Our Worser Half

Government is like a bad marriage you can’t get out of. An arranged bad marriage you didn’t even once upon a time think was a good idea that turned bad over time. You were forced into it – and you can’t leave it.

Just ask Mr. Lincoln.

So you end up doing your best to “make it work” – and are grateful for whatever small occasional concessions you can manage.

They are better than nothing, as the saying goes.

And yes – it could have been worse. For instance:

Amazon.com Gift Card i... Buy New $10.00 (as of 08:25 EST - Details) Our Worser Half was going to force us to buy nothing but hybrids and electric cars – by jacking up the price – via fines – of any new car that didn’t average at least 46.7 MPG – which is every car that isn’t a hybrid or an EV – by the 2026 model year.

This would have had a seismic effect on not just the cost of cars but also the choice of cars available come 2026. Less “efficient” models would become more scarce as well as more expensive – the one inevitably resulting in the other.

Instead, the arm-twisting will apparently be relaxed – somewhat. New cars will “only” be required to average 37 MPG by 2026. Those that don’t – which is almost all of them except hybrids – will still cost more.

But a bit less than they would have otherwise.

Be grateful?

Yes, surely. In the manner of Stalin’s chicken. It is of a piece with being grateful that the county “only” increased the tax assessment on your home by 3 percent this year instead of 5.

How about zero?

Amazon.com Gift Card i... Buy New $25.00 (as of 06:10 EST - Details) Never mind.

Our Worser Half has been decreeing  MPG minimums – styled Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency standards – since the 1970s on the basis of a very strange and morally despicable argument, which is rarely – if ever – questioned.

It goes something like this:

The car companies must be forced by the government to offer what buyers are clamoring for – i.e., “fuel-efficient” cars – else they would force people to buy nothing but “gas guzzling” cars.

This is of course absurd, both historically, logically – and actually.

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