Cash For Bunk
I WAS DISAPPOINTED WITH YOUR ASSESSment of the failed “Cash for Clunkers” program (see WAW — Sept. '09, p.2).
You attempt to paint opponents as East and West coast elitists bent on destroying American manufacturing. Far from it! I find the program to be another chapter in the government's history of, despite its good intentions, weakening America's manufacturing base, perpetuating unemployment and making the American people poorer.
If you scratch below the childish partisan rhetoric on both sides of the debate, you will find substantive arguments as to why the program works against the interests of the American people.
Without Cash for Clunkers, the American people would have had working cars (albeit old ones); they would have had significantly less debt (both personal and government debt); used cars would be more abundant and affordable; and the auto industry would have more honest signals about the current automobile market.
Consider The Cost
AS YOU SO APTLY PUT IT, CARB IS ONCE again legislating technology without regard to the costs and consequences (see WAW — Aug. '09, p.3). Unfortunately they have been doing that for 42 years, and they were a major factor in California losing its manufacturing tax base through the '80s and '90s. But there seems to be no lessons learned from their fiascos either in California or anywhere else, as evidenced by the Letters to the Editor on the very next page (of Ward's AutoWorld).
The fact that we could not support millions of EVs on the electric grid or that many in Gen X or Y consider us all grumpy old men because we analyze innovation just proves the detriment of living in a soundbite world. EVs and hybrid cars sound wonderful, but we do not have a competent power grid nor the ability to dispose of or recycle the millions of batteries required.
Investigative reporting is a dying profession and skepticism a dying art. We need more information such as Ward's AutoWorld provides and fewer 30-second soundbites on how great some new unproven technology is, according to its inventor.
Yes, we will have new technology in future vehicles. But until Americans realize what the real costs are and are willing to pay for “green” technology, they'll be dragged along kicking and screaming.
Don't Forget Subaru
I WAS DISAPPOINTED TO SEE THE August story about green factories (see WAW — Aug. '09, pp.19) never mentioned the first auto assembly plant to go “zero landfill.”
Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. has always emphasized recycling and safety and has an official wetlands habitat area for herons, ducks and Canada geese, as well as wildlife areas supporting deer, coyotes and hawks.
Children at the onsite daycare center regularly see deer walking right outside their windows. There is a fishing pond stocked with bass, bluegill and catfish. What a great place to take your kids!
Safety may be the No.1 priority, but the environment is definitely No.2. I agree other companies have made great strides on environmental issues, but SIA shouldn't be left out.
Give U.S. Fiat Engines
I DON'T THINK A FIAT-BADGED PRODUCT would do well because of the prior Fiat auto efforts in the U.S. However, a nice engine and transmission package from Fiat in a Chrysler platform might be perfect. And maybe one of those great little diesel engines could be a nice option.
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