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2008 Ford F-150 XLT

2008 Honda Civic Si Sedan

2009 Toyota Corolla SE

2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid

2008 Honda Accord EX
The tide is finally turning with regards to America's embrace of large vehicles.

With gas prices approaching or already having surpassed the $4.00 a gallon mark in the U.S., many Americans are looking to ditch their gas-guzzling SUVs for smaller cars and crossover utility vehicles (CUVs).

Nowhere was this more prevalent than the month of May for U.S. car/truck sales. The Ford F-150 has been America's perennial best-selling vehicle for the past two decades. It's month-to-month sales streak, however, came to a screeching halt in May.

The F-Series was beaten in monthly sales by not one, but four cars: the Honda Civic (53,299), Toyota Corolla (52,826), Toyota Camry (51,291), and Honda Accord (43,728). The F-Series was next in line with 42,973 units sold. The F-Series last saw the tail lights of a car in monthly sales way back in October 1991.

Ford Group VP for Marketing and Communications Jim Farley said that that thumping from Honda and Toyota was a "significant development" and that "it's not surprising, given the fuel price."

"That's just a sign of the times. I think May has been a watershed month," added Farley.

Alan Mulally, Ford's CEO, went even further adding, "We really believe we are seeing a structural shift with the fuel prices going through the $3.40-to-$3.60" range. It's interesting that a lot of others are saying the same thing now."

So I think we're seeing a structural shift where, with the prices being high in the United States, we're seeing exactly what happened in Europe a number of years ago, where the customers are going to make economic decisions, and they're going to move toward smaller and medium-sized vehicles."

Ford isn't the only American company feeling the heat from rising fuel prices and waning interest in large trucks and SUVs. According to the Chicago Tribune, General Motors has plans to close four of its truck and SUV manufacturing facilities. In return, the company plans to bring online a new small car plant in Ohio for the year 2010.

"We at GM don't think this is a spike or a temporary shift," said GM CEO Rick Wagoner in response to the shift from large vehicles to smaller cars.

In addition, GM's macho "Hummer" brand may be sold off according to Wagoner. Wagoner noted that GM is "undertaking a strategic review of the Hummer brand, to determine its fit with GM's evolving product portfolio" and that it is "considering all options for the Hummer brand... everything from a complete revamp of the product lineup to partial or complete sale of the brand."

Even GM's new hybrid SUVs have failed to spark much interest from consumers despite the fact that they manage to crack the 20 MPG barrier. GM managed to only sell roughly 1,100 units combined of the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid through the first five months of 2008 -- this is well off the projected pace of 12,000 units for all of 2008.

Manufacturers with more nimble, car-based product lineups like Honda are laughing all the way to the bank with America's newfound interest in efficient vehicles.

"The dramatic increase in car sales appears to be one of the most profound shifts in automotive buying patterns in more than a decade," said American Honda Executive Vice President Dick Colliver.



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SUV owners are stupid.
By reader1 on 6/3/2008 4:19:05 PM , Rating: 5
I can't wait for $5/gallon. Suckers. :P




RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Tsuwamono on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By OxBow on 6/3/2008 5:18:06 PM , Rating: 5
I'm 6'2" 215# and have no problem driving my wife's corrola. I usually bike to work since I need the exercise, but the idea that most small cars don't fit big American's is such old tripe that I'm suprised anyone is still trying to pawn it off as fresh.

At least with high gas prices wer'e starting to see some conservation going on. It's sad that it's taken us so long to realize what's been obviously coming for so long. We need greater fuel efficiency and alternative fuels on a mass scale. This includes hybrids, plug in hybrids, all electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, as well as bio-fuels and ethanol mixes.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By hubajube on 6/3/2008 8:48:57 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I'm 6'2" 215# and have no problem driving my wife's corrola.
Weight doesn't determine how you'll fit. I know 200 lb guys that can't fit in a Miata but I know a 240 lb guy that can. It's your build that makes the most difference.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By piranhaa on 6/3/2008 9:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
I second that. I'm 6'2", 220lbs (bodybuilder build) and I fit into my 2000 Corolla without ANY issues. Been a great car.. Only thing i wish was that the steering wheel was telescopic.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ardan on 6/3/2008 11:37:56 PM , Rating: 2
I agree as well. I am 6'5 228 pounds and can manage okay in most vehicles, though I've been in my fair share of cars that are too cramped for me (primarily being legroom). I count the Corolla as one that isn't as bad for me as it looks. I drive a 2006 Malibu Maxx LT that gets me around 20-21 in the city and around 29-32 on the highway. I love that car because I have plenty of room as do my passengers, but its not some huge vehicle either. It also has plenty of power for my needs, too. Those numbers aren't with extremely conservative driving either, just average...though I am certain that I could waste lots of gas if I drove very aggressively, which seems to be the norm around me still. Definitely don't need to automatically buy a big, full-sized vehicle if you're tall. :)


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Screwballl on 6/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By RHiNoX on 6/3/2008 11:59:38 PM , Rating: 3
6'3" 270 lbs. My shoulder hits the side glass on a corolla, I have to lean into the middle of the car to shut the door.

I fit in Civic just fine. Had one but driving F150 now.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By wetlegs6 on 6/4/2008 6:33:44 AM , Rating: 2
Im 6'3" and I drive this: http://www.thomas-thaerigen.de/images/thowww6a.jpg

(Not me in it btw).


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By crimson117 on 6/4/2008 11:11:43 AM , Rating: 2
wtf I never knew so many posters on DT were so big/tall :P

6'0" 175 here, fit in my '04 Accord coupe just fine, and drove a '92 Civic for 10 years before I got the Accord.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By SeanMI on 6/5/2008 9:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I guess I win. I'm 6'6" and 255lbs. I drive an '05 Focus.

Oh, and FYI...I can't fit in the drivers seat of an '03 BMW 525. I guess it's because they value the backseat space in those things, but the seat doesn't go back far enough. Either that or the dash protrudes too much. One way or another, I can't get my knees under the dash.

So much for big cars being roomier...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By OxBow on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By OxBow on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/2008 7:20:53 PM , Rating: 3
> "the idea that most small cars don't fit big American's is such old tripe that I'm suprised anyone is still trying to pawn it off as fresh."

Well, the tripe that bigger vehicles truly aren't larger on the inside is still being pawned off by some.

I can squeeze myself into a Corolla also...or (as I do far more often) my small two-seater ragtop. Neither is as comfortable as my SUV, which not only has more interior room, but a much larger doorwell to ease entry, along with a higher wheelbase, which doesn't require leg exercise to get in and out of. Plus, when I put the wife, two kids, and one or two of their friends in, we all still have breathing room. Try that in your wife's corolla.

Sure, I could also do that in a Minivan...but on days when I want to bring back 12 bags of mulch and a few plants from Home Depot, an SUV is far more convenient to load and unload...not to mention clean out afterwards.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Merry on 6/3/2008 8:36:18 PM , Rating: 5
Sure, you're right about the interior space argument, but I think you're missing the point here, or at least exaggerating somewhat.

A Toyota Corolla, particularly if its the same as the one shown in the article, is not a small car by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed the same could be said of the Accord and the Camry shown in the article. I know of a number of people of a large size, one in particular has a Peugeot 306, smaller than any car mentioned here and he's easily 6"something, yet its comfortable for him. I also dont buy to much into the whole 'but what if I go to the garden centre and buy x' argument. I have a tow bar fitted to my car for such an event and I have a lowly Mk1 Fiat Punto 55. If push comes to shove i'll borrow a Transit van, but that is very rare.

I'm not saying that people should chose such options i'm just pointing out that from my point of view, and probably that of a few Europeans, your argument seems somewhat alien to me.

Also you said the Wife, two kids and a friend was a push in a Corolla. Try 5 people and a guitar in a Mk1 Mini (the guitar was half out of the front window, by the way) :p


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Merry on 6/3/2008 9:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not so sure. I think there is a somewhat of a philosophical divide. Many of the more wealthy opt for sports cars, or fast Saloons. More importantly despite you discarding it as a factor, yes our streets are smaller, our roads twistier and our countries smaller. I think the trend towards SUVs has been somewhat of an American import really as opposed to some economic by product, although that is a somewhat crude generalisation.

At the end of the day its a case of the car being fit for purpose. It may just be the case that said purpose is different in each country.

Of course whether said purpose is indeed necessary...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/2008 9:33:54 PM , Rating: 3
> "More importantly despite you discarding it as a factor, yes our streets are smaller,"

Eh? I specifically included it as a factor, though not the largest.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Merry on 6/3/2008 9:39:31 PM , Rating: 3
Yes sorry, I meant to say as a major factor.



RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By slunkius on 6/4/2008 12:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
European automakers sell models with mileage far worse than even a Hummer H2


can you prove that? I would consider "far worse" being at least 20% difference.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 1:10:27 AM , Rating: 4
> "can you prove that? I would consider "far worse" being at least 20% difference"

Lamborghini Murcielago, 8 MPG city.
Bugatti Veyron 9 MPG.
Bentley Azure, 9 MPG.
Bentley Arnage 9 MPG.
Ferrari Scaglietti 9 MPG.
Aston Martin DB9 10 MPG.
Maybach 57 (and 62) 10 MPG.
Mercedes G55 11 MPG.
Hummer H2 11 MPG.

GM's great crime wasn't to make a gas guzzler...but to make one people could afford.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By dsx724 on 6/4/2008 1:41:50 AM , Rating: 2
You're right. With the exception of the G55, those cars are exotics made for the filthy rich and the poor man's dreams. Not to mention they would burn the H2 off the line and run circles around them in corners. H2 is just an underperforming American SUV well suited for the American suburban lifestyle and not much else. And not to mention that gas is probably their last worry when the rear-view mirror costs 3000 euro.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Maskarat on 6/4/2008 4:01:13 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry ! Why are you placing a crappy Hummer in such a list?

I understand it's a big, powerful SUV, quite a good one in it's caregory.. but to just compare that monster to an Aston Martin DB 9 or a Ferrari Scaglietti or the Bugatti Veyron...

Aside from the fact that those cars are quite a rarity on european roads, do you really not see any difference between them? Aside from the ridiculous MPG those cars have nothing in common with the Hummer! I doubt any big european spender, wanting to splash cash on a STYLISH SOPHISTICATED car would even consider a Hummer!


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By BarkHumbug on 6/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By P4blo on 6/4/2008 5:21:55 AM , Rating: 2
LOL


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By HeavyB on 6/4/2008 9:57:10 AM , Rating: 1
What a ridiculous comparison. You are getting desperate in your attempts to prop up big oil if this is all you can come up with, Masher. Very desperate...and pathetic.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By crimson117 on 6/4/2008 11:51:00 AM , Rating: 3
His point was that in Europe, generally only luxury cars are gas guzzlers. But in America, there are many cheap cars that are still gas guzzlers - Hummer for example. He specifically mentioned "GM's great crime wasn't to make a gas guzzler...but to make one people could afford."

Try to name an affordable gas guzzler made in Europe... affordable gas guzzlers are not as popular in Europe as in America, and that trend is coming to America to with our rising gas prices.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By sporr on 6/7/2008 5:05:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM's great crime wasn't to make a gas guzzler...but to make one people could afford.


Nice oxymoron, although unintended in your case.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By DOCDAT1 on 6/4/2008 10:12:03 AM , Rating: 5
I drive what I consider a fairly large and fast car, or at least it's large enough to transport 4 normally sized adult men and their luggage without being cramped.

It averages 26.5 MPG with 3/4 highway (~85 MPH) and 1/4 city traffic. It can go from 0-60 MPH in less than 6 seconds and has a top speed of 160+ MPH.
How is that possible? Well, with an advanced turbo charged 4 cylinder engine it is. Inefficient and heavy V8s? No thanks!

And with the seats down it can fit huge amounts of stuff inside. Like 9 large moving crates and lots of other stuff when I helped some friends move. Or how about a 3.2 meter long christmas tree? Or a fridge? Or a couch?

The car is from 1995, has gone 220k miles and still going strong.
I drive a modded Saab 9000 turbo...

I don't understand the desire for SUVs and I would never buy one, no matter how cheap the gas was or how much money I made. I value performance, practicality and handling far too high for that. It's not because the gas is $9 per gallon here that most people I know don't want SUVs.

But each to his own I guess...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By DOCDAT1 on 6/4/2008 12:13:55 PM , Rating: 4
I'm definitely not going to have more than 2 kids and I've grown up in a family of 4 in a surburban house where we had a similarly sized car. Never had any problems fitting in that. Even when we all four took road trips to other parts of Europe...

I think you overestimate the interior size difference between a well designed hatchback/stationcar and an SUV...

Lets take the 2006 BMW X5 and my 1996 Saab 9000 and compare EPA interior space:

Front headroom:
X5: 39.9", Saab 9000: 38.6"

Front legroom:
X5: 39.3", Saab 9000: 41.7" !

Front shoulder room:
X5: 58", Saab 9000: 57.5"

Rear head room:
X5: 38.5", Saab 9000: 37.4"

Rear leg room:
X5: 35.4", Saab 9000: 36.8" !

