@Propane_Car misunderstands. I’m too ignorant to know whether my
physician has diagnosed my disease correctly or whether she’s
prescribed the correct medicine; I’m too ignorant to know whether the
pharmacist has dispensed the medicine that’s labeled on the bottle;
I’m too ignorant to know whether the manufacturer has put the drug
that’s on the label in its pills. I have to rely on all of these.
The people in this story are too ignorant to know whether the car
they’re buying works, legal remedies for the purchase of a lemon,
whether the loan they’ve contracted would make owning the car more
expensive than taking taxis or Ubers or public transit even if the car
isn’t a lemon. You and I may be smart-enough to avoid such bad
deals: we’re different.
The difference in the first example is that physicians, pharmacists,
drug manufacturers break the law if they malpractice; the first 2 have
been trained to be ethical; their professional organizations police
them for ethical behavior and revoke their licenses for malpractice or
incompetence. Car dealers are trained to sell anything they can to
anyone they can; the NADA doesn’t police their behavior.
As @wentwest points out, losses from these loans get passed on to the
public in general through securitization, perhaps to the public
through taxes if failure is common enough to threaten the economy.
Even if these people are ‘bad’, public policy can make them suffer
less by regulating the lending market (note that not all states allow
more than repossession: what’s the deal there?) and keeping track of
the reputation of dealers in hope that enough people pay attention to
bad reps to put them out of business.
Perhaps if people who can’t afford cars don’t buy them we’ll have
better alternatives in public transit, Zip cars, etc. These are the
people who will benefit most from the driverless,
no-one-owns-their-own-car-anymore future: they have money to spend
today but not the wit to manage amounts larger.