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thesquanderer Donating Member (647 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:49 AM
Original message
Save the Clunkers!
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 07:50 AM by thesquanderer
The "Cash for Clunkers" program, as an economic stimulus program, understandably benefits those who have resources. Giving people $4500 to get them to spend another $20,000 or more may indeed help the economy. But why couldn't this program also help those who are less well off?

Many traded in clunkers are better than what many poorer people are currently driving. Obviously, those in weaker financial positions could not take advantage of the clunker program as implemented. But instead of destroying all those traded-in cars, why couldn't they have first make them available at low cost to low income people who have clunkers that are even worse?

I think that anyone with an income below a certain level should have been able to buy one of these traded-in clunkers for, say, 10% of its blue book value, as long as they traded in a car that was older and got no better mileage than the one they would be buying. Then we would get more of the true clunkers off the road, and many of the less well off would end up with safer, more economical, and more environmentally friendly cars than what they are currently driving. Better for them, better for the environment, better for the country. As it is, the way the program was implemented, we're unnecessarily leaving a lot of the worst clunkers on the road while we destroy better cars. That makes no sense.

The program is winding down, but there are still many cars in line to be destroyed. I wonder if there is any way to salvage this.
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lame54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. yes - there should have been a round 2...
or as another DU'er so cleverly called it - Clunkers For Junkers
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. I thought this was a great idea also
it would take some of the even worse clunkers off the road.
This program wasn't designed to help the poor/unemployed. A dependable car can make a world of difference in someone's life.
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Dont_Bogart_the_Pretzel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. +1
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JeanGrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
3. The idea is to get gas guzzlers OFF
the street, not give them to someone else.
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. that is the idea.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Indeed
Passing off the maintenance and gas costs to the poor doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. :shrug:
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JeanGrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. That is going to happen in every angle in "green" technology.
Once the global warming carbon credit thing gets a real hold, who is going to pay the most who can least afford it? The poor.
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thesquanderer Donating Member (647 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. the poor are ALREADY paying these things
If anything they would be *better* off with this program. Did you not notice that I said that the people who get these cars would have to trade in ones that are worse?
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JeanGrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. The truly poor cannot AFFORD these programs.
Just like they won't be able to afford the green ones either.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. it depends on what the definition of "clunker" is
We could easily be destroying cars that are better than the cars some other people are currently driving.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. That was part of the idea.
Not all of it. Part is also that older cars have higher emissions. Part was to encourage people to take on new debt and bail out beleaguered car manufacturers.

But if I have a car with worse gas mileage, or which is seriously affecting my ability to get to work, or has even higher emissions, there's a net benefit to having that car taken off the roads at the expense of having a clunker with better gas mileage or lower emissions put back on the road.

"Give" is a misreading. "Trade" is what's intended, mostly.

A clunker is still off the road, it's merely a question of *which* clunker, and whether or not some additional good could be done while achieving the same ends.
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thesquanderer Donating Member (647 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. net gain
If giving the clunker to someone else allows us to get an even worse clunker off the road, everyone benefits.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
4. i checked out my local gm/toyota/chrysler dealership...
out of the 40 cars he had marked for the program 95% of them were either big trucks and cars that were to expensive to repair on the secondary or third market. i noticed he had several trade-ins that were going to auction so customers came in to check out the program and ended up buying a car.
the only cars he has left on his lot are cadillacs,chevy`s small cars,and several toyota camrys and their small cars.all the chrysler products were sold.

since the program started by daughters employer has been offering sunday work at double time to keep up with the demand for new oders for the parts they make. one line that has been shut down for the last year has been restarted. how long this will last no one really knows but she`s averaging over 19 an hour.
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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
5. Those vehicles get 18 mpg or less...
If gas gets back up to 5 bucks a gallon any poor person driving such a thing would be fucked.
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thesquanderer Donating Member (647 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. Better off, not worse
re: "If gas gets back up to 5 bucks a gallon any poor person driving such a thing would be fucked."