Rear shoulder room:
X5: 57.2", Saab 9000: 57.5" !

And finally, the big surprise,
Interior volume:
X5: 97.6 cu ft, Saab 9000: 123 cu ft !!

So you see, besides the headroom being about an inch better in the X5, the SUV is actually smaller inside! So in spite of being bigger on the outside, much heavier, slower, poorer handling, much less fuel efficient etc, this SUV does not have better interior room. And the X5 is a medium sized SUV!


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By DOCDAT1 on 6/4/2008 12:40:49 PM , Rating: 2
What you call a midsized crossover SUV, we just call an SUV.

They (Porsche Cayenne, VW Tuareg, Audi Q7 etc) are all pretty much as large as is practical to drive on European roads. The other gargantuan SUVs would just be a nightmare to find parking spaces with and to navigate in most European cities..


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By DOCDAT1 on 6/4/2008 12:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
The length is mostly a problem when parking. When navigating small city streets the width and turning radius is much more important...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By wempa on 6/4/2008 12:51:00 PM , Rating: 3
Regardless, he's got a good point. There isn't that much extra room in an SUV over a good hatch back. I definitely find a big difference from cars, though. My wife drives a Honda Accord and I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee. There are definitely a lot of things I can transport that she can't. Since my Jeep is getting up there in mileage, I think my next car will be very fuel efficient and I'll just hang onto the Jeep for whenever I need the extra room to haul things around.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 3:09:21 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I'm definitely not going to have more than 2 kids


LOL ohhh boy. If we only had a list of everyone thats ever said that before ! heheheh :)


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Drexial on 6/4/2008 4:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
Im not sure you remember a time when families had as many as 12 children and SUVs were only an automakers wet dream. They had a family car and a utility truck... SPORT wasnt even a consideration.... why does a utility vehicle need sport, or for that mater, Luxury. I grew up with an 81 Chevy Pick-up. That was a utility vehicle. But why do you need luxury or sport when picking up mulch/fertilizer/furniture.

I mean right wingers say liberals are making this country soft, when they are the ones that wont settle for anything less then leather, AC, satellite radio, 32 way electronically adjustable seats.

Vinyl bench seat and an awesome view of the country side was all the entertainment I needed in a truck.

BTW I grew up in the inner city, my dad lived in the burbs and we used the truck to tow a boat and get supplies. I didn't even come close to living in the sticks.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By fonzdaman on 6/5/2008 12:51:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Vinyl bench seat and an awesome view of the country side was all the entertainment I needed in a truck.


Amen to that! Much like myself, nothing beats a good view

And about time people start waking up and are starting to drive fuel efficient cars. Sure, many families out there would need an SUV and all its goodness to get around but for the people who don't...well then its a no brainer

Remember, aslong as it takes you from A to B people :D


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By hubajube on 6/3/2008 9:09:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Try 5 people and a guitar in a Mk1 Mini (the guitar was half out of the front window, by the way) :p
We have laws governing the amount of passengers you can have in a vehicle as well as what you can tow with said vehicle. You can't tow a tractor with a Corolla. You can't tow jet skis with a Corolla. You can't tow a hole digger with a Corolla. You can't fit a TV in a Corolla. You can't fit a washing machine/dryer in a Corolla.

There are delivery restrictions to certain areas so that means borrowing a larger vehicle or renting for those folks. See, here in America, most of us live in rural areas not in cities. We don't have all the luxuries and conveniences of cities. It takes far less of our time just to simply buy a truck or SUV then it does to coordinate rentals, other peoples schedules and such.

Not saying that everyone is in that situation but a good few million of us are. Calling people idiots because they choose to buy what they want or need is ridiculous. How about some understanding of your fellow man? Why did he/she buy that SUV or truck?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Merry on 6/3/2008 9:35:00 PM , Rating: 5
You can't tow jet skis with a Corolla. You can't fit a TV in a Corolla. You can't fit a washing machine/dryer in a Corolla.

As someone with a smaller car that a Corolla, yes you can, indeed I have (alright so maybe not the jet ski, but I have towed a ProKart which is ab out the same weight/size). Admittedly fitting the washing machine in would depend upon whether you have the saloon or hatchback version of a Corolla, but you get the idea.

Also, how many times do you feel you need to have the versatility of an SUV, i'm not being condescending here, i'm just genuinely intrigued how you can justify the extra cost because occasionally you might want to throw a TV in your car, or tractor or whatever.

Not saying that everyone is in that situation but a good few million of us are. Calling people idiots because they choose to buy what they want or need is ridiculous. How about some understanding of your fellow man? Why did he/she buy that SUV or truck?

Sorry but I didnt call you idiots. You're reading what you want to see here and to be honest its borderline insulting.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Omega215D on 6/3/2008 10:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
I live in NY where the winter can be harsh so my family has a pretty small SUV. My dad has to go to work at around 4 -5 AM which means that the roads may not be plowed or in worse winter weather snow has accumulated so much. He travels from the boroughs to Long Island in which road conditions may get worse out there.

We all know that SUVs aren't immune to the weather but it did a better job of being able to get out of the driveway and on to a snow covered street compared to my brother's Mazda Protoge.

The bad thing is that the car is paid off so my parents don't want to think about buying another vehicle and start that monthly payment hassle again. Meanwhile I commute mostly on my motorcycle which gets me 53 MPG highway, 44 city and then it's public transit for the snow bound days.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By crimson117 on 6/4/2008 12:07:31 PM , Rating: 3
I know you said you weren't, but if you were in the market for a new car, and winter-weather performance was important, you still don't have to look to SUV's. In fact, many SUVs on the market today are just cars with an SUV shell on top (like the RAV4 is just a Corolla with a big shell on it), so you don't get much winter performance.

To drive in the snow, you need:
- good snow tires
- 4-wheel/all-wheel drive helps you get started
- traction control
- high ground clearance for really deep snow (and then, come on, stay off the road unless you're a snow-plower :P)

To stop in the snow, you need:
- good snow tires
- to go be going really slow in the first place

Any midsize car with good snow tires and a smart driver behind the wheel will do fine in most snow. At some point ground clearance does become an issue, but in NY you're not supposed to be on the roads in deep unplowed snow unless it's an emergency.

Suburu makes cars with good clearance, all-wheel drive, and good mileage.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Omega215D on 6/4/2008 3:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
I've been trying to get my parents to get a Subaru for some time but they already finished paying off the car. My parents need to make money so sometimes staying in from work isn't an option.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Drexial on 6/4/2008 4:30:07 PM , Rating: 2
Man I drove a rear wheel drive lowered BMW M3 through Buffalo, NY winters... Never even put the winter tires on (though that would have helped a lot).

Really all you need is Winter tires and patience. The only reason people get stuck is cause they floor the gas.

most people put too much faith in their all season tires. Most aren't actually rated well or recommended for anything more then LIGHT snow.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By hubajube on 6/4/2008 12:27:24 AM , Rating: 2
I don't own an SUV so no need to justify it. Never wanted one anyways. I DO own a truck. We bought it mainly to tow our horses around but my wife uses it as a commuter too because three cars is too expensive. I do some DIY stuff around the house so we use it for supplies and then there's feed for the horses. I live in an area that has all custom homes on multi-acre lots. Lots of contractors, horse owners, and other small business owners.

Quite frankly, I can use a tractor almost everyday. Fire codes require us to keep 8 feet from our fence lines clear of anything and the way weeds and such grow out here, that needs to be done once a week. We have no grass (desert), but stuff grows anyways and that needs to be kept clear too. No lawn mower can do that, riding mower or otherwise, because of the rocks. I drag it with a tractor. Works great. Tractor rental is $170/day not to mention they won't let you tow it unless you have a 3/4 ton or larger truck. Cheaper just to buy a tractor in the long run plus I can let neighbors that don't have one borrow it.

My wife rides a couple times a week plus we get feed once a week. So the truck won't be a rental. There are people that could simply rent a truck for whenever they need it but if you're renting it for three or more days a month at $115/day, it would be cheaper to buy one even if it's used. If you're using it once a year maybe it's not the best choice but who am I to say what someone should or should not buy?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By hubajube on 6/4/2008 12:35:10 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Sorry but I didnt call you idiots. You're reading what you want to see here and to be honest its borderline insulting.
BTW, I didn't read into anything. The title says:
quote:
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
Since trucks sell WAY more than all SUV's and they get crappy gas mileage and people don't use them for their intended purpose just like SUV's, we must be stupid also. Besides, I like being part of the unpopular group anyways. It makes life most interesting.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Merry on 6/4/2008 2:44:07 AM , Rating: 3
The title isnt mine, its from the original post and quite frankly is stupid in itself.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Sandok on 6/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Maskarat on 6/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By crimson117 on 6/4/2008 12:21:44 PM , Rating: 3
Interesting assertation...

(268,601 sq miles in Texas)(6,600,000,000 people) = 1,134.5 square feet per person

Thank you google calculator :) You're right, 1.1k square feet per person is a lot. Still, you couldn't really do that because people need resources like food markets and roads and schools. But it's a fun calculation.

--

As for your claim... where did you find your numbers for the manhattan vs sweden/spain average living space?

Home size is a function of relative wealth AND population density. A person making $100k/year living in Kentucky could own a multi-acre property and live in a very large, very well furnished house, while a person making $100k/year in Manhattan can maybe afford to rent a 1-bedroom and buy furniture at Ikea. So as population density rises and per-person living space decreases, it takes more and more wealth to buy that living space.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 12:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
> "You're right, 1.1k square feet per person is a lot. "

You're assuming single-floor construction. If we house those people in three-story buildings, and assume an average of just 3 people per home, that's an average home size of over 10,000 sq. feet -- a mansion for all, and with the entire rest of the planet fully depopulated.

> "Home size is a function of relative wealth AND population density."

No. In some cases, population density contributes to cost of living, which makes it appear related. But for proof by counterexample, consider the size home one could buy in ultra-crowded Calcutta.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By DOCDAT1 on 6/4/2008 12:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
You're trying to use Manhattan as an indicator of average population density in the US?! That's not exactly representative of the US as a whole.

Here are some facts:
Average population density of the United States:
31 per square KM

Now lets compare that with the major European countries:

Average pop density of United Kingdom:
246 per square KM

Average pop density of Germany:
232 per square KM

Average pop density of France:
110 per square KM

Average pop density of Spain:
89 per square KM

Average pop density of the Netherlands:
395 per square KM

Well I think you get the point? I'll add my own country for fun:

Average pop density of Denmark:
127 per square KM.

So, I think it's safe to say that YES, the most likely reason people have larger homes in the US is because there is more space and it's cheaper! Not because people are more affluent in the US. This will be confirmed if you compare the average prices per square meter of houses and appartments.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 12:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
> "You're trying to use Manhattan as an indicator of average population density in the US?! "

Amazing someone could have misread clear English to such an extent. I specifically stated Manhattan was the most crowded spot on the planet. Despite that, the average home size there is larger than most people in the rest of the world enjoy. Furthermore, its larger than what Americans in much less crowded (and less affluent) areas such as rural Mississippi live in.

Home size has nothing whatsover to do with "space". It has to do with wealth, plain and simple. People buy what they can afford. Europeans, having a lower per-capita income and a less efficient building market, can afford less.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By DOCDAT1 on 6/4/2008 12:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
And some of the richest people in the world live in Manhattan. Like I said, not representative of the US as a whole.

Per capita income according to the CIA is practically the same for the UK and the US. And the pop density is higher in the UK by basically an order of magnitude...

As I wrote in my previous post. Try digging up the average cost per M2 of homes in the US and in the major EU countries...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 1:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
> "And some of the richest people in the world live in Manhattan. "

Now you're getting it. Home size is a function of wealth, not physical space.

> "Per capita income according to the CIA is practically the same for the UK and the US."

According to purchasing power per-capita income in the US is $44K, whereas it's $33K in the U.K -- a full one-third lower:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...

The average home size in the U.K. is roughly 50% smaller, a value which (when combined with the disparity in building efficiency) is almost perfectly explained by the difference in income.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Spoelie on 6/4/2008 3:47:39 AM , Rating: 2
Every time this kind of article comes up, there's countless arguments "but what if i need to carry xx tons of equipment and carry 7 people at the same time".

Based on the arguments always used, I'd love to see a typical american highway/road, must be funny as a european to see every SUV going by stuffed to the brim with TV's, refrigerators, people ... - while on a typical european road you'd have a hard time finding a car with more than one person in it, let alone a refrigerator.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/4/2008 7:33:24 AM , Rating: 2
I find my Acura TL to be quite a good day to day car. When I need to haul something large I rent a truck for a few hours.

Renting a truck? Wow what an amazing discovery!


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Alexstarfire on 6/4/2008 8:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
I know, it's like the idea of renting is a lost art. People use a lot of ifs when they talk about owning an SUV or truck, but the fact of the matter is you need to look at what you do the most of. If you would rent a truck or SUV more than twice a month then it'd probably be cheaper to buy one, but most people probably wouldn't.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By kkwst2 on 6/4/2008 8:46:04 AM , Rating: 2
What year is your TL? The recent ones get very unimpressive mileage, given it's size and performance. Plus, they use premium gas.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 12:24:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Every time this kind of article comes up, there's countless arguments "but what if i need to carry xx tons of equipment and carry 7 people at the same time".


