Obama Math

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Obama can read a TelePrompter pretty well – but math is apparently not his strong suit. Responding to questions about the rising cost of gas (really, the falling purchasing power of the increasingly worthless dollar), our Great Leader explained that his 55 MPG fuel economy mandate would provide relief:

“…folks will be able to fill up every two weeks instead of every week, saving the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump over time,” he said. “That’s a big deal, especially as families are yet again feeling the pinch from rising gas prices.”

Very folksy talk. No doubt he assumes the folks are as innumerate as he is a smooth talker.

Because what he is saying amounts to – first – you will have to buy a new Obama Car in order to offset the cost of fuel. Let’s work that out and see how it will help the folks.

The average cost of a new car – 2012 – is about $18,000 (not including the financing, not including the taxes, including personal property taxes where applicable, or the cost of a full-coverage insurance policy on a new car). This amount will buy you something along the lines of a Honda Civic one step up from the base model without AC.

Let’s say gas goes to $5 per gallon. That’s about $1.25 in depreciated dollars more than we were paying around this time last year.

So if you have a 15 gallon tank in your car and you fill up once a week, you are now spending about $19 more to fill’er up. Times four times twelve, that works out to $900 more a year. It’s a lot of money, yes. But it’s a lot less than the cost of an $18,000 new car (again, not counting interest payments, taxes and insurance).

How much less?

Well, let’s see. Being generous and assuming 0 percent interest on a five-year loan, the payment on an $18,000 balance works out to $300 a month. So, using Obama maff, your “savings” comes to… well… uh… hmmm.

Three months after you’ve bought your new car, you’re starting to pay a lot more per month for the car than you were paying for gas.

Oh, but wait – because it gets better.

The $18,000 car used in this example is a 2012 model car – not the Obama Car of 2025, when new cars will be required by government mandate to average 55 MPG. And mandates aren’t free. Technology, R&D, hardware, tooling, new materials, etc. – it all costs money.  Perhaps Obama has watched too many Star Trek episodes and imagines that just like Captain Picard, he can “make it so” merely by saying so.

Look at current hybrids for a taste of what’s to come. They all cost several thousand dollars more than comparable non-hybrid cars. A 2012 Prius hatchback, for example, has a base sticker price of $23,520 – about $5,500 more than the current average car’s cost. Call it the Obama Car Surcharge.

And none of them – not even the sainted Toyota Prius – averages 55 MPG.

To get to the magic 55 MPG mark, it will be necessary to re-invent the car (and the car engine and lots of other stuff besides).

Expect the Obama Car Surcharge to go up. A lot.

We’ll pay another way, too. By prematurely throwing away a number of otherwise still-saleable new car models long before their R&D and tooling costs have been amortized. Unless there is an engineering miracle, expect anything with a V-8 (or V-6) to be placed on the endangered species list. Large sedans (excepting high-dollar luxury sedans) are already gone. Mid-sized cars will follow – at least as mass-market vehicles. So also most current pick-up trucks, SUVs and crossovers – as none of them come within spitting distance of 30 MPG, let alone 55.

We’ll just throw them away.

And who will make up the shortfall? You and I will. Either in the form of directly passed-on costs (higher new car prices) or in the form of reduced stock value as a result of the automakers’ declining profitability. We may also get to pay for a new round of bailouts as this could easily result in several too big to fail automakers going belly up (again).

There are diesels – some of which (in Europe) are capable of more than 55 MPG already. But take note that none of these cars are sold here, because our government’s screwy regulations make it too much hassle (and not profitable enough) for these cars to be sold here. It’s not that the Europeans are loosey goosey on pollution controls. They just have different ones – and rejiggering their Euro-spec diesels to comply with Uncle’s specs isn’t worth the trouble.

So nix that reasonable solution.

There will also be a conflict between the government’s fuel economy edicts and its “safety” edicts – which have already added several hundred pounds of deadweight to the average new car. And every pound of weight imposes a fuel efficiency penalty. The only inexpensive way to improve fuel economy is to reduce the curb weight of a car. But to maintain the same level of “safety,” wholesale redesigns will be required – as well as the use of costly alloys and composites. You can’t have your cake (high economy) and eat it (“safety”) too. Something will have to give.

And something will give.

You and I will give more money.

It will either be given at the pump, in the form of depreciated Obama Bucks to buy gas that hasn’t actually gotten more expensive in real terms but which nonetheless costs us more  because our dollars are worth less. Or we’ll be herded into a new Obama Car and swap an extra $900 a year in gas costs for a $400-$500 a month debt albatross around our necks .

Such a deal!

 

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eric

Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia. 

  88 comments for “Obama Math

  1. Eric_G
    March 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Oh, the big beefy V8s will still exist. But they’ll have a gas guzzler tax added to the cost. You and I won’t have one, but the Elites will. What’s another 5% matter as long as it’s cheaper than your Gulfstream 5? Besides, the accountants can figure out some loopholes. After all that’s what they’re paid to do, right?

    OT: this is the problem with any political solutions to global warming: There will always be a loophole to favor anyone with political influence. The rules apply to everyone, but somehow Obama gets to cruse through DC in his Cadillac tank (and 10 other armored gas guzzlers) and still gets to be called an environmentalist.

    • methylamine
      March 9, 2012 at 3:51 am

      @Eric_G–

      You’re right on target–the hypocrisy of the Elites continues to stun me, as does the average person’s ignorance of it. The bloated gas-bag known as Al-Gore lets his SUV idle while he’s delivering bloviations on “global warming” (er, oops, now “climate change”). His houses consume as much energy as a small town; but WE’RE the bad guys.

      But Eric–I invite you to research some more. Global Warming is an Elite meme, promoted for the same reason as all the other fear-based propaganda: to separate you from your money, and from your freedom.

      It’s bullshit, in a nutshell.

      Just for starters: The landmass of Earth puts out 60 GT (that gigatons) of carbon per year through natural processes–decay, respiration, volcanic action, etc. The ocean puts out 90 GT.

      How much do evil despicable planet-wrecking humans put out?

      The mind-blowingly vast amount of 5 GT per year. Our contribution to “greenhouse gases” is 5/150–or 3 & 1/3 percent!

      Research shows that CO2 levels lag temperature increases by 800 years; the climate warms before CO2 increases. There have been periods in Earth’s life when we had 14 times as much CO2 in the atmosphere and the climate remained temperate. In fact, we’re at an extremely LOW period in the CO2 cycle, so much so that it’s affecting plant growth. We need MORE, not less!

      Anthropogenic climate change stands proud as the Elite’s latest fear-based meme…and nothing more.

  2. Boothe
    March 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    The real scenario is this: More common people will have to walk, ride a bicycle, use public transportation or just stay home. Now one would think that this decrease in individual driving (demand) would increase the amount of available fuel (supply), thereby lowering fuel costs. But what it will really do is just free up more fuel for the empire’s perpetual war machine. We the people will still end up paying $5, $6, $7 or more per gallon to pour into the fuel tanks of stealth bombers, helicopters, tanks, trucks, APCs and Humvees. This of course won’t affect the likes of the Rockefellers, Bushes or Obamas one bit. Just the “small people” as the head of BP so aptly put it. In fact the tax money will keep right on flowing into all the big oil players’ pockets.

    One would think that if the sock-puppet-in-chief were genuinely concerned about fuel conservation, AGW (or “climate change” now that the planet is cooling off) and the environment, he would have already stopped all this foreign intervention, brought the troops home and curtailed all but the most essential “defense” related energy consumption. In fact you’d think he’d be pushing for clean, safe and VIABLE alternative energy sources…like…you know…the Thorium reactor. The real agenda here is reducing the availability of affordable energy, rationing healthcare and raising food prices thereby reducing the population of “useless eaters” (thanks Dr. Kissinger). With respect to Barry O’s math and other government bovine hyperbole, we have a saying out here in Missouri: Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

  3. Scruffy
    March 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    55mpg is nothing but a political stunt. Most clowns have stunts they use to entertain the “marks”. This is the guy who touted energy prices rising quickly and far as a method of protecting the environment (global warming?) Of course Cap and Trade was to be a huge tax on ALL energy with the big bankers getting the tax directly and all of us paying the toll.

    Hidden is the fact that these policies would remove millions of people from the burden of owning and driving their own car. Commuting would become way too expensive. More and more people would be dependent on public transportation and forced to move into over-crowded urban settings where they are easier to control.

    Call me a cynic, but I don’t think this administration does anything for the good of the people. Its all for increasing control and centralizing power.

    • March 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      I tend to agree. Stupidity doesn’t account for the relentless, incremental reduction of the populace to servitude and dependence. The object of politics is, after all, power. It is not “helping” anyone (except those in power or who have access to power). It is a kind of shareholder corporation, with the “product” being more and more power and all the marketing and PR dedicated toward that end.

      I can speak to the aspect that deals with cars, having covered the industry for 20 years (and coming to know many insiders). They are not – generally – stupid people. They understand cause and effect; they can do math. In terms of specific policies, it has been explained to them that (for example) euro-spec compact diesels that get 60-plus MPG work very well, don’t produce significant pollution, and would be a cost-effective way to offer people affordable, high-mileage cars. They don’t care.

      They know the Volt is a boondoggle. They knew the EV1 was a boondoggle. They don’t care.

      Would you care, if you were a multi-millionaire sociopath? As Boothe notes, $10 gas won’t bother these elites much more than paying an additional $1 a month for sail fawn service bothers us. But it will serve the end of herding the cattle into urban centers, into mass transit – and so on.

      • Boothe
        March 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

        Eric I once read a poignant analysis of our political system and the folks that run it. The author concluded that if our current plight were the result of bureaucratic stupidity, errors and bumbling the law of averages dictates that at least occaisionally they would err in our favor. I’m still waiting….

        • March 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm

          Yep, I read the same analysis many years ago!

  4. BrentP
    March 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Political and corporate systems reward the sociopaths and other forms of social climbers. Social climbers rarely have technical abilities. They have spent their time learning how to manipulate people. Real work is difficult for them so they do ‘relationships’ which are far more rewarding in the structure of this society. Through this they get power.

