But Congress will likely bail out this clunker of a program. Ford's July sales are up 2.3 percent thanks to the deal. Local papers and news stations, which depend on those auto dealer dollars, aren't going to criticize the ploy. Even Alan Greenspan, despite his "qualms about the concept" is along for the ride.
Since the government seems down to throw cash at every struggling sector, I wonder which other industry is due for its own "cash for clunkers" deal. Here are a few possibilities:
- Personal Computers: Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Dell have suffered as businesses wait to order new machines. But Windows 7 hits the market in October. So all those PCs that run on Vista should soon qualify as clunkers too, right?
- Newspapers: Printed media is bad for the environment. Why not let Americans trade in their newsprint subscriptions for government-subsidized Kindles?
- Real Estate: Seriously, people are actually talking about a cash for clunkers-type deal for the real estate sector. Under one proposal, the government would extend its $8000 first-time homebuyer rebate to anyone looking to buy a new home.