And every time this article comes up theres people like you telling others what they should or shouldn't buy.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By MrPoletski on 6/4/2008 6:56:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yanno we get fat leviathon put-the-fork-down future heart failure need an 18 wheeler ambulance soon to be dead cake-o-philes here in the UK too.

They drive our small cars fine. The ones that don't drive small cars are the MUMS dropping their single kid off at school in their ford galaxies holding up ALL THE TRAFFIC because they can't manuever the damn thing!

They need the huge vehicles for SHOPPING.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By MrBlastman on 6/4/2008 12:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
I can fit 12 bags of mulch and a few plants in my Subaru WRX Wagon any day. It gets 27 - 30 mpg on the highway and is turbocharged and able to Autocross all day long.

What's your point? There is no need for big SUV's unless you are a mountain man or a contractor. In their case - they usually drive Trucks or Sienna's - not castrated semi-lux wannabe utility vans otherwise known as SUV's.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 12:42:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "I can fit 12 bags of mulch and a few plants in my Subaru WRX Wagon..It gets 27-30 on the highway"

Interesting, this Motortrend review of the Subaru WRX showed it at 18.4 mpg on the average...not much better than a midsized SUV.

As for loading up your wagon, I'm sure with the seats folded down it's a monster for cargo storage. When you need to move 5 people, and 6 large suitcases on a vacation trip, though, you'll miss those rear seats.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By MrBlastman on 6/4/2008 1:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
Called roof racks sir :)

Just this past Memorial Day weekend I hauled:

Canoe on roof
3 People
Cooler, Chairs, Food, Equipment etc. and still had room to spare for a 4th person easy.

Motortrend is great for some things but who are you going to believe more - an article or someone that has driven the car for the last 4 years?

I average 27 mpg highway with my BBS racing wheels/tires, 30 mpg highway with my stock wheels/tires without any effort.

I get about 20 - 22 mpg city with racing wheels/tires. I gas up every two weeks and put 10 gallons in the tank as long as I stay off boost and don't race the car around town.

I'd say I'm doing a tad bit better than your typical SUV driver.

Oh - AND, I don't block peoples view who are behind me - thus enabling them greater awareness of the road ahead because they can... actually see far down the road. This isn't possible with congested highways full of SUV's who decide tailgating is the best driving action.

If I had to move more ppl I'd load them in our Forrester. With roof racks once again, luggage is not a problem.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By jRaskell on 6/4/2008 1:40:01 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, you've got yourself a very rare WRX there man. My buddy has owned two WRXes (a 2001 or 2002, I forget, and now a 2006) and has never been able to do better than about 24mpg highway absolutely babying the thing.

Who do YOU think I should believe?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 1:55:33 PM , Rating: 1
WRX's get crap for mileage. And they are not cheaper because the turbo models require premium fuel. If you use anything other than premium on a turbo car your an idiot and deserve the cylinder detonation that WILL happen.

WRX's are sporty and fun to drive too, which kills gas mileage. Because, lets be honest, your going to floor the thing constantly.

My friend owns an STI and the temptation is just horrible. You can't " granny " it, it begs for you to rip through the gears and spool up the turbo as much as you legally, and illegally, can :)


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By MrBlastman on 6/4/2008 2:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
After owning it for 4 years I really don't beat on it nearly as hard throttle-wise as I did when I first got the car. I save most of the really-hard throttle work to Autocross and track events.

I run premium only.

They're extremely fun cars to drive and as I have found that with the handling mods I have done to the car, I have far more fun with lateral g's rather than acceleration-induce g's.

I have 0 engine mods as well. I've only focused on handling so far which it does _very_ well at.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 3:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have 0 engine mods as well.


My friends STI has benefited greatly from the K&N filter he installed. Quicker throttle response and turbo lag went down. I highly recommend it !

Anyway I'm glad you like your car. I just took issue with your statement that " nobody needs an SUV ". I mean, its just really not your place to say what people want or need.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By MrBlastman on 6/4/2008 2:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
He must not be good at driving then. :)

I do it all the time. On a 700-mile trip I averaged 30 mpg. I wasn't really babying it either and was sailing along at 75 - 80 mph most of the time.

Perhaps the gravitational field of the earth was off kilter? I don't know. I do know my numbers are legitimate.

I would think though that the 04 would get slightly better mileage vs. the 06, 04 being 2.0 liter and the 06 being 2.5 liter.

I run fully synthetic oil as well, change it every 5k, make sure I change my manual transmission fluid periodically (his are stickshifts, right?) as well as my differential fluids. I do all the maintenance myself.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Major HooHaa on 6/7/2008 2:46:39 PM , Rating: 2
If we are talking MPG, I can give you some figures on our car, which is a 5 seater Toyota RAV4.

Previously we had a 2-litre petrol RAV4, which officially does 32 MPG and produces around 200g of CO2 per kilometre.

We have finally replaced our aging RAV with the newer version with a 2.2 litre diesel engine. This produces more horsepower at normal engine speeds (it's only once you get somewhere past 4,000 RPM that the petrol version out performs the diesel in horsepower output) and it produces much more torque.

But it produces slightly lower CO2 emissions (175g per kilometre if memory serves) and officially does 42 Miles Per Gallon. Currently the onboard computer says that our RAV4 S.U.V's average fuel consumption is 45.5 MPG. This number has been steadily climbing since we got the car.

Also we live down a country road that floods in various places during prolonged heavy rain, the RAV has been good for fording these floods. Also it is quite at home on the local farm tracks round here, as well as on the road.

This new RAV4 is in front wheel drive most of the time, which in theory saves fuel. When the on-board computer detects loss of traction, then power is also sent to the rear wheels. The RAV can be locked into 4-Wheel-Drive mode at speeds below 25 M.P.H, via a button on the dashboard.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Souka on 6/3/2008 5:28:26 PM , Rating: 5
I'd like to know the numbers of these top 5 selling cars/trucks if you take out business purchases.

I'd imagine the F-150 series hasn't been #1 for most of the two decades it currently claims.

And I'd alos imagine if you look at buiness purchases only, the F-150 was #1 for two decades and still in #1 spot by quite a few sales....

numbers...#1...etc....so easy to make them say anything...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Teancum on 6/3/2008 5:59:26 PM , Rating: 4
I'm 6'8" and 330lbs so I'm screwed in any car or SUV. SUV's really don't have more legroom for the driver. Go to Tall.org to see a list of cars that have the most legroom.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Lord 666 on 6/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Alexvrb on 6/3/2008 8:10:44 PM , Rating: 5
BMI = Bullshit Meter for Idiots. I'm not saying he couldn't stand to lose a few pounds, maybe he could, I've never met him. Hell I sure could lose a few pounds. But for all you know he could be built like a Spartan, and might be in better health than you or I.

Plus, you kind of come off as a dick with a comment like that. What? I already used naughty language to get my auto-downrate. Might as well.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By piranhaa on 6/3/2008 9:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
haha, I laugh at anyone who uses the BMI as a calculator for good health. I'm 220lbs, ~6'1"-2" and my BMI is 29 (at the low end of obese. I workout 5days/week (and cardio on my off days sometimes), and FAAAAR from that. I really don't know why anyone even suggests using that bullsh*t scale anymore (or ever for that matter)


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By blaster5k on 6/3/2008 10:31:52 PM , Rating: 2
Because it's a little bit easier than whipping out calipers and calculating body fat percentage basically, but it's still a meaningless number that only hacks would use as a gauge of anything.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Lord 666 on 6/4/2008 9:23:01 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, BMI is a valid indicator for future health problems and a required calculation in physicals. There is a huge visible difference between 29 and 36 or even 20 and 29.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By crimson117 on 6/4/2008 12:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
BMI is admittedly inaccurate for people with certain body types, such as body builders (who have way above average muscle mass and way below average body fat) or adolescents (whose BMI varies greatly from month to month as they grow up). But for people with average body types, it's generally a good indicator of a proper weight/height ratio.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By flurazepam on 6/3/2008 6:03:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
There are more then one reason to own a car. Gas isnt everything for everyone.


Ok, maybe not, but it will be for many of us. Not knocking the need and use of trucks. They will always have their place/use(s). In a recent issue of Maclean's magazine, they not only write that economists agree that the $200/barrel of oil will be reached by 2009-10, but they intimate that $250-$300/barrel is not unrealistic. When filling a car costs $160+, the economy and way of life will be radically changed. In terms of the smaller cars, one of the big complaints I read is that economy cars are too small for taller people. In 2006 Honda/Nissan/Toyota/Mazda addressed these concerns by making the seats of these cars 20-30% larger than previous generations to accomomdate these needs.

Regardless, that being said, the big issue about fuel costs is when China and India come on board so to speak in the next 2 decades. The demand for oil will skyrocket. There definitely needs to be a radical shift from this energy source to another, otherwise the global economy will suffer brutally.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/2008 6:37:19 PM , Rating: 5
> "In a recent issue of Maclean's magazine, they not only write that economists agree that the $200/barrel of oil will be reached by 2009-10, but they intimate that $250-$300/barrel is not unrealistic"

Economists most certainly don't all "agree" that oil will be selling at $200+ in the near future. In fact, quite a few believe that oil prices are a bit of a bubble at the moment and will return to the ~$75 price point within the near term.

Personally, I find it amazing that people are perenially unable to learn from history. High gas prices do little to drop demand in the short term...but in the long term, we see people living closer to work, buying smaller cars (as this article attests) and taking other steps to reduce consumption. Once those factors take hold, demand drops and so do prices...just as they did throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Eventually the cycle repeats, as lowered prices increase demand again.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/3/2008 7:39:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
~$75 price point within the near term.


If by near term you mean 2009, I think you're right; one could probably say that a majority of economists see oil sub-$100 in that time frame.

There are a lot that think it could go to $150 or higher in the balance of this year, though, before heading down.

Late last year, there were also several oil and oil service company CEO's that stated their internal price target was $75, and I think it was BP's CEO who just a month or so ago who stuck to it. Actually, they asked him, and he dodged, so I assume that's a yes.

Seems to me like it's in the hands of oil producers and consumption subsidies in developing countries. Demand destruction appears to be running amok at $100+ in America, but if the developing world doesn't face true market prices, then.. things could do anything. I'm not optimistic, but I can't provide a basis my pessimism.

Maclean's magazine claim though sounds like the claim that "economists agree we are in a recession." Uh, not quite. :P


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/2008 7:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
> "There are a lot that think it could go to $150 or higher in the balance of this year, though, before heading down."

I'd agree with that. Bubbles require tension to burst...and we're not quite there yet. Oil prices will get even more unrealistic before the collapse begins. But $250+ in 2009-10? Not a chance in hell...not unless nuclear war breaks out in the Middle East.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By MadMaster on 6/3/2008 11:49:16 PM , Rating: 1
What's your definition of a bubble?

You're use can mean 5 different things including...
- supply problems
- Demand destruction
- Frenzy buying

What are you talking about?? (You don't sound like you know what an economic bubble is...)


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By BansheeX on 6/4/2008 4:11:18 AM , Rating: 2
There will be pullbacks but I disagree with your assessment that oil is a bubble. Bubbles are usually associated with overproduction as a result of artificial demand, such as the recent housing bubble created and encouraged by Greenspan's artifically low interest rates in 2000. Show me these supply gluts in oil. There aren't any. The pace in demand is outstripping supply which is being restricted by governmental policy like our own. As the dollar continues to be debased, it loses value relative to other goods AND currencies, by definition making Asian markets richer able to afford more of a finite resource that the world has always been competing for. And guess where demand is increasing the most for oil right now? It's in the OPEC nations themselves, where oil is being subsidized.

This is completely realistic and here to stay. Keep calling a top, though, the talking heads and wishful thinkers have been doing it for years. First it was terrorism, then it was the war, then it was mass collusive gouging, then it was speculators. Excuses on the way up have been anything BUT supply and demand.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 10:26:05 AM , Rating: 2
> "Bubbles are usually associated with overproduction"

I'm sorry, but this is almost 100% in reverse of the truth. Speculative bubbles begin with the exact opposite -- underproduction. I hesitate to quote Wikipedia, but in this case, their entry is fairly accurate:
quote:
Simply put, economic bubbles often occur when too much money is chasing too few assets, causing both good assets and bad assets to appreciate excessively beyond their fundamentals to an unsustainable level
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_bubble

Bubbles are triggered by demand far outstripping supply -- underproduction. At some point, escalating prices equalize supply and demand, but the historical trend of price continues to increase, to an irrational level.