    Now where am I going with this? With that power they make decisions over technical things. But they have -no- technical knowledge. They surround themselves with ‘experts’ who came up in the same corporate and political system and they too are usually technical ignoramuses.

    Combine this with arrogance and power.

    It is then by edict they decide what the people who do the real work shall create with no idea of the effort, costs, etc involved. Or if it is even feasible. These ‘leaders’ end up believing that they dictate reality. That if they dictate it, it shall be. That they can drive technology.

    Even if it ends up working it has all the problems of central management. (the seen and unseen) And that’s if it works. If it does not, it is even a bigger squandering.

    Then there is another economic issue. What I have started to call “the bankers’ share”. The federal reserve system and its inflation is about stealing productivity increases. Our dear leader makes it very clear here, the idea is to keep the cost of driving -the same- in dollars. That is part of my job, to fight inflation. To keep product at the same price in dollars. But the dollar keeps dropping. Every productivity increase, every new method of making something for less, all these advancements that should be raising the standard of living of people by lowering prices instead go to keeping prices the same. Where does the benefit go? To the bankers. They take their cut, often 110% or more, right off the top through monetary policy.

    That folks is part of this 55mpg CAFE the american public will not hear about. That they will pay as much or more to drive and all the savings there would have been will go to the owners of the federal reserve banks.

    • Boothe
      March 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      Amen BrentP! You’re quite right (as usual). The Federal Reserve was clearly created as a vehicle to skim off annual productivity gains through banknote inflation to unjustly enrich the “elite”. This could only be done in conjunction with disconnecting “money” from hard commodities in the minds of the masses. Hence where we find ourselves today; essentially bankrupt. We need to make Rothbard and Mises mandatory reading in Amerika’s child prisons.

      All too often we have incompetent ignorami running things. I took a job as a process engineer in an electric motor plant a few years back. The scapegoat that occupied that position prior to my arrival had purchased a very expensive piece of test equipment for final assembly. Unfortunately, the device did not work because its design basis was an attempt to defy the laws of physics (the manufacturer apparently missed that one key facet of the “unseen”). When I attempted to explain the nature of the defect to the engineering manager (a forklift operator that finagled his way up the corporate ladder through social contacts and backstabbing) he responded: “You make it work! That’s what I hired you for!” He could have just as well said “flap your arms and fly” to the same effect.

      After writing two lengthy letters to corporate HR and the VP of manufacturing about this and other buffoonery being passed of as “management”, I was “laid off due to the economy” (purely a coincidence I’m sure). I guess there are plenty of folks that feel it’s always best to kill the messenger when you don’t like the truth. BTW, that plant has long since been moved to Mexico. Go figure.

      • methylamine
        March 9, 2012 at 4:02 am

        Amen to you both, Brent & Boothe.

        The Federal Reserve, a private cartel of mostly offshore English and European banksters, has been stealing the fruits of our increasing productivity for 99 years.

        The steady 1-3% annual increase in human productivity, which has held steady for millenia, is being STOLEN by these banksters….people who do nothing, who make nothing, who create nothing. People whose sole means of increase is fraud; fraudulent money, issued at debt, used to pilfer productivity.

        Can you imagine the heights of prosperity, peace, and yes, environmental excellence we could have achieved keeping that 2% yearly increase in wealth over a century?

        THAT is what has been stolen from us. And THAT is why the first and most important cause, above everything else, is to get our honest money back.

        Destroy the central banks, and the whole house of cards comes down; politicians can’t fund endless wars and welfare, governments shrink…and the people’s power increases as their wealth relative to the government’s increases.

        Everything we’re suffering today is the result of the banksters’ careful planning over the last three hundred years to usurp control of the world with fiat bills of credit.

  5. Enjoy Every Sandwich
    March 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    No matter how many times centrally planned economies fail, the politicians try it over and over again. I just can’t help but believe that they’re fully aware of this, and do it deliberately to amass more power. I’m way past the point where I can tell myself that they mean well but just don’t know any better.

    • Don
      March 7, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Oh they know better. They know exactly what they are doing. It’s the ignorance of the people that allows them to get away with it.

    • That One Guy
      March 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      When you view it through a certain prism, it all makes perfect sense.

      Government failures are rewarded with more power. It’s difficult for us to think in these terms because if we make mistakes over and over, blow budgets, FAIL, we lose our jobs in the real world.

      But not our overlords. When the Pentagon, FBI, and dozens of intelligence agencies fail to prevent 9/11, what do we get? More government in the form of DHS, and further erosion of Constitutional rights.

      When government empowers bankers to make horrible loans and pours gasoline on the housing bubble fire with its cheap credit and the economy crashes? More government in the form of Consumer Financial Protection Bureaus and various other attempts at more regulation, as though they’ll finally get the magic regulation formula this time.

      After awhile you can’t conclude it was anything other than deliberate design. Then you realize government is scary. I was far more comfortable when I thought it was just stupid.

    • Boothe
      March 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      You’ve got it EES! It’s for both the wealth and the transfer of power that goes along with it. After all, money is the ultimate power tool. Many (if not most) people do have a price and it’s far easier to buy a select few of them off (or at least rent them) up front, then use them as hired thugs and con men to threaten, coerce and swindle the rest of us. So what it ultimately boils down to is the group we loosely refer to now as “bankers” (grifters, swindlers and embezzlers) artfully trade the public essentially worthless paper (Federal Reserve Notes) for real wealth (you know; land, planes, gold, cocaine, fine wine, furniture) on a grand scale. Then they use that same worthless paper (really it’s more ones and zeros in computers nowadays) to put their shills in office under the pretense that they are going to look out for “we the people” and even better “for the children”.

      Once this scum controls the government (as old man John D. himself said “Own nothing. Control everything.”), they continue the confidence scam year after year until there’s nothing left to steal (or at least too little to bother with). When the great unwashed masses get pissed and rise up in protest, they send in goons in state costume to thump skulls, kick ass and take names. If things get bad enough, then they flee to another country with their ill-gotten wealth and start the process all over again. But in the mean time, they make damned sure that we (as a national mass-mind) are under-educated, thoroughly indoctrinated, divided amongst ourselves and preferably just as immoral and greedy as they are.

      That last bit is very important, because as the old W.C. Fields movie title says “You can’t cheat an honest man.” Much of what the bankers and politi-whores have foisted upon us has been because we as a society wanted something for nothing. For instance a “comfortable retirement” without the risk or trouble of investing for ourselves (i.e. the Socialist Security Ponzi scheme) or a “strong national defense” and low fuel prices (foreign intervention and perpetual warfare) to name only a couple of our transgressions against our neighbors. In a word “something for nothing” is stealing. We really do reap what we sow in this life. Hence when you live a lie, steal for a living and kill people who don’t deserve it or at least stand by and implicitly condone this behavior, plan on watching your life go to shit sooner or later. If you’re doing this as a nation, you can’t expect any better results. History’s mausoleum is filled with the cadavers of empires

  6. clark
    March 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I was looking at Bugs last night, I decided I wanted a $7000 Bug… for $3000. Only that ain’t happening.

    The goberment can subsidize the new hybrid cars which cost $Boo-ko bucks so People can afford them. See how easy that is?

    /sarc off.

    Global warming & climate change, what a racket that is.

    http://thedailybell.com/3666/Now-Global-Warming-Turns-Seas-to-Acid-and-the-World-Bank-Ready-Step-In

  7. Douglas
    March 8, 2012 at 5:24 am

    I already have a diesel-powered sedan, a 1995 Mercedes E300, bought last September for five grand from a SoCal dealer in used luxury cars. It has about 248K miles, which for the diesel means it’s barely broken in. The car seats four adults (five in a pinch) in leathery comfort. It’s a bit snappier than the ’79 300SD that I sold to make way for it, having 136 hp from its 3.0 litre inline six versus the 108 put out by the venerable OM617 “five-banger” turbodiesel. My little black beater gets 30 mpg in the city and 45 on the highway. Plus, it runs just fine on B20 biodiesel.
    Eric, if the American public wants cost-effective and fuel-efficient vehicles, then they have to tell Washington to get the hell out their respective garages.
    BTW, I also work for “Uncle” (have for 28 years), and part of my duties is to manage the GSA-leased vehicles for our office. We have a policy that any “Flex-Fuel” vehicles are to use E85. Fortunately, we have a station (Valero) that dispenses this product not too far away. By doing so, we get our “brownie points” in that the E85, to the extent that it’s not gasoline (meaning 85% of the gallons filled up at Valero) are not counted against our fleet consumption. So we “look” really good. A form of bureaucratic hodge-podge, IMO. My GSA fleet manager has told me that they get pressured to ensure that Flex-Fuel vehicles “comply” so that as much of the Gov’t-subsidized fuels gets consumed.

    • March 8, 2012 at 6:44 am

      Doug,

      Great find! Older Benz diesels (especially circa 1980s) are exceptional. They were tanks; over-engineered – and with diesels, the durability was legendary.

    • methylamine
      March 9, 2012 at 4:11 am

      Douglas, quit working for the government.

      Read about a plan to end the rapacious State at The Online Freedom Academy. Basically, if everyone refused to work for the State it would wither and die.

      Besides, you’re living immorally. Yes–because ultimately, your salary comes from stealing at gunpoint.

      YOU don’t do it. But the minions in other departments do; see, if I refuse to pay taxes, eventually men with guns will come and kidnap or kill me. And that’s so YOUR salary will be paid.

      Everyone else, on the other hand, gets paid from money voluntarily tendered for goods or services they desire; no gunplay involved.

      You seem like a reasonable guy. Think about the ethical quandary you’re in, and resolve to stop stealing and earn an honest living.

