Better World Club

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


If We're Giving Money to the Auto Industry, Lets Give It To Consumers, Not Directly to GM

But If We Want to Encourage Green Car Purchases, Why Can You Turn In a 16 MPG Vehicle for a 20 MPG Vehicle?

The "Cash for Clunkers" program ended on Monday and, despite some carping, has proven itself successful in many ways.

If necessary for the revival of the auto industry, the program should be brought back. It's a far better way to provide money to the auto industry than giving the money directly to the auto companies.

However, there's a certain silliness about it. It has many purposes: to stimulate the economy (check), to bolster the auto industry (check), and to encourage energy independence and improve the environment (che...not so fast).

Former CIA Chief James Woolsey, now an energy independence activist, told BWC President Mitch Rofsky that getting gas hogs off the road was one of the most effective things our government could do to make the U.S. energy independent. Unfortunately, the government will still provide consumers with $3,500 even if their new vehicles get a mere 4 MPG improvement over their old ones. That's not enough--and is pretty silly. (A $4,500 credit is provided if the new purchase increases fuel efficiency by at least 10 MPG.)

So, keep Cash for Clunkers going if necessary...but come on. Next time around, adjust it so all of its goals can be met.

Labels: , ,

Here We Go Again: Congrats to AAA South For Ending Discriminatory Practice Against Gay Couples...

Sort Of

In True Catch-22 Style, AAA South Now Allows Married Same-Sex Couples to Purchase Joint Memberships in an Area Where Same-Sex Marriage Isn't Legal

Better World Club congratulates AAA Club South for following our lead and ending its discrimination against same-sex couples.

Up to a point.

Until recently, AAA Club South had refused to recognize gay partnerships as eligible for less expensive associate memberships, forcing both partners to buy more expensive primary memberships. They now have agreed to provide the associate memberships to married couples.

AAA South covers Florida, Georgia, Middle and West Tennessee, and Puerto Rico. Not only is gay marriage not legal in those places, but civil unions and registered same-sex partnerships are also not recognized. Just how many couples can take advantage of this new policy? Or does AAA want them to lie about their status?

Still, at least it's a move in the right direction--and is being heralded as such by gay and lesbian groups. So here we are recognizing AAA in two straight editions of 'Kicking Asphalt' for taking a mini-step toward copying a standing BWC policy. Last time it was Oregon/Idaho AAA adding bicycle roadside assistance (but just covering those two states). And now AAA South takes a step toward BWC's policy of covering both same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners in all 50 states.

But it's just a step.

Labels: , ,