Thursday, August 30, 2012

My letter to the NY Times re: New Fuel Economy Standards

Subject: New Fuel Economy Standards
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 13:37:13 -0400

Re: US Sets Much Higher Fuel Economy Standards

Dear Sirs:
There is no justification for claiming that new fuel economy standards will improve our economic satisfaction. In fact, there is every theoretical justification for claiming that any fuel economy standard economically harms both the buying public and the car manufacturers, who, after all, merely want to satisfy the consumers' preferences. The fact that the government arbitrarily sets such standards is proof that the public would not buy such cars willingly; otherwise, no standards are necessary. Furthermore, it is patently ridiculous and an insult to the readers' intelligence to claim that thirteen automakers "endorsed the new standards during lengthy browbeating...oops, I mean negotiations...last year". I got a special laugh out of the ravings of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who has never held a real job in his life. He was chief of staff to Representative Bob Michael for decades before successfully obtaining that office when Michael retired after the Republicans stripped his party leadership. LaHood left that job when offered the Transportation Secretary post. There is no doubt that he will retire on a generous public pension, having never held a real job in his life. Yet, LaHood deigns to instruct us on our preferences and the economics of the automobile industry. Regrettably, the government is full of such pretentious clowns.

Patrick Barron

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