That will eventually cause overproduction leading to a price crash -- but that becomes evident only after the hubble has burst. But the notion that, since we see no evidence of overproduction today, that no bubble exists, is utterly fallacious.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By BansheeX on 6/4/2008 11:33:46 AM , Rating: 2
That makes absolutely no sense. That definition is describing a legitimate sustainable price increase. What exactly causes prices to go up that isn't a bubble then? It's demand outpacing supply, legitimate wealth and demand. The internet stock bubble was a bunch of artificially bid up tech stocks with no dividends representing no assets. Housing was a bubble because artificially low interest rates caused banks to loan out tons of easy credit to people who didn't have any wealth to begin with. That artificial demand caused construction and lending agencies to get heavy investment from Wall Street, but it the demand was not coming from real wealth, it was coming from loans subsidized by foreign investors that people couldn't pay back. How does oil even begin to mirror that? Furthermore, how are we suddenly going to "overproduce" oil? Our government has been blocking new oil discoveries for decades and they're showing no signs of stopping even now.

And even as people in this country pull back, countries like China with BILLIONS of people and an expanding middle class are gaining real wealth relative to us because we seem to think that borrowing to consume and debasing our currency for the sake of deficit government largesse is a long-term sustainable strategy.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 11:52:24 AM , Rating: 2
> "That definition is describing a legitimate sustainable price increase"

Of course. Bubbles almost always start legimately. At some point, however, it becomes a self-sustaining phenomenom, driven by its own inertia rather than price fundamentals.

> "The internet stock bubble was...Housing was a bubble because..."

Do you truly not see the similarity in those past bubbles? All began for valid reasons, but quickly became self-sustaining. People bought tech stocks not because their fundamentals were strong...but because they'd risen so much in the past, they felt they would continue to do so. The same for housing...people couldn't afford the underlying mortgages, but they were making so much equity off escalating home prices that it didn't matter.

The same is true for oil. Speculators now appear to be basing future prices off an extrapolation of the past escalation, not the underlying fundmantal equation of balancing supply and demand. A correction is inevitable...and the more prices rise, the larger the eventual correction will be.

> "Furthermore, how are we suddenly going to "overproduce" oil? "

Oil production was up 2.5% last quarter, and is projected to be up 4.1% by the third quarter. Meanwhile, demand is rising much more slowly, and is even declining in a few countries. Even in China, a nation which has been seeing 10% demand increases annually, the recent price spike has slowed demand growth to the 6% level.

Extrapolate out those curves, and you'll see supply outstripping demand, in about the 9 month timeframe.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By BansheeX on 6/4/2008 1:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
No, those other bubbles didn't start "legitimately," that's the whole point. If a stock isn't paying a dividend, it is short-term speculation by definition, because without a dividend that company can pretend it's making money all day long. And if interest rates are being manipulated to levels far lower than where the market would have them (an odd power indeed), how does that not create illegitimate demand relative to the demand that would have existed if interest rates had risen as they were supposed to in 2000 after the tech bubble collapsed? Bubbles are never fundamentally rational from the get-go, how else do you think people who DO look at fundamentals like Peter Schiff can see it from the very beginning and avoid them entirely while Greenspan and media shills high five each other until the SHTF?

We haven't found giant oil fields to replace the ones that are now going into decline, our government is blocking drilling while OPEC's are subsidizing, wealth is relative and ours is evaporating relative to everyone else. In very simple terms, this "cap" on the world suddenly not being able to outbid us doesn't exist or the price would've stopped going up a long time ago. With 60 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next thirty years, say hello to inflation and a continuation of this theme, not just in oil but in all commodities. The market is overpowering the Fed and we will HAVE to start manufacturing and exporting again instead of selling services to ourselves and expecting other countries to subsidize our consumption as though it were driving their economies. We could have done it the easy way, but Bernanke is going to cut down every tree in the country and this country is too distracted and misinformed to stop him.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 1:08:16 PM , Rating: 2
> "No, those other bubbles didn't start "legitimately," that's the whole point. If a stock isn't paying a dividend, it is short-term speculation"

You're contradicting yourself. A short-term speculation in a stock whose price goes through the roof is legitimate. By definition. Most of those internet stocks people bought were great values -- in the beginning. And many investors made fortunes off them. But at some point, the price increases became self-perpetuating, and people lost sight of the fundamentals.

The same was true of the housing market. Giving a homeowner a low five-year balloon mortgage on a house makes sense, if the house is going to be worth $100K more at the end of those five years. Where's the risk? Even if the guy doesn't pay, the lender's still going to make money.

And banks made fortunes for over a decade off some subprime loans. But the sheer amount of money they generated drew too many resources in, and escalating home prices caused too many homes to be built, and too many to be bought by speculators. What started legitimately became a bubble, and a one that collapsed. Had the federal government not been insuring all those loans, it would have collapsed a lot sooner, and with a lot less overall damage.

> "We haven't found giant oil fields to replace the ones that are now going into decline"

Err, yes we have. I've posted many times about all the various fields found just in the past decade. I don't see the need to do it again -- Google is your friend here.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Lord 666 on 6/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/3/2008 8:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
Increasing unemployment and a weak housing market would be negatives for oil prices... Can't buy oil if you don't have a job!

The weak dollar and low interest rate point might've been good six months ago, but that's about run its course. The speculation is no longer if interest rates will go lower, it is how much higher they will be by the end of the year. Beyond that, long rates never did follow the Fed's lead lower. As for the dollar, the Eurozone is starting to look in to the abyss of a real recession, as they are (yet again!) lagging our business cycle by ~6 months. That means rates could come down. If the ECB cuts while the Fed hikes, say goodbye to the PesoDollar.

China, good point. Nigeria could also go nuts. Even Mexico is having domestic problems. Those points are valid.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Lord 666 on 6/3/2008 8:30:08 PM , Rating: 1
With the economic issues of both Europe, US, and Mexico there is the growing potential for a real depression. One thing I haven't read in the news is how Canada is doing... NAFTA poked its head out a couple times on the campaign trail, but thats a different topic.

If you don't have a job, you buy less things, oil included. That means all companies make less money, investors focus their dollars on commodities instead of companies. Companies then lay off workers to increase profits.... round and round

Agreed about the potential to increase rates, but not just yet... wait until Nov 4 and Jan 20. The weak housing market is fueling the positive growth of commodity investment (oil) and negatively impacting credit is also increasing commodity funding. What will really burst the oil bubble is the potential exposure of supply fixing.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By arazok on 6/3/2008 9:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
One thing I haven't read in the news is how Canada is doing


Depends where you look. The west is reaping the benefits of the commodity boom, while Ontario and Quebec implode as manufacturing evaporates. So far, Ontario's service sector is picking up the slack, so we aren't feeling it as bad as we might. Overall we seem to be weathering the storm, although we are on shaky ground.

Our housing market appears to be in for a soft landing.

The one nice thing is that our dollar has soared relative to the US. It's completely kept inflation at bay. Most car models go for about 20-30% less then a year ago, and food prices are only up 1%. I'll probably take advantage of this while it lasts and grab a new car in the fall. :-D


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Lord 666 on 6/5/2008 11:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
Thought of you when I read this on CNN.com today

http://cnnmoney.mobi/money/lt_ne/lt_ne/detail/6706...

quote:
Now, fears about $4 gas and near-record oil prices are likely to throw more fuel on the unemployment fire.

On Friday, the Labor Department will release the May jobs report. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com forecast a net job loss of 60,000, the fifth straight month of job cuts. There have already been 260,000 job losses through the first fourt months of 2008.

The unemployment rate is expected to climb to 5.1% from 5% in April.

And the worst for the job market may not be over. Many economists say job losses could intensify during the rest of the year due to rising energy prices


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By FITCamaro on 6/4/2008 6:22:34 AM , Rating: 2
It's already down to $127


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By FITCamaro on 6/4/2008 8:02:57 AM , Rating: 2
Make that $123. Hopefully it'll continue to fall.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Spuke on 6/5/2008 12:49:52 AM , Rating: 2
Where are you getting that info from? Is it Nymex Crude Future?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By cogito on 6/3/2008 8:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
That would be a realistic analysis...if the US were the only consumer of oil. But oil is being consumed more and more by other nations. These other nations use much less oil per capita and thus are hurt (proportionally) less by the increase in prices. Thus citizens of other countries might still increase their demand due to growth even if the prices increase. Thus even if the US lowers its usage per capita, the total usage might still increase quickly enough to increase prices. Considering that demand keeps growing faster than production, these prices are probably not coming down any time soon (possibly never). I don't think these prices are ever coming down...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/2008 8:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
> "These other nations use much less oil per capita and thus are hurt (proportionally) less by the increase in prices"

That argument doesn't follow. Take China for instance...their per-capita income is about 1/5 of what it is here in the US. People making that little aren't going to be buying a lot of gasoline, not when it's made with $200/bbl oil.

Oil prices cannot continue to grow superlinearly... the rise is self-limiting. Higher prices not own reduce demand-- for the entire world, not just the US-- but they also make enable economic alternatives. At $200/bbl, the Fischer-Tropsch process allows us to turn the US's nearly-unlimited coal deposits into oil. Plus, dozens of places around the world where it wasn't profitable to drill at $50/bbl have suddenly become gold mines. That oil will start hitting the market in a year or two.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By 16nm on 6/4/2008 9:19:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Take China for instance...

FYI, the totalitarian state of China has fuel pricing controls in place to help. They actually enjoy pretty low fuel prices relative to what developed countries are paying. This artificially lower price means that demand is artificially high. If they were paying what the rest of the world had to then their demand certainly would be quite a bit less and the cost of oil would be lower.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/21/business/worldbu...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By teckytech9 on 6/3/2008 8:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In fact, quite a few believe that oil prices are a bit of a bubble at the moment and will return to the ~$75 price point within the near term.

Most economists would call the $75 dollar price point nirvana. Since the price of oil is pegged to the dollar in world markets, if the dollar strengthens, then the price of oil should go down. Truth is, with the emerging markets in Asia consuming more oil, the global demand will only rise regardless of price increases. When factoring in inflation and the devaluation of the dollar, prices are headed much higher this time around. Since speculators are also bidding up the price of oil to some degree, there may be a bottom support price of about $97 that will be here for a very long time.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/3/2008 9:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
Problem is, futures markets are already pointing to a potential big rally in the dollar.

http://markets.ft.com/ft/markets/reports/FTReport....

Those are larger premiums than the discounts that preceded the dollars fall. Hmmmmmm.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By hubajube on 6/4/2008 12:55:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Those are larger premiums than the discounts that preceded the dollars fall. Hmmmmmm.
Ok. Where do I need to put my money. :)


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By ultimaone on 6/3/2008 8:07:42 PM , Rating: 2
when china and india get on board in the next 2 decades ?

umm they are doing so NOW

so ya that 200 / barrel i can totally see happening


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By ultimaone on 6/3/2008 8:21:03 PM , Rating: 2
heres some numbers

Last year, more than 7.2 million vehicles were sold in China, a 25 per cent increase from the year before and more than twice as many as were sold in 2002, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

They expect 9 million next year

the usa sold 16.9 million cars in 2005

sorry couldn't find anything for 2007
however we're a fairly stable market compared to china

india is behind, around 1 million in 2005

but the reality is, theres a certain amount of ppl driving in the US/Canada/Europe, and the numbers are fairly steady, replacing old with new

Asia is adding in just new cars to the mix and a lot of them


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Polynikes on 6/3/2008 9:32:50 PM , Rating: 1
I'm the same height and weigh more than you and am yet to find a vehicle I didn't fit in comfortably.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By FITCamaro on 6/4/2008 6:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'm 6'1, 215lbs. There's been a few cars I didn't fit well into. My parents old 88 Honda. A guys 3000GT. But I drive a Cobalt and fit fine in it. No its not quite as roomy as my 3rd gen Camaros, but I drove 1500 miles in it from Orlando to Milwaukee and then another 1000 from there to Charleston.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By GlassHouse69 on 6/3/2008 9:34:56 PM , Rating: 1
uh. ok.


By littlebitstrouds on 6/3/2008 4:40:29 PM , Rating: 2
Except of course all those business owners that actually need these kind of vehicles. Cause my Dad owns an SUV for his sign business... and this has hurt his business more than you can imagine.

Not sure why people like to assume that every SUV owner is an irresponsible consumer. But yes, I hope this rids the market of those specific consumers. But remember that Ford and other truck manufactures understand that people will always buy trucks. It's whether or not they take responsibility to manufacture more effeciant vehicles so that once they get said truck, they can use it without going bankrupt just trying to drive the damn thing.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By msheredy on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By HaZaRd2K6 on 6/3/2008 5:42:07 PM , Rating: 1
Was that really necessary?

Bitter SUV owner, I assume?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By FITCamaro on 6/3/2008 5:02:44 PM , Rating: 3
Pot. Meet kettle.

Some people do actually need large trucks and SUVs. A co-worker of mine has a large Dodge Ram because his son has to sleep in an iron lung at night. He needs the truck to get it around if needed.

Plenty of people here at work have boats. Try to tow one with a Civic or Accord.

I will admit that there are plenty of people out there driving large trucks and SUVs purely to look cool or as a status symbol. But this is America and you have that freedom. At least for now. If the eco-liberals had their way the sales of trucks and SUVs would be banned.

