Automotive Inequality: The Dems’ Next Issue?

The top 1% of automobiles sold in America have maximum speeds and performance levels that are significantly above the bottom 99% of automobiles sold.  It’s high time to restore automotive justice to our nation.  Progressives must take up this overlooked cause and set legislative wheels in motion to ensure that no driver is left behind.  Just as with income inequality, this trend has been getting worse over the last 50 years.  In the late 60’s, the average car buyer could afford a GTO, Charger, Mustang or similar muscle car at prices that were only slightly above tamer transportation choices of the day.  In 1966 a new GTO carried a window sticker of between $2,780 and $3,080.  Yet in that golden era of automotive fairness, a Bel Air 4-door station wagon was $2,940 – virtually the same price! 

Now the discriminatory gap separating performance based on ability to pay has mushroomed malignantly and dramatically.  These days, to burn rubber into the high performance zone, it’s necessary to spend far more on a Tesla, Ferrari, Maybach, Porsche or other exotic name plates that lie well outside the common customer’s ability to pay.  Lower net worth buyers are relegated to Ford Focuses, Nissan Versas, Toyota Tercells and similar models with puny four cylinder engines featuring measly torque and weak acceleration. 

Have we as a people grown callous to the feelings of inferiority suffered by those struggling to keep up?  It’s downright un-American.  It’s not who we are.  It is unethical for so many to be shut out at the starting line.  Everyone must be given a fair shot at their fair share of adrenaline.

The solution should be clear to Hillary, Bernie and their ilk:  Tax the top performance cars even more than they already are on a sliding scale so that in the future, a new Dodge Viper at $87,000 will effectively cost $250,000 after the new automotive fairness tax is levied.  Of course, the additional $163,000 in revenue will not add one measly MPH to the lesser models.  Instead the money will be put into funding various awareness and education programs staffed by former DMV workers and mediocre teachers – all union members, of course. 

Those still able and willing to pay the new premium will first be required to attend mandatory classes on horse power privilege and be forced to submit an essay documenting acknowledgement of their guilt over the velocity gap they are about to enjoy.  Drivers of underpowered kiddie cars will now have federally funded support groups and workshops where they can feel part of a community of responsible slow pokes.  Sitting in circles with their knees touching, they will convince themselves of their moral and ecological superiority over the uncouth speed demons (who are also surely meat eaters, most likely clandestinely feasting on baby seals and deep fried eagle wings).  With Hillary firmly squeezed into the driver’s seat, this and other examples of automotive discrimination and oppression will soon come to a screeching halt and be stopped in their tracks. 

PS:  For any red neck do-it-yourselfers who think you can get around the new tax by building your own speed rig out of parts, remember, “you didn’t build that.”  And if you are so reckless as to actually build that, the EPA will visit and quarantine your garage with crime scene tape.  If specially trained dogs sniff a hint that you’ve ever kept volatile organic solvents in improper containers, that’ll be $10,000 per day until you can arrange to have the premises remediated by government approved union clean-up crews. 

Loren Smith can be reached for comment at