Monday, October 5, 2009

Cash for Clunkers: official 2009 entrant for Bad Ideas Hall of Fame

Observing that automobile sales have fallen off a cliff since the "Cash for Clunkers" program stopped, a development predicted by that program's critics, the Journal gets right to the heart of the issue:

The basic fallacy of cash for clunkers is that you can somehow create wealth by destroying existing assets that are still productive, in this case cars that still work. Under the program, auto dealers were required to destroy the car engines of trade-ins with a sodium silicate solution, then smash them and send them to the junk yard. As the journalist Henry Hazlitt wrote in his classic, "Economics in One Lesson," you can't raise living standards by breaking windows so some people can get jobs repairing them.

In the category of all-time dumb ideas, cash for clunkers rivals the New Deal brainstorm to slaughter pigs to raise pork prices.
That would be the same New Deal that so many Liberals are calling for a return to. Will the Left ever learn? (Sorry for the rhetorical question.)

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