This Election Mattered, by Eric Peters

The government is going to force us into its vehicles of choice whether we like or not, and with the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, there’s not much we can do about it. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

If you don’t think elections matter, wait about five years.

Then go shopping for a new car.

You will have your choice of a small hybrid car – or an electric car. Because by 2025, all new cars will be required by federal fatwa to average almost 50 miles-per-gallon – nearly twice the current fatwa-mandated average.

And the only cars capable of doing so are small hybrids like the Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq and Kio Niro.

And, of course, electric cars – which burn no gas at all. Well, not directly.

There may still be a few other, non-hybrid cars (and possibly even trucks) but these will have become very artificially expensive – so you probably will not be able to afford one.

Because the Democrats won control of the House.

These Democrats believe it is the government’s business to dictate (they aren’t recommending) how much gas your car uses, never mind who pays for the car or the gas.

And never mind that we have plenty of gas.

They will prevent the Orange One from rescinding the near-doubling (over the course of about five years) of the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard that was fatwa’d by Barack Obama’s EPA.

Cars that don’t average almost 50 MPG will be the object of abusive fines designed to make them so expensive to sell that very few will be able to buy them – regardless of how much they want and prefer them to cars that average 50 MPGs.

Since literally every car that’s available right now that isn’t a hybrid or electric averages nowhere close to 50 MPG, you can perhaps read the tea leaves.

Thus, most of us will be nudged into hybrids and electric cars – which are expensive for natural reasons. Batteries cost a great deal more than gas – and anything that has to be plugged in also costs time and lots of it – but never mind.

They use less gas. Someone ought to erect a totem pole so we can worship Saturday nights.

Maybe make this mandatory, too.

Hybrids burn gas part time – and electricity the rest of the time. This requires burning oil and coal and natural gas the rest of the time, but never mind.

Electric cars burn their oil/coal and natural gas remotely – a sleight-of-hand which enables their manufacturers to tout infinite MPGs and even more unctuously, “zero emissions”  . . . at least insofar as what comes out of the tailpipe, which an EV hasn’t got.

The EV does have several hundred pounds of caustic, flammable and short-life batteries, though.

It’s all pretty silly, especially given we are literally swimming in gas and there is no needfor any of this – which of course is exactly why the government is forcing it on us. It knows perfectly well that most people aren’t going to buy a hybrid or an EV when gas is $2.40 a gallon because why would they?

It makes as much sense as going on a diet when you’re thin.

CAFE is a law even more dated than MC Hammer and parachute pants – or 8 Track tape decks and bell bottom cords, for that matter. It dates back all the way to the early ’70s and Nixon and was passed at a time and with the usual ill-considered franticness when America was dependent on Middle Eastern oil – which wasn’t scarce but was being withheld by the Saudis and other foreign producers (OPEC) annoyed over U.S. foreign policy.

The scarcity and price spikes were artificial – not the consequence of the oil running out.

But the government decided in its usual way to impose a fix on what wasn’t broken and passed the Energy Conservation Act and from that act came CAFE and progressively upticking “fleet average” MPG bars that had to be met – or else.

It seems not to have occurred to the government that if gas really was becoming scarce and prices going through the roof for natural reasons then the market would respond to this signal on its own. Fuel-efficient cars would be built – and bought – without the bayonet in the back.

But now there’s a problem – if you’re the government and need an excuse to decree the kinds of cars people are permitted to buy, which is only superficially about the cars and much more about the control being exercised.

Gas isn’t scarce – and it’s become obvious.

The supply is vastly larger than it was thought to be 50 years ago. Uh-oh. There is no natural market reason to mass-rush into hybrids and EVs – which for exactly this reason depend on a life support system of subsidies and mandates to get even a few people to buy them.

Gas taxes as a prod in the back to artificially create scarcity are politically untenable – even for Democrats – because too obvious.

But CAFE will do the trick without most people ever being aware they’ve been tricked – and mulcted. Because most people think CAFE is a place where you go to get coffee.

Also, far too many of them buy into the Free Lunch. The idea that the evil car industry is withholding 50-MPG cars just for the sake of wastefulness – and that a benevolent government can simply order them to be made without economic or functional consequences.

They’ll be made, all right.

But there are going to be consequences. And those consequences will be paid for by everyone who goes car shopping a few years from now.

Whatever you may think of the Orange One, he tried to stop all of this.

And now he won’t be able to.

 

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One response to “This Election Mattered, by Eric Peters

  1. Pingback: Must Reads For The Week 11/24/18 | AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS ADDICT

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