Monday, August 3, 2009

On Cash for Clunkers and Keeping Up With The Jones's

Cash for clunkers, or should I said, Dough for Dummies, is seemingly the victim of bipartisan opposition this week; nearly threatening to filibuster the government's new little cash cow. Obama has never run so much as a lemonade stand, I seriously doubt he'll be a successful car salesman. Thankfully, a few folks in the Senate seem to understand that.

In case you've been living in your bomb shelter for the past few weeks, which I wouldn't blame you for, Cash For Clunkers is another government/corporate backscratching scheme that allows drivers to trade in perfectly good automobiles in exchange for a voucher to buy a brand new, overpriced vehicle that gets a little better gas mileage. The vouchers range in value from $3500-$4500 depending upon how much of an increase it is from your old car in terms of fuel efficiency.

This is a very foreign concept to me, then again, I'm a huge cheapskate and am very conservative with money. Why. In. The. Hell would you trade in a perfectly functionable automobile, a few minor repairs notwithstanding, for an ObamaCo voucher from the government to buy a brand new car? Why are people so obsessed with new and shiny things that they're willing to go into debt to have them? Why is ego-stroking a number one priority over common sense for so many people?

You see, this is a very, very big reason why this country is in the financial shape it's in now. Both people and the government seem to have forgotten the meaning of money. Thanks to ridiculously low interest rates and Adjustable Rate Mortgages, in the past eight years, far too many people have been trying to live far above their means. This whole fiasco is what created the credit/real estate/housing bubble, and it was the very same faulty system that caused it to burst. People still don't seem to understand the concept of, "If you don't have it, don't spend it". They must have taken the same economics course Obama did - Can't afford it? Print/borrow/credit more money.

I'm fully aware that I'm going off on a tangent here and I mean to. I am so sick of ordinary people attempting to be extraordinary spenders. What is the point? Does money mean so much to you that you'd rather go into debt buying a brand new car than sending your kids to college? Would you rather buy a boat than put food on the table? Who is going to pay for all of this if you all of a sudden passed away? Your kids? Your wife? Are you that selfish and inconsiderate? You sit back and you complain about the greedy Wall Street brokers and the bankers when YOU'RE the very ones enabling them to do what they do. They screw around with YOUR money because you let them; hell, you basically tell them to! By no means am I talking about everyone here, but there are a very large number of people whose parents apparently didn't tell them, "Little Johnny, money doesn't grow on trees, son!".

OK. Whatever, back on topic. Sort of. You think they're finished with the housing foreclosures? You think they're finished kicking people out of their apartments? What happens when these very same idiots that decide to go into debt buying a new car, because their old one had a dent and the air filter needed replacing, need to decide between the car and and a roof over their heads? What do you think they're going to choose; if they have an IQ higher than a residential speed limit, that is. A colleague of mine brough this up to me, and it certainly is worth mentioning.

This little cash cow, simply put, is yet another Government/Corporate backscratching gig; same one that's been going on for the better part of a century. Do you think they're doing this in YOUR best interest? This little plan is to trick more gullible keeping-up-with-the-Jones's type folks into accruing more debt so that the car companies can pay back those enormous loans of YOUR money that the government used to bail them out. The entire process is self-defeating, but is in perfect sync with the Federal machine; screw people over and take their money.

Win/win for them. Lose/lose for you. Put your money back in your damned pocket.

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