Thursday, March 18, 2010

Unintended consequences

Stories and story ideas can come from the strangest places.

The past few weeks I have been looking--read desperately searching--for what Bahamians would call a BUBBLA. A bubbla is a car that's only purpose is to get you from point A to point B and that it got it's name from the fact that it's mechanical workings are so spotty that when it stops it would be bubbling steam, oil or both.

I didn't have this problem in Dallas a few years ago. Granted Dallas is a bigger city and more drivers but I wouldn't think it would take THIS LONG.

While talking to a used car salesman, I stumbled across the reason. The CARS (Car Allowance Rebate System) or Cash for Clunkers program was designed to get older cars off the road and replaced with newer environmentally friendly cars.

The unintended consequence of this positive move took cheaper second hand cars off the street. The dealer told me there are fewer cheaper cars at auction and more people simply turned in their cars instead of selling them.

He pushed me to Craigslist to look at the cars and people desperately looking for a car just like me. I emailed one of the people's ad that read: "Need a cheap car and need it now. I hv (sic) 1200 dollars in hand. needing (sic) to go to work and tke (sic) kids to bbysitter (sic)." She told me she's been looking for two months and has not been able to work. Her phone is off and expects her internet to turn off soon. She's faced with using the money she has saved to either pay for her phone or wait for a car to become available.

Now both of us may just be part of a minority. But it just shows that going green can save the trees and hurt those sitting in the shade.


CARS website


Bahamas Tourism

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