And you're the idiot if you're looking forward to $5/gallon gas. Instead you should be looking forward to the day we finally start pumping our own oil and the gas prices come down.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/3/2008 5:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And you're the idiot if you're looking forward to $5/gallon gas. Instead you should be looking forward to the day we finally start pumping our own oil and the gas prices come down.


Of course. Its easy to have his opinion when your living at home with mom and pops paying little to no bills of your own.

Gas prices effect everyone. Not just SUV owners. Or is there some super cheap gas that only small car drivers get to use ?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Doormat on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/3/2008 6:34:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What makes you think pumping our own oil will make a difference? If anything it'll just make the landowners richer (who are probably rich already) and do nothing to bring the price down.


Good one. I'm sure out in the ocean where our large reserves are, someone owns that " land " ? Or how about ANWR ? Last I checked it doesn't have a specific landowner.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Doormat on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Doormat on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/2008 7:38:17 PM , Rating: 2
> "Thats where we disagree."

It's not a matter of opinion; it's simple fact. Supply lowers price, plain and simple. Now, if the supply increase is relatively small, prices may not go actually decline; they'll simply rise less slowly. But the next effect is the same. Increases in supply act to lower prices.

The more oil on the market, the lower the price will be. Had we drilled in ANWR 10 years ago, oil prices now would not be $130/bbl. Were we to start drilling today, oil prices a decade from now will be lower than they otherwise will.

There's no arguing this very basic point.

> "We cut our demand by 7% and prices didn't flinch, they just continued to go up"

But we didn't reduce our demand by 7% except briefly for a month...not even enough time for stockpiles to recover. Our usage figures this year are below:

2008-Jan 01/04 9,304
2008-Feb 02/01 8,916
2008-Mar 03/07 9,131
2008-Apr 04/04 9,286
2008-May 05/02 9,311

> "So who is buying? China and other countries around the world continue to industrialize and become westernized, their demand will go up"

That's just the point. Their demand is outside of our control. If the US (or anyone else in the world) increases supply, prices will be lower than they otherwise would be.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Doormat on 6/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By MadMaster on 6/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/4/2008 12:44:15 AM , Rating: 3
Brazil is just beginning the process of sniffing around new fields that will likely end up giving them larger reserves than Saudi Arabia could've ever dreamed of.

After ANWR, maybe then Dem's would let us drill more in the Gulf?

Then perhaps off California? (Whose refusal to allow natural gas projects forced Dow Chemical to move all new investment overseas, mostly to Saudi Arabia. Zero US investment from Dow moving forward. Thanks, Cali.)

We haven't even nosed around Antartica, maybe we'll even get lucky there. I doubt Africa has even begun to be fully exploited as well, though the violence has to be quelled.

Here:
quote:
the quantity of undiscovered technically recoverable resources ranges from 66.6 to 115.3 billion barrels of oil and 326.4 to 565.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

http://www.mms.gov/revaldiv/RedNatAssessment.htm

I read that as a total of about 160 billion BOE sitting, waiting, untapped here in the US.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By nofranchise on 6/4/2008 6:44:02 AM , Rating: 1
And none of you can see the slightest problem with drilling for oil in a wildlife reserve(ANWR = Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - that acronym sure is handy), let alone Antarctica - which btw is still a non national zone, where no nation has the right to drill. If the US start "sniffing" around Antarctica, there will be serious international trouble.

But I reckon you just don't care.

Am I right?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By arazok on 6/4/2008 8:43:20 AM , Rating: 2
What is the problem with drilling in ANWR? People act as if drilling will obliterate all life in the area. I have no doubt that if you were to pump all the oil in ANWR, the moose with their pretty antlers would still be there.

If anything, we should be drilling the arctic regions FIRST. Compared to the more temperate regions of the earth, they are void of life.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 11:27:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What is the problem with drilling in ANWR? People act as if drilling will obliterate all life in the area. I have no doubt that if you were to pump all the oil in ANWR, the moose with their pretty antlers would still be there.


Interesting true story.

When the Alaskan pipeline was first proposed there was some strong opposition to it from the environmentalists. The concern was the project would wipe out the Caribou heard there. Thankfully common sense won out over activism and they built the pipeline.

So what happened to the Caribou ? Their population growth rates EXPLODED after the pipeline was built. Because the pipeline was warm and carried a small amount of heat with it. The Caribou loved it and bred like rabbits.

Its amazing how adaptive most species of animals are to our presence. We see it every day and don't think of it. There is no doubt that if done right, which you know it would have to be these days, that drilling in ANWR would not create a ecological disaster.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 12:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When the Alaskan pipeline was first proposed there was some strong opposition to it from the environmentalists. The concern was the project would wipe out the Caribou heard there. Thankfully common sense won out over activism and they built the pipeline.
Environmentalists have a long and glorious tradition of failed predictions of disaster, starting all the way back with Rachel Carlson's "A Silent Spring", which predicted the worldwide extermination of all birds from pesticide pollution...a book still praised to the skies, despite its inane premise.

In fact, all the predictions of the '60s and '70s failed utterly -- overpopulation causing rampant starvation, shortages of metals, overfishing depopulating the oceans, acid rain wiping out the forests, even global cooling. You'd think people would learn, wouldn't you ?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/4/2008 3:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And none of you can see the slightest problem with drilling for oil in a wildlife reserve(ANWR = Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - that acronym sure is handy), let alone Antarctica - which btw is still a non national zone, where no nation has the right to drill. If the US start "sniffing" around Antarctica, there will be serious international trouble.


First of all, the area their interested in is 2000 acres. That's almost nothing. Second, have you seen pictures of this place? It's barren frozen wasteland.

As for Antartica, it's a 'non national zone' for one simple reason; at the time, nobody could see economic value in battling the harsh climate.

quote:
But I reckon you just don't care.


At $130 / barrel, if you hold down Santa's reindeer, I'll put the drill bit through him myself.

But besides not caring, unlike the environmental left, I realize that the environmental damage will be almost nil.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 11:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
First of all, the area their interested in is 2000 acres. That's almost nothing. Second, have you seen pictures of this place? It's barren frozen wasteland.


I don't know. He made a pretty compelling argument. What with all the " lions, tigers, gentle wolves and bears " just sitting right on the spot we need to drill awaiting their " slaughter ".

I can see the foreman now " Ok boys, before we can prep this land for drilling get your shotguns from our weapons locker and clear out all these animals standing on our site ! "


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By hubajube on 6/4/2008 12:57:29 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Don't be silly. The high estimates for ANWR run up to 16 billion barrels if one includes the offshore reserves as well, and production from ANWR would be in the 1M bbl/day range. That's 43 years of oil -- pumping at a rate that would substantially reduce both prices, as well as our demand on foreign oil.
QFT.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 12:05:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Considering that the estimates say that ANWR only has about 530 days of oil at current US consumption levels,


Thats a flat out lie.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/3/2008 7:54:32 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
we're in a train


Your entire post is a theoretical train wreck, unless you can prove the demand curve is vertical. That's the only way I can see any of it is valid, but the demand curve cleary is not vertical. I'm not trying to be mean, you're just using supply and demand theory all wrong.

quote:
The only way the US would see a meaningful reduction in prices soon (read: more than a few cents here or there) will be if we drilled our own oil AND socialized the companies doing the drilling and refining so the oil stays here in America and ends up cheaper than the market value.


If we did that, it'd be wasteful when we could take that same supply and sell it on international markets for far higher values. Private oil firms face effective tax rates well over 40% as it is; they're half-socialized as they are. The gains to be had from going all the way would probably even be negative, based on the performance of Pemex.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Doormat on 6/3/2008 9:03:27 PM , Rating: 2
What I'm trying to say is that the worldwide consumption isn't tied to the current price of oil. If it gets pumped it gets used. I point again to the lack of increased inventory on the world market.

On the supply and demand curve, we're floating below the optimum price to charge. We're not on the lines, rather underneath them, which is how you can assert that the curve is vertical - we keep traveling up on the s/d graph because we're not at the top of the curve. We're below the lines because its not a free market - countries are subsidizing the price of oil and not engaging in the typical supply/demand scenarios you see in econ 101.

So as long we're under the curve, adding supply wont do us any good, because we're still trying to find where the optimum (maximum) price is .

Where is the optimum price? I have no clue. It could be 150, it could be 250. It could be even higher than that.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/2008 9:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
> "What I'm trying to say is that the worldwide consumption isn't tied to the current price of oil."

Of course it is. What you're missing is the latency in the process. When oil prices rise, people have a hard time cutting back immediately....but over time, they buy smaller cars (as this article attests), buy houses closer to their workplaces, etc. Those changes take years to take effect...but they can and do.

People in China, India, or anywhere else are no different. When the price of oil rises, they look for alternatives. The reduction in demand isn't immediate, but the effect still exists.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By smitty3268 on 6/3/2008 10:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're missing the point here. Demand is clearly correlated to price, and people will cut back as prices rise. But what about the Indian villager who just bought a car for the 1st time? He can't cut back on oil by definition, since he hadn't bought any at all before. The more people there are in the world who can afford some basic 1st-world necessities, the more oil is going to be used, period. At least until some point where oil costs so much that it starts putting it actually out of reach for those new consumers, and we aren't anywhere near that point right now. Tons and tons of money is flowing into China and India, and demand there is going to keep rising for AT LEAST the next decade. It's pretty hard to imagine it stopping then, either, without some truly shocking world developments taking place.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By hubajube on 6/4/2008 1:01:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's pretty hard to imagine it stopping then, either, without some truly shocking world developments taking place.
This is where you're missing the point. It's not about "imagining" anything. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it won't. Some of you act like you want the world to struggle for your own personal self-satisfaction. How cold, callous and cruel.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By smitty3268 on 6/4/2008 1:24:04 AM , Rating: 2
WTF? Sorry, I guess I don't see what you're trying to say.

Saying it's hard to imagine prices will go down in real terms rather than relative makes me callous and cruel?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Doormat on 6/3/2008 9:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
(forgot to respond to this part)

If we did that, it'd be wasteful when we could take that same supply and sell it on international markets for far higher values. Private oil firms face effective tax rates well over 40% as it is; they're half-socialized as they are. The gains to be had from going all the way would probably even be negative, based on the performance of Pemex.

That was my point. I'm not a fan of socialized government, but the only way to get lower prices now would be to these crazy ideas that involve preventing the sale of US drilled oil on the open market. Effectively subsidizing our own oil.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By wempa on 6/4/2008 1:24:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
We cut our demand by 7% and prices didn't flinch, they just continued to go up. Increasing supply would have the same effect - prices wouldn't flinch. Why? Because there are enough people around the world who will continue to buy oil at the current price and aren't concerned about it going higher, they will still consume. They might consume slightly less, but they wont be able to turn off the spigot. Oil prices wont stop climbing until there aren't any more buyers at the current price and stockpiles begin to increase.


Well, first of all, the prices did change ..... on crude oil anyway. The prices didn't change all that much due to all of the speculation on the oil futures. Yes, we changed our habits, but investors are looking ahead. They see demand continuing to rise, therefore the prices will remain high. If we all of sudden found a lot places to get oil, you'd see that number start coming down as the speculators see the increase in supply.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By smitty3268 on 6/3/2008 7:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Reduced prices are an inevitable result of increased supply.

Only if the increased supply outstrips the increased demand. And the oil we pump would be entering the global market with lots of new demand coming from the developing world, not just the local American market, so it makes sense that it would only slow the rise of prices rather than actually lowering them.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Alexvrb on 6/3/2008 8:06:06 PM , Rating: 3
Demand isn't completely locked step-for-step with supply in this (and most) cases. We don't have a big shortage of gas, and we know gas isn't selling below equilibrium. The demand in developing markets is going to increase whether or not supply increases. But if supply is increased, we'll reach equilibrium at a lower price than if supply is not increased. That doesn't necessarily mean that the price you see at the station will actually go down, but it would be lower than it would be if supply remained unchanged. In other words, the price would rise more slowly. Masher already said as much, but it must have gone unnoticed (plus I think he had a typo, said less "less slowly" or something IIRC).


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By smitty3268 on 6/3/2008 9:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
Uhm, thank you. That's exactly what I said.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Lightning III on 6/3/2008 8:34:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not banned just more heavely taxed


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Stan11003 on 6/3/2008 10:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
Boat? Who heck really needs a boat. Creditors will own this country soon if they don't already. Not to mention a boat uses up more gas than any car or suv.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By FITCamaro on 6/4/2008 6:16:29 AM , Rating: 1
Who the hell are you to decide if someone needs a boat? I don't want or need a boat. As such, I don't have one. A lot of the guys at my office who have them like to go fishing, water sking, etc. This is America and they're free to buy and use what they feel like. If they can afford a boat and the gas to go in it, then thats their business. And most of the guys who've got boats at my office own them, not making payments. They're mostly retired ex-Air Force.

I really hate people like you who think they should be able to decide what other people should be allowed to own. I personally think it doesn't make sense to own a large truck or SUV right now if you really don't need it. But I would never say that people shouldn't be allowed to buy them. If you can afford it, by all means. If you can't, well, don't complain about the price of gas. I'm tired of this attitude that we need to be saved from ourselves by limiting our choices and bailing us out whenever we do something stupid.

