Government is like a bad marriage you can’t get out of. An arranged bad marriage you didn’t even once upon a time think was a good idea that turned bad over time. You were forced into it - and you can't leave it.
Just ask Mr. Lincoln.
So you end up doing your best to “make it work” - and are grateful for whatever small occasional concessions you can manage.
They are better than nothing, as the saying goes.
And yes - it could have been worse. For instance:
Our Worser Half was going to force us to buy nothing but hybrids and electric cars - by jacking up the price - via fines - of any new car that didn’t average at least 46.7 MPG - which is every car that isn't a hybrid or an EV - by the 2026 model year.
This would have had a seismic effect on not just the cost of cars but also the choice of cars available come 2026. Less "efficient" models would become more scarce as well as more expensive - the one inevitably resulting in the other.
Instead, the arm-twisting will apparently be relaxed - somewhat. New cars will “only” be required to average 37 MPG by 2026. Those that don’t - which is almost all of them except hybrids - will still cost more.
But a bit less than they would have otherwise.
Be grateful?
Yes, surely. In the manner of Stalin's chicken. It is of a piece with being grateful that the county "only" increased the tax assessment on your home by 3 percent this year instead of 5.
How about zero?
Never mind.
Our Worser Half has been decreeing MPG minimums - styled Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency standards - since the 1970s on the basis of a very strange and morally despicable argument, which is rarely - if ever - questioned.
It goes something like this:
The car companies must be forced by the government to offer what buyers are clamoring for - i.e., "fuel-efficient" cars - else they would force people to buy nothing but "gas guzzling" cars.
This is of course absurd, both historically, logically - and actually.
In the first place, the car companies can't force anyone to buy anything - lacking the force to do so. All they can do is offer; it is up to us to buy - or not.
It is our Worser Half that relies upon force - to make us buy what we don't want.
Its many "services," for instance.
Interesting that our Worser Half never applies its own argument to itself.
Secondly, as long as there have been cars there have been "fuel-efficient" cars; the problem - from the standpoint of our Worser Half - is that not everyone wants them. Or rather, that they want something else more.
Perhaps more car rather than more MPGS. Or a more powerful car. Maybe a truck.
Mileage being one of many variables that are taken into consideration by most people but not the sole consideration. For many buyers, it is a secondary or even tertiary consideration.
It may not be a consideration at all.
This explains why no one has to be forced to buy, say, a Dodge Hellcat that averages 13 MPG. It also explains why the best-selling vehicle isn't a 50-plus MPG hybrid like the Prius. It is a truck truck three-times the size of the Prius - the Ford F-150. It doesn't get 50 MPG - or even 37 MPG.
But it can pull 10,000-plus pounds, carry five large men and a stack of 4x8 plywood sheets, too. Some people value this capability - even if it's only used occasionally - more than they do the everyday capability to drive 50 miles-plus on a gallon of gas . . . in a small car that can't pull anything and hasn't got room fo five large men or even half a sheet of 4x8 plywood in the back.
It is ridiculous to claim - as our Worser Half does - that without the ol' bayonet in the backside - "fuel efficient" vehicles like the Prius would be suppressed.
In fact, it's exactly the other way around.
Our Worser Half is the one suppressing vehicles ... that aren't like the Prius.
The claim that the car companies are not building more vehicles like the Prius in spite of buyer demand for them is like saying that, absent a government mandate requiring it, the car companies would suppress air conditioning.
Of course, most people want air conditioning. Which is why it is not necessary to mandate it - or anything else that people want.
Like the Ford F-150, for instance.
It is necessary to mandate MPGs - because most people don't want MPGs. More precisely, they want MPGs less than they want the other things mentioned earlier.Things like size, power and capability.
And this is what enrages our Worser Half.
Only "fuel efficient" vehicles must be available - regardless of the cost, in terms of money or choice.
Which brings us to the morally despicable part.
This business of our Worser Half decreeing any MPG minimums whatsoever. What the Hell? Who are these geeks? How did the mileage of our vehicles become any of their business?
It is of a piece with our Worse Half taking any of our money.
How about none?
We are grateful when our Worser Half takes a bit less - or decrees a bit less. Wouldn't it be refreshing if the taking and decreeing just ended?
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics - or anything else? Click on the "ask Eric" link and send 'em in!