Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How does Cash for Clunkers help the economy?

If someone wishes to buy a new car, then by all mean let them but why should the Federal Government get involved? In a time where Americans are losing their jobs by the day, isn't the Federal Government encouraging bad behavior? Buying a car isn't like buying a pair of sneakers, it takes a lot of research and financial planning. It's easy to go to the dealership and sign either the lease or loan, the hard part is to pay for it. I don't know how it is in other states but in New York if you take out a loan to buy a car (either from the dealership or a car loan from the bank) you are required to get full insurance coverage (collision, liability, etc). Of course the price tag on your insurance varies by the vehicle, your personal driving record and possibly other life factors. As I stated before if one can ride the waves of the financial burden that is involved with a vehicle purchase by all means help out your local dealership. The problem is that Federal Government is encouraging people to drown themselves in debt at a time where we should be saving and cutting unnecessary costs.

Encouraging debt burdens isn't the only thing that the Feds have created with this program. They are also creating more waste, with the destruction of the vehicles. Majority of vehicle owners have felt the bullet of expensive repair jobs with my personal favorite being parts you can only get from the dealership instead at your local Napa. In the CARS program, dealerships are required to destroy the engine although some are refusing either on principal or for profit reasons. The old adage "One person's trash is another person's treasure" comes into play here. Recent market trends have said that used cars sell better than new cars. Why? because it's much cheaper to buy a used vehicle and keep it running as opposed to a new vehicle. If you don't have a lot of money and need a vehicle, going to Bob's used car emporium is much for cost effective than Johnson's Ford. By destroying the "clunker" the Federal Government effectively destroys a potential ride for someone who doesn't have that much money and/or a trove of engine parts that junk yards can salvage and sell at a cheap price as opposed to going to a dealership. Supporters say that the whole vehicle isn't destroyed, just the engine which is true but how often do people need doors, bumpers and other body parts as opposed to say a water pump or a fan belt?

So now we have the Federal Government encouraging debt allocation and eliminating vehicles for low income people. What was the objective of this program again? To get people to have more fuel efficient vehicles? The clowns that run Washington need to realize that this is a unrealistic goal. In rural areas having a tiny little Toyota isn't going to do anyone good when there is dangerous amounts of snow on the ground. People (myself included) buy trucks, jeeps and SUVs for a reason, not to be hip like the Yuppies in New York City. Those in Washington need to realize that the more they try to fiddle with the economy the more they make it worse.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why such anger towards Lou Dobbs?

Fellow Libertarians might be wondering why I would be defending Lou Dobbs on anything. Since his economic protectionist views run very counter to our own. Among the mainstream media Dobbs is one of the few guys that makes any kind of sense on most issues.

That's why I was kind of surprised among all the hate Dobbs got from liberals when he continued the "birther" saga. For the record I believe Obama is a natural born United States citizen. The funniest parts about the attacks on Dobbs is that he was this right wing extremist. One of the first things he points out is that he believes that Obama is a natural born citizen! Would a right wing extremist support gay marriage, separation of church and state, the minimum wage, and abortion? My guess would be no. Even with stances on those issues most conservatives don't call him a liberal, they typically refer to him as a independent or a populist. The only time I have seen conservatives actually a line themselves with Dobbs is with illegal immigration.

Has this onslaught on Dobbs changed his views on the issues I've stated? Probably not since Dobbs is more rational that most in the media, especially when you compare him to Keith Olbermann. If Dobbs ever let liberals off easy in the past you can bet that he certainly won't now.

Social Collectivism is still alive and well

As everyone knows Sonia Sotomayor is now a Supreme Court Justice. Right on cue liberals cheered while conservatives and libertarians jeered. This was of course expected with a Democratic majority in congress and as far as the ideological makeup goes there wasn't much change. With the single exception being that Sotomayor sides with the police more than Souter ever did.

Liberal groups and supporters cheered because they feel that they have a lock on the Hispanic vote. Buchanan-type conservatives try to revamp the case for use of the Southern Strategy and other right-populist themes in order to take back Washington. In both cases, both are wrong. For awhile both conservatives and liberals have forgotten the words of Dr. Martin Luther King:

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

When did character translate to group? Last time I checked people where individuals not groups, what my neighbor does to his body does not affect me. Why is it assumed by liberals that putting Sotomayor on the top court will automatically translate to votes? Why do a small group of conservatives think that Sotomayor's personal views are the views of every Hispanic in the country? It's not just the Sotomayor appointment it's also illegal immigration and affirmative action among other issues. The illegal immigration debate has brought out alot of racial and social collectivist thought out and it's pathetic. Sometimes one can't tell if it's debate or just ridiculous name calling and race baiting. It seems that the individual is lost on the partisans and for them it's easier to group people together and scream at their opponent.

In my opinion collectivism is a taught and natural behavior at the same time. Sometimes people naturally won't associate with others that are not like them. Look at High School for a nice example of that. In the taught aspect, those who teach collectivism may use crime statistics, voting data, religion, race and other trait that a person belongs to (typically through no fault of his or her own) in order to paint said group a certain way. Can social collectivism be overcome? Yes it can. Will it happen anytime soon? Probably not.