      • Douglas
        March 9, 2012 at 5:11 am

        That’s why Libertarians get such a bad rap. Your hyperbole is utter nonsense. Even had Harry Browne somehow been elected back in ’96, he’d have scaled back the Gov’t (assuming he got his way, yet another fantasy) to about 50% of where it was THEN (about 1989 funding levels). That would have STILL been a sizeable Federal Government. Kinda creeps you out as to how large the Federal monster is getting, huh?
        To WORK for one’s living under fairly negotiated terms of employment is NOT stealing, regardless of who you work for and for what reason. You have an issue with how large the Federal Government is and what it’s doing, (so do I), start with your local Congressman, for pitys sake! Don’t necessarily elect your pocketbook, elect who is going to have the guts to forsake political expediency for principle! But we can’t all live in the Texas 14th District!
        Yes, methylamine, if you’re foolish enough to resist paying your income and other taxes, ultimately the “men with guns” will do what they do. They don’t really want to ventilate your hide, they want your MONEY. Don’t whine about it, work the political process to change it, but obey the law or deal with the consequences. Of course, I seem to recall there were these fellow in Boston who didn’t care for the bloody British taxing their tea…
        The unfortunate reality is that we’ve got a setup where almost EVERYONE has some interest in “Uncle Sugar”, one way or the other. No one wants to budge. Hence why the runaway Gov’t, the ballooning deficits, and the American dollar not worth the paper it’s printed on.
        Actually, I will “Quit”…I’m close to RETIREMENT. Big Whoop. Think just the Boomers my age (53) and younger are screwed due to demographics and actuary realities over Social “In-Security”? How about all the Federal retirees, both civilian and military? Uncle’s “pay as you owe” funding scheme will one day up short, fer sure! Sure, I’m punching out in three years at minimum retirement age (56 with 32 years service), it’s called “take the money and RUN!”. Better to have something to build on, and go back to the private sector (as well as my own business ventures), job-shop as an engineer and make some bank before I get too old. Will “Uncle” be able to pay out full retirement? I doubt it. Even if Congress doesn’t have the guts to cap and/or freeze retirement benefits, inflation will erode it to zilch before I take the dirt nap anyway. Of course, EVERYONE is in effect “taxed” by that criminal scheme.
        In short, don’t waste time pontificating, concentrate on realistic solutions, both for your self and your family, and what realistically you can do as a citizen. That’s why if Ron Paul hasn’t dropped out by the California primary I will vote for him, because that’s my say and that’s the man I want. Realistically, Rep. Paul’s campaign will not lead to nomination at the GOP convention. Not that he should get all broken up about it. He’s paving the way for son Rand. No, Mitt Romney will likely get the nod, once the anti-LDS sentiment amongst the Republican Evangicals gets muted and they realize that, like it or not, he’s their boy. Then I’ll be faced with a decision…if Romney’s numbers in CA suggest that he could get its electoral votes, then I will give him the nod as being less “bad” (but not necessarily great) than “O-Bummer”. However, if it appears that CA is a Democratic lock, then I can cast my protest vote for the Libertarian candidate or whatever third party or independent looks better.
        If voting REALLY changed anything, would it be allowed?

        • That One Guy
          March 9, 2012 at 5:25 am

          So we’re supposed to work within the system to change it, then you tell us if voting changed anything it would be illegal.

          Nobody likes being told they’re part of the problem; I get that. But it still stands that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.

          Which are you? You went to work for Uncle at 25. I’ll go out on a limb here and assume you “served” before that. You’re not a tax payer if your salary is drawn from the tax remittances of the private sector. I hear this excuse from the tax feeders all the time “but I pay taxes too.” No you don’t. Giving back half of what you took from the pot is not addition. So again, do you oppose the state or support it? Actions speak louder than words, Douglas.

          So you tell yourself whatever you need to make yourself feel better, while you retire at 55 (!) and live out your years on a pension that pays better than the national average salary. You “earned” it, I know.

          I’m so sorry you have to worry about inflation eating away at it. Think about how much of that inflation of the money supply went to pay your salary.

          • That One Guy
            March 13, 2012 at 2:28 am

            Clover did you just break wind in my direction?

            In North Oaks, MN the city owns no property. Property lines extend to the middle of the street, placing the onus on property owners to maintain their own patch of the roadway. Everyone knows where to find the asshole who does not fill the potholes, because the asshole is located behind the front door where you found the pothole.

            This in a town of nearly 4,500 people. The residents own the streets. The HOA owns the recreation areas. Sewage is handled through private septic systems.

            The point is, for the umpteenth time, there is absolutely no reason that any of the services you listed cannot be provided by the private sector. I won’t hold my breath for any of this to finally penetrate your lead-lined skull.

            Government employees are net tax consumers. They do not remit tax payments in the form of wealth created by thrift or increases in productivity. The “taxes” they pay to Uncle Sam were first taken from a producer to be given to them so they could turn around and give them back. Of course a little disappears into the treasury with each transfer. I don’t know how the hell you could call this “paying taxes.”

            The “value” they create can not possibly be accurately measured because the “services” they provide are done through a monopoly enforced at the point of a gun. We have no way of knowing for certain if their jobs are “better for society,” whatever the hell that means, because we don’t have the option of refusing their “services.” We must accept them. Try opening your own letter carrying service and see what happens to you if you think I’m wrong.

            I just can’t decipher the last half of your brain fart so I’m going to leave it alone.

          • BrentP
            March 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

            Clover, there is no reason government is needed to provide anything. Government is force. It takes monopoly over goods and services by force and then convinces foolish people that without government these necessary goods and services would not exist.

            Not one of the things that we are told we need government for was a creation of government. In all cases it was something government took over.

          • March 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

            I’m not sure how the creature penetrated my Clover-dar. His most recent eructations have just been flushed.

        • methylamine
          March 9, 2012 at 5:52 am

          Screw “working within the system”; our so-called representatives stopped listening to us forty years ago.

          Calls against the bailouts ran 100:1, but Congress passed them anyway. Same story with Obamacare. Same story with half a dozen other obnoxious bills just in the last four years.

          You said it yourself; if voting really changed anything, would it be allowed?

          You rub sand in the wound when you discuss your plans to “retire” at 55, continue sucking off the government tit (i.e. MY fucking hard work)…then get a private sector job for extra cash.

          Can’t you see your own hypocrisy Douglas?? I’m ecstatic you’re pro-Ron Paul, but you have a blind spot the size of Jupiter when it comes to your own employer.

          As you say, concentrate on what you can do “as a citizen”–get off the dole and earn a living by consensual means.

          No matter what justifications, working for the State is working for stolen goods. It is the enslavement of your fellow man and an ignoble occupation.

          • Douglas
            March 9, 2012 at 6:09 am

            methylamine – your likening being employed by the Gov’t to “stealing” is idiotic hyperbole. Someone has to do it. Else there’d be no Gov’t. Yes, anarcho-libertarianism sounds fine in principle, but it strikes me as being akin to the early “Dark Ages”.
            I am NOT “sucking off the Gov’t teat”, I’m WORKING for a living like anyone in the private sector, moron. Now, is my job, or my Agency, needed? That’s for Congress, representing the taxypayers, to decide. If they decide that either I, or my agency, is no longer needed, then I take my chances in a reduction-in-force or go out the door (if that happened today, I’d get involuntary EARLY retirement, which isn’t quite as good, but better than a kick in the hiney…). Bottom line, I EARNED my retirement benefits as DEFERRED compensation. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m “entitled” (I hate it when folks use that term, either you earned something or it’s been given to you w/o having to earn it, no middle ground there) to COLAs. Uncle doesn’t offer retirement at 56 and 30 in my age group (the scale IS sliding upward, as it realistically ought to) out of generosity. You see, I’m under FERS, which means that I get 1 percent per year of credited service. Thirty-two percent of “high three” is better than nothing, but I won’t be fat, dumb, and happy out of it. But, hang around until age 65, and the scale gets better. I’d be at about 50 percent at that point. The rest is “Social Insecurity”, which Federales were brought into in 1984 as part of a then deal to “rescue” Social Security (the military were dragooned in 1957, my dad has some choice words about that having been career Air Force). So, the Feds WANT their workforce to retire early because they can replace them with cheaper labor. Else, not only do they pay out higher benefits, but the overall workforce is retained longer and gets more expensive. Look, there WAS a performance-based Civilian pay plan which did away with the GS scales and the automatic “step increases” (rewards longevity and not necessarily productivity), and it was good for shaking out the “dead wood”. But once Obama took over, back to the old ways. So instead of having opportunity to get rewarded for what I produce, I’m dead-ended in my grade. So if I work hard, it’s because it beats boredom.
            And yes, not only do we Gov’t employees pay taxes, we have a vested interest in a fiscally responsible employer. Right now, I’d say we’re on the Titanic, and the captain is playing slalom with the icebergs.

          • March 9, 2012 at 11:29 am

            Hi Doug,

            You seem like a reasonable – and well-intended – guy, so let me try to lay out why so many here (and elsewhere) look upon government workers as they do.

            Certainly, you work for your living. You try to do a good job. You’re honest. The problem is that the people who pay your salary may not be interested in the product or service you produce and were never given any choice to say, “no thanks.” Rather, they are threatened with violence if they decline to pay for the product or service you’re involved in providing. It’s akin to having, say, Wal-Mart demand a certain amount each year, to be used for whatever purpose the management of Wal Mart decides, with the constant threat that men with guns will be sent your way if you decline to pay up.

            Most of us here are Libertarians or agorist-anarchists of one sort or another. That means, at most, we only acknowledge maintaining the peace internally and providing for the common defense externally as legitimate functions of government. In other words, a strictly limited constitutional republic – by which standard more than 90 percent of what the federal (and state) government(s) do today is an assault of liberty.

            We prefer a society built on voluntarism and cooperation, not coercion.

            I’d be happy to discuss this some more if you’d like.

            PS: Please nix the ALL CAPS for emphasis. It’s puerile.

        • BrentP
          March 9, 2012 at 5:58 am

          Douglas, employment with the government is parasitic. Government does not compete. It doesn’t have to worry about government putting it out of business either. The income comes by force. If there isn’t enough, squeeze more out of the productive people. It only reaches its end when there isn’t any more to squeeze out.

          You, like all the tax feeders want us to ‘work in the system’ because you know that won’t do a thing to change it. Not a thing. We spin our wheels, your gravy train keeps working. You admit it at the end of your post above.

          My skills are in making things for the betterment of people’s lives not politics. To say that I should have to ‘work the political system’ is about as good as telling a fish to learn to fly.

