Here's the Scoop: August 26, 2009

Cashing in on a trend
Well, the “Cash for Clunkers” program is winding down. Whew. Apparently the program that paid for folks to trade in their old, fuel inefficient vehicles for new, more efficient ones was a huge hit. The plan reportedly had some flaws, but was beneficial overall.
This week, I was pleased to learn that soon the public will have the chance to earn cash incentives for purchasing things like refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners and furnaces that are energy efficient.
Quick serious note here: I have always made a point of purchasing appliances that have earned the Energy Star efficiency rating. For years I have asked a simple question: Why don’t all of these appliances meet this standard? Then, everyone would save energy and well, the world would be good.
Apparently The Sweeney Plan isn’t going into action any time soon, so folks will be lured to the choice between energy guzzling appliances and energy sipping appliances with some rebates. That’s cool.
Maybe I’m just bitter that I purchased three sets of energy-efficient appliances during the past year for an investment property and all I had was the pleasure of price shopping and trying to squeeze salespeople to get a few bucks off. I did get some hassles — and those were free!
Perhaps I’ll be luckier next time. That’s why I’m trying to look ahead and plot some other “Cash for” programs that will be beneficial for me — and others, of course. But mostly for me.

Run this way
Cash for Sneakers springs immediately to mind as a program at which I’d jump. Face it, well-used sneakers don’t have a long lifespan. And they smell, when worn without socks. I always manage to trash my sneakers way before their expiration date.
If the government provided proper incentives, I could buy good sneakers and they would improve my walking and working efficiency, thus helping boost the country’s Gross Domestic Production. At the same time, getting rid of very smelly old sneakers would lower the country’s Gross Foot Products.
I would also be very appreciative if the government would get cranking on a Cash for Rain Gutters program. If this occurs, I could spend a lot less time repairing rutted ground around the house and much less time repainting areas that are constantly getting soaked by downpours. Fortunately, it hasn’t rained much this summer...

Well rested
If I didn’t have to perform so much of the aforementioned repair work, I would have much more leisure time that would allow me to enjoy...the Cash for Leather Reclining Chairs program! This one is pretty self-explanatory. Give me a few hours in the Leather Recliner in the evening and I’m well rested the following day — and, naturally, a much more generally productive member of society. Wow, why haven’t our government officials already come up with this idea?
Cash for Negligees is another “must” program that should be implemented immediately. This would certainly lead to happier couples — and eventually to population growth — then to a spike in consumer spending as everyone rushes out to buy useless junk for the kids. Energy-efficient junk, we hope.
Last, but certainly not least, should be funding for Cash for Clunker Spouses. This would be aimed at those for whom the Cash for Negligees fails to result in an energy boost.