Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Gas Welfare

I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw the GM commercials on TV offering to subsidize gas prices if only you buy their gas guzzling cars. Ezra Klein puts it this way:

Right now, remember, GM is offering a year of unlimited gasoline at $1.99 a gallon for buyers of certain cars, trucks, and SUVs. Good plan? Sure is -- it's unlikely to cost more than a $1,000 per customer, but will have far more resonance than a similarly hefty rebate. That said, it's a treatment of symptoms so GM can avoid a cure; pay for the consumer's gasoline so they'll buy your inefficient autos. A better strategy might include more fuel efficient cars, but that's apparently out of the question.
In terms of the public good, this is absolutely one of the worst ideas to come along in a long time. Gas prices too high? Don’t improve fuel efficiency that might help bring those prices back down, just subsidize the high prices. What a crock.

But does anyone care? I think people do. I have no idea how this marketing campaign is working but I would think most people with a conscience see through this ploy? I know the concept has really turned me off to GM. This corporate crassness should not be rewarded. Don’t buy their cars, GM obviously doesn’t give a damn about anything other than short-term financial gain.

No comments: