© Mel Gama | Dreamstime.com
Old cars. If they’re old enough (in most states, more than 25 years old), they’re vintage, even antique, and perhaps worth the extra effort it takes to keep them running.
If they are 15-25 years old, they are usually just basic transportation, and a basic pain.
The body parts not rusted are crumpled. The driver’s window no longer winds down (maybe the entire door is rusted shut), so paying a toll, or dining at a drive-through fast food establishment, is yet another hassle.
You prefer to drive at night, because the black exhaust cloud isn’t as obvious.
And then the usual litany:
Will it start?
Will it stop??
What’s it going to cost me to fix it for the third time this year???
And the planet shares your pain.
How sensitive of the planet!
Princeton University economist Alan Blinder, whom I fondly remember as a columnist for Business Week years ago, a side job while vice-chairing the Federal Reserve and holding down the Princeton gig, would like to take that beast off of your hands.
Because that black cloud trailing behind you isn’t unique. The state of California estimates that cars 13 years and older account for 25% of miles driven overall, but an astonishing 75% of all passenger automobile generated pollution.
A Modest Proposal: Eco-Friendly Stimulus
Economic View | By ALAN S. BLINDER | Published: July 27, 2008
ECONOMISTS and members of Congress are now on the prowl for new ways to stimulate spending in our dreary economy. Here’s my humble suggestion: “Cash for Clunkers,” the best stimulus idea you’ve never heard of.