Speaking of Clunkers…

clunker Cash for Clunkers is a mega-clunker, as it (very unsurprisingly) turns out.

What kind of MPG leap is the free-money-for-cars gambit yielding? It must be wondrous, right?

Not so much:

Edmunds.com analysts have determined that in May and June, the average fuel efficiency of recently purchased new cars was 21.8 miles per gallon. Since the program launched, the average has jumped to 23.2 mpg, a 6.1 percent improvement.

Wow! Stunning!

And how about the widespread report that the Toyota Corolla is now the #1 seller? Turns out that’s false. The actual bestseller is the Ford Escape SUV, which comes in six sub-models, so gets counted as six different makes, rather than one, in the bogus reports you’re hearing. As Advertising Age explains:

Interestingly, the government’s list of top-10 vehicles sold showed that consumers bought mostly compact cars during the promotion, with the Toyota Corolla in the No. 1 slot. The discrepancy arises because Uncle Sam considers each of the six versions of the Escape (as well as different versions of the trucks) to be a separate model, while Edmunds tallied all Escape-model sales.

The actual top ten models people are choosing with their “Clunkers” trade-ins, according to edmunds.com?

1. Ford Escape — an SUV

2. Ford Focus

3. Jeep Patriot — an SUV

4. Dodge Caliber — an SUV

5. Ford F-150 — a pick-up truck

6. Honda Civic

7. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 — a pick-up truck

8. Chevrolet Cobalt

9. Toyota Corolla

10. Ford Fusion

So, five of the top seven are SUVs or pick-ups.

“Only in America,” as they say…

The Toyotathon Phenomenon — A Phenomenon Indeed!

Addled leftists have long stumbled around blaming “consumers” for being independently mentally ill and greedily destructive.

The seriously over-rated Herbert Marcuse, a leading pioneer of victim-blaming, capitalist-excusing pseudo-radical “cultural” analysis, wrote this in his magnum opus:

“If the worker and his boss enjoy the same television program and visit the same resort places, if the typist is as attractively made up as the daughter of her employer, if the Negro owns a Cadillac, if they all read the same newspaper, then this assimilation indicates not the disappearance of classes, but the extent to which the needs and satisfactions that serve the preservation of the Establishment are shared by the underlying population.”

All the “ifs” in this ridiculous string of hypotheses are as preposterous now as they absolutely were in 1963, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, when Herr Marcuse was somehow passing himself off as a rebel, polishing this willfully obtuse crap up for the printer.

Herbie’s contention? No need to talk about classes, because the palookas are all corrupt anyway. Let’s just wring our hands about the “one-dimensional” stupidity of the whole of the masses. I say — bad show, my good man. Sniff, sniff, pass the cognac…

If you wonder why such familiar blame-everybody blather needs to be swept aside, take a look at what it excises from view — namely, elite brain-conditioning efforts such as the latest television ad campaign from the “moving forward” Toyota corporation.

Lovely, responsible stuff from the investors who would elsewhere have you think that buying a Prius solves the problem.

The Decrepitude Mounts

Utterly remarkable. Orwellian/Huxleyan almost beyond words. Peak Oil has arrived, or will VERY soon. Oil wars have already begun in earnest. The U.S. economy, and probably the whole world economy, has no answer to the former problem. The USA is actively working to ensure that the latter will continue and we’ll end up finding out whether Einstein was right that World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

Meanwhile, what are the car capitalists doing? Check out Toyota’s shocking “Born of the Earth” advertising for its criminally wasteful Land Cruiser 200, a vehicle model that almost certainly spends less than 1 percent of its collective use-time doing anything resembling outback driving.

Remember this kind of material well, citizens. In 25 years, it will be recognized for the massive institutionalized depravity it is.

Robert Heilbroner used to say that “advertising teaches children that grown-ups tell lies for money.” We will soon have to explain to our own children that we sat by and allowed this outdated, infantile, pre-civilized practice — and the market-totalitarian technological and economic dictatorship its serves — to continue right up to the point of no return — or even beyond.