The GOOD 100: Cash for Clunkers
In July, America's "Cash for Clunkers" program became a front-page news story. Championed by environmental groups, progressive think tanks, and the auto industry, the program, which gave consumers up to $4,500 when they exchanged an old gas guzzler for a new, fuel-efficient car, proved to be so popular that it exhausted its initial $1 billion in less than a week (it was later extended). In the process, it got 250,000 of our nation's most polluting cars of the road, slightly reduced our dependence on fossil fuels, and gave Detroit a much-needed boost. The long-term effects remain to be seen, but the outpouring of government funds and popular support for a plan to increase fuel efficiency was nothing if not inspiring.