In August we took note of stories indicating that appliance sales were going to get a “cash for clunkers”-like boost. James Hamilton at Econbrowser offers updated discussion, links, and commentary:
In late 2009 or early 2010, you may be eligible to receive rebates from your state or territory for the purchase of new ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances.
These rebates are being funded with $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under this program, eligible consumers can receive rebates to purchase new energy-efficient appliances when they replace used appliances.
Programs will differ in every state, and DOE anticipates that rebates will be available to consumers in most parts of the country by early 2010.
Even if the programs succeed in their mission of persuading Americans to abandon their old cars and appliances sooner than they otherwise would, I remain deeply skeptical that junking working capital in this fashion is the best way to grow Americans’ wealth.