Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cash for Clunkers


This could be the dumbest economic policy in my lifetime. It might have prompted more sales in the summer of 2009. However, most of these sales were not to people who are buying an "extra" car. It just prompted them to move up their car purchase, or they were going to buy one anyway. Therefore, all of the people who purchased a vehicle likely would have purchased one anyway in the next year or two.

Further, this decreased the number of used cars in the market. That forced the price higher. Many individuals who we would think of as the "working poor" rely on "clunkers" for transportation. Making their life more difficult by raising the price of vehicles isn't good policy, if you care at all about the poor.

Oh, and for this policy, all we had to do was pay $24,000 per "clunker".

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sowell's "The Housing Boom and Bust"

The Housing Boom and Bust

Earlier I posted book recommendations and I recommended books by Thomas Sowell. Currently I am reading Sowell's new book - "The Housing Boom and Bust" - and it is also great. Sowell is truly gifted at organizing relevant material in a concise and meaningful way.

It really gives a detailed explanation of all the factors that went into the boom - including some truly horrible government policies. Warning - It is tough to read this book without getting angry at elected officials of both parties.