

        For old used cars, the effect is likely primarily limited to those vehicles available for C4C, which doesn’t really include the “college cars” (as I understand them to be) referred to in the article. The only effect on small old used cars is a cascading effect of people buying an Escort when otherwise they might have bought a Taurus (the latter eligible for C4C, but the former not).Report

    • Avatar M.Z. in reply to M.Z. says:

      I should have just looked at the original. It was an anecdote from a couple looking to buy a minivan. What a joke! As if anyone should expect them to have any sort of expertise on what is “expensive” or what things were like compared to a year ago. Back when I sold cars, they were all too expensive. The final deal was always “more than I expected to pay.”Report

  8. Avatar JosephFM says:

    My father and I bought a used car earlier this year, from CarMax. It was a GM, a year-old post-rental Chevrolet Cobalt with a lot of options (pretty much everything but a spoiler, chrome wheels, and Sirius XM). It was less than $11,000, and gets about 30 mpg average. The payments are only about $115 a month, comparable to my summer electric bill.

    I agree that it wasn’t such a great policy (it certainly could have been structured better), but I’m with Trumwill. IMO the biggest reason for an increase in the (upfront) cost of used cars is that crappy cars are worth less. You would end up paying enough more on gas and maintenance to make up the difference, especially since just about nobody (especially the poor-but-not-too-poor-to-afford-a-car) pays the whole thing upfront.Report