We just bought a new truck, well, new to us. It’s a Toyota. Perhaps this is why I’m thinking of automotive metaphors.
As we finished up our negotiations and prepared to sign up for a loan, the finance fellow asked if we wanted an extended warrantee.
“$980 for three years.”
“What does it cover?”
He laid out the advantages. As he talked, I recalled my daughter’s adventure. A year ago she bought a used Japanese car. I encouraged her to buy Japanese. It was the salesman who convinced her to buy a comprehensive warrantee. It cost her $1,000. I thought she’d been snookered. But, come this past December, her transmission went out. The repair cost $2,300; covered in full by the warrantee. She had thrown the dice and won $1,300.
I considered her luck, and my own, and we added the warrantee into the financing. Here’s my gamble: within the next three years, my truck’s transmission fails at a cost of $3,000. Bam – I win two thousand bucks.
You know what would have been really nice? If I could have told the guy, “I’ll buy the warrantee if and when the transmission goes out. Wouldn’t it be great to wait until I was betting on a sure thing? Now you might think that the car man would laugh in my face –such a suggestion is ridiculous. But isn’t this what requiring Health Insurance companies to accept all applicants regardless of pre-existing conditions is. How can any car company survive while accepting a $2,000 loss on every warrantee they sell, how can any insurance company? Of course you could charge $3,000 for the warrantee up front, but what would be the point. No one would pay – unless there was a law requiring everyone to buy a warrantee. Wouldn’t that be a good idea?
I have wanted a Toyota for a long time. My Uncle Thayer had one clear back in the sixties. It looked like a jeep, but he told me it was better. He was a Marine – he knew. I went to Japan on an LDS mission and fell in love with all things Japanese and I have a friend who has had a Toyota truck “forever”. Now we have one. I dream that it will last long into my retirement – decades after the last payment.
I think that everyone needs quality transportation. Americans should really see quality transportation as a right, and shouldn’t the government be providing rights to the people?
One might argue that the government is already providing trains and busses, not to mention highways and traffic cops, but here’s an idea. What if the government required each of us to buy a car? They could claim that public transportation is ineffective and costly, and while 270,000 000 Americans already have access to cars, 30,000,000 do not. Is that fair? Think of all the suffering these people must endure!!!!
We need a law that every person must buy a car. If you don’t buy a car you will be fined. What if you don’t want a car? Too bad, sooner or later you’ll need to go somewhere and then it will be too expensive to provide you with one in such an emergency. So, if you don’t buy a car, there will be a fine and if you don’t pay the fine – jail.
What about people who can’t afford cars? That’s easy; those who can afford cars will be taxed to pay for the cars of people who can’t.
Look at all the benefits. Think of all the money our country will save on bus and rail transportation they won’t have to provide. Of course the government will have to deal with people who want nicer cars than those purchased by taxes for those who can’t afford them – but that too will prove a boon to the economy. Just tax them for having a nicer car. I bet we’ll have the budget balanced by the end of the decade.
9 months ago