As I said in my post, the cars should require a trade-in that gets NO better mileage than what they're getting, so they can't possibly be increasing their gas cost. There are plenty of folks out there getting less than 18 mpg who can't afford to take advantage of the trade-in. For many of them, getting 15, 16, 17, 18 MPG will be an *improvement*. Also, because I suggested that the traded in car must be older, they will also get the benefit of a newer car which will likely have more safety features, as safety standards keep going up.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
7. The number one car traded for the clunkers is a Toyota Corolla
which sells for an AVERAGE of $16,000 BEFORE the $4500 rebate. Do you think rich folks are buying these?

You want to rethink your position?
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freeplessinseattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. wow, that is so out of touch
do you know how many people are sacrificing just to pay their insurance every month? how much stress car repairs are when you are living paycheck to paycheck? it would mean the world to a significant amount of hard-working people to have reliable, affordable transportation.
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Blue Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. I can tell you right now...
that if I could have afforded to do the cash for clunkers program I would have. I like paycheck to paycheck right now and the AC pump just went out on my '96 Ford Explorer. I don't drive it when I don't have to, but its the only car I have to get to work - and since they've cut the busline service here, I drive more than I like. After I fix this problem, I'm still going to have to get new tires for the car - which will run me at least $400. I didn't buy this car - it was given to me. But if I could afford a car payment I would trade it in on a toyota in a heartbeat.
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moriah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Ditto.
Plus it makes sense -- I know a friend driving a huge gas-guzzling truck -- 1983 model, because he needed a car and it was the only thing he could find that ran for under $500, which is all he had. Take the best of the clunkers and let people who cannot afford a new car even with the tax credit drive them instead of their car that gets even worse gas mileage.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. What the f........
want to translate that reply for me. I think getting rid of clunkers for RELIABLE transportation is the goal.
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
26. I'd hardly call a rust bucket getting 12MPG "affordable" transportation.
And seriously, if you really want one of those, cash for clunkers hasn't made them unavailable. There are still plenty of crap cars for sale cheap.
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thesquanderer Donating Member (647 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
22. I didn't say rich. But not poor.
You didn't have to be rich to participate in the clunkers program, but you couldn't be poor either. Lots of people are driving true clunkers and could never afford (or get loan approved for) even the $11,500 that the Corolla would have cost them (plus the cost of insurance on a new car and the sales tax). Meanwhile, you've got people driving 20 year old cars that are falling apart, for whom a 10 year old car would be a great leap forward, and it would be better for the environment too. I'm surprised at the number of people on this thread who responded negatively to the idea. It helps people who need help, and hurts no one. Is there a smiley for "baffled"?
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taterguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. The smiley for baffled is :wtf:
But I'm not sure why you're baffled. Cash For Clunkers is only about selling new cars. Any decrease in oil consumption is just an accidental fringe benefit.

The only reason they put mileage requirements in was to make it marketable to people who would otherwise be a little peeved that we're picking one industry out of many to attempt to save.
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Motown_Johnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
15. the idea is to get the gas guzzlers off the road, not hand them down
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thesquanderer Donating Member (647 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. hand them down only when it makes sense
Getting an 18 mpg clunker off the road is not as good as giving it to someone who in turn allows us to get a 12 mpg clunker off the road.
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
24. Yeah, I kind of threw out this idea a while back...
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galileoreloaded Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
27. DID YOU KNOW..that the dealers didn't have to disable the vehicles
if in their judgment they could sell them for more than the $4500 alotted.........So the question is, toward the end of the program, as decent used cars were getting traded in and driving the price of used cars in general up, how many didn't get disabled, just rotated into used inventory????

Things aren't always as cut and dried as they seem.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. That's not true...from the CARS site:
http://www.cars.gov/faq#category-01

What happens to the vehicle I trade in?

The CARS Act requires that the trade-in vehicle be crushed or shredded
so that it will not be resold for use in the United States or elsewhere as
an automobile.
The entity crushing or shredding the vehicles in this manner will be allowed
to sell some parts of the vehicle prior to crushing or shredding it,
but these parts cannot include the engine or the drive train.
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travelingtypist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
29. This is why I didn't participate.
My little truck is a rust bucket -- a cute rust bucket -- that spent too much of its life in Oklahoma. But I've sunk enough money into the engine that even though the CARS site said I was eligible at a MFG 17-mpg, I'm probably getting 24-mpg in town.

I cringed at the thought of it going into the crusher. It's still got some good life in it.

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