          It’s pretty obvious you’ve ‘worked the system’ for your own benefit but I couldn’t look myself in the mirror and do that. I am guessing you can’t either because you maintain this delusion that your employment is something that it is not.

          However when you say someone should learn to work the system you are inadvertently exposing the key problem. When the state is an easy route to wealth, that is working the political system, eventually everything becomes political. More and more people are working the system instead of working productively. The result is collapse of society. So All that remains is the state.

          The parasite ends up killing the host.

          • Douglas
            March 9, 2012 at 6:42 am

            Can only speak for myself, not all Federal Employees…
            No, I WANT for you to campaign, blog, and vote for those that will greatly reduce the size of Government. Sure, it’s easy to say that since I’m coming to the end of the road. Having “gamed” the system? It’s called having performed well enough to survive a base closure, then having worked with a related agency for 13 years. What of the personnel working for contractors that I’ve know for almost twenty years? Are they “parasites” too?
            Easy to pontificate. Meantine, I do my darnest to give you taxpayers your money’s worth and then some, since I’m aware that it comes from someone else’s sweat. Even in one of my minor duties (managing our office’s vehicle fleet), I’m a real SOB about using them wisely and stretching out the life. No one holds my feet to the fire, I simply treat the small fleet as if they were my own. This is why I chide the stupid chicanery (not counting the ethanol portion of E85 in computing our fleet milage, who are THEY kidding?) and politically correct games.
            Brent, it’s not a “gravy train” to receive what one has earned over one’s career. It was that way back when I started under Ronald Reagan. I’m getting exactly what was then promised. Frankly, I’m surprised that I’ve stuck it out this long. But how does MY retirement compare with, say, some of my corporate colleagues? Actually, about the same. And I’d rather NOT retire before 65, but if there’s opportunity to take the lesser deal early and still WORK in the private sector, limited by only my imagination, then I’d be a fool not to do it. Truth is, I don’t plan to “retire” until I’m about 75, I’d just be drawing a modest pension and making hay in the most renumerative years of my career. Now, you want further “insult?” IF I go out before age 62, there’s a Social Security supplement (paid by OPM, not the Social Security Admin) which is computed as my years divided by 40 times what I would current receive IF I were drawing SS. Now, this is “means tested”, in that I lose 50% for every earned dollar. Do I plan to draw it? Hell no! I PLAN to work my ass off, and can only “defer comp” so much (tax regs), and basically earn my way out of eligibility. It’s a fall back in case that ‘truck with my name on it’ doesn’t finish the job! But believe me, there’s probably quite a few Fed retirees who weigh working versus drawing the money. That I can’t stomach, simply because it’s not merely earning money, it’s doing something useful, something to get up and hit the floor running every day.
            The problem with your logic about equating Gov’t activity to “stealing” is that you’re simply venting understandable frustration about high taxes and bureaucratic interference. What WOULD you propose in its place? The only reason that I say “work within the system” is that I don’t advocate violence. Realistically, the way things are going, it will ultimately degenerate into that. I’m hoping that SOMEONE restores some sanity even if it ends my job or reduces my retirement (inflation will do that anyway, I prefer an honest, overt approach). No, Brent, I work now and cash my paychecks, but I foresee that what I’ve worked for will go “poof” to a great extent at some point in my lifetime. The trouble is, is not my inconvenience that I’m concerned about, it’s that by then it’ll be part of a general collapse. But maybe that has to happen, though I prefer that it wouldn’t. The present system won’t be reined in on its own.

          • clark
            March 9, 2012 at 7:27 am

            Oh, the Dark Ages, why does everyone say it as if it’s a bad word? Public schooling perhaps?

            After Empire: Dark Ages or Innovation Explosion?

            http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/10595.html

            Rampaging Hordes – or Darlings of the Dark Ages?

            http://www.lewrockwell.com/spl/rampaging-hordes.html

            Also, have you all read this as a solution?:

            QUIETLY, QUIETLY, THE REVOLUTION ARRIVES

            http://wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.4546

            And finally, when someone says they are “working” for the goberment I laugh,… it is funny. Anyone who doesn’t get it, just doesn’t get it.

            … and remember, paragraph breaks are your friend.

            “Gov’t employees pay taxes” BWAHAHAHAHA! OMG that’s a good one! Uh, no, they don’t, they only think they do.

            Thanks for the painful laughs, this is almost better than those guys who are still fucking around with Clover.

          • BrentP
            March 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

            Earned? You want to talk about earned?
            You want to know how much I’ve added to the economy of this planet while you get paid out of money taken under threat? How much I have to compete while you don’t? And don’t give me the BS of competition through politics and social climbing because that defines the corporate world too. I’m talking competition where you have paying customers who are fickle and will cut you off at the smallest perceived slight or quality issue.

            I can’t have someone put a gun to people’s heads to have customers that ultimately pay my salary. I have to compete in the market. I have to innovate. At the same time I have to constantly redo old product to take cost out to keep up with uncle Ben’s inflation.

            I won’t be retiring at 56 or ever. There’s no pension paycheck for me so I can go out to have another career doing something I’d like better. I won’t see a dime of my social security back or at least any dime that will be worth anything. Already I’ve lost 6 figures to that black hole.

            Earned it? I’ve earned far more but I’ve got to compete wage wise with people from India and China just to stay employed. Government employee unions play the political game and get increases after increases after increases.
            If my work has demand that increases my wages your employer lets more H1B visa foreigners in or changes laws and taxes to benefit outsourcing to foreign countries to drop wages back down!

            My wages don’t even increase to match inflation! But I am ‘lucky’ in that most people working other places aren’t even getting the pennies in raises that I get. I’d go off on my own but your employer stands there in my way demanding I play its game and pay tribute. I can’t just go out and start a business with a paycheck coming in like you can. I have to risk it all in rigged casino. I don’t have friends in government to look out for me or grease the skids. But the competition does and more.

            Then you have the nerve to tell me you earned better than me on my dime and that I have to ‘play the system’? Develop a skill set that I have no knack for and disgusts me instead of doing what I am actually good at?

            You can create your own little delusions to convince yourself you are earning what you make because you’re one of the few that actually does work in government but that doesn’t change the fundamental nature of your employment nor that of your fellow government employees. I can’t fire you or anyone else. Like you said, my vote is meaningless and won’t change a damn thing. I see a threat to my life and property. That’s all there is. I don’t have a choice when it comes to your services. Unlike the customers that buy what I create, who can buy a wide range of competing products from all over the planet.

            Propose in its place? Do you really think we need government so tightly controlling everything such that even starting a simple food service business requires a huge capital investment and satisfying endless numbers of bureaucrats because some little fascist club doesn’t want to compete for market share? Or maybe it’s a business that government has claimed monopoly on? I once worked for a company that tried to do better in a business the government took over. A life and death business. That’s where my awakening really happened and my disgust for government comes from. When your potential customers die needlessly because of a government cost savings system set up in the 1960s and a political structure of parasites attached to that model it’s not just some sort of abstraction anymore.

          • Douglas
            March 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm

            Eric – actually, you did “agree” to buy my services, or, more properly, your duly elected representatives did. My job and mission are merely the outcome of the political process. (Yes, that was tried w/o success at Nuremburg, but that was victor’s justice, and a similar fate would many of your cohorts be glad to administer should they get the chance). If you don’t like it, then vote the bums out and start afresh. AFAIC, my employment is NOT an entitlement, I serve at the pleasure of the POTUS via his duly appointed staff. If my services are no longer required in my current position, then I’m happy to either go through the RIF process, and, if out of Uncle’s employ, find suitable employment elsewhere like anyone. Right now, I’d say managing the Environmental cleanup for all the stupid things that Uncle did himself at various former military facilities, rendering them suitable for transfer to private and/or municipal use, is a worthwhile duty to perform. But again, the what, how soon, and with what funds are for Congress to decide. Convey your displeasure to them, especially at the ballot box. Look, I’m gunning for the guy (RP) who almost certainly will curtail my job and retirement. Why then, do I advocate clearly against my self-interest? Because in the long run, it’s not. Government is too screwed up to avoid the inevitable downfall that will happen. It merely a matter of time and detail. Likely I have enough time to “retire”, but believe me, I”m not standing pat even now. I’ve resigned myself that I’ll be lucky to get even half of what was “promised”, because, in reality, Uncle Sam has made too many “promises” and can’t realistically deliver on them all without killing the goose that layeth the golden eggs. I can either whine about it being unfair (welcome to the real world, which as Jimmy Carter once said, ain’t fair) or I can take steps to (1) make the best of the current situation, and (2) develop an “escape” plan. Meanwhile, you “anarcho-agro-libertarians” can either waste time pontificating, hurling invectives, getting on your self-righteous high horse, and drawing unwanted and unneeded attention from “Clovers” and their ilk over utter nonsense, or you can work realistically with those you can persuade to your point of view. Grow up and do the latter.
            That, in essence, is why I’ll probably end up voting for Mitt in November, even though he doesn’t give me goosebumps. He strikes me as the best we can do this go-round. Maybe that sez it all one way or the other.

          • March 9, 2012 at 8:24 pm

            That’s nonsense.

            The fallacy of “democracy.”

            What actually happened was some people voted to take my money and give it to you. My consent was never asked for, let alone given. The fact that it was done by “duly elected” representative merely means this coercive theft was done under color of law. A rhetorical question to illustrate the point: If “duly elected” representatives vote to have you killed, does it become moral to do so? An extreme example? Certainly. But the point is no less valid as regards theft of property.

            “grow up” is not an argument, incidentally. It’s an attempt to avoid argument by tossing out a childish non sequitur.

          • BrentP
            March 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm

            In the market we can simply choose not to buy a particular product or service. As you clearly outline to do the same with government requires spending money and time with results very uncertain, long odds, just not to have a “service” provided by government and in most cases no reduction in what must be paid to said government.

            The government is not like the market and pretending it is doesn’t do any good.

          • March 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm

            Which is why it always gets my back up when I’m at the DMV and hear “next customer, please” or get a piece of paper from SS that talks about my “contributions”… or a Clover pol talking about “investing” in this or that.

