Cash for Clunkers Has Some People Upset

As you may have heard--or if you're like me, had not heard--the U.S. government is considering several programs that offer people money for their old cars. There is already a program along these lines in California that pays you cash for turning in an old polluting car.

Oddly enough, when I lived in California I passed off my old polluting car to the authorities by parking it illegally, repeatedly, because there was nowhere legal to park. Then I went out of town on business one time and found it gone when I returned. The city kept the vehicle in payment for the fines, which suited me fine.

But apparently this cash-for-clunkers talk has upset some people, such as those who collect old cars and some car bloggers. So now we have anti-C4C folks name calling people who have reported it fairly objectively, like John Voelcker at

In a rare case of me admitting that I just don't know enough to render an authoritative opinion, I'm going to sit out the C4C debate. However, I will throw a question into the ring: What happens to the flow of used vehicles to Africa? I was told by a "used car industry insider" in Florida that a lot of used cars that don't fetch money at auction are shipped to Africa. I had assumed they went there to be fixed up and driven. But maybe they go to be buried. It wouldn't be the first time we have dumped our inconvenient waste in poor countries. Hopefully any C4C program the government executes will include an environmentally sound end-of-line process.

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