Cash for all of America’s clunkers

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The U.S. government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program, which ends today, was a bona fide hit. The program encouraged Americans to trade in their gas-guzzling and un-ecological clunkers for thousands off the price of a brand new (and much more economic) vehicle. If you believe the press, this has been enough to turn Detroit around. In fact, GM and Ford just announced additional factory shifts to keep up with the demand this program has stimulated.

This got me thinking—what else could consumers, government and industry do to re-engineer America’s aging private infrastructure? How about replacing the millions of leaky roofs across America, for a start? Or trading in the legions of inefficient air conditioners and boilers for energy-efficient models? Let’s not forget the broken-down BBQ that’s in every second backyard; they could use some love too. While we’re at it, maybe we should target the nation’s energy-hungry washing machines and dryers, or even the stock of aging pool filters.

Come to think of it, why stop at things that are broken or neglected? How about a program to get everyone to install water filters and rainwater tanks in their homes?

Before year’s end, we could probably renew most of what’s broken and inefficient in our lives and put many thousands of trades-people back to work. But most important, this could accomplish the seemingly impossible: getting millions of Americans back into the habit of shopping.

Photo credit: billaday

1 Responses to “Cash for all of America’s clunkers”


  • Yes, there’s something about this scheme that has touched people. It’s also been a success in Germany and the UK, I understand. You’re right to think about its use elsewhere. I wonder which JWT Clients….

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