Cash for Clunkers Returns

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Bad ideas set bad precedents – the thing usually gets done again, or gets expanded on. So it’s no big surprise that Colorado has decided to emulate the federal “cash for clunkers” program that was conceived and implemented by Uncle to “stimulate” demand for expensive new cars by destroying as many affordable used cars as possible.

Of course, it’s not being presented that way – the honest way.

As before, it is being framed as an Earth-saving measure. Anything not new – with the latest emissions control equipment – is ipso facto “dirty,” in the brilliantly deceptive demagoguery of the government -corporate nexus.

And yes, it is a nexus. The both of them, hand in hand – skipping together toward The Future.

The car industry used to be at odds with the government – fought or at least resisted Uncle. But like the character Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984, the car industry has come to love Uncle, the difference being that torture wasn’t the necessary inducement.

All it took was money.

The car industry saw that Uncle could put money in its pockets with less effort than it took to convince people to freely exchange it for something of value to them. This transitioning took place beginning in the ‘90s, when the industry realized it was less work – and more profitable – to install air bags in cars (as many of them as possible) rather than oppose the government’s mandating them.

Since then, the industry not only hasn’t fought Uncle, it has eagerly suggested new mandates at regular intervals – the latest being Volvo’s near-demand that a fatwa be issued decreeing that all cars be programmed such that they cannot exceed the posted speed limit.

But there is a fly in the soup.

These things cost money. New cars wax unaffordable  – even when the payments are extended over as many as seven or eight years, as has become typical. People “cling”  to their older – and paid-for – cars.

Enter the crusher.

But first, there is PR work to be done. See the earlier business about characterizing practically anything that hasn’t still got plastic on its seats as “dirty” – and shaming those who drive them, in order to try to get them not to.

If it were true, one might not object.

The problem is that “dirty” is to the cars threatened with destruction as “denier” is to the “climate change” shibboleth. Once you shovel away the hysteria – and the deliberate exaggeration – you find some facts.

With regard to “climate change,” there is the fact of an approximately 1 degree measured “change” in the “climate” – which may or may not be the result of human activity. There are other possible factors, such as solar activity cycles, which have been dismissed because they don’t fit with the preconceived theory (in the scientific sense) which preceded the hypothesis (also in the scientific sense) which was foreordained to be a theory – like the theory of gravity  – before it was actually confirmed scientifically.

We are instead practically burned at the stake if we don’t just believe.

In any event, 1 degree.

It isn’t much but it’s been hystericized into Imminent Planetary Catastrophe unless something is done right now – preferably before people have had time to think about it. This is always a sound plan. It is also the impetus for the EV Agenda – and that ties in to the crush those clunkers agenda.

They must go – because they are “dirty,” the demagoguery used to paint them as literally unsanitary, mechanical bacilli that must be exterminated.

That language isn’t new, either.

A certain mustachio’d fellow was very fond of using similar verbiage to justify the getting rid of people he didn’t want around; but of course that was just the pretext – as it always is, whether we’re talking about human beings or vehicles or any of innumerable other things.

The object is always – power.

And if you can make some money in the process, all the better.

As regards this “dirty” business. It is of a piece with the 1 degree business. It is true older cars emit more of various emissions. But it is only very slightly more – that qualification never added when this issue is discussed in the general press. The difference in harmful emissions emitted between a circa 2000 model year vehicle and a 2019 model year vehicle is as meaningful as the 1 degree difference in temperature undergirding Planetary Catastrophe Theory – which by the way is only a decade away, according to the most hysteric priests of the cult.

The Environmental Protection Agency finished its work back in the ‘90s – when more than 95 percent of the harmful effluents of internal combustion were cleaned up. Observe the absence of smog, the ubiquity of clear skies everywhere.

So make-work had to be invented.

The public had to be lied to – or at least, not told the whole truth, which amounts to the same thing. Fractional differences in emissions were – and are – characterized as Great Leaps Forward. We have cut tailpipe exhaust pollution by 50 percent! Yes, indeed. But the very fine print – if there were any – would explain that this “reduction” is 50 percent of 1 percent, or even less than that.

And – conversely – that the emissions of not-new cars are vastly greater and implicitly – now explicitly – a Mortal Threat to the Planet – and accordingly, these “dirty old cars must urgently be gotten rid of.

