Friday, July 31, 2009
where moth and rust destroy...
$3,000,000,000 for Cash for Clunkers (might actually be more when it’s all said and done).
$4,500 benefit for a car.
3 billion $ / 4,500 ($ per car) = 666,666.7 cars will be traded in or purchased.
The benefits are that we get better gas mileage for cars. The trade-ins get less than 18, the purchased cars get better than 25 mpg’s.
The car companies sell some of their inventory, but this only helps the corporation (stockholders), not the employees. Since the lots have a large surplus of autos, factories won’t ramp up production on account of this.
Take 15,000 miles per year (probably if you have a vehicle that gets 10mpg’s you’re not driving this much). Assume the trade-ins get 10mpg the new cars get 30mpg, just to keep it interesting.
The trade-in’s use 1,500 gallons a year, the new cars use 500. We save 666,666.7* 1000 = 666,666,666 gallons of gas per year. The US uses 138,000,000,000 gallons of gas annually, resulting in a grand total of .48% reduction in gas usage. Note the decimal point, that’s less than 1/2 of a percent.
On the other hand, the world water crisis could be ended for (roughly) $10,000,000,000 per year. So the Cash for clunkers money is 30% of this. 10,000 people die every day (5,000 children under the age of five die every day) because of lack of access to clean water, so the money could save 3,000 lives (per day) or 1,095,000 lives, that's equivalent to the Rwandan genocide every year.
The math leads me to this question, why are cars more important to us than the lives of a million people. It should be no great shock that we ignore genocide when we practice ignoring death in our everyday lives.
Solution (Warning this might require that your lifestyle be altered):
Do this. Sell that second vehicle. You'll probably get 2,500, maybe more. Buy a bike, yeah go for a nice one $1,000 - $1,500. You'll love it. Your legs will get strong, the waist might shrink. Your heart will become more efficient. It will make a real difference to the whole gas consumption thing. What do you do with the extra $1000? http://www.water.cc/ Invest in things that won't pass away.
*I used a trade - in improvement in mpg's of 20 mpg, the first 80,000 cars average to 9.8 mpg improvement. I updated the accuracy of my numbers 8/5/2009, and added sources.
Posted by Jeremy Cox at 10:15 AM