        • Gail
          March 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm

          Douglas, in one breath you admonish us to “convey your displeasure to Congress, especially at the ballot box.” (Itself a joke.) Then in the next breath you say “government is too screwed up to avoid the inevitable downfall that will happen. It merely a matter of time and detail.” Then you bounce back and castigate us as “anarcho-agro-libertarians” [that] can either waste time pontificating, hurling invectives, getting on your self-righteous high horse, … or you can work realistically with those you can persuade to your point of view.”

          You can’t have it all ways. Part of the time you sound like a sixth-grade civics textbook. Part of the time you’re all ‘my government, love it or leave it’, and part of the time you’re annoyed at us for pointing out at least some of the very flaws you are already aware of.

          These discussions are just that — discussions. Nobody is being self-righteous, and nobody is pontificating. What we *are* doing is sharing education and exploring ways to, yes, work with others to, if not persuade to our point of view, at least enable them to see the elephant in the room.

          If anyone is being self-righteous, it is you, Douglas. And I resent your wholesale condemnation, which is among other things ridiculously inaccurate.

          • March 9, 2012 at 8:43 pm

            Doug is getting defensive because he does not like to think about how he’s “earned” his income. Like a lot of people who’ve done something unappealing, rationalization is a sort of palliative for their troubled minds (and souls).

            I would hate to think I have spent my life as a parasite; no worse – as an extortionist. Someone who depends on threats of violence to get what he wants.

            I think I’d rather be a penniless street person that be like Doug.

          • Gail
            March 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm

            I don’t entirely blame Doug for his position. He’s been in government work so long that he’s got “Washington brain”. The fedgov is so damn huge that it’s difficult to avoid experiencing it as the only reality there is.

            I worked in Washington — in the private sector, if there is such a thing as private sector in D.C., mostly for trade associations (read: lobbyists) and such. I too had Washington brain. Anything west of the Beltway was another country and not entirely relevant to anything that mattered. It was “out there”, you know, farmers and shit. Washington envelopes you. Maybe you experienced a bit of that, working there.

            Also, I was raised in the military. We saw everything through the prism of military life. Civilians were a slightly different species.

            So I can sort of see why he thinks the way he does.

            It sounds like Doug is an intelligent man who has been an asset to his various agencies he worked for. But as the saying goes, when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

          • Boothe
            March 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm

            My, my! Where do I start on poor ol’ Doug’s post? I can kind of relate to his mindset: I’m both an Air Force veteran and a former “civilian” nuclear worker (if you can call anything to do with nuclear power “civilian”). He is obviously intelligent and articulate, but he has been a part of the machine for so long he has worked around his cognitive dissonance to preserve his sanity. It’s still there alright, because as Gail so accurately pointed out, he is expressing conflicting thoughts in what he writes. He is trying to work through this in his own mind and justify his part in the gun-vernment through his self professed hard work for the rest of us. This is the old “one man, doing the work of ten for the benefit of thousands” routine. Sorry Doug, all that hard work was for naught. In any bureaucratic organization, your presence is like a finger in a bucket of water. Pull it out and see if it leaves a hole. Hell the ripples (if you leave any at all) won’t even last a minute.

            Eric’s right of course; Doug knows in his heart the system is corrupt, violent and destructive (hence his allusion to helping clean up the environmental messes his “employer” made to begin with). He knows he is part of that system and has been so long that the thought of repenting and walking away now at our age (I’m 52 Doug) scares the hell out of him. I understand that because I’ve worked for public utilities for a major portion of my career and can assure you that they are arguably the next worst thing to government. That sense of job security (false though it may be) is a difficult thing to give up. But what’s worse is the realization that the job you’re doing, the department you’re in or even your whole organization had to actually compete on the open market, it would be gone faster than dandelion fluff in a hurricane. Doug, like a “lifer” in prison (or the military) has been molded into an institutional man. Doug appears to be honest. He is seeing the wisdom of “To thine own self be true”. He is attempting to analyze and apply logic to his situation. Doug is discovering the unvarnished truth, finding it bloody unpleasant and is here with us to try to deal with what he’s found.

            Obviously as an RP supporter and proponent of limited government, he is salvageable. Let’s don’t excoriate him right out of our camp first thing, just because family, friends and society in general told him things like “get a good education so you can get job” and “government jobs are good jobs” and you have “job security” and “great benefits”. It’s easy for older well intentioned folks to give a young person faulty advice based on what they felt that they should have done themselves or what they believe is “best for you”. I’m more interested in winning him over with the truth, logic and persuasion, than beating him over the head because he’s still slightly delusional about the system.

            And Doug, if we didn’t have anything other than rudimentary central government, we’d still have states’ rights and stronger local governments which means we’d still have a “system”. We woudl just have more say at the individual level. Would it still be corrupt? Sure, just not on the grand scale of the federal Leviathan. That was what (some of) the framers intended and even if the anarchists make major headway, that’s probably about as “ideal” as it ever would get. So put aside any delusions of government free chaos. Even if it happened it wouldn’t last long. Most people are creatures of habit and like their order and routines too much.

          • Douglas
            March 10, 2012 at 3:07 am

            Thanks all for your views, whether I agree or not. I suggest that everyone save the self-righteous indignation for your respective congressperson come this November. If they’re not doing what you want, vote them out! As for myself, I’m voting for RP provided he’s still on the CA primary ballot (I switched from Libertarian to GOP for the first time since ’96 for that reason, I can switch back post-primary).
            If you’re so convinced, Eric, of the immorality of availing yourself of anything Government, then please stay the hell off the Interstate. Whether it should have ever been built (the so-called “defense” highways that Eisenhower modeled after the German Autobahns his forces well used in April/May of 1945) is irrelevant. Uncle built them, taxed us all royally to do so, and don’t kid yourself that your fuel taxes paid for them. They at least ought to have, but as you would put it, they were funded with monies “stolen” from the US taxpayers, and often run roughshod through communities. In fact, next time it hits the History Channel, check out the story of Boston’s “Big Dig” (Tip O’Neils dying boondoggle gift). See how Boston’s “Central Artery” (I-93) was literally bulldozed through vibrant neighborhoods. Never mind the unforgivable cost overruns and corruption involved with the Big Dig. So, please, sir, be consistent and stick to “surface streets” when motoring.
            Likewise, please go blast your aged relatives on Social Security. Want to damn the “polly-ticians” that fostered this generational dependency? I damn them too, but unless you’re willing to address dear aged Dad, Mom, and Aunt Hagatha as thieves for cashing their Social Security checks, then lay off the hyperbole. Also, I won’t begrudge my father, having served 20 years in the Air Force and having done four tours in ‘Nam, his military retirement and health care. For what he did and had to put up with, the country got a bargain and I’m happy to make my quarterly installments (side income) knowing that at least a piece of it goes his way. At least he’s still kicking at 78 to do it. Many of our good men didn’t come back, or if they did, were even less fortunate. Sure, I blame the politicians again for getting us into those damned wars, but having seen the lesson is no excuse to turn our backs on those that served.
            Actually, Gail, I do see the “elephant” in the room, I’ve been riding it, and it stinks up here, too. Just what I’ve seen over sixteen years of working in two successive DoD environmental organizations. Only now are initiatives to privatize the work (something I advocated ten years ago to the annoyance of my colleagues) and write contracts based on performance goals, so the Gov’t can “declare victory” and be done with it! There’s more afoot than mere financial goals, they’re also professional and person…i.e., I do feel that my work made a difference for good. Now, I’ll agree that if my privatization position had been heeded ten years ago, I’d probably not be working where I am now. Oh well, professional integrity dictates that I make my recommendations based on the bests interests of the public (re: taxpayers) rather than my own. I can honestly say I did that, and so did my colleagues to the best of their abilities.
            Boothe, at least we’re contemporaries. I remember what the paradigm was when I went to college. It’s completely different now. “University” is not the gilded path, it’s become a bloated, dysfunctional bureaucracy on its own. I see what my 26 y.o. son studying ChemE at BYU goes through, and that’s probably one of the best-managed universities in the country, if not the world. Amazing what he shells out for books (why a PDF can’t be distributed, I don’t know) to keep that inbred monopoly going. At least he’s likely headed for Texas and the “oil patch” when he graduates in a year. I was there many years ago before putting on Uncle Sam’s ball-and-chain, and there are times I wish that I had stayed there (I’d gotten married and the constant travel was taking its toll on my then marriage, so I chose stability over opportunity…never again.). To all my kids I strenuously advise them to not go into Government work as I did. They say, but it’s been “steady work”, and there’s been a degree of professional satisfaction, but the overall environment is stultifying. And knowing the fiscal realities that I’ve had nothing to do with (and voted always against, to no avail), the “security” is an illusion. At this point, it’s a launch pad to move on. If there isn’t a RIF coming in the next three years (It’d ultimately be a blessing), I’ll take matters into my own hands and leave. Of course I’ll draw the rather modest retirement, I did “earn it”, but I won’t be complaining when inflation erodes it away. I’ll be too busy with my next career to care.
            The question, good people, who seem to be content to hurl invectives, what are you going to do about it? I say work with “the system” simply because that’s how its done. You folks each have an interest in Uncle getting his financial house in order. It’s not “too big to fail”, it’s “so big, it can only fail because it’s so damned unwieldy”. But if you content yourselves to blog each other and convince yourselves of your own moral superiority, absent a SHTF plan (and I encourage anyone to devise one!), when the current system collapses, you likely won’t be any better off than I. No,rather, you folks need to find a way to work with folks like Ron and Rand Paul, who somehow find a way to be both Libertarian and Republican. And I will continue to vote for them because regardless of what it does to my current situation.

          • March 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

            Doug,

            Others have pointed out the futility of voting in a system where individual rights are not respected – and in which most people (a working majority) do not respect individual rights. To put a finer point on it, in which your neighbors may take your rights away merely by “voting” to do so.

            Let me give you a real-world example: I am forced to pay property taxes in order to find government schools because there are more people who believe it’s ok to force others to bear the cost of educating (cough) their kids than there are people like me who believe my kids are my responsibility – and yours are yours – that Jones having kids does not impose an obligation enforceable at gunpoint on Smith to pay for their education (or food or anything else).

            But we live in a society that does not respect such rights. Does the fact that a majority has voted make it ok to steal?