Enter Colorado.

Or rather, the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. It has created a “nonprofit” entity, the Clear the Air Foundation – which funds the crushing of “dirty” old cars so as to prevent their being available for purchase by people who cannot afford a new one – or who prefer not to be saddled with debt for the next 6-7 years for the sake of owning one.

“I care, too,” says one of the Clear the Air Foundation’s principals, Lee Payne – who also happens be the owner of a couple of mega-dealerships – Planet Honda and Planet Hyundai – that have an obvious financial interest in getting as many used cars off the market as possible.

“As the technology gets better, you have to replace it,” says Payne – who will be pleased to finance all that new technology.

He adds: I see those same cars (those “dirty” old cars) getting stuck on a truck and going out to rural Colorado…”  in other words, re-sold to people of modest means (or who prefer to live within or even below their means) outside the Big City and beyond the orbit of mega-dealerships and their low, low financing.

“I don’t want to leave a filthy” world for (his) “kids and grandkids,” says Payne.

But a large trust fund would be just the ticket.

The Clear the Air Foundation has “collected” (and destroyed) at least 3,760 “dirty” old cars so far.

The one good thing about this scam is that it’s not funded by taxpayers – and no one is being forced to hand over their “dirty” old car.

Yet.

But, Colorado is becoming – is almost – another California, less the beaches. It wants the same – or very similar – “stricter” emissions standards and “zero emissions” (i.e., electric vehicle) mandates that CA has, which will amp up the pressure to get rid of those “dirty” older cars – in order to nudge people into new ones.

Financed for you by your friends at the Colorado Automobile Dealer’s Association.

. . .

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37 COMMENTS

  1. Crusher programs have been with us since the late 80s/early 1990s. The old car hobby spent most of the late 1980s and 1990s fighting off plans to destroy every car made before 1980 or 1982. Untold numbers of what would now be collector cars were destroyed for the sake of destroying them in decades of these programs as they ebb and flow. That said this is the first one I heard of that is private.

  2. You know, the original “Cash for Clunkers” program was bad. I remember a guy I worked with traded in an old but serviceable Ford Windstar minivan on a Mini; he said that he couldn’t afford the Mini otherwise. That said, how many young families could have used that Windstar? I’m guessing it was worth $3k or so. That would have been a lot more AFFORDABLE for a young family starting out vs. a new minivan. What a WASTE!

  3. Notice how our demise and destruction is always about a decade away…. whether it’s running out of oil or global warming causing the ice caps to melt… always a decade away…. unless we pay up to those who know better now….

  4. The biggest irony of it all. It would be FAR more “green” if more (regularly used-daily drivers) vehicles got to their 20th year.

    Frankly we are much better off the older the “average” age of the US fleet gets. Today its 11.6 years, the highest ever. That means plenty of people are driving “paid off” vehicles (though there are loans on some really old cars out there).

    We still have some of the bad effects of the cash for clunkers. Not just the low end used car market, but also the used part business. CFC required the car be destroyed completely. That means all the parts that would have been taken off and sold used were not. It was so un-green but nobody cared. The auto industry had a “recycling” system set up for decades before anybody else even thought about “recycling” in the modern sense (or un-sense).

    • We have an 88, an 89, and a 91 that we are driving somewhat regularly.

      Then our “new” one is an 06 which will probably not last as long as those other three. It hasn’t been moved since December because of the snow.

      Plus I have a 76 that needs some work.

    • Amen, RichB!

      In addition to what you already mentioned, imagine if so many people weren’t sop deeply in car debt; if the average person owned their vehicle free and clear- even if they financed it originally- but even if they did, they could still drive it for another 15 years and be debt-free that whole time, which would mean no second job delivering pizzas or working at the UPS warehouse; which would mean less driving _>less fuel consumption_>less consumables used, etc.- which would all mean a lot less energy being used, and a lot less pollution, if ‘they’ actually cared about such things- which of course ‘they’ don’t.

      I swear, this society is based up such deceptions; which are so readily consumed without question by the masses, that it makes me want to bang my head against the wall!

  5. Well, considering much of the population growth over the last decade has been people fleeing the liberal bastions of California and Chicago it’s no wonder we’re starting to see these outright idiotic ideas given an audience.

    • Not just the last decade. We were seeing it back in the early 1990s.