The housing situation is a perfect example. Tons of dumb people who bought more than they coul6d afford and are now paying the price. But they won't if the Dems have their way since they'll just bail people out and put this country further in debt to do it. How about these people lose their houses and learn their lesson. Sure it'll suck but thats what they get. People need to relearn how to take responsibility for their own actions. Hell, look at this most recent lawsuit with an 8 year old girl eating some steel ball bearings and magnets. It says on the box "DON'T EAT!" but they're going to sue and try to get the product pulled from the shelves. And with the legal system the way it is today, they'll probably win.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Spuke on 6/5/2008 12:58:29 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, you got rated down for that? I thought you made excellent points. I guess the sheeple out there don't like truth. There are some people out there with seriously distorted egos. Why would someone think it's ok to tell another person how they can live their life is beyond understanding. But I suppose if I had a huge ego, I would understand perfectly.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By crimson117 on 6/4/2008 12:55:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and if big-oil lovers like you had their way, we'd all be forced to keep our cars running overnight with our kids breathing the exhaust.

See, I can make straw man arguments, too.

--

Actually, people who want less oil consumption and better gas mileage are eco-convervatives . We want to keep the ecosystem the way it is (or was!) - unpolluted, unmolested by man. You're just calling us eco-liberals because Ann Coulter has convinced you that anything you think is undesirable must be some kind of "Liberal".

--

Yes this is America and you have that "freedom" but it's not without its consequences. And your freedom to guzzle gas stops at the point where it starts to harm others, either by interfering with my freedom to breathe fresh air, swim in clean water, or not pay for a war to get more oil for you to guzzle.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 1:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the main reason people like you are dismissively called " Liberals " is because you make purely emotionally based arguments grounded in myth and nonsense. After fighting so many and realizing that your not getting through to them, its just easier to label you something so we can move on.

quote:
We want to keep the ecosystem the way it is (or was!) - unpolluted, unmolested by man. You're just calling us eco-liberals because Ann Coulter has convinced you that anything you think is undesirable must be some kind of "Liberal".


No, hes calling you an eco liberal because you just said you wanted us to go back to wearing loin cloths and living in a mud hut. Its pretty simple.

quote:
And your freedom to guzzle gas stops at the point where it starts to harm others, either by interfering with my freedom to breathe fresh air, swim in clean water,


Another classic liberal stance. Using guilt and unfounded ecological claims to demonize everyday good honest normal people. Who are just trying to get on with their lives. Gas isn't a freedom, or a right. Its a NEED. People need it. People need to buy it, therefore we NEED people who will sell it to us. I can't put it anymore basic than that.

Hypocrisy is a main side effect of being a Liberal. I would wager that you consume no less oil or natural resources than the person your attacking for doing so. What makes you people so much better than everyone else ?

quote:
or not pay for a war to get more oil for you to guzzle.


It doesn't get more Liberal than the " War for Oil " talking point. Nothing flies in the face of logic or proof that there IS no oil from the war like a well placed emotionally based slander.

Honestly you guys aren't even hard anymore. Your damn sure not original. I swear sometimes I think there is a big giant Idiot Incorporated factory somewhere where you're all stamped from the same mold.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Spuke on 6/5/2008 1:09:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What makes you people so much better than everyone else ?
Because they said so, that's why. We are "unguided missiles". We need to be directed. We don't know any better. These people know better and they're here to help us. All we have to do is follow their lead.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Hiawa23 on 6/3/2008 5:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
I bought a Mitsu Lancer Ralliart, back in 06, love it, but had to pull out the old 11 year old Honda Civic which has 220000 miles on it & the damn thing still gets over 30 mpgs, & runs great. On the sticker of the 06 Lancer, 2.4 liter engine it read 29mpg hwy, but it aint getting 29 I don't care how you drive it so I can see how the Hondas & Toyotas are outselling the Ford trucks. Many Americans just can't afford the gas them anymore, & it stil troubles me that the people who are supposed to be running our country did not see this coming & did very little to combat this the last 20 or so years, & make us energy independant of foreign oil. We are supposed to be the greatest country, but our President had to beg the Arabs to increase production & of course they gave him the finger. I just hope someone finds an answer soon as many Americans are hurting, & now food is higher, energy costs are higher, & I kind of agree with Obama's wife, caue it's things like this that make me not very proud at all of what they have allowed to happen to this great land. SUV owners are dumping them as fast as they can but many of them owe so much on the vehicles they are not worth anything close to that. I feel for em. God Bless em, I don't know what the answer is but I hope someone finds it soons for all of our sakes or life as we know it is going to change tenfold in the coming months, years...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By hcahwk19 on 6/3/2008 6:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that, but 14 years ago, the Republican House and Senates both passed a bill to open up domestic drilling, specifically in ANWR in Alaska. But, good ol' Slick Willy vetoed it. His claim, in line with the environmental fascist groups, was that if we started drilling in ANWR, we would not see that oil come online and get into the market for 10 years, and we would hurt the wildlife there. Conservative geological survey estimates place ANWR supplies at around 10% of our oil needs at first, and rising to over 20% at peak production, on top of the nearly 20% that Alaska provides in oil and natural gas already. If that bill had not been vetoed, we would have had oil from ANWR for the past four years. Today, the same argument is being made as was made 14 years ago. "It isn't worth it, because it will take 10 years to see real production." The EPA just placed the polar bear on the threatened species list for the sole purpose of preventing mineral exploration in Alaska. The polar bear numbers have gone from 5000 to over 25,000 in the last 30 years, making it one of the only, if not the only, species to be placed on the list after numbers have dramatically gone up.

On top of this, because of the ridiculous regulations put in place by the EPA and other liberal controlled agencies nationwide, we have not had a refinery built in this country in over 30 years. We just had the first application for a new nuclear power plant in 30 years submitted a couple months ago.

Then you have the pathetic Democrats in Washington parading the oil company executives up and down the Capitol. They have no evidence to support their claims of gouging and manipulation, yet they try to force the oil companies to defend their businesses. As usual, the real blame lies on the other end of the Democrats' finger pointing, right at themselves. 99% of the time, if you take a claim made by a Democrat and then turn it 175 degrees, you will be much closer to the truth. If a Democrat is blaming someone for something, 99% of the time, it is the Democrat that is actually doing it. They want to tax the oil companies even more than the 55% they are already taxed, in order to punish them for high oil prices and the oil companies across the board profits of 8%. If my business only made an 8% profit, I would be looking for another job. Do the Democrats actually think that this will lower oil prices? All that will happen is what always happens with corporate taxes: THEY ARE PASSED TO THE CONSUMER!! Oil prices will only go up with these stupid policies in place.

We have the Democrats in Washington wanting to impose a Cap and Trade system on all industries. Washington will determine what an "acceptable" level of carbon emissions is for each industry. If a company goes over their "alloted" amount, then they can buy credits from a company that is under their alloted amount of carbon emissions. Of course this will never work, as Europe is proving more every day. All this system does is increase the corruption in our government, and squash economic production. Only those with a lot of money will be able to bribe the government officials in order to get more "alloted" carbon credits for their company.

All I can say is "Thank you democrats and liberals. Your idiotic policies and your cowering to hardline environmental groups has caused energy prices to skyrocket with no end in sight."


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By kilkennycat on 6/3/2008 8:02:21 PM , Rating: 1
There is a dirty word in the US dictionary:-

C..O..N..S..E..R..V..A..T..I..O..N....

And the only truly effective mechanism to force conservation is by taxation, as the Europeans discovered over 50 years ago.

Many years prior to the discovery of North Sea oil, the Western European countries had ZERO native oil resources and used HEAVY TAXATION on both fuel and vehicles (tax scaled by engine-capacity) as both a revenue-generating AND conservation (of import-cost) weapon. ( Such monies are dedicated to general fund usage, ranging through health, education and community infra-structure.) Hence the emergence of the vast majority of fuel-sipping vehicles in Europe, which has continued to the present day. The Europeans alao invested heavily in nuclear power-generation.

When North Sea oil was discovered in the 60's, the European countries did NOT change their vehicle/fuel tax-structures. North Sea oil was projected to last only 35 years, so the Euro countries took the opportunity of this extra revenue to straighten out their economies, generating budget surpluses instead of deficits...instead of handing the money to their motorists. Out of this extra wealth, the European Community was also born, now the world's most powerful economy.

European Community prices for gasoline currently range from ~ $7 per US gallon thru $10 per US gallon. The difference from the US price per gallon is solely attributable to the higher European taxes.

The conservation lessons in the US from the Arab oil crisis of 1973 were totally forgotten ten years later. A generation of gas-guzzling Americans has grown up and forgotten those lessons. And in that time, US consumerism has also been rampant. In terms of total deficit, US is the world's biggest debtor nation. Now that cheap oil is no longer available, there is all this wailing and gnashing of teeth. And China has ~ $1.5 trillion US dollars (from our excess spending) which they can spend at any time they choose to bolster their oil reserves...and keep the price high.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/3/2008 8:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
That argument collapses due to your reliance on the idea that European countries are somehow an economic powerhouse. If you look at tiny population slivers of countries, like Luxembourg, or the oil rich Scandinavians, then sure, they look decent.

But if you compare the US economic performance over the last 50 years to France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Greece, for example, there is no comparison. They're socialist disasters.

What is worse for your argument is that European politicians openly admit they know they need free market reforms, but don't know how to get re-elected afterwords.

Amusing that you even imply budget surpluses as being common in Europe; France and Italy's deficits alone, as a share of GDP, makes our look tiny! They border on being ruinous. If you think America has unfunded liabilities over the next 30-50 years, take a gander at what France and Germany face. It's downright scary.

You are at least right on nuclear power.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By FITCamaro on 6/4/2008 6:35:00 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully soon with the cost of electricity likely to skyrocket in the next few years, Americans will stop supporting the eco-nazis against nuclear power. Nuclear power is clean, efficient, and its cost per kW does not change over time. Unlike oil.

America needs to be a nuclear nation. It will not only slash our oil use, but it will also clean up our air and provide the power we need pretty much forever as long as we use reprocessing. And it will do it affordably. Both for companies and consumers.

Yes there is always the chance of an accident. But there are only two examples of such incidents. One was due to a horrible design and non-existent standards. The other was simply a mistake. We should not live paralyzed in fear of progress because of two mistakes that happened decades ago. Other countries have shown it can be done.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By 16nm on 6/4/2008 10:18:19 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with nuclear is that it is not a renewable source of energy. We will run out of uranium/plutonium one day and have another energy crisis on our hands if we rely too heavily on nuclear energy. If we can figure out how to live on mostly renewable sources then we will be much better off.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 10:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
> "We will run out of uranium/plutonium one day "

Yes, in about ten thousand years...then we simply switch to reactors based on thorium, an element about three times more prevalent on earth than uranium.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By 16nm on 6/4/2008 12:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
That's a pretty long time. Would it be economical to extract all this uranium? Would we be in the same pickle we are now if we relied on nuclear the way we do on oil?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 12:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
The price of uranium fuel itself is a neglible component of nuclear energy prices. I didn't even take into account future improvements in extraction and refining technology....any fuel source able to last us longer than all of recorded human history is essentially infinite, as far as mankind is concerned.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Penti on 6/3/2008 9:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
EC was born out of the coal and steel community that created the coal and steel union. In 52 the north sea oil hadn't bin found and UK didn't join the EC before 73 neither did Denmark, Norway is still not an member of the european community. Norway is just an EEA member. Neither are any of the north sea countries any euro(€)-countries. It got absolutely nothing to do with the eurozone, the euro, or the general wealth of EU or europe. The only economy that has generated any significant funds from the North Sea oil is Norway, surpluses are put into the so called petroleum fund ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Petroleum_Fund_of... ), the pension fund now holds more then 380 billion USD and btw they got practically 100% hydropower. The eurozone-countries are the coal and nuclear countries, they also import there oil, natural gas etc which are there main source of energy.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Penti on 6/3/2008 9:48:42 PM , Rating: 1
So continuing.

Get your history straight Denmark and the UK are not exporting huge amount of oil, they are only self sufficient, denmark exports a small amount, they didn't join the EC until 73 (EC was created in 1958), they are not eurozone-countries and they aren't the economic powers of the EU that holds up the Euro. And they aren't the only european countries with high gas taxes.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 12:33:29 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
There is a dirty word in the US dictionary:-

C..O..N..S..E..R..V..A..T..I..O..N....


Generally because whenever the word is generally used to push a change that would lower our quality of life.

quote:
And the only truly effective mechanism to force conservation is by taxation, as the Europeans discovered over 50 years ago.


I rest my case. You think this is a good thing ?


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By sinful on 6/3/2008 11:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As usual, the real blame lies on the other end of the Democrats' finger pointing, right at themselves. 99% of the time, if you take a claim made by a Democrat and then turn it 175 degrees, you will be much closer to the truth. If a Democrat is blaming someone for something, 99% of the time, it is the Democrat that is actually doing it. They want to tax the oil companies even more than the 55% they are already taxed, in order to punish them for high oil prices and the oil companies across the board profits of 8%.


