Cash for what?

You know what? I kind of like the recession.  I, of course, don’t like how hard it is for my clients to find jobs and I don’t like the whole bankruptcy thing or the lay-offs.  But The Great Recession (I’ve heard it called that. I didn’t make it up) is the end of The Great Lie.

When Obama was running for office, John Stewart said to him on The Daily Show, “no matter who wins, it’ll be nice not feeling schizophrenic. It feels like it’s been years since the government saw what I did. It’s like every day, when I would walk outside into the bright sunshine and the government would say “it’s raining out” and after awhile, you begin to feel nuts”.

The economy has been bad for years, but the stock market soared. Houses cost too much, but prices kept rising. There was always plenty of money for the war, but it was OK to cut social programs because nobody needed them anyway.  America had “the best medical care in the world”, except you couldn’t access it.  “Liberals” were somehow “unpatriotic”.  There was plenty of money to go around and upper management and CEOs deserved bonuses far greater than the rest of the employees combined while they “streamlined” and “cut costs”.  Last of all, and the thing that drove me nuts the most, was about cars.

First off, the technology “didn’t exist” to make a car get 30 miles a gallon, according to the car makers, so don’t even ask.  Never mind that the 1968 VW Beetle got 35 mpg, for the last 40 years the technology “wasn’t there”.   Even when Toyota’s Prius got 51 miles per gallon, the technology still didn’t exist, Detroit told us. There was simply no way to reduce emissions.  It was just impossible, so there.

After people began buying the technology-that-didn’t-exist from Toyota, there was some surprise in the industry.  Still, American automotive manufacturers knewbeyond any doubt — that Americans wanted BIGGER cars and would never, ever be interested in buying a car “like that”.   Remember Hummer? Remember how it was patriotic to have one? Remember how those “eco-terrorists” blew them up and were considered nuts?

Enter the Cash-for-Clunkers program and … what happened???!!!… the most underfunded of all the new administration’s programs is a program where dealers destroy the old cars that people can no longer afford, which destroyed the environment at a faster rate, in return for a good deal and better mpg.  In the wisdom of The Great Lie, people are buying “unpatriotic” cars with technology that doesn’t exist and that they don’t want anyway.   No wonder the government didn’t fund it enough!  It was a stupid program destined to fail!

Did the government really believe what they were saying all these years?  Didn’t anybody remember the 1968 VW Beetle? Wasn’t the environment worth saving? Isn’t L.A.’s smog bad enough and hasn’t it been for years?  Did it really seem  “patriotic” to destroy the earth just because we could?

Our government now is surprised that the Cash-for-Clunkers ideas is so popular.  Maybe the technology did exist.  Maybe people will drive cars that getter mpg.  Maybe it’s not patriotic to pay $4.00 plus for a gallon of gas.  Maybe people don’t need an Urban Assault Vehicle the size of a house to drive to work.  I’m feeling saner all the time.

Now, if we could only be sane about CEO’s, banks, health care, housing prices and “social programs” like education, just in case the economy really is bad.  I’m not in a real rush to see this “Great Recession” end but, then, I like sanity.

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