Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pop Quiz

Why may people die as a direct result of this new tariff on tires?

President Barack Obama on Friday slapped punitive tariffs on all car and light truck tires entering the United States from China in a decision that could anger the strategically important Asian powerhouse but placate union supporters important to his health care push at home.

Answer: as tires are made more expensive, people will delay the replacement of worn tires which will increase their risk of tire failure which may result in a higher number of accidents. I'm not trying to sound alarmist, but an unintended consequence of this simple tariff on tires may be slightly more highway deaths.

But hey, as long as it makes the labor unions happy, what's a few highway deaths?


Bob O said...

Answer? Buy a lot of tires now, i.e., hoard.

It's also a good defense against inflation.

Anonymous said...

And sell the tires later, at a jacked up price.

It's a good defense against poverty.

Eludius said...

But Obama said he wasn't going to cater to union demands. He was just going to do everything they wanted....which is different.

I think we should pass some common-sense laws about new tire replacement. Perhaps the government can mandate when tires should be replaced and Obama can create a tire Czar that will regulate the industry and ensure compliance. I also heard that hundreds of millions of Americans favor this new law.

Anonymous said...

When the third and forth words of your post are "people die", you are indeed trying to sound alarmist.

It doesn't serve your argument well. In fact, for me, it diminishes your credibility.

You hinted at good reasons Americans could be concerned about the tire tariffs (relations with China and the politics of union support). Suggesting that this is a potentially deadly tax is not a reasonable argument.

Freemarket said...

Please don't pretend to tell me what my own intentions are. I am not trying to sound alarmist, and my exact words in the answer to my question are “an unintended consequence of this simple tariff on tires may be slightly more highway deaths.”