Strong opinions, weakly held

Raising CAFE standards

I just wanted to say that the Obama administration nationalizing California’s proposed fuel economy standards is very good news. It’s unfortunate that a bunch of people will probably be buying new cars now under the cash for clunkers bill instead of in a couple of years when most cars are significantly more fuel efficient.


  1. I’m not a big fan. I think the market solves problems better than those working in Washington.


  2. I’ve been watching Craigslist for cars, ’cause I just bought myself a truck, and have been considering speculating in clunkers. We’ve got a new Jetta TDI wagon on order, so given the 9% in sales taxes, if we can pick up an old Cadillac that would have sold for $400 last year for two grand, there’s a thousand bucks in profit.

  3. I think Lew Rockwell needs to do some reading on the topic of negative externalities. CAFE standards are a way of nudging the market to account for negative externalities without the government controlling which types of cars will be built.

  4. I’m not sure how I feel on CAFE standards, I’d much rather just see the gas tax raised and let the market sort things out….

    …that said, the only reason fleet MPG numbers aren’t higher is the sick performance most cars are capable of these days. Did you know a 2009 Honda Accord V-6 has 42% more HP than a 1980 ‘Vette (base model) and 18% more HP than the same ‘Vette with the upgraded engine! LOL! Ya, a family sedan needs that much power. While the ‘Vette’s V-8 does pump out 20-30 more torque depending on the engine….does it really matter? We’ve turned the average family sedan into sports cars!

  5. The degree to which new cars are better than old cars is absolutely staggering.

  6. for some values of “better” (i.e., way more power, way less gas efficiency, than might be true in a different world).

    my last car was a 1989 Acura Integra, and it pained me that our best find 4ish years ago for a replacement was a Mazda3, which has less trunk space (even when folded down), gets 3-5 miles less per gallon, blah blah. I like the car, but I expected to get more than that for my dollar after 17 years!

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