            We once had a constitutional republic in which (for the most part) an individual’s rights were not on the ballot. Your neighbor could not vote to force you to pay his salary or feed his fambly or “help” him in any other material way. Or to force you at gunpoint to buy heaf cayuh or to “buckle up for safety.”

            Goodwill was all that was owed your fellow man; to respect his rights as you expected him to respect yours. The purpose of government was to secure these rights – not to trample them into the dirt for the sake of some Cloveronian “social good.”

            What we have today is a sort of mishmash of authoritarianism (equal parts socialism and fascism) expressed via democracy – the most loathsome and tyrannical – and temporary – form of government devised by man.

            Three wolves and a sheep voting about what’s for dinner.

            There is no liberty option. There is “left” statism and “right” statism.

            Most of the country does not want liberty. Most of the country wants collectivism – either socialist-leaning or fascist-leaning.

            Now, you can rationalize this all you like. You can also dismiss those who point out the essential nature of the system – violence – as needing to “grow up.”

            But it is what it is.

            You either live by the take – using coercion to get what you want – or you don’t. I choose not to live by the take. You’ve chosen to live by the take. It is a tough pill to swallow, I know – because you like many people (me included) were conditioned to think in different terms (or not to think of it at all) and probably went into it with good intentions. But that doesn’t change the nature of the thing.

            Consider:

            No one has ever been threatened with the prospect of armed men coming to their home for failing to buy my books, pay my salary or read my articles. Can you say the same?

            Every thing I have I acquired by voluntary, free exchange.

            Can you say the same?

            Think about this. I hope you have the strength to come to grips with it – and to take the appropriate action, to the extent you reasonably can. Meaning: From this day forward, avoid dealing with others on the basis of violence and its threat. Deal with others on the basis of voluntarism. Don’t accept anything that comes to you as the result of state-sanctioned violence directed at your fellow man. Leave others be. Live your life – and grant them the same in exchange.

          • clark
            March 10, 2012 at 5:05 am

            Douglas wrote, “…or you can work realistically with those you can persuade to your point of view.”

            Uh-huh, just like with T.A.R.P.?
            When did working with goberment Ever really work for anyone who wasn’t corrupt? That’s the history of our nation.

            Douglas wrote, “…If you’re so convinced, Eric, of the immorality of availing yourself of anything Government, then please stay the hell off the Interstate.”

            This article pretty much covers that rant, if you’d care to take a gander:

            Pay Up or Die

            “… What follows is Foster’s complete list of 102 things that no one should do if he hates taxes – all followed by my comments.” …

            http://lewrockwell.com/vance/vance279.html

            Douglas wrote, “…over sixteen years of working in two successive DoD environmental organizations… I do feel that my work made a difference for good.”

            Oh, I know all about you guys, your work is a colossal waste mixed with fraud. The whole shebang is a big cluster fuck of epic proportions. Stop kidding yourself, your efforts were wasted or did more harm than good.

  8. Scott
    March 8, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Eric, you have a true genius for rhetoric and you can also do maf. I’m more than impressed.

    I just wish the truth wasn’t so damned painful. What it comes down to in the end is we are surrounded by morons and we’re outnumbered.

    • March 8, 2012 at 6:42 am

      Thanks, Scott!

      Good to have you with us, also -

  9. UncleSim
    March 8, 2012 at 7:03 am

    What is the attraction transportation do-gooders seem to have with the number 55?

    • Tor Munkov
      March 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      55 looks like SS in Leet speak (l337 5p34k).

      SS in Germany stood for Schutzstaffel. Protection Squadron. Praetorian Guard.

      DOTtenvolk vill build high speed rail. If your papers aren’t in order. They vill send you to FEMA work camp by high speed rail. Work makes you free.

      SLEEP OBEY WATCH TV MARRY AND REPRODUCE BE SAFE SUBMIT SALUTE DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT CONFORM BUY HATE THE ENEMIES OF THE STATE DENY YOUR HUMANITY STAY ASLEEP REPORT CRIME WORK 8 HOURS PLAY 8 HOURS SLEEP 8 HOURS KNEEL BEFORE THE FOOD PYRAMID HONOR APATHY THI$ I$ YOUR GOD IGNORE NATURE MEMORIZE PROPAGANDA BRING LOW THE VICTORS NO IMAGINATION RECYCLE BE AFRAID BE ASHAMED BE SEEN NOT HEARD VOTE PAY TAX RESPECT THE PUBLIC LANDS BE VIGILANT NO THOUGHT DISTRUST OTHER COLLECTIVES LOVE YOUR COUNTRY NOT YOURSELF SPY ON YOUR NEIGHBOR

  10. Mike Enoshima
    March 8, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Eric, I’ve recently discovered your articles via LewRockwell and really enjoy them and the plain, honest truth contained in them.
    In the mid eighties, I had a little Chevy Sprint that got about 50mpg for sure. I dtove the wheels off that bugger! Then, I traded for a Ford… wish I had gone for the VW diesel Rabbit instead. Whatever happened to the bio-diesel Beetles in Hawaii? Considering all the frying oil used in fast food, you’d think that would be a good alternative fuel, no?

    • March 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks – and yes, I do… if you can find one! Others here have noted that people are snapping up those older genuinely economical economy cars, so it’s getting hard to find one that’s not a complete basket case or whose owner won’t sell or will sell, but only “if the price is right.”

  11. Tor Munkov
    March 8, 2012 at 9:44 am

    If you can walk 2 miles per hour, that’s 1 yard per second. If you’re a 56er you’re moving 28 times faster in a vehicle 20 times your weight. The Archons who are drowning you in a sea of laws love it if you spend a year’s wages every few years to move a little faster and deplete scarce resources at the same time.

    The Archons make sure you’re always sitting, and are always disrupting and blinding you with overwhelming stimuli. They like you to be docile and stressed.

    Keep watching those car commercials, don’t look down at the tummy fat and bright female plumage colors on your pretty fabrics you’re wearing.

    Don’t do the math and discover our average sperm count is only 25% of what it was 50 years ago. Don’t plant any eurycoma longifolia in your man plantation. It’s nice to have less testosterone and more estrogen than the average African female living in a traditional village.

    As you become increasingly Archonic, it starts to sound good, putzing around on middle eastern beaches, looking for some icecream and soda pop, free from scary males with their beards and high test levels.

    Living free of male hormone influence, you’re left with the fuzzy rage and disjointed masculine substitute behaviors of watching other humans suffer and emasculated and chained.

    20 years from now, we’ll look back at some old footage of Barney Frank or Newt Gingrich and be amazed at their virile masculinity. All hail the triumph of the XX-men, the Archons of billions and billions of laws, rules, and eternal impotent mewlings and tongue tskings.

  12. truk44
    March 8, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Hey, Eric! Do you think if Obama took his shoes and socks off, he’d be able count better? Of course, the “wise ones” (David Cameron et al) on this side of the pond are no better and just as mathematically challenged as he is!

  13. Gail
    March 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Scott sez, “What it comes down to in the end is we are surrounded by morons and we’re outnumbered.”

    And,

    Chris sez, “… the Hegelian Dialectic operates so well where ever you go. I would just love to see more grass roots action by good decent strong willed moral people stand up to this garbage, but I fear its too late for most, for most prefer the bread and circuses.”

    I had to look up Hegelian Dialectic. The original definition threatens to be too far above my intellekshul capacity to grasp, but a website called Crossroads explained it this way: “The Hegelian dialectic is the framework for guiding our thoughts and actions into conflicts that lead us to a predetermined solution … Hegel’s dialectic is the tool which manipulates us into a frenzied circular pattern of thought and action. Every time we fight for or defend against an ideology we are playing a necessary role in Marx and Engels’ grand design to advance humanity into a dictatorship of the proletariat.”

    “Today the dialectic is active in every political issue that encourages taking sides. We can see it in environmentalists instigating conflicts against private property owners, in democrats against republicans, in greens against libertarians, in communists against socialists, in neo-cons against traditional conservatives, in community activists against individuals, in pro-choice versus pro-life, in Christians against Muslims, in isolationists versus interventionists, in peace activists against war hawks. No matter what the issue, the invisible dialectic aims to control both the conflict and the resolution of differences, and leads everyone involved into a new cycle of conflicts.”

    Therefore, “When we remain locked into dialectical thinking, we cannot see out of the box … The only way to completely [escape this] is to step outside the dialectic. This releases us from the limitations of controlled and guided thought … we can cut the strings and move our lives in original directions outside the confines of the dialectical madness.”

    Kind of awe-inspiring, isn’t it, to think that such a model of herding the masses was actually *invented* by human beings, rather than being a natural dynamic, like butterflies migrating.

    It’s kind of admirable, in a gruesome sort of way …

    So every time you’re watching Face the Nation and yelling, But you’re missing the POINT!, you’re thrashing against the dialectic, I guess.

    Anyway. Every time I think the population has finally passed the point of no return in the realm of stupid, they go and do something halfway smart and confuse my po’ liddle haid all over again.

    Virginia’s Super Tuesday race was between two candidates, Romney and Paul. I had fashioned a little fantasy to entertain myself: Republicans would stay home since Romney was the “only candidate”, and Paul supporters would all go to the polls, and Paul would steal Virginia! Ha!

    Well, it didn’t happen. Romney won, but he didn’t walk away with it. In virtually every county, Romney’s majority was lukewarm, ranging from on average 60% to Paul’s 40%, and often even narrower leads. My own county was 55% Romney-45% Paul, for example. A couple of counties it was a dead heat 50-50. If Paul had to lose, he was by no means crushed like the non-starter the MSM has been characterizing him as from the beginning.

    So, way to go, Virginia! I’m proud of you.

    It sucks that Virginia is a winner-takes-all-delegates state. Romney got them all, but he didn’t win them all and he doesn’t deserve them all.

    More to the point, Virginia gave weight to the very justifiable fears of the PTB of a Ron Paul candidacy if it were left free to grow unsabotaged by the media. I’m convinced that Gingrich and that freak show Santorum are being kept in the ring solely as obfuscators and diluters of a Romney-Paul fight. In a sane environment they would have dropped out long ago. You watch, see if they don’t end up with a nice consolation prize of some sort by the PTB for being good little troupers.