Do you have some some of random crap generator, or do you really believe this?
A 55% tax rate?

Funny how that magically then only translates into a 12% tax on gas. 72%+ of the cost of gas is directly the result of the price of crude.
(http://auto.howstuffworks.com/gas-price1.htm)

Not only that, but the whole premise of your argument is flawed.
You're saying taxes are to blame for the high prices of gas?
But wait, we have a republican president, and his goal is to LOWER TAXES as much as possible. In fact, if anything, Bush's administration will go down as having some of the lowest taxes in history.
So... lowest taxes in history...Meanwhile, gas prices are at record high levels?

Something doesn't add up!

Solution: Blame the democrats! Or the terrorists!! It's certainly not any of Bush's idiotic economic policies...

quote:
All I can say is "Thank you democrats and liberals. Your idiotic policies and your cowering to hardline environmental groups has caused energy prices to skyrocket with no end in sight."


Riiigghhhhttt..
Let's take a look at gas prices:
Average U.S. Gasoline Prices
Year/Price Per Gallon
1980 $1.22
1985 $1.96
1990 $1.22
1995 $1.21
2000 $1.56
2001 $1.53
2002 $1.44
2003 $1.64
2004 $1.92
2005 $2.34
2006 $2.63
2007 $2.85
2008 (to April) $3.24

Looks to me like gas prices have been fairly steady until 2003.
Why did they suddenly start going up in 2004? Did evil Democrats take over? Did some hippie like Al Gore take over? Nope. Bush happened. Again.

Oh, and as much as you'd like to blame Democrats for somehow sabotaging everything, even John McCain voted against drilling in ANWR.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=980...

And of course, the Republican solution to everything is to keep the Republicans in power. How this fixes anything, well they haven't got that far yet.

Just don't think too hard about the correlation between 8 years of Republican policies and a tanking economy. It's obviously the fault of something Democrats did 14 years ago ... under Bill Clinton, who somehow enjoyed one of the strongest economies the US has seen in a long time.

Funny how anything good is magically attributed to Republicans, but well into a Republican term things start going downhill and it's somehow the fault of something a Democrat did or didn't do 14 years ago.
Amazing.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By sinful on 6/4/2008 11:15:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hope you're not the type of Democrat who forgets all of history prior to 1992 when Clinton took office. We have the second highest corporate tax rates in the developed world right now, after 7 years of Bush, and our tax rates are vastly higher than probably most of US history.


We also have the most tax loopholes in the corporate tax rate in the entire world.

And if corporate taxes are such a burden to US Corporations, doesn't that mean Bush is doing a terrible job by not lowering them? Let me guess: somehow it's Clinton's fault?

quote:
I know liberals like to blame Bush for everything, but unless he carpet-nuked all of Asia, he could've done little to stop what has happened.


It's only fair, as conservatives like to blame Democrats for everything - even when they're not in power!
Exactly what year does Clinton become absolved from blame for things, and Bush take responsibility? In 14 years, will you be saying "This was CLEARLY George Bush's fault!"?
I doubt it. You'll probably still be blaming Clinton.

quote:
As a voter, all I actually care about is sound economic policy, based on, you know.. real economic theory.

And you vote Republican?????

quote:
If Democrats could cite solid cause-effect evidence of any Bush policy harming the economy, it'd be all over the left-wing news.

Direct evidence in terms of the economy in the real world is nearly impossible to come up with. Too many variables, too many unknowns, too long of a time period, unknown consequences, etc.

However, it seems apparent that Massive Deficit spending is a poor policy.
Massive Deficit spending weakens the value of the dollar. The price of oil is tied to the value of the dollar. The price of oil skyrockets, consumer confidence plummets.
Consumer spending goes down, the economy goes into a recession.

Republicans and Conservatives all try to say Clinton "just got lucky". But a lot of that "luck" was the result of consumer confidence. People believe, wrongly or rightly, that paying off the national debt strengthens the economy.

People also believe that pouring billions into the hole called Iraq - while simultaneous slashing taxes - is bad for the economy.

In other words, if Mr. Bean was elected president, you would almost assuredly see a "business cycle" that leads to a major recession.
OTOH, if Alan Greenspan were put in charge, you'd see people go "Oh, he knows a LOT about the economy, I can finally buy that new car because the economy is sure to rebound!"

In other words, in some ways it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Most people don't have faith in Bush as a leader; ergo, if our economy flourishes it will be in spite of him, not because of him.

quote:
Either it was a business cycle, Clinton's fault, or Bush managed to ravage a national economy in mere weeks. I'd go with 'business cycle'.

Partly true, but people also knew Clinton was going out of office long before that. And a choice of Gore or Bush? Neither had to be elected yet for consumer confidence to fall.
Charisma, optimism, and consumer confidence can have a impact on the economy even before a single policy is put into effect. When Bush was elected, a huge portion of the population thought he cheated his way into office; they thought he's barely literate, etc. etc. Many people I know expected that bad leadership was inevitable, and invested accordingly.

quote:
Democrats admit the demand for oil is highly inelastic. Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat) accused Saudi Arabia of holding back on the spigot, claiming 1 million bpd would lower prices 20 to 25%. Indirectly, even a Democrat agrees with Republicans. Though, if it were 1m bpd from ANWR, Schumer would probably claim the effect would be mere pennies. OH WAIT! He did just about a month ago claim 1m ppd from ANWR would lower the cost of gas by a penny!


Nice way of glossing over the facts.

You're talking about the difference between artificially reducing the supply, which could be increased in 1 day, and DRILLING and BUILDING the infrastructure to access oil in Alaska, much of it under the ocean.

C'mon now - if you could magically drill everything and build the pipelines to move that oil to where it needs to go in a single day, you might have a point.

But it would take forever for it to come online... like 10 years or something.
Oh. Hrmmmmm.

And even then, the impact that ANWR oil would have on prices is (obviously) debatable. You're just assuming they could get that much oil that fast in that time frame.

Obama, Clinton (both of them), and McCain all voted against drilling in ANWR. Bush is the only one that thinks its a good idea.
I think most people would say Bush has the least economic smarts of all of them.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/5/2008 12:10:25 AM , Rating: 2
A big, long post, full of emotion, but no references to data, established economic theory, etc. Just empty accusations.

quote:
Too many variables, too many unknowns, too long of a time period, unknown consequences, etc.


Two possibilities. You have zero understanding of economics but can't accept yielding credibility on economics (which is virtually all I focus on, since thats what I know), or you do understand that the overwhelming majority of economic indicators are quite strong and thus want to dismiss them - like the ADP jobs report for May that estimates 40k growth. Job growth at these low levels of employment, nearly full employment, is impressive. Granted, ADP doesn't correlate all that hot with the official numbers, but they end up being in the same ball-park.

There are economists like yourself, though, left-wing apologists. They look like even bigger tools. NBER trotted out an economist after the Q1 numbers came out, and he said that they were bunk, they'd get revised way down, and that Q4 would even end up being revised negative. He looked like about how your post does after Q1's numbers got a 50% upward revision.

quote:
In other words, in some ways it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Consumer confidence was quite high in December -- right before the left-wing media carpet-bombed the nightly news with recession fears in preperation for the election year. A recession, mind you, that data suggests never has happened and now likely will not. Consumer confidence can be self-fulfilling, but it's also a lagging indicator and it's also not completely reliable in that American's have the fantastic ability to believe the universe is collapsing -- while simultaneously driving to the nearest shopping mall.

quote:
You're talking about the difference between artificially reducing the supply, which could be increased in 1 day, and DRILLING and BUILDING the infrastructure to access oil in Alaska, much of it under the ocean.


Wrong. Schumer didn't want a one day increase from Saudi Arabia, and ANWR wouldn't be a one day increase. Of course, it's a moot point since Clinton's veto in the 90s means ANWR isn't here today, but the point was that 1 million barrels per day from two different locations for a Democrat equates to two radically different market impacts.

quote:
I think most people would say Bush has the least economic smarts of all of them.


You'd likely be shocked at the number of liberal economists who grudgingly give Bush credit for decent economic performance while simultaneously hating him for Iraq and questioning his conservative principles on controlling the size of government. It's called intellectual honesty.

Final bit:

quote:
quote:

As a voter, all I actually care about is sound economic policy, based on, you know.. real economic theory.


And you vote Republican?????


Compare the Peoples Republic of Michigan's growth and unemployment over the last decade to Texas, Florida, or even Mobile, Alabama.

In fact, compare the whole country over the last year. The states faltering are almost all, without exception, Democrat run ones. The out-performers? Yep. Red-team.

I rest my case.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By sinful on 6/6/2008 10:17:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A big, long post, full of emotion, but no references to data, established economic theory, etc. Just empty accusations.


Thanks for summarizing your post for me.

quote:
Two possibilities. You have zero understanding of economics but can't accept yielding credibility on economics blah blah blah


So you're essentially saying you know exactly how to fix the economy. Wow! Arrogance...or Stupidity. Why don't we just put YOU in charge? Seems to me we've had 8 years of Republican policies and our economy is in the gutter. You blather on about how great the economy is doing, but most people would say we're in a recession.

75% of Americans think the economy is in a recession.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/17/poll.nation...

More than 50% of all Republicans even believe so.

quote:
Consumer confidence was quite high in December -- right before the left-wing media carpet-bombed the nightly news with recession fears in preperation for the election year.

blah blah blah Libural Media conspiracy!!

quote:
Wrong. Schumer didn't want a one day increase from Saudi Arabia, and ANWR wouldn't be a one day increase. Of course, it's a moot point since Clinton's veto in the 90s means ANWR isn't here today, but the point was that 1 million barrels per day from two different locations for a Democrat equates to two radically different market impacts.

Oh, of course, because you know what he wanted and what he meant, despite the obviousness to the contrary. Amazing. Keep drinking the kool aid.

Despite that, you even try to blame Clinton. Guess what, drilling in ANWR has been brought up multiple times after the fact, and been shot down - even by REPUBLICANS, and even by John McCain.

Oh and while we're contemplating "What if" scenarios, maybe our economy would never have gone downhill if a DEMOCRAT was elected. Maybe maybe maybe...

Republicans love to gloss over the fact we have a Texas "Oil baron" as president and then can't figure out why all the oil executives are making a killing.
Their solution to the problem is having more wolves guard the henhouse. Brilliant.
All they would do is make a bigger golden parachute for themselves.

Even McCain has been desperate to distance himself from Bush's failures!

quote:
You'd likely be shocked at the number of liberal economists who grudgingly give Bush credit for decent economic performance while simultaneously hating him for Iraq and questioning his conservative principles on controlling the size of government. It's called intellectual honesty.

Oh, that's right, the Liberal media are all liars, and the Democrats are all liars, but when it comes to saying good things about Bush they tell the truth.
Your fantasy land is quite amusing.

quote:
As a voter, all I actually care about is sound economic policy, based on, you know.. real economic theory.


You really need to check your facts.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_policy_of_th...

Economists, including the Treasury Secretary at the time
Paul O'Neill and 450 economists, including ten Nobel prize laureates, who contacted Bush in 2003, opposed the tax cuts on the grounds that they would fail as a growth stimulus, increase inequality and worsen the budget outlook considerably.


...
While the economy has grown under the Bush administration, growth was below average in comparison to the average for business cycles between 1949 and 2000. Overall real GDP has grown at an average annual rate of 2.5%. [10] Between 2001 and 2005, GDP growth was clocked at 2.8%, 17.6% below the average of 3.4%, while GDI (Gross Domestic Income) growth was 36% below average . The number of jobs created grew by only 6.5%, 28.5% below the average growth rate of 9.1%.

For such "sound economic policy", Bush has done nothing but underperform.

Even his own businesses have failed, gone bankrupt, etc.
He's left nothing but a trail of failure in his businesses.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 12:25:07 AM , Rating: 1
Too tired to do a point by point wall o quotes thingy.. but I gotta say Clinton just happened to be in office when the Internet money boom was taking place.

Democrats never forge good economies. Show me one traditional Democratic economic viewpoint, and I'll show you why its bad for this country.

By playing your timeline game, I point out that gas has gone up about a dollar since Democrats took congress just a short time ago. See how easy that is ?

Also the dude didn't say GAS is taxed 55%, he said the oil companies are. Which they are pretty heavily taxed. The billions in profit they made last year was a big news hit. The 1+ trillion in taxes they paid ? Not a blip.

And yeah about McCain, you guys can have him. I don't know anybody that even considers him a Republican. He damn sure isn't a conservative.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By nofranchise on 6/4/2008 6:59:53 AM , Rating: 2
Ringold and Reclaimer - a wonderful tag team

Keep telling yourself the democrats are Marxists!
Some day it might actually come true!

Hehe - you guys..

:)


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By wempa on 6/4/2008 1:53:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Too tired to do a point by point wall o quotes thingy.. but I gotta say Clinton just happened to be in office when the Internet money boom was taking place.


