About a week ago, I thanked all of you for purchasing me some new forklifts.
I love them, love them, love them.
The explanation and justification for your generous purchase can be found here.
In short, I'm accustomed to running warehouses with stuff like this:
But becase of something called the "Texas Emissions Reduction Plan", and the brilliant "Low Emission Propane Forklift Initiative Program", my employer, Jukt Micronics, got $9,000.00 rebates on 19 forklifts that look like these:
The idea is that the new lifts meet higher emissions standards than the old ones.
(Let's see....$9,000.00 x 19 forklifts = more money than I'll make all day long. So I can't thank you enough. Seriously. Especially the little people who dug deep to make this happen for me. These things are nice.)
The goal of this program is to emit less Nitrogen Oxide into the environment. But what if an unscrupulous factory or warehouse owner had a lot of old junk forklifts that he ran no more than 20 or 30 hours per year? Or perhaps his old environmentally harmful ones didn't run at all?
OMG....he or she could still apply for the rebates offered through the Texas emissions reduction plan and get brand new forklifts from the taxpayers even though he or she didn't really have a use for new forklifts and then sell the brand new machines later at a huge profit ! ! ! (This is not the case at my workplace, BTW.)
So how do the administrators of the program (sponsored by the Texas Railroad Commission) determine that a factory or warehouse has a genuine need for new forklifts?
They ask how many hours my old forklifts ran per year and this determines the amount of money you give me, and then my new forklifts are expected to run for a comparable number of hours. Every year, they inspect the hour meters. The number of hours I'm burning propane determines the size of our rebate, and whether or not we get to keep all of your money.
I repeat....they do inspections. They look at the hour meters on the dashboards.
If we don't run our forklifts for enough hours per year, we don't qualify for the total rebate.
Let's assume that burning propane on a forklift can actually influence the weather. If that's the case, my employer is now being rewarded for burning more propane, not less. (I assure you, we are now running the living shit out of these forklifts. We're burning propane as an entrepreneurial activity.)
As an Anthropogenic Global Warming Skeptic, I'm enjoying this more than you can imagine.
As a small-government libertarian, this next part makes me downright giddy. It gets better.
We have multiple shops and warehouses all over Tarrant and Johnson counties. There are forklifts in all of these places. Some of these shops are open for only one shift and others are open 24 hours a day. The forklifts in the busy shops will easily qualify for the rebate, but some of the others might not.
So once a month, I fire up three semi-tractors and go from shop to shop, warehouse to warehouse, moving your gift forklifts to places that are busy enough to ensure they qualify for the full emissions reduction rebate ! !
So....what does this mean to you?
Well, are you trying to save the earth by driving a Prius? Taking the bus? Riding a bike? Thanks to the Texas Railroad Commission's program, I eliminate any good that you supposedly do. Heck, on the days that I use two Mack trucks and a Freightliner to move the forklifts from shop to shop, I bet I negate the environmental efforts of entire subdivisions.
Once again, thanks for the forklifts. This year for Christmas, I'll get you some new recycling bins, a DVD of Al Gore's "Earth In The Balance" and a Moped.
Dr. Thomas Sowell has said it over and over. Programs and policies should be judged and evaluated in terms of the incentives they create, not their stated goals and objectives.