    Meanwhile, that this man Paul is being so fettered and bled of the support he deserves makes me heartsick beyond words.

    But anyway, Chris and Scott: Things may not be as barful as they appear. Some number of Americans are kicking Hegel to the curb.

    • Boothe
      March 8, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      Gail I read up on the Hegellian Dialectic a long time ago when I was really active in and focused on the gun rights issue. I couldn’t figure out why people who appeared to be “on my side” with respect to the freedom to defend myself (and by extension the right to possess the means) were so diametrically opposed to me with regard to other aspects of individual liberty, limited government and non-invention in foreign affairs (i.e. I was suffering from serious cognitive dissonance). I started questioning “the leadership” at NRA rallies and home-school conventions. Things like: “Why are we fighting this in reference to legislation that is clearly un-Constitutional, when we should be approaching it directly through the courts with basic Constitutional arguments?” I got wishy-washy sophistry from weasels about how “the system” worked. We didn’t seem to be fighting to gain any ground and weren’t even hanging onto ground we already held.

      I knew something wasn’t right and set out to discover what that was. That’s when it dawned on me that these people were in “the system” and had no intention of dismantling it. By reducing things to their lowest common denominator and applying simple logic, I then realized that my so called allies were not only “in the system”, but they actually were “the system”, which explained their continual admonitions to work within it. BTW, by applying this simple minded, inquisitive approach to dogma and doctrine, I was also able to make myself persona non grata at more than one church too. These were my first steps to getting out of the loop and overcoming this Hegellian Dialectic we know as the American Dream (and that’s what it is for most folks now, a dream). One could say the gun rights front became my political Red Pill and the organized church my religious Red Pill.

      A very telling and useful item I learned about was the Delphi Technique. This technique or tactic was developed by the Rand Corporation for the DOD during the cold war. It’s not really used as the “forecasting tool” it has been deceptively portrayed to be. It is the method a skilled facilitator and a few hand picked shills can use to take over and guide a political gathering (or any meeting) to achieve a predetermined end, all the while convincing the public participants that the outcome was their idea! The Virginia Land Rights Coalition has a really good write up on it and how to counter it here: http://www.vlrc.org/articles/110.html A variation of this is the Diamond Tactic which G. Edward Griffin exposes here: http://www.freedomforceinternational.org/pdf/diamond_tactic.pdf

      The “establishment”, “ruling elite”, PTB or whatever you want to call them are adept at keeping us divided, deceived, complacent, occupied with trivialities and suffering from cognitive dissonance in an effort to “manage the flock”. Controlling and herding the masses is the name of the game. Rather than a prison planet, you could view this as a giant farm; keep the flock well fed, reasonably comfortable and scratch between their ears once in a while and they’ll follow you right into the shearing shed or the stock trailer. Based on numerous discussions we’ve had right here concerning Clovers and the dependent class (duly noting Eric’s emphasis on the Bell Curve) you can kind of see why the elitists’ view society the way they do.

      There will always be those of us that take the Red Pill and see reality for what it is and do not wish to be “managed” or “fleeced”. When we pull back the curtain and tell the flock “take a look at this”, many average sheeple will acknowledge the truth and go “hey what th’ hell’s going on here?” This puts a serious monkey wrench in the establishment’s works. This what Dr. Paul is doing and the old guard on both sides of the (same) aisle ain’t likin’ it one bit. ‘Tis true that some like Clover and Karen don’t wish to have their cocoon in the matrix drained of its amniotic fluid. So as long as they leave the rest of us alone, they can remain a part of their precious collective for all I care. But our job (Thank you for your effort Gail!) is to explain and expose as much of what’s been done to us and how it is continuing to be done as we can to as many of those around us that will listen. The crisis is nigh upon us folks and the outcome will be determined by the efforts of a tireless minority. Let that tireless minority be us!

      • Gail
        March 9, 2012 at 11:32 am

        “That’s when it dawned on me that these people were in “the system” and had no intention of dismantling it. By reducing things to their lowest common denominator and applying simple logic, I then realized that my so called allies were not only “in the system”, but they actually were “the system”.

        As I understand the Hegelian Dialectic, this is as crisp a synopsis of it as you could hope to find.

        The blinding effect of being stuck in the box …

        Long, long time ago I read Heinlein’s ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’. I’ve forgotten it entirely but for one little part. The society in the book has within it a group of people who were preternaturally clearsighted, seers of truth. A character is explaining to the Stranger how it works. He asks one of these truth seers, “Anna, what color is that house on the hill?” She says, “White, on this side.”

        I remember being greatly struck by this, even though I was too young to understand why. She did not make the mistake of assuming the house was white on the side she could not see! WOW! Huge.

        You’re right; it’s the job of those of us who at least *try* to see the truth — although, Lord, it’s a constant battle — to teach others, not necessarily to accept our truth, but to use their eyes for something besides not tripping over the furniture, so that their truth is clear, honest, true and self derived.

        I actually enjoy doing that. I’m just dispirited at how barren the ground is. But I’ve always believed that you can explain absolutely anything to anybody; you just have to use the right words. I’ve still got a ways to go there.

        One thing I console myself with: The elitists have Blue Pill influences of their own. As we may all witness if there’s ever a derivatives crash. They may be running the show, but they too get regularly tripped up with that puppetmaster thing. Hubris; no one is invulnerable.

        They can suffer from the effects of cognitive dissonance in their own memes.

        That’s why I believe that the most important task for the People is to safeguard the Internet, at all costs. The Internet Reformation is our greatest tool and our greatest weapon.

        Without it, I fear we really are done.

      • Tor Munkov
        March 9, 2012 at 9:50 pm

        Good stuff on Georg Hegel. He is a grandfather to Agenda 21 / Obama Math that we see all around us. The German Idealism of Hegel is about two things:

        1. Virtus Dormativa – those seeking to rule work to develop the “power to make sleepy.”
        2. Sensus Assoupire – Once this is mastered the rulers develop the “power to put the senses to sleep.”

        John Carpenter’s movie “They Live” is a good intro into seeing how the ‘aliens among us’ that use this Hegellian method.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lwlx3GnLGs

    • Scott
      March 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks for the pure shot of optimism Gail, I needed it. I’ve been campaigning for Dr. Paul since somewhere around 2006, this year I maxed my personal donation early rather than play it out in $100/month donations. I learned in ’08 that if you don’t get on the ballot you can’t win. I encourage everyone I talk to to take the primaries seriously, it’s an endless surprise to find out how many folks don’t understand how important they are. If you can stand as a precinct delegate that’s even *more* important and there are lots of districts that have no representation at all because people don’t know how important it is.

      I had to change my registration from independent to republican to even vote in my State’s (Wyoming) primaries. I missed the boat in ’08 because I didn’t know I had to be registered Republican to participate. Didn’t make that mistake twice.

      Occasionally my cynicism overwhelms me and I fall into despair. The things Paul says seem so obvious to me and the peanut gallery arguments against him seem so lame. I appreciate your courage, thanks for being one of us and for your eloquence.

      Regards,
      Scott.

      • Gail
        March 9, 2012 at 10:49 am

        Thank you, Scott.

        “Occasionally my cynicism overwhelms me and I fall into despair.” If you haven’t already seen it, I urge you to go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13itpv-DZrk, his post-primary Florida speech. The crowd response will lift your heart!

        Impossible to imagine the other lamers in the race getting even a fraction of the love.

        • March 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm

          One of the things about Ron Paul that cannot be said of any of the other candidates is this: He is an honest man. One does not have to agree with everything he espouses to perceive this. He is genuine. There is nothing simulated or fraudulent there. The others are so obviously calculating, posing, “image men.”

          Dr. Paul is also a decent man. The one man on the stage who understands that war is not a fuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhttttball game. He, unlike, the chickenhawks on the stage, shies away from violence – is clearly appalled by the cavalier violence of the others.

          No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, these things ought to be persuasive. The others are at best calculating frauds – front men for vested interests looking to pick the corpse some more. At worst, some of them are probable psychopaths (Newtie, Ricky) consumed by bloodlust and turgidly eager to become the next Lincoln. Or Stalin.

          PS: In re Clover –

          I doubt he has ever seen combat, or even worn a uniform. With his type, this is almost an axiom. He is the modern incarnation of the post-Reconstruction carpetbagger. The sickening thing is that creatures such as this are the rule rather than the exception.

  14. March 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    There are technologies that show promise of the high fuel efficiencies needed, e.g. thermophotoelectricity. But you know what “show promise” means: right now, and for the foreseeable future, the only equipment that can actually get near the theoretical efficiencies is too bulky and/or heavy and/or plain too small to deliver the power needed, or something as awkward as that in practice.

  15. TMS
    March 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    “Times four times twelve, that works out to $900 more a year.”

    Ermmm…there are 52 weeks in a year….not 48.

    • rextrains
      March 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Depends which of the 57 states you live in

  16. SM777
    March 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Gentlemen, there are ways to get around this.

    First, has anyone read the BusinessWeek article from 2008 titled, “The Geo Metro Rides Again”? From what I understand as noted in this article and from what I have seen on Ebay and the forums, there are people who make a business of pulling old Geo and Chevy Metros out of junkyards, restoring and selling them for a substantial sum of money. It appears that they sell pretty quick too. (I wish I had left my old Metro on blocks/under a tarp in a relatives backyard years ago, I could sure use it now).

    Also, there is the Doran three wheel car at rqriley.com for the mechanically inclined.

    In addition, the 2013 Chevy Spark is finally coming to the USSA. That is if still exists next year.

    I also heard that the option exists to buy an old Honda Insight or Toyota Prius with the batteries dead/worn out, pulling the batteries and disabling hybrid system and having a gas only car which gets the same mileage.

    Like I said, there are options…………….

  17. esquimaux
    March 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Boothe wrote, “The real scenario is this: More common people will have to walk, ride a bicycle, use public transportation or just stay home.” Gas for auto travel, says Boothe, will be no less expensive

    I think that’s so. Would that improved public transportation might ease the burden somewhat but I don’t think it will. In my metro area, public trans is, unfortunately, a boondoggle. Fare increases and cuts in service go hand in hand every two or three years.

