Friday Night Video: Eric Peters on How Government Regulation Messes Up Cars
By David Henderson
Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute interviews one of my favorite writers on cars, Eric Peters. Whenever I teach my Energy Economics course, I spend a little time on how CAFE messes up cars. Peters discusses that in more detail and also discusses how safety regulation messes them up.
2:50-4:30. Tesla as a subsidy sucker. (Many commenters on the YouTube site go after Peters on this, but they don’t cite any mistakes he makes. Yes, Elon Musk is on the side of the angels in going after state-level car dealer regulation, but so what? That’s not what Peters is talking about. I’m sure he would agree with Musk on this.)
5:20. Safety mandates and their cost. Claims that without these mandates, we could get a low-end car today for $8K to $9K. Count me skeptical, but I do believe that the prices would come down by thousands of dollars.
5:50. Claims that the early 1980s K-Car (by Chrysler), if revamped with modern engine technology but not with all the safety requirements, would be able to get 65 mpg today.
6:40. Requirement for back-up cameras is a safety mandate, which means that when you get your annual or semi-annual check for your state DMV, if the camera is not in working condition, it will be required to be so.
8:40. Air bags, besides saving lives, also kill and maim.
10:40. How federal regulation of cars causes them to look increasingly alike.
12:20. If you want to avoid a lot of these problems with cars, buy pre-1995 cars or even relatively recent motorcycles.
13:30. Why manual transmissions have almost disappeared.
15:00. His humorous discussion of “clovers.”