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Illinois Wed Aug 05 2009

Cash-for-Clunkers: We're Number Six!

I find this bit in a story in today's Chicago Sun-Times on the Cash for Clunkers program surprising:

Illinois ranks sixth among states in the number of cash-for-clunker dollars going to buyers: $2.44 million. It follows No. 1 Michigan ($3.4 million), Ohio ($2.93 million), California ($2.64 million), Minnesota ($2.62 million) and Texas ($2.5 million).

That puts us ahead of states like Wisconsin, Oregon, and Washington --places where I'd assume there'd not only be enthusiasm for environmentalism and/or fuel efficiency but also a lack of conservative skepticism toward the program. Personally I can't think of any really good explanation for any of the states I mention except maybe Oregon which is basically bicycle central. But for the rest, what's the deal? Why is Illinois, whose biggest city has a fair (but far from perfect) public transport system doing more trading than these other ones? Do that many people have more SUVs to trade in?


Good Luck / August 5, 2009 4:01 PM

Seriously? Try math.
Population rankings
IL: 5th

OR: 27th
WI: 13th
WA: 20th

More supply = more demand.

Curious. How environmentally sound is it to destroy an existing car (they literally have to be destroyed), which took significant resources and energy in order to be built, and replace it with another vehicle that also requires significant resources and energy in order be produced?

Since cars are complex machines and take time to manufacture, the purchase of a new car begets the production of a car to replace it. When you get into the supply chain of car manufacturing, think about how many components of a car are made at seperate facilities and then need to be shipped to a plant in order to be installed into the end product. That is quite a lot of energy being used in order to meet artificially increased demand.

Daniel / August 5, 2009 4:10 PM

Population isn't as big a factor as you might think. What really matters is how many people have "clunkers." While yes, there are more people in Illinois than the other states like you say how many of them are driving SUVs? Some but I imagine a much smaller percentage of the population and those who are driving SUVs (likely luxury) probably don't care too much about gas prices to want to trade in their Acura MDX for something different.

By contrast, in the states that I mention which are poorer (but by no means the poorest) and also more rural a fuel efficient car/truck is more useful and appropriate and a more fuel efficient car is worth trading in the current one even if it's not totally fuel inefficient.

You know, your points will probably be taken more seriously if you aren't rude. Saying things like "Seriously?" and "Try Math" don't help your case.

Ramsin / August 5, 2009 4:41 PM

GL, please learn to be polite on these boards. You are abusive to contributors and commenters. If you can't stop from being abusive, you will be banned permanently.

Good Luck / August 5, 2009 6:45 PM


That is funny you mention politeness as you called me a whackjob in a previous post and countless other commenters have been impolite towards me, including threats of physical violence. (where is their threat of being banned?)

...but seriously (sorry, is that abusive?), if responding to Daniel's statement of not being able to think of a single good reason, etc... by using the word "seriously"and then offering up a very good reason for that observation, is considered abusive, then maybe you should take a look at your responses to anyone who doesn't agree with you. Its not what I'd call rose petals and puppy dogs.


Those states are not among the poorest.

By GDP per capita

OR: 28th
WI: 15th
WA: 10th

It sounds nice, but doesn't hold up.

Hope this doesn't offend you.

Daniel / August 5, 2009 6:53 PM

...I didn't say they were the poorest... I said they were "poorer", which according to the Wikipedia entry you cite is true (piece of advice, Wikipedia isn't the most trustworthy source of information although in this case it's correct). Your argument "sounds nice, but doesn't hold up" to borrow your own words.

Perhaps you could read something before you try and make a counter argument? :)

Ramsin / August 5, 2009 7:33 PM

Shouldn't fight fire with fire, you're right. I'm sorry. As two of the people who comment the most, let's you and I set an example.

And if somebody's threatened you with violence, please point that out to me, that is wildly unacceptable. I hadn't seen that.

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