When Big Government tries to “make a market” when none exists

by Skip

GM EV-1Fools.  There are just too many people in Government that believe, simply by dint of receiving a government paycheck, that they know better than everybody else on what they should buy and when.  Like the Cash for Clunkers that didn’t meet its goal of Keynesian “stimulating” the auto industry by paying people up to $4,500 to turn in their old cars (to be crushed) for new ones.

And what did it really accomplish? Other than moving SOME people to make a buying decision earlier (note – who were already predisposed to buying a car ANYWAYS) and cost taxpayers about $24,00/car for the cost of the program, I’ve come to only one conclusion as to what it really did.  After watching the price of used cars for quite some time, anecdotally, it looks like it made older used cars much more expensive for those in the lower economic classes that could never afford new cars.  Let’s see what happens when those cars are “replaced” by millions of cars now coming off leases even as the car manufacturers seemingly have stuffed the sales channels again (have you been watching the monthly lease prices being advertised lately??)

And the big thing I used to write about a lot was how Obama wanted a million electric cars on the road in a 4 year time span – yeah, that worked out well.  A quick update:

Going by the ballyhoo, you’d think EVs were an unstoppable juggernaut. But it’s one that has yet to even get started. In his 2011 State of the Union address, then president Barack Obama predicted one million electric cars on the road by 2015. Four years later, there wasn’t even a third that many. California offered so many different subsidies for electric vehicles that low-income families could get rebates of up to US$13,500, but it still isn’t even close to reaching its target of having zero-emission vehicles make up 15 per cent of California auto sales by 2025, being stuck at three per cent since 2014. Ontario’s Liberal government last year announced to much laughter its plan to ensure that every family would have at least one zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) by 2024, and Quebec made a plan to make ZEVs worth 15.5 per cent of sales by 2020. Let’s see how that’s going: Currently, ZEVs make up 0.16 per cent of new vehicle sales in Ontario and 0.38 per cent in Quebec.

(H/T: Instapundit) Really – Govt giving people $13,500 / car???  Certainly not in my definition of what The Proper Role of Government is, but even with that, other than rich Hollywood types and environmentalist doing their virtue-signaling schtick, it’s turned out to be a rather large bust.  Wait until both the rebates are withdrawn and Trump’s revoking of the Obama hurried through insane gas mileage regs happens (which that process has started which will finally give US the freedom to choose the kind of cars we want and need again.  I also hope that the Warmists have a big bellyache over it and wail themselves into a never ending migraine over it).

And don’t get me started on the Second Coming of the Government Solar fiasco in the making as Governments all over the world are wising up to the idea that paying one set of folks, generally rather well off ones, to install PV racks on their roofs, has both shoveled money out of the Public Treasury and, in a lot of cases, screwed up the housing markets because the leasing companies (like SolarCity who LEASED systems instead of selling them outright) put liens on houses.

OK, I’m done with this somewhat disorganized micro-rant.  Just don’t mention Obamacare and the GOP to me in the same sentence…

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