      Suddenly our little town went crazy. People were trying to run down kids in crosswalks.

  6. Despite eons of proof that the climate changes over time the Global Warming Crowd demands static, unchanging weather/climate. However, these same folks, for the most part, will look between their legs and then say that sexuality is “fluid”, in other words, in a state of constant flux. And somehow these same people(can that term still be used without being speciesphobic?) seem to end up in GovCo and academia.

    And you wonder why things are screwed up in this world?

  7. “But, Colorado is becoming – is almost – another California”

    Everywhere is becoming like California. Why? Because the morons that fucked it all up move once the consequences of their actions start harming them. Then they get power in their new state and do it all over again.

    Like flesh eating disease, if you don’t kill it all where it starts, it spreads.

    • Hi Anonymous,

      Yup. They are too cognitively dissonant to grok that the reason they feel the urge to flee CA is because they screwed it up… and that expecting their new “host” to not suffer the same debilitation is as absurd as trying to blow out a light bulb.

      • I’ve just been thinking about this and I’ve come to the conclusion that people must not understand cause and effect anymore. So they just support whatever they’ve been taught is righteous without any thought. They never made the connection between, say, expansive social welfare and extortionate taxes (let alone generational poverty and crime), or coddling of real criminals and skyrocketing crime, or all their “causes” and the inability to even draw breath without some overpaid, underworked regulator showing up to tell them they’re doing it wrong.

        Thus, bad ideas spread by ignorance as much as or more than by malice. It makes people feel virtuous to want to improve air quality, conserve water, help the poor, protect minorities from discrimination, make people safer, preserve wild spaces, protect endangered species, and so on, but even from that random sample, it’s easy to see how quickly these “causes” add up and how easily they can cause a labyrinthine bureaucratic nightmare of the type we suffer in daily.

      • The Old Dominion isn’t too far behind Colorado. NoVa, Richmond and the Tidewater have been like cancer tumors and have been infecting other areas of Virginia. Hell, if the insane party gains both state houses this year, I would not be the least surprised if they started banning older autos from the road. And don’t depend on the GOP (Gang Of Pussies) to try to stand up for our freedom either.

    • Colorado is California of maybe 20 years ago (without the beaches).

      We left the west slope 22 years ago because we saw it starting THEN.

      The few friends and relatives we still have down there don’t understand why we don’t want to live there anymore.

    • I remember meeting a hippie back in the late 80’s. His goal in life was to move to CO. Judging by the MJ legalization and this, I think he wasn’t the only one.

      • Hardly! I don’t think legalization has had that much effect just because MJ use has always been so common in Colorado. I was pretty much the only one I knew not using it regular (tried it but didn’t see the big deal).

        I blame John Denver for ruining Colorado with all of his music praising the wonders of the state. He might have been singlehandedly responsible for at least doubling the population over the years.

    • Exactly why when I was escaping the People’s Republik Of Nueva York, I immediately crossed all places off my list that are popular with other fleeing NYers- .i.e NC, SC, FL, AZ, NV, TX. It always happens….the rats flee from the sinking ship, and then ruin the next ship that they jump onto. Once they’re happy having lower taxes (What they consider lower, but which the locals in their new locale are appalled at and can’t afford) and once they don’t have to contend with heavy traffic, they are happy, and just keep right on pursuing the liberal BS and dysfunctional economics, unionism, ‘social programs’ etc. which ruined their former locale.

      Seen it happen over and over again.

      God help the states that the Californians are moving to- OR, WA. TX. (TX is making all the lists….uh-oh!), AZ, NV, HI (already a liberal shit-hole) CO, NM…

      In OR they are on the verge of enacting state-wide rent control! (Anyone own real-estate there…dump it!); Denver is like San Fagcisco-lite now; Seattle WA the city wants to choose your ternants for you, and you have no say….

      This whole freaking country is starting to make the old Sovciet Republic look conservative and genteel……

      • Vox Day said, and I agree, that people moving to another state should be FORBIDDEN from voting for at least three generations. The new residents simply do not know the locale, its people, or its issues.

        • Yes and No – we came from a once mostly rural/redneck western CO county to Montana, picking a place that we thought we would fit in and that would fit our values. Even now, the county where we live is mostly so far right that the Democrats don’t even bother fielding a candidate for most offices.

            • My county voted about 95% Republican.

