Before government developed its safety fetish, American economy cars were genuinely efficient — and affordable.
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Merely suspend federal bumper impact and “passive” (air bag) safety requirements. Let the automakers build 2,000 pound, 50 mpg cars that cost $10k — which they could easily do, if allowed.
But such cars would be unsafe!
Well, that depends on how you define “safe.” And how much safety you think the government should be forcing people to buy. The '70s and '80s — an era of genuinely economical cars — were not a time of mass carnage. True, if you wrecked an ‘82 Omni your chances of being hurt — or even killed — would be greater than would be the case if you’d been driving a 2009 (and federally approved) Toyota Yaris. If you wrecked. But maybe — probably — you’ll never have a serious accident. Most people don’t. Some of us — many of us — stand a good chance of never being involved in more than a minor fender-bender.
Perhaps the very real everyday fuel savings (and up-front savings on the car itself) are worth more to you than the theoretical “what if?” safety advantages of the modern, government-approved car?
The key phrase in the last sentence being “worth more to you.” Shouldn’t it be your decision, not Uncle Sam’s? Why can’t we — like the eggheads running the government — weigh the pros and cons of something and come to a conclusion that best meets our particular needs? And does anyone doubt that what America — what the car industry — needs very much right now is affordable, very high-mileage cars?
In a single stroke — and with not one cent spent — President Obama could resuscitate the U.S. car industry and massively decrease the nation’s annual fuel consumption. Smaller, lighter cars would have another good effect, too. Our highways would take less of a beating — and need fixing less often.
In so many ways, we’re being forced to confront reality, economic and otherwise. It should be no different when it comes to the cars we’re allowed to buy. The plain truth is out of work and financially struggling people cannot afford $25,000 hybrids. (GM’s pending Volt electric car will be closer to $35k.)
Nor should they be told by know-it-all (and invariably very rich) D.C. politicos that they must have “x” and “y” — invariably at their expense. The principle behind this has always been obnoxious. But now, it is unaffordable.
We can have uber-safe cars that cost $15k. Or we can have cars that get 50-plus MPG and cost $10k. We can’t have both.
Whose choice — whose business — should it be?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online