Even with big incentives to buy brand new autos, the automotive industry is far from recovering from their largest drop in sales in history. Automobiles, which have seen a steady increase in sales since their invention, are being trialed and tested and it leads to the following question... What happens when there is a surplus of automobiles and lessening demand?
A couple more questions for our readers: Do you know anyone who can’t get to their job, b/c there is a shortage of cars? Or do you know more people who have a car ready to go, but don’t have a job to go to? While new car sales in America dropped to just 9 million last year, from 17 million the year before, car companies are panicking and the government is trying to provide relief. The fear is that since the large auto manufacturers are a driving force of the economy and jobs market, that waning demand for their product, and all of the accessory products and services which go along with it, will be detrimental to the economy. The same can be said for tobacco, beer, coffee, and other driving forces of the American economy and job creation which happen to also be incongruent with the health of our planet and ourselves. There are certain industries we can consider letting go of if they naturally lose popularity, especially when there are better, safer, and healthier alternatives awaiting resources.
There was a slight blip in sales from Cash for Clunkers, a program which has had its share of controversy, but the program has already run its course. Using public money to fund private transport is nothing new and there are perhaps better ways to spend public transportation dollars.
As more people are considering public transportation, bicycles, telecommuting, and living in walking distance from where they work, the heads of stimulus may want to consider funding these healthier and safer public alternatives even further. They can also provide incentives to move workers over from the waning auto industry to these growing modes of more efficient transportation. There is much that needs to be done to improve the infrastructure needed to make way for these healthier and more efficient forms of transportation. And that creates jobs.
High speed trains, bicycle highways, and electric personal mobility vehicles could be in our future if even a fraction of the automobile economy was diverted. And with it, a serious boost in jobs and economic vitality. This could be a reality If we discontinued putting public funds into sinking private industries.
Ideally, good infrastructure, city planning, and incentives makes the purchase of a car an option rather than a requirement, with the driver and the auto company paying full unsubsidized cost for the decision.