I had read a couple of articles positing that by destroying low value cars in the "cash for clunkers program," the government was hurting the poor by removing the supply of sub-$5000 used cars from the market. But what I did not realize is that this program further requires that the engines themselves be rendered useless, so that they cannot be used for parts or rebuilt replacement engines.
The automotive death sentences are meant to ensure that gas-guzzling old models make no return to the road. As sodium silicate disables an entire generation of junkyard-bound cars, the price of used engines will likely skyrocket, predicts Michael Wilson, executive vice president of the Automotive Recyclers Association. "It's the law of supply and demand."
Good plan. The Journal has a good article about how this sodium silicate process was selected to destroy cars. I am left wondering if engine parts can even be recycled economically for their metal after the treatment.