Spoiler: it’s authoritarian.
I remember way back when I was in high school and even through college NPR was at least fairly enjoyable listening. Not only were Click and Clack of Car Talk great, there were interesting, lively debates on a variety of topics. I’m not one to only consume media that agrees with my viewpoints, but over time the viewpoints on the taxpayer-funded media platform narrowed considerably, leaving only those of progressive leftists who have an all or nothing attitude. That’s made NPR insufferable, so when I saw on NPR’s website an article about shady financial practices of dealerships, I was naturally skeptical.
Watch cops chase a Polaris RZR through the woods here.
Don’t get me wrong, dealerships can be extremely underhanded. Notice I said “can” – there are a few rare gems which deal with people in an overall fair way. Yes, they must make a profit and I always assume, even with a fair dealer, that I need to go in and fight for the best deal possible. Some require more arm twisting than others. But NPR has a completely different take.
Part of the article titled “Inside the rise of ‘stealerships’ and the shady economics of car buying” makes several valid points about the tricks and tactics many dealers will use to bilk customers. For the most part, I don’t take issue with that.
What I do strongly disagree with is the conclusion we must handle dealerships’ shady practices by imposing heavy government regulations. I’m not a pure free-market capitalist; I understand regulation is necessary and sometimes beneficial. However, I believe regulation is like salt in a recipe: just the right amount enhances, but too much ruins everything.
By imposing the types of regulations recommended in this NPR article, I believe dealerships will just impose price gouging on everyone, similar to many of the no-haggle dealers. And with government regulators breathing down their necks, the costs dealerships incur would increase, and guess who ultimately would literally pay the price? This is classic progressive policymaking: make everyone equal by pulling down those with an advantage, or in other words, suppressing the supposed oppressors. After all, justice is making everyone suffer.
In my opinion, with which you certainly are fee to disagree because I don’t believe in dogmatic enforcement of my beliefs, educating consumers and empowering them to make better decisions is a better solution. Instead of government coddling the citizenry, you would be helping them to truly progress and become more independent. Then again, authoritarians don’t want a powerful, independent citizenry since they’re much harder to control, and that’s the whole point.