GOVERNMENT: Nothing to Spare

Motorists felt the first pinch of the rubber shortage last week. The National Production Authority ordered that all new automobiles be delivered without a spare tire.

Automakers thought the order made no sense. They insisted that the U.S. stockpile now has enough rubber, and that increasing synthetic production plus the cut in auto production will soon end the shortage. Furthermore, though automakers will cut prices $13 to $17 to compensate for the missing tire, there is no way to force retailers to pass on the saving to buyers. And since motorists hate to drive without a spare tire, new-car buyers...

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