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Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Beginning Of The End Of Personal Mobility?

Mark Tapscot is feeling down on the auto business, judging by his latest blog post, here.
In it he points out that the leftist technocrats sweeping in with Obama ultimately want to reduce our use of personal vehicles, and force us to live packed more densely together in cities, and to rely on mass transportation. Their strategy to do this is to make gasoline expensive, keep the road system under-developed, and perhaps down the road tax our mileage.

No, the people now deciding what kind of products will be made by Detroit are working in Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation and, most crucially, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Virtually to a man, these people hate privately owned cars and the individual autonomy they symbolize.

That means it's not just the kind of cars and trucks produced by the manufacturers' skunk works that are in Washington's cross-hairs, it's the very notion that all individual Americans ought by right be able to buy and drive the vehicle of their choice anywhere and anytime they choose.

I have blogged on this topic before, and i generally agree with what Mark says. However, there are some big roadblocks in the way of the anti-car left.

First, Americans love cars, and even if they can't have fire breathing 300HP V8's, they will find a way to get fun fast cars. If people get the idea that the bureaucrats are trying to take away the great American right-to-drive-what-I-want, there will be some nasty electoral surprises.

Second, Obama is now caught between two opposing forces, which are going to grind up his campaign agenda: the economy and labor unions on one hand, and the green lobby on the other. To keep his promise of saving jobs, and particularly of helping "working families", Obama must prop up the domestic auto industry. If it fails, it takes his economic promises with it. Propping up the auto industry means getting people to buy lots of shiny new cars. The days of cheap V8's are over, but the days of shiny new cars in every other driveway won't be.

Also, as part of the economic stimulus plan, a ton of money is going to be spent on "infrastructure", and some of that is actually going to go to road repair and construction.

Obama's not dumb, he knows that economic fear is what got him elected, and at the end of the day, I expect that he will throw the greens under the bus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll just keep on drivin' my fire-breathin' 300HP six-banger, American made, thank you very much Mr. Obama (not).