Several things have floated to the top that suggested this title. First was an article at Right Wing News, pointing out that higher fuel economy standards have become the leading cause of death and dismemberment on the nations highways. O.K. they're a factor. I contend that alcohol has an influence here too, but after the drunk has driven through the red light, the lighter vehicle usually fares the worst.
Of course the statistics that support this case, also fog the issue:
What's wrong with this picture? Well, as a general rule, the bigger the vehicle, the lower the fatality rate. But look at the pickups. You have to get into an F-350 pickup to reduce your chances of getting killed in an accident to less than your chances in the smallest econo-bubbles.
Of course the fact that most pickups are driven by men may also be a factor, but hey, bigger in general, is better.
People buy smaller cars to save on gas. They would do this anyway since the department of Energy is out there insuring that all the oil we use to produce the gas comes from countries with governments that hate us. Absent CAFE standards, people would still buy smaller cars, just not quite as many. Absent the DOE, we would still buy some foreign oil, just not as much of it.
The economy's in the doldrums. Why? Because, in large measure, because the government is in there trying to help. $1.5T to bail out businesses and governments, rewarding them from their own bad practices in effect, using money we didn't actually have in the first place. Hardest hit are those near the bottom. The minimum wage is high enough to make hiring someone at the entry level more expensive than they're worth. It also makes hiring an illegal at sub-minimum wages and no benefits a worthwhile proposition.
Just think how much better we'd be doing if none of the above mentioned government programs had never been implemented in the first place.