Jessica Mondillo’s Blog


Cash for Clunkers not Good for Everyone

13 August 2009

Cash for clunkers may be helping some people, but overall it seems like it may be hurting another group of people more than it helps.

On my local news, car mechanics were talking about the effect of the program on them.  The mechanics interviewed repeated the same sentiment: the program is hurting their business even more than the poor economy is.  People who had some extra money, but not enough to buy a new car without the program, would have spent the money to repair their cars.  Now these people are buying new cars and the car mechanics are losing the few clients that they may have had during these tough economic times.

Another problem the news didn’t mention comes for people who cannot afford a new car, even with the rebate.  These people may have been able to buy a $2,000.00 used car from a private seller if they needed to before.  Now, at least in my area, many used cars prices from dealers or private parties have raised to a minimum of around $4,500.  People who have been more deeply affected by the recession may not be able to afford these higher prices when they are already just barely getting by.

Currently, cash for clunkers helps the wealthy and upper middle class be able to afford a new car while money is tight.  It does not help lower middle class people who are closer to the poverty line or those who are below the poverty line.

An idea I have heard that has a great deal of merit is that the cars should be repaired to give to poorer people who cannot afford a used or new car.  This has a couple of benefits.  Not only do people in need of a new car, like unemployed people, people living below the poverty, or those on welfare, get a running car, if the government paid for local mechanics to repair the cars, the hurting industry would get some assistance and hopefully stop these smaller businesses from closing and thus more people becoming unemployed.  Instead the current program just destroys the cars.


The Big Dig-It Keeps Going… And Going… And Going…

03 March 2008

Over a year ago the Big Dig (I-93) opened and I thought the project was FINALLY over, years over due and well over budget. Apparently, I was wrong. Today the Boston Globe announced that there is a to-do list of over 2,000 items left to finish and no completion date set.

In addition to the to-do list, the US government filed charges against McCourt Construction Company for over billing. This is the second time charges have been brought against McCourt for conspiracy to defraud the government during highway projects.

In my opinion this has been going on way too long. Both the US and Massachusetts governments have been paying for this project for years and nothing was done properly. Tax payers in Massachusetts do not even seem concerned that their money has been thrown away—a sign that the project has been going on for far too long.

The Big Dig may have been completed but it has never been safe. First it flooded. Then part of the roof collapsed. Both of these things happened around the time the tunnel was opened. If you buy a product and it is damaged from the time you get it, you return it and don’t have to pay for it.

Why were billions spent on a failure? Pumps often have to be running in the tunnel to keep it from flooding and who is paying for the problem? Taxpayers. Not the people who built the faulty tunnel.

If the tunnel collapses from all the outside pressure, who would people blame? Most likely, the state.

Taxpayers, especially those in Massachusetts, got stuck with a faulty product and an inflated bill but almost nothing is being done to rectify that. This problem has been going on for more than 10 years and looks like it could continue for another five. Why aren’t the government and taxpayers taking more of a stand for their rights as a consumer?

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