So Cash for Clunkers program is in full swing, but reports are estimating it running out of money in Sept.
Will the government feed it more money? I suggest a revamp.
Instead of giving out money to people who probably don't really need it to start with, how about we get lots more cars off the road AND make it entertaining! Think LeMons racing + DeathRace.
So the country is divided into regions, based on population of 'Clunkers' as currently defined and older cars because the fuel efficiency ratings won't matter. More on that in a second. Have a series of local races. The drivers have to own their cars for a minimum of one year, as the rules are currently written for C4C. The owners forfeit their auto insurance (of course most of these cars probably only have liability coverage) and have to drive their cars on a track with 100 other clunker drivers for 12 hours. The estimated MPG wouldn't matter because the cars are given based on driving not a number that is questionably calculated.
Depending on the total number of races, there might need to be additional races, but the basic idea is that the winner (or top three if you are feeling generous) get brand new cars. Even a cap of $20,000 for that car, would be reasonable or the winner can add their own cash to buy a nicer car. Those are just details.
And just think of the TV coverage. All the networks would be lining up to broadcast these amateur smashup races. Hell some sponsors might even decide to give a car to the audience favorite or something. I know I'd be watching it!
Ok so there are some downfalls to this. People could get hurt for sure. Most of these people would have little to no real race experience. The cars would not be designed for racing and thus would be more prone to bad accidents. It's unlikely that you're going to put a roll cage in a car, just on the off chance you might win a new one.
The incentive to put your crummy daily driver into this situation would have to be high. If it's your only means of transportation you won't be so likely to risk it. Unless you are dumb, cocky, or actually a talented driver.
That brings up another downside, for the drivers, but perhaps an upside for society. There would be a lot more people without cars afterward. Public transit isn't great in many cities, but that's partly due to the fact that so many people have cars and prefer to drive. No car? Bus ticket! On the upside, that's less gas guzzling broken down heaps driving on the road. You know the ones I'm taking about.
So put them on the race track. Let them fall apart there where there will be ambulances and tow-trucks standing by. Let some fools spend money to upgrade their breaks or wheels or some such. It stimulates the economy!