    I live in one of the most politically correct (and privileged) towns and regions in the country. The two (P.C. and privilege) also seem to go hand in hand. We are environmental champions. We want no pollution, great gas mileage, utter safety and The Big O to be King if not Prez for life. The biggest — possibly the only — issue of any social, economic or cultural significance these days is the War On Women being waged by Rush and a few reactionary legislators in other parts of the country. BUT young affluent families, the kind sometimes caricatured as soccer moms and ballet dads, drive their SUV’s and are not about to give them up. We believe in austerity as the means to build a healthy environment and a sustainable economy — as long as the austerity is borne by others.

  18. iw
    March 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    not to nitpick too much, but when pointing out poor math….

    according to the FTC the average price of a new car is $28,400
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/autos/aut11.shtm

    which of course only bolsters your point that the increased cost of a new car is never going to pay for itself in fuel savings. Hell, just a quick back of the envelope on getting a honda metro scooter for around town use would take several years to pay for itself with a $1500 price tag and $3.50/gal gas.

    • March 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Hi LW,

      I should have been more clear; the average new car costs about $18k – that is, a car like a new Civic sedan. A Camry or something along those lines is in the low-mid $20s range to start. $28k would be almost “entry luxury” – close to the price of a new Lexus ES350/

  19. RP2012
    March 9, 2012 at 2:41 am

    Not simply a innumerate….but also a corrupt ignoramus!

  20. March 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Oh Glorious Day!

    Our Dear Leader has mandated.

    But why pray tell has he stopped at 55 mpg? What is wrong with using the magic wand for 110 mpg?

    Also, why has he not mandated the repeal of Newton’s laws of motion, God’s laws of physics, and for heavens sake……let’s have water flow uphill!

    Glory be to government…..let the blessings flow (downhill, of course).

    • Boothe
      March 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      My dear Mr. Hallett, most of us gathered here already know (based on odor, color and texture alone) that which flows downhill from government can hardly be considered “blessings”. So with that in mind, can we add a $1000 an hour minimum wage to your wish list as well? ;)

      • March 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

        Dear Boothe,

        Indeed I am remiss, let’s do Obmandate $1000 per hour minimum wage for those whose choose employment (private sector only).

        Now, to remove tongue from cheek….
        Your subjective clause, “…most of us gathered here already…” at once comforts and chills me.

        We see the emperor sans culottes and shout Bulls**t!

        But what of the multitude who believe? They worship at the altar of all-knowing government trusting that manna from DC is their salvation.

        The bread and circuses of old pale in comparison to what this nation of sheep both expects and deserves from its constituted religion of government.

        I think I’ll move to Chile.

        • March 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm

          Mars is wide open, too. If it had a breathable atmosphere and I could get my bikes, my house, my muscle car up there…..

  21. dom
    March 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    One of my workout partners purchased a prius wagon a few weeks ago. We took it on a road trip to a clinic we had in Virginia Beach. I can sum up my impresson of the vehicle in one word, disappointing! The transition between eco/electric or whatever the hell it was felt terrible. Felt like the tranny was about to break. Then on the highway to get up to speed, or to pass, the engine revs to the moon and sounds like an underpowered sewing machine. Not to be a dick or anything, but most the trip I was thinking Andre has to have buyers remorse. I even asked him a few times. He should have purchased a Honda Accord, or something else. I’m not going to get started on the fucking retarded instrument display and gps system, but I will if asked.

    • March 9, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      And he paid probably $23k or so (maybe more).

      Meanwhile, for $15k or so he could have bought a compact wagon that gets 40 MPG – like the Rio I just got done with. Or – even – better – spent $10k on something a couple of years old – and saved the $12-15k (which buys a lot of gas, even at $6 per).

      • dom
        March 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        Naw dood! He paid like 30k for his unit! As far as I’m concerned the vehicle is a POS.

        P.S. The trip was over 200 miles each way. Not once did we beat 42mpg.

        • Mithrandir
          March 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm

          I have driven in a prius (2008 model) with 47-52 mpg on highway (I-78) ~70-75mph.

          Car drove well, without excessive noise.

          It is not a car I would have chosen. The Prius is a good car. It is not the most economical car when the price is taken into consideration. If saving money is the primary goal the prius would only work in certain conditions.

          hypothetical:
          $6/gal. gas
          Prius 48mpg at $25,000
          vs.
          other car 30mpg at $15,000
          Break even would be about 133,000 miles.

          If you travel 20,000/year you will need about 6.5 years to break even.

          at $10/gal. it will take ~ 4 years.
          at $4/gal. it will take ~ 10 years.
          ———————————————-
          A prius driven as a taxi over 150,000 miles per year would make economic sense. (Especially in NYC or other metro areas.)

          • dom
            March 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

            I don’t know mang. Might have something to do with it was a four door wagon style. It was extremely underpowered. Underpowered cars are dangerous in my opinion. The transition/feel/bump/engagement between the eco drive and engine drive was startlingly rough. Perhaps his unit was a lemon. It was brand new though. Less than 2k on the clock.

          • Mithrandir
            March 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm

            @dom on March 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

            I will concede that quick and/or sudden acceleration was not needed when I drove in the car.

            In most of NJ there are few areas of rapid changes in elevation and most of those are located in the NW part of the state. While NJ is not as flat as Florida it is not like the Rocky Mts. either.

            If the car was driven in an area of rapid elevation changes, its limitations would be more apparent.

  22. dom
    March 12, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Here’s some Obama Maff. One plus one equals? Gotz an image here to help visualize!

    Facebook Ad I saw

    • mithrandir
      March 12, 2012 at 2:33 am

      One plus one equals?

      A TKO. ;) :)

      • dom
        March 12, 2012 at 2:35 am

        Sorry, I can’t hear you. I was daydreaming about motor boating! LOL Seriously though, I saw that as an ad and had to share.

        • BrentP
          March 12, 2012 at 4:32 am

          Ever do tineye searches on those images? It can be amusing sometimes.

  23. Rooney
    March 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I was wondering…I’ve got a 1999 Chevy Metro 4-door with the 1.3 and the 3-speed auto and a 1990 Ford Ranger with the 4.0 liter V-6. with the 4-speed auto. I like the Ranger.

    My neighbor is an independent car salesman and is struggling in this economy. He approached me about selling the Metro to a friend of his who is looking for a cheap high MPG car.

    I could use the money, but I’d kinda like to keep it to keep my options open. The Harley doesn’t have a heater.

    It occured to me that I could sell the Ranger, give the Metro a little TLC, and in the fall replace the Ranger with a Toyota 4-wheel drive pick-up with a manual/4-banger.

    Should I take my neighbor up on his offer?
    Sit tight and wait it out and see what happens down the road?
    Sell the Ranger and hope that old Toyota’s aren’t worth their weight in gold in 6 months or a year?

    Advice?
    Thoughts?

    • March 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      The only downside to your Metro is the gas-drinking automatic. Huge difference in mileage between it and the same car with the manual 5-speed (42 highway vs. 31 highway; see here for details: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymake/Chevrolet1999.shtml ). That said, it’s paid for, so the total cost to operate is very low. You have no monthly payment; your insurance/taxes are about as low as they can get. So, assuming the car is in decent shape or can be brought up to decent shape with a little work and not much money, I’d keep it. The Ranger, too. Use the Ranger when you need a truck; use the Metro for “a to b.”

      That’s what I’d do….

      • Rooney
        March 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm

        Thanks Eric.

        I confess I was kinda leaning that way but thought it would be a good idea to get some input on the matter.

        I’m well aware of not always being the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes…

        So I thought it would it would be a good idea to check and see if I had overlooked anything in my logic.

        Appreciate you taking the time to reply.

        • March 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm

          Happy to!

  24. David Green
    April 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I bought a Prius two weeks ago. We always average 55 or 56 miles per gallon on a 40 to 50 mile drive. It’s no dream.

    • April 17, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Hi David,

      Your mileage (and mine) will vary! Some people get the advertised MPGs; some less. Because we all drive differently, in different conditions.

      I’m glad your Prius is working for you. The point I was trying to get across in the article is that it may not work as well for everyone.

      • David Green
        April 18, 2012 at 1:31 am

        I certainly don’t see that as the point to your article, Eric. I suppose I could drive my Prius in a manner that mileage would take a big drop, but I have no reason to do that. I’ll just go on enjoying the 50+ we’re getting. I’ll smile every time I put on the brakes and know that it’s generating more electricity.

        My only disappointment is that GM doesn’t make a similar model. We were looking at a Chevy Equinox, but top mileage is only 31 hwy and it costs several thousand dollars more. I really question your $18,000 average.

        • April 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

          I’ve test driven a new Prius every year since they first came out and my average mileage has always been in the 30s. Partially this is because I drive fast; partially this is because I drive in a mountainous area (hard on hybrids). But the point being: Your mileage will vary. Moreover: The car’s mileage – even when advertised – has to be viewed in context of the car’s higher purchase price relative to a non-hybrid economy sedan. One could buy something like a Mazda3 for $18k or so (or a Nissan Versa for about $14k) or so and have $6,000-$10,000 to spend on gas – enough to cover the mileage difference for 10-plus years.

          Hybrids are interesting technology – but as money-savers they’re dubious.

          • David
            April 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm

            I agree with you on that, Eric, but I didn’t buy it just to save money on fuel. I’m using less gasoline and putting out fewer emissions. Plus, the Prius has some of the top safety ratings and excellent reliability ratings. I’m really happy with it so far and I hope it stays that way.

            By the way, how can you call a car made in Japan an Obama Car? I think he’s talking up the Volt.

          • April 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm

            I get that, David – and appreciate your honesty.

            On emissions: That one’s debatable. The “inputs” are greater (several hundred pounds of batteries vs. the standard car’s 50 lbs. or so) and the “outputs” (including hazardous waste disposal of those several hundred pounds of batteries – and acid) may be so, too. There is also the issue (with plug-ins and electrics) of where the juice comes from. In the US, it is mostly generated by oil and coal-fired utilities.

            Hence the jibe, elsewhere emissions vehicles.

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