Sunday, August 16, 2009

----“Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day.

Teach a man (or woman) to fish, he’ll (she’ll) eat for a lifetime.”

A great friend taught me about the importance of such parenthesis… I switched veterinarians after the Doc said about our girl, Fozzy,“He’ll be alright. Just bring him back next month for his…….”

Cash for the Clunks: Ok then, I did take Microeconomics in college, and obviously received a different training. In my world, anything that sells out in 4 days is/was mispriced! Take the government’s own celebration POPCORN!—that the program will clean our air, removing these 184,000 some gas guzzlers off the road. That it will create much needed demand in the struggling automobile industry from manufactures to suppliers. Ah, yes. But maybe, just maybe, if you had modeled it correctly, performed just a little preliminary testing, “just a little bit of the ma-mincy, you would have figured out that $2,250 (instead of $4500) might sell out in 3 weeks (instead of 4 days), and take twice the gas guzzlers off the road. Further, foreign car companies (as they sold the lion’s share of the new “environmentally friendly” cars) might have sold twice as many cars as they did. Take a look at the table.

Top 10 New Vehicles Purchased (under the program)

Here is the data sent to us by the NHTSA on August 5, 2009 at 3:30 pm.

1. Toyota Corolla
2. Ford Focus FWD
3. Honda Civic
4. Toyota Prius
5. Toyota Camry
6. Hyundai Elantra
7. Ford Escape FWD
8. Dodge Caliber
9. Honda Fit
10. Chevrolet Cobalt

So now, as you pay for your countrymen’s mortgage, you may treat them to a new foreign car, one that will help clean our air…aaaaahhhh, give a man a fish, yes, I am quite sure that these 184,000 cars are simply cars that will not be sold next month or next year, for they were sold now. Nothing structural has changed—no one has learned to fish in any of this. No one has even learned to put a worm on a hook. This was simply needling the US economy, and because it makes no sense to any economist with a brain, the program was championed on the softer side… good for the environment! Ever popular with applicants, why wouldn’t it be, though new rules, an Obama favorite, has confused dealers and consumers in the process. Just before the people reach maximum frustration, wise Congress diverted another 2 Billion dollars from the renewable energies budget to expand, yes expand, the program, because, of course, it’s was such a success. That’s funny, because when asked what the long-term drivers of growth and employment in this country might be (everyone wants to know…I still don’t know), the current administration routinely cites, what, what was that, wasn’t that the program you trimmed to pay for, yes, renewable energy, the exact department whose budget targeted for this one-time pop in sales. Read all that again. So now we get a good sense of what’s going on here. I sure am going to take a nice deep drag of clean air today and smile, “Clunkerless.” But the smile will soon collapse as I picture the short-sidedness, the myopic behavior, the selfish desire to become a career politician that has driven should-be leaders to cartoons. But they are leading us. That’s the law. Or what’s become of it.


  1. Most of your analysis is myopic, but I won't go into it. I just wanted to point out that in my experience it is actually, "Teach a man to fish and he eats for a day. Try to teach a man to fish and he says, 'Fuck you, give me another fish.'"

  2. I have to say that I agree with much of what you had to say and find it ludicrous that the Amer gov is now in the auto and banking business. And now they want to start up their own insurance company. This from an org (our gov) that still pays $600 for a hammer under military contracts. This from an org that has failed at every endeavor related to insurance, think medicare, medicare. This from an org that is so out of touch with the common person that it has become impossible for an elected politician to make a decision that is in our best interests. I forget which reporter did this a few years ago but they asked a simple question that really says it all to me. The question was, how much is a quart of milk and a loaf of bread. Not one of the elected officials asked this question came close. Now in all fairness my memory says that the reporter only asked those elected officials that had been in office for many years. Maybe a newcomer could have answered the question but............ This may be the greatest country in the world but there is much room for improvement and we can possibly learn quite a bit from around the globe. However our collective ego will never allow that to happen. After all we are the worlds last standing "Super Power."

  3. No doubt, the government is in the auto business because we need the capability to build autos for national security/war time efforts (ball bearings, etc.). The $600 dollar hammers are because the defense industry and Boeing are partially subsidized by the government in the form of overinflated contracts. Europe also subsidizes Airbus and many nations want certain industries. The US should be no different.

  4. I think not only do they need to create alternatives in the gas guzzler portion of the auto industry, but they also should create more experimental programs as far as alternatives to our dependency on foriegn oil. Big business and the federal gov't are way to involved with one another and it certainly has a significant sway in politics because of its financial ties, but these big business and the head honchos of govt need to forget there own selfish desires and start looking out for the American public as a whole and the affect they have on the enviornment.