Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Clunker moment passes

The federal government's Cash for Clunkers program came to a halt this week after spending $3 billion to stimulate the economy. This comes on top of the other hundreds of billions of dollars that have been poured into banks, automakers, insurance companies and others in an attempt to kick start the U.S. economy.

I am not an economist, but even those who are still don't have a handle on all of this. I see so-called experts on the news shows shrugging their shoulders and saying things like, "we hope this will work."

One thing the economic collapse of 2009 has shown is that experts are woefully short on understanding what happened, what is happening now and what will happen next.

I have to chuckle when one of the interrogator/interviewers gets an administration official on camera and grills them about what will happen next and what impact the latest billion dollar solution will have on the economy.

I hear a lot of theories, a lot of plausible scenarios but no one seems to have a solid answer.

Cash for Clunkers had to be a boon for the auto industry at a time the industry desperately needed a boost. But is it really the role of the federal government to pour tax monies into the private sector?

The auto industry, much like the airline industry, has behaved poorly in recent years. I don't know that it makes much sense to pour money into companies that are going to fail anyway. These government welfare programs only seem to delay the inevitable.

I acknowledge that much like the economists I see on the talk shows, I don't really understand what has happened, what is happening or what will happen next.

I can just shrug my shoulders and say, "I hope what they are doing will work."

David Fierro is a transportation public relations consultant. He is a former newspaper and magazine editor and worked for both the Florida and Virginia departments of transportation. He resides in Sanford, Florida.

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