Comments on: Cash for clunkers datapoint of the day http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: benamery21 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-8703 Fri, 13 Nov 2009 02:59:33 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/#comment-8703 HORRIBLE SUMMARY of the program. The impression conveyed is NOT accurate. YES, the most common specific model to specific model swap was F-150 for F-150, and yes, other truck for truck specific model deals were high on the list, HOWEVER, the appropriate conclusion to draw here is that the Category 2 truck market is concentrated in a few models, while the passenger car market is not. Specific to Ford — Fewer than 28% of the number of category 2 or 3 Ford trucks traded in (the F-150 is among these) were replaced overall by a a category 2 or 3 Ford truck. This was a common trade-in (9.1% of all trade-ins), but they typically went with a lighter vehicle. The percentage of category 2 or 3 trucks declined from 19% to 7%. Note that 85% of trade-ins were category 1,2 or 3 trucks (only 15% passenger vehicles), but that 59% of new vehicles were passenger cars. Most trade-ins were category 1 trucks (lighter than an F-150), and most of these people bought passenger cars.

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By: JLo http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-8610 Wed, 11 Nov 2009 15:56:24 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/#comment-8610 Poor conclusion to grab headlines. The F150 swaps were 1% of the total cars exchanged in the program.

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By: whatthefacts http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-8582 Tue, 10 Nov 2009 23:30:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/#comment-8582 “An Indianapolis driver traded a 1985 Mercedes 190 that got 27 mpg”
When it was brand new, maybe..

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By: ignorancearbitrage http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-8576 Tue, 10 Nov 2009 20:38:14 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/#comment-8576 @ateamrules: Datapoints and anecdote aren’t synonyms.

Moreover, evaluating stimulus in terms of wealth is incorrect– see “liquidity trap” or more broadly “depression economics.”

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By: drewbie http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-8564 Tue, 10 Nov 2009 16:56:03 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/#comment-8564 Eric, your numbers aren’t right. The 8200 isn’t the total number of trade ins, it’s the number of F-150s that were exchanged. The 145 and 15 numbers make up a much smaller percentage of the trade ins than you calculate.

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By: Neil D http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-8553 Tue, 10 Nov 2009 08:22:19 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/#comment-8553 Hmmm. Americans cheat on their taxes? Who would have thought?

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By: Jim http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-8551 Tue, 10 Nov 2009 05:46:45 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/#comment-8551 IMO this is the deal-with-the-devil that you make when you commit to such a large and hurried stimulus.

It’s roughly analogous to the decision to go to war. You should think long and hard before you do it, but once you’re committed, you can’t get squeamish at the inevitable atrocities.

These press inquiries are fine, and I’m all for accountability. OTOH, if every 80 years or so we blow a few million on the way to saving the free world, I’m ok with that.

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By: Eric Lindauer http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-8546 Tue, 10 Nov 2009 01:32:48 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/#comment-8546 145 of 8200 = 1.7%
15 of 8200 = 0.2%

I guess then another way to describe the exact same statistics would be to say:

“Cash-for-clunkers has had a tremendously positive effect on energy consumption. Stats show that over 98% of the trades have resulted in improved fuel efficiency.”

I guess it just depends on whether you are a glass-is-2%-empty, or glass-is-98%-full type of person.

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By: ateamrules http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-8542 Mon, 09 Nov 2009 22:04:08 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/#comment-8542 I believe Felix called it a datapoint, for which “anecdote” could be called a synonym.

In any event, the program can hardly be called a success as either stimulus or for its environemntal benefits.

On the stimulus side, the feds paid people to destroy valuable assets (presumably most of these cars were worth more than nothing). No matter how you look at it, this results in a net destruction of wealth.

On the environmental side, it is unlikely that even the 9 mpg improvement cited above has much net marginal impact.
Many of the people who purchased would have bought soon (let’s say within a couple of years) anyways; they were largely middle class+ people replacing cars worth less than $4,500. If the average improvement was actaully 9 mpg (far beyond the requirements for the program), it is impossible to suggest that it was CARS that convinced most of these people to choose more efficient cars. They could have purchased much less efficient cars and still gotten the credit, so the program can hardly be credited with shifting people’s decisions much on average. The “carbon savings” would on average be due to the few hundred thousand more efficient cars being on the road for a couple of extra years. This doesn’t account for the carbon that was emitted producing all those new cars (i.e., would it have been better for those less efficient cars to keep running for their useful remaining lives than to emit carbon producing replacements early?).

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By: ignorance arbitrage http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/comment-page-1/#comment-8541 Mon, 09 Nov 2009 21:31:32 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/09/cash-for-clunkers-datapoint-of-the-day/#comment-8541 I would add (pace the title) that this is less “data” than anecdote.

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