              Things are complicated: in both of those elections, there was a HUGE amount of negative advertising paid for from out of state against the R candidates, who interestingly enough were both from out of state originally. The R governor candidate is now our congressman, who won a special election to replace Zinke who had a spin at Interior secretary, and then later re-elected.

              Lots of money, lying, and urban voters screwed us. I have an ongoing feud with these damn city people who think the whole f*cking state ought to be their playground, rural property owners be damned.

            • OTOH, the MT legislature is solidly Republican and shows no sign of ever changing. I guess there’s just too many seats from rural conservative districts that there’s not any incentive for Big Money from out of state to try to change things.

              Worst thing IMO is that Constitutional Carry has been vetoed by the f*cking Demonrat governors a half dozen times. It’s an embarrassment; even Kansas has CC! If it wasn’t so much work, I would move to Wyoming.

              But anyway, just because somebody is Montana born and raised doesn’t mean they’re not a liberal moron traitor. They always claim they are “conservative, pro-gun, Democrats” and then vote straight party line with the most extreme liberal agenda. Exhibit A is that Lard-ball Tester.

          • Yeah, I may be from NY, but I’m more hillbilly than most people who have lived here in KY for generations! But I’d say, No One, that these traits only apply to us Libertarian types- I know I personally cringe if I ever hear that another NYer has moved to the area (Luckily, that’s a rare occurrence, because this is a very rural area, far from any city).

            I was down to the courthouse a while back renwing vehicle registrations, and there was this guy in there- sounded like he was from “like, California, dude”- complaining aboiut how the roads should have shoulders and sidewalks…. Hmmm…makes ya wonder why he left CA…. Oh, yeah…because there, he had to pay the taxes which pay for all of those things that he seems to think are so necessary- and I guess he’s now missing those taxes, so wants to impose them on us.

            Some places have gone out of there way to attract refugees from places like NY and CA. Cary, NC. for example…. It’s completely taken over by exNYers, ’cause the town used to actuallyu ADVERTISE itself in NY as a place to go for fleeing NYers… “come for the low property taxes”- yeah…$3500 a year seems low to an ex-Long Islander who was paying $12K….but to the locals who had been there for generations and were paying a few hunnert bucks, $3500 is outrageous, and causes them to become refugees! (Cary, NC has so many NYers- it’s like the 21st-century FL- every NYer has at least one relative there…including me!)

            And these people do not change when they move. It’s not the freedom-robbing oppressiveness they seek escape from- it’s the high taxes; expensive real estate; congested roads; crime; and declining quality of life.

            So the money-grubbing pols lure them…..and their 6-figure pensions; and proceeds from the sale of their $750K houses, etc. knowing that they are already primed for plucking, ’cause they came from a hell-hole whicxh they endured for decades, even though they were being robbed and abused…so now, if they are just a LITTLE less robbed and abused, they will be happy, and continiue to vote for the exact same policies which made them slaves back home- which of course is exactly what they do.

            And the locals? The pols don’t concern themselves with them, ’cause they can’t afford the new high taxes; and don’t vote for all of the new schools and facilities and infrastructure which the influx of refugees require in the statist model; they don’t have 6-figure pensions; they just work at Pizza Hut for $8/hr. “so let them go”.

      • Morning, Nunz!

        I live in a place called Floyd County, Va. It is very rural – and nothing like Northern Virginia. Well, wasn’t. It has begun to change. A big part of the reason why is a local greedhead decided to start hosting an annual “music festival” here – Floydfest – which has become a big draw. It brings thousands of people from all over, not just Northern Va. but Noo Joisey, too.

        And – inevitably – some of those people see the area and decide to move here. Which would be okay (I did it,too) if they didn’t move their Northern Va. and Noo Joisey attitudes along with them. But many of them do bring them. These people are asymptomatic Typhoid Marys…

        • Hey Ya, Eric!

          AARRRHHHGGg! Don’t even get me started on all of these stupid festivals and other touristy gimmicks! Luckily, the ones around here are to small and obscure to attract people from far away- they’re just excuses for the locals to be relieved of some money, and to stand around and eat and get fatter…..

          Had a cousin come to visit back in the summer, and she’s been telling other relatives hiow nice it is here, and some are kinda anxious to see now- but I’m not too worried, as these are multi-generational NYers, and ultimately woiuld never live where they can’t get Eye-talian fresh foods, and where there isn’t a cop or a hospital within a stone’s throw at all times……

          Speaking of which….

