What just happened (Friday) tells us much about what Trump must do on Monday.
Thirty thousand people just lost their jobs – as opposed to the not one person actually harmed by VW’s “cheating” on the government’s emissions tests.
The jobs go away because VW’s profits have.
In order to pay the government (and shyster lawyers), the company can’t afford to pay wages to those 30,000 people.
So, they’ve been pink slipped.
This is just one – very real – measure of the human costs of an out-of-control regulatory apparat that imposes these costs on the basis of speculative or hysterically over-exaggerated risks.
Like the tiresome cry of “racism!” to shut up legitimate hand-raising about certain increasingly indefensible policies based on an era that’s now at least 50 years in the rearview, this “cheating” business falls apart when examined at all closely.
Which is precisely why (like “racism”) it isn’t examined closely.
Disliking Obama (and Obama’s unctuous yes-we-can socialism) doesn’t mean one dislikes blacks. Or that failing to vote for his anointed replacement as GenSec is clear evidence of vagina phobia. But it must be presented in these terms, because of the thing itself – socialism, honestly presented – cannot be defended.
Just like the EPA’s emissions tests.
It is no longer about “clean air” – the mantra that, like “racism,” is beginning to lose its power.
Or, will – as people begin to realize the extent of the con.
And of the damage.
What VW did was encode some software that resulted – under some driving conditions – in a fractional increase in the emissions of something called oxides of nitrogen (NOx), a genuinely harmful compound… in large quantities.
And therein lies the rub.
The quantities at issue are very, very tiny. Almost unmeasurable. Literally. As in fractions of a percent. On the order of .03 vs. .02 (and that only under certain conditions, such as wide open throttle operation). This is the difference between “clean” – as defined by the EPA Ayatollahs – and “dirty.”
And – unlike the EPA’ s hysterical pronouncements and the media’s parroting of same – isn’t an exaggeration.
Here’s another way to get a handle on things:
The cars that VW is being crucified over – which has resulted in 30,000 people losing their livelihoods – would have qualified as “clean” under the EPA Ayatollahs’ prior and recent standards. The ones in effect circa the model year 2000.
Were the model year 2000 cars planet-fouling filth-spewers?
Find one. Stand behind it with the engine running. See for yourself.
Notice that EPA has not produced anyone actually harmed by VW’s “cheating.” None such exist. We are talking about a confected crisis, a manufactured problem.
The air is clean. Because cars are and have been for decades. The “clean air” problem stopped being one circa the late 1980s. By the mid-1990s, all new cars came from the factory with fuel injected, computer-controlled engines and “three-way” catalytic converter exhaust scrubbers. The stuff that was coming out of the tailpipe circa 1970 – which was a clean air problem – had by the mid-1990s become a no-longer-problem.
More than 95 percent of the Bad Stuff had by then been purged or contained or rendered harmless. Since then, EPA has been pursuing (Inspector Javert-like) the fractional remainder, at an ever-increasing cost.
But here’s the rub: Combustion will necessarily produce some emissions no matter what technology is applied. The question – both economic and practical – is, simply, at what point do we declare victory and go home?
If it is a zero emissions car, this will never happen unless we go over to electric cars exclusively – and even these still produce emissions, just indirectly.
But shouldn’t a nearly zero-emissions car be enough? 97.2 percent “clean”… vs. 97.5 percent “clean”?