Reader Rant: Good Work!

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Here’s the latest reader rant – along with my reply!

Brian writes: Just want to compliment you on your articles – you are right on. Gov’t mpg standards are a scam; traffic lights and traffic flow would make real savings. Also on the spot with your Obamacare fines/fiasco. Keep us updated on that, blatantly unconstitutional, un-American, unethical and immoral, absolute travesty.

My reply: Thanks, Brian – and, I will!

I’ve asked many times, over the years, how it is that the government got into the business of decreeing to the car industry – and thereby, to us – how many miles-per-gallon cars should be returning. That is properly the business of the people buying the cars, who will convey their desires in the form of their purchasing decisions. Defenders of government dictating MPG standards argue that the mean, selfish car companies would build nothing but “gas guzzlers” if it weren’t for the mandates. To which I reply: If “gas guzzlers” are what the market wants, as expressed by people’s willingness to voluntarily part with cash for them, then that is no business of the government’s. But some buyers will want more economical cars; and if enough of them do to make producing such cars a profitable thing, then the car companies would manufacture them for the very same “selfish” and “greedy” motives the government snugglers attribute to the car companies. They are in the business of making money –  and money is made (absent government, absent crony capitalism) by the free exchange of value for value. If that means big SUVs, so be it. But it doesn’t mean other types of vehicles would not be available – assuming demand for them.

On Obamacare: It is extremely worrisome, for two main reasons.

First, “health” encompasses all aspects of life and if the individual’s health (his “care”) are now public matters, then so is every aspect of his life that can be said to affect his health and his care. Because it is now a corporate thing; it “affects us all.” This is the means by which government will assume total, micromanaging control over our lives. For example, it will be argued that possessing a gun constitutes a “threat” to health; or, conversely, they will claim that an individual’s “attitude” or “recalcitrance” constitute evidence of mental problems and people with mental problems – defined eventually to include everyone who does not enthusiastically support whatever the government decrees – cannot be allowed to possess guns.

Second, if we can be forced to buy health insurance then surely for the same reasons and using the same logic we can also be forced to by life insurance as well as just about any other form of insurance they can think up. Certainly, house insurance – even if you have a paid-for house and don’t feel the need. We can’t have you “imposing costs on society,” after all.

Even if you never do.

. . .

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  1. Remember the “fuel crisis” that CAFE was created for was the result of the federal government’s foreign policy and the federal reserve’s monetary policy.

    Each government intervention requires future interventions.

  2. When the fuel shortages hit the truck stops I quit hauling ag products and leased to an oilfield hauling company. All their terminals sold fuel to company truckers. They never ran out.

  3. I vaguely remember the oil “crisis” of 1973. At the time I was just a young pup, and my parents didn’t watch the nightly news because my mother didn’t want us kids (and probably herself) seeing Viet Nam in living color, so it was more about watching dad switch license plates (odd-even gas days) and his obsession with keeping the tank topped off. I also remember the baby sitter’s new Ford Pinto, which I’m sure she bought because it was cheap and got good gas milage. The Honda dealer started selling cars in addition to bikes, and even though you ran the risk of having your CVCC keyed in the grocery store parking lot (and no way would you drive one onto Bethlehem Steel property), they were fairly common. No fatwa needed.

    But I think there might have been some backdoor shenanigans going on with the EPA/DOT getting into the CAFE standards. Automobiles are very much considered a crown jewel of an economy, and most countries subsidize their industry in some form to prop it up. In fact automobiles are pretty much a local product, except in the case of some high-end German and Japanese vehicles. By implementing all the safety and fuel efficiency regulations Uncle is effectively keeping new players out of the game. Like Indian and Chinese manufacturers. Building a car in China should be a no-brainer. But building an American car in China isn’t going to be any more profitable than building one here, because the regulations are set up to build Detroit-style cars.


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