          It’s sad: Years ago, I was friends with this 16 year-old Jew-boy on a forum (Not a situation I’d typically find myself in!- but he was a nice and very intelligent kid)- and he freaked out when he learned that I lived a “whole” 25 minutes away from a hospital!

          Imagine thinking that being only 25 minutes from a hospital is somehow unacceptable? Imagine thinking that when you are 16?! Sad! (Made no difference that I explained to him that I’ve never needed the serrvices of a hospital, and wouldn’t care if it were 3 hours away…)

          • For a while back in the early 1980s, we lived nine miles beyond the end of the plowed road in Colorado.

            Our winter transportation was XC skis and dog sled, or sometimes our friends six miles down the road would come get us on their snow machines.

  8. I am just dismayed at how easily the public can be manipulated into making life choices based on the climate change hoax. It just shows that if a lie is repeated enough then it becomes truth. The alarmists like to show the exponential increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1800. They conclude that this begins with the Industrial Revolution and the use of fossil fuels during this period. However, if this curve is superimposed over world’s population during this time there exists a remarkable resemblance; the lines track closely. Ninety six percent of atmospheric CO2 occurs naturally, ie: aerobic metabolism, so it makes sense that this would occur. CO2 comprises 0.04% of the air and is considered a trace gas. Of the remaining 4%; the contributors are heating, manufacturing and finally transportation in that order. The hoax is good for marketing “new” technology, getting politicians elected and ultimately a carbon tax. There is nothing that can be done to change anything.

  9. Wait until they stop licensing ICE vehicles over 20 years or maybe less! Think not? Take smoking for example…. At first it was just a separate dining area,,, then the entire dining ares,,, then the whole damn restaurant! Now in some fascist areas it is prohibited anywhere kiddies are.

    If you say GW is a farce then you are banned from most ‘social sites’, called a denier and in some instances your life is threatened.

    Cosmic Rays ionizing the atmosphere and causing clouds which cool the Earth is a ‘Myth’ to the GW disciples. The Suns magnetic field when active reduces the rays which lessens the clouds and allow a warmup is also heresy. Only humans have the unique ability to change the planets climate by simply being here, using oil and wood for heat or whatever. The fact that the government is seeding the atmosphere using tons of Barium, Strontium and Aluminum which will kill most life seems not a problem! Already the insects and other species are dying off due to poisoning the atmosphere but again,,, no problemo!

    ‘They’ have discovered most of usa lemmings will follow any of their directives no matter how stupid. If Con-gress or the Supremo’s say its so,,, then its so, PERIOD,,, no discussion! Anyone resisting will be shot or tasered 11 times by Armed Government Wusses.

    The Internet and digital propaganda in skools have reduced most peoples ability to make cognitive decisions. I remember when most would laugh in your face if you said the government “said it was so”. Today after suffering 12-16 years of Public Education and media hype they’ll believe any BS CorpGov puts out.

    • A retardican here in Texas wants to push legal smoking age to 21. I think I’d let my now infant son have a cigar at 18 in spite if it passes. Hell, maybe at kindergarten he can have that cigar.

  10. Comarado/Commifornia Autocratic Demagogeury Alliance is more like it. When are these stupid people going to wake up to see this Corporate Feudalism for what it is? Society has really gotten full-blown ignorant-as-shit
    since 9/11. The country stop thinking and started being a bunch of emotional reactionary fucktards. This, of course, has allowed the “authorities” to run like rabid wolves off the leash at every opportunity. Pianos are are going to wireless before it’s all over, just watch!

  11. This “climate change” bullshit is getting out of hand. There has always been, and always WILL be, climate change. In eons past, the cold-blooded dinosaurs supposedly roamed a planet with a tropical climate. It cooled, and they died off.

    20,000 years ago, which is NOTHING in geological time, glaciers covered what is now the northern third of the U.S.

    The planet warmed — and a the glaciers melted. What caused that? Certainly not the Neanderthal man and the woolly mammoth driving around in SUVs, for God’s sake. This “climate change” B.S. is nothing more than a bogeyman invented by the powers-that-be to lay claim to TOTAL and unrestricted government power over every single aspect of your life…

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