«
»


3

Aug

Cash for Clunkers = Cash for Consumerism = Lack of Innovation

Yes…I get the part about promoting the auto industry and supporting all of those who rely on the auto industry for their livelihood. But aren’t we thinking very small here, people?  And does anyone else smell a little green washing with the lower millage business?  Really?  Producing thousands of new cars, using all those resources and chemicals, shipping the damn things to dealers, and then junking the old cars has less of a carbon footprint then having the old cars with slightly higher millage still on the road?  (Now if anyone out there has found some actual data as to the carbon footprint of all these new cars verses the carbon footprint due to millage increases please send me a link. I have yet to find any concrete numbers.)
junk
Is the only way for the auto industry to make money is to produce more new stuff and waste already existing stuff? Can they only survive by causing people to spend MORE money then they have?  Or..perhaps…just maybe….with a little thought by people much smarter than myself…there are a whole host of things that could be going on that would be better for the environment, better for the auto industry and all those who rely on it for the long term, better for tax payers, and better for people’s personal finances.  The complete lack of innovation with this plan and our approach to converting  industrial America is shocking and disappointing.

Here are just a few thoughts that come to my completely *non-technical mind*.

What about the auto industry building more stations to support electric & solar cars? These cars are perfect for urban areas and train commuters because we don’t need to drive them very far and in the case of a power failure we are never far from civilization. But…there are very few places to have these cars serviced.  And those of us in apartments can’t do electric because we don’t have a place to plug in. Couldn’t the auto industry be working on that solution? Making money and jobs by creating service stations and garages & charging a plug in/spot fee?

What about the auto industry running their own version of the Zipcar? (The Zipcar service is a smart little program that allows you to pay a monthly fee to use a car as you need…perfect for people who do a weekly shopping trip, etc.)They would make more money off of each individual car because many people pay for the right to use them…therefore they would need to use less resources making more cars and still make money.  People who don’t need a daily car would spend less money than buying a personal car, and fewer cars would be clogging up the streets needlessly.  Win. Win. Win.

Couldn’t they be working on finding an affordable way to convert an already existing used  car with less then desirable millage to one with very desirable millage?  Many people would pay to have their current car upgraded if it would pay off in 5-10 years in gas savings.  Again…the auto industry could be making that money, employing people to do the upgrades, while saving resources  and carbon emissions, and saving consumers from the big expense of a whole new car.

I feel like there is a lack of effort on the part of these auto companies receiving our big bailouts to really reexamine where they went wrong and begin to create a NEW plan…not just get funding for their old plan that didn’t work.  And we’re letting it happen all for the promise of a few thousand dollars if we are willing to put ourselves further into debt.  There must be more the auto industry could do to remain viable without putting consumers and the environment deeper into dept?  Is a perfectly usable car in a dumpster the image we want of American economic innovation?

*(I fully disclose that I have no idea about the technical parts of any of my ideas.  Not a clue…but I am assuming there are plenty of people out there who can make it happen.  Now if you need a snazzy set of  organic cotton fuzzy dice…I’m your gal. )*

One Response to “Cash for Clunkers = Cash for Consumerism = Lack of Innovation”

  1. Added by Tasha Buser on August 5th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Amen, sister! I’ve been swirling with thoughts of a post such as this, but alas, my postpartum brain fails me.

    And just to throw a little salt in the carbon footprint equation, did you know that the clunkers are going to be shipped across the Pacific Ocean to China? They will then recycle the steel into new products and then ship it back across the great big ocean. I don’t know, call me crazy, but less than desirable gas mileage sounds better to me.

    One more thing: I don’t really enjoy spending my tax dollars on buying my neighbor a new car.

    I love your ideas! I’ve been watching so much commentary on all of this and think you’ve come up with some good ways for the auto industry to go in a new direction. Kudos to you!

Leave a Reply

Comment