Amen to THAT ! I hate when idiots like to bring up Clinton's term in office and somehow correlate his presidency with the prosperity we enjoyed during those years. We could have had a monkey as president during the late 1990s and the economy would have done just as good. For the record, I don't consider myself a Republican or a Democrat.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By sinful on 6/4/2008 10:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Democrats never forge good economies. Show me one traditional Democratic economic viewpoint, and I'll show you why its bad for this country.

The same can be said for Republican policies. Most of them are good for short-term gains but ultimately destructive in long term.

quote:
Also the dude didn't say GAS is taxed 55%, he said the oil companies are. Which they are pretty heavily taxed. The billions in profit they made last year was a big news hit. The 1+ trillion in taxes they paid ? Not a blip.


And yet, very little of that "heavy tax" ends up in the net price of gas - as evidenced by the 12% tax amount in the cost of gas.
In other words: If we dropped the tax on those corporations from 55% to 0%, AND they passed all that savings on directly to the consumer, it'd only be a SMALL decrease in the cost of gas.

If that's the case, complaining about the tax rate is a moot point.

quote:
By playing your timeline game, I point out that gas has gone up about a dollar since Democrats took congress just a short time ago. See how easy that is ?

Yes, because drawing conclusions from a multi-year trend is the same as drawing conclusions from a multi-month trend.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 11:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The same can be said for Republican policies. Most of them are good for short-term gains but ultimately destructive in long term.


Unfounded nonsense. There is nothing " ultimately destructive " about empowering individuals. Lower taxes. Private sector growth and smaller government. Economic freedom. Do any of these sound destructive to you ?

quote:
If that's the case, complaining about the tax rate is a moot point.


I think your confusing pointing out facts with complaining. Who's complaining ?

quote:
Yes, because drawing conclusions from a multi-year trend is the same as drawing conclusions from a multi-month trend.


Economic trends are just that, trends. I was simply proving how easy it is to manipulate data. Libs and Dems do this all the time and nobody calls them on it. " X happened when Bush was in office, clearly thats the reason "


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By sinful on 6/5/2008 12:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unfounded nonsense. There is nothing " ultimately destructive " about empowering individuals. Lower taxes. Private sector growth and smaller government. Economic freedom. Do any of these sound destructive to you ?


Speaking of nonsense... you might as well be saying "happiness and kittens!".
All nice words but they don't relate to Republican policies at all.

Small government? Have you looked at the Bush administration?
We're spending more money than any pork-barrel, big-government that Democrats could even dream of.
And when the evil Democrats do it, they're at least funding it via taxes.
Bush is just printing money!

quote:
I think your confusing pointing out facts with complaining. Who's complaining ?


See this rant:
quote:
They want to tax the oil companies even more than the 55% they are already taxed, in order to punish them for high oil prices and the oil companies across the board profits of 8%. If my business only made an 8% profit, I would be looking for another job. Do the Democrats actually think that this will lower oil prices? All that will happen is what always happens with corporate taxes: THEY ARE PASSED TO THE CONSUMER!! Oil prices will only go up with these stupid policies in place.


Is that not "complaining"???


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/2008 1:04:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Small government? Have you looked at the Bush administration?


Who ever said Bush was a fiscal Conservative ? And guess what buddy, if a Democrat was in office when 911 happened he would have had to make the government just as big. The American public would not have stood for anything less.

But at least Bush kept the taxes down. Which brings us to..

quote:
And when the evil Democrats do it, they're at least funding it via taxes.


You say " at least " as if this is a good thing ? Like there is EVER a good side to raising taxes ?

quote:
Bush is just printing money!


*sigh* Do we really have to explain to you, AGAIN, that the interest rate and the federal treasury decisions are out of the presidents hands ?

quote:
Is that not "complaining"???


Nope. Hes EXPLAINING.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By sinful on 6/6/2008 11:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who ever said Bush was a fiscal Conservative ? And guess what buddy, if a Democrat was in office when 911 happened he would have had to make the government just as big. The American public would not have stood for anything less.


You have no evidence of that, nor does your theory even make sense.
Would a Democrat have gone to war with IRAQ regarding the terrorist attack? Hard to say. Afghanistan, yes. Iraq? Maybe not. However, maybe instead of starting a war on false pretenses and bogus information, they would have used the goodwill and sympathy of the world to capture Osama Bin Laden. You remember him, right? The guy we haven't caught because we've devoted nearly all our resources to Iraq?
Because ... why did we invade Iraq again? Because of terrorists? Oh, well that information was wrong. Ok, well, he had all those WMD's.... ok, well we didn't find them either.

Well, at least it made Americans safer.... oh wait, the Bush administration has admitted that Americans are now less safe because of the Iraq situation.

Thanks for bringing 9/11 up, it certainly paints Bush in a better light...
=P

quote:
You say " at least " as if this is a good thing ? Like there is EVER a good side to raising taxes ?


Yes, taxes are bad... but buying stuff with ZERO intention of paying for it is even worse.

Tell me, do you take a credit card out in your kids name, rack up a bunch of debt on it, and then go "oh, well paying it off sucks, so I'm not going to do it!"?

If you're unwilling to pay for what you're buying, then don't buy it.

And if you don't, you're just making things worse overall.
Now instead of just the debt, you've got the debt plus interest.

When this fiscal irresponsibility is done by a consumer, everyone knows it is bad. It's common sense.
But when the government does it, Republicans somehow think it's a good idea.

Taxes are nothing more than the bill for stuff we've bought.

quote:
*sigh* Do we really have to explain to you, AGAIN, that the interest rate and the federal treasury decisions are out of the presidents hands ?

Duh, Bush doesn't control the federal treasury. But he does control the income of the government, and the expenses.
*sigh*. Do I need to explain that to you AGAIN?

quote:
Nope. Hes EXPLAINING.

EXPLAINING?? What is he explaining?
"Do the Democrats actually think that this will lower oil prices?"
Is that an explanation? Sounds like whining to me.
Not only that, I basically debunked his "explanation", by showing very little of the gas price goes towards taxes.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By sinful on 6/3/2008 10:27:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The Republican party HAS seen it coming. For years. Nobody wants to listen ! Bush himself has proposed an energy plan, twice, for domestic drilling as well as alternative research. I don't even think it made it past the House.


Not ALL of the republican party....

quote:
In addition to Mr. Coleman and Mr. Smith, the other Republicans voting against drilling were Senators Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Peter G. Fitzgerald of Illinois and John McCain of Arizona .

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=980...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/3/2008 11:40:16 PM , Rating: 3
Feel free to look around any conservative website you want; the party isn't exactly thrilled that he got through the primaries.

That said, he does support absolutely rabid expansion of nuclear power.The first anti-McCain political ad I saw quite a few weeks ago, by "Friends of the Earth," trashed him for being a supporter. Among the environmentalist groups at the forefront, the ones the Democrats are beholden to, nuclear is despised.

So, win some and lose some. At least he's for something that works and is here today, opposed to technology that exists only due to extreme subsidies. I believe if the red tape and legal liability associated with nuclear plant construction was eliminated, private capital would flow in to building them without any subsidies at all. Just like a AAA-rated corporate bond, it costs a tidy sum up front, but after that, coupon nirvana.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/4/2008 1:22:07 AM , Rating: 2
> "Not ALL of the republican party..."

If you're trying to make the point that, since a few Republicans broke ranks and voted with the Democrats to block developing ANWR, that the party itself is somehow to blame for it, you're going to have a hard road to hoe.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By sinful on 6/5/2008 12:36:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you're trying to make the point that, since a few Republicans broke ranks and voted with the Democrats to block developing ANWR, that the party itself is somehow to blame for it, you're going to have a hard road to hoe.


I'm just pointing out that it seems somewhat hypocritical to bash Democrats for the exact same thing the current Republican *front runner* is doing as well.

This isn't just some "random republican" breaking rank, it's *THE* Republican breaking rank.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/2008 12:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
But hes not a Conservative. Your missing the point.

A Republican thats not conservative is no different then a Democrat. However ALL Democrats are Liberals.

This illustrates one of my main problems with the modern day Republican party, however. They are not called out when they break ranks and even join in bashing the president. McCain is an abomination to anyone calling themselves a Conservative.

Dems, if you notice, do not tolerate free thinking. If someone breaks ranks they are assaulted and then banished from the party. Remember Lieberman ? The guy was as liberal as you could get, except he made ONE fatal mistake apparently. He backed Bush when it came to the military.

I mean the guy was basically made a villain in the Democratic community simply because, on a VERY FEW issues, he voted with Republicans.

You can being up McCain all you want, but hes nothing but a Liberal who calls himself a Republican. And everyone knows it.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By sinful on 6/6/2008 11:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can being up McCain all you want, but hes nothing but a Liberal who calls himself a Republican. And everyone knows it.


LOL.
I think you've got it backwards. Republicans just use the term "Liberal" for **anyone** that they don't like or agree with.
Which pretty much includes everyone that doesn't follow a very specific belief system.

Democrats are absurdly accepting - until it comes to supporting Bush.
Which makes sense, since Bush is practically the anti-liberal. It's like a Christian going "Well, the Devil *does* have a few good points...."
That's pretty much an automatic disqualification, even if you disagree with 90% of everthing else...
;)


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By PWNettle on 6/3/2008 6:13:58 PM , Rating: 3
"it stil troubles me that the people who are supposed to be running our country did not see this coming & did very little to combat this the last 20 or so years, & make us energy independant of foreign oil"

The people who run this country make more money than we do and largely exist to help corporations make more money, not to do anything for taxpayers. The different parties just influence who's getting all the money.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By nofranchise on 6/4/2008 7:04:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The people who run this country make more money than we do and largely exist to help corporations make more money, not to do anything for taxpayers. The different parties just influence who's getting all the money.


Now that's the truth right there.

Ouch - it stings just a bit doesn't it?

It's hardcore CAPITALISM BABY! Yeah!

*prepares to be tag teamed by the immaculate double R*


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2008 11:19:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's hardcore CAPITALISM BABY! Yeah!


" hardcore capitalism " was in place when gas was dirt cheap, for decades, as well. Are we forgetting that ? Of course taxes on gas and oil company profits were much less as well. Go figure.

I love how people like you ignore the prosperity of the past that was a direct result of our 'hardcore capitalism' and suddenly bring up the evil money grubbing corporations when things get rocky. As if they just suddenly appeared from nowhere and started making everyones lives worst off.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By BansheeX on 6/4/2008 12:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
Capitalism is individual/private control of capital. Socialism is "communal" i.e. government ownership of capital. I would think you would want to keep most of your own money and not have others claiming ownership of the assets that you work to earn, making decisions on what to buy for yourself and children with money you earned, etc. It would certainly prevent a lot of crazy wars, lobbying, and monetary problems to simply have government FOLLOWING SUPREME LAW (read it sometime, it helps to know how you're being screwed), protecting the infringement of rights, providing recourse with courts, and assuming a role in non-interventionist national defense.

Does government power interfere monetarily with free market activities? Sure. And that's the problem, which you're misattributing to companies themselves rather than the government enabled powers with whom they can collude. The private sector can't force payment (tax), they can't force labor with government protecting rights, they can't dictate wages in the presence of competition outbidding them, they can't create new money (inflate). All they can do is collude with the government enabled powers you dumb socialists are so keen on having until a virtual monopoly is formed, immune to competition and bailed out from suffering bankruptcy, the two things which kept them delivering better and cheaper products you demand, and following prudent policies in so doing.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Pipperox on 6/3/2008 5:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
It can get *much* worse.
In most of western europe, 1 gallon of gasoline costs approximately 5.71€ or $8.9 .
Still, SUVs will not disappear, as they're still somewhat popular even in Europe (at least "luxury" SUVs such as BMW X5, Mercedes M, Porsche Cayenne, etc.), but certainly that type of vehicle has a small market compared to compact sedans.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Spoelie on 6/3/2008 6:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
In one year diesel prices rose over 30% here in Belgium (1->1.35€ per liter), we be feeling it too :s. Well, my company pays the gas so not that much.

I'm driving a 130bhp VAG 1.9 TDI and doing 40mpg combined cycle, a little less on highways (38) a little more on inner roads (up to 47 depending on the traffic and 'motivation'). Sounds counter intuitive but I have pretty small gear ratios ("sports" model) and no sixth gear - so most of the time I rev over 2500rpm on the highway (~85mph).


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Schugy on 6/3/2008 6:54:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'd really love to pay 5$ instead of 9$ per gallon (Eurosuper 95 octane). But to get my car under 30 mpg I have to drive over 85 mph. Too bad that I often can't resist and drive between 100 and 120 mph - that costs some additional Euros here and there.
But especially these SUV guys with their powerful and still quiet efficient diesel engines overtake me with 135 mph and more - they don't pay much more for their fuel because of the high tech engines.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/3/2008 7:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
The people, I don't think, will allow states or the feds to raise taxes on oil enough to make our prices comparable to their own. Thats what makes it so expensive in Europe, not much else.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Pipperox on 6/4/2008 5:26:19 AM , Rating: 2
True, high taxes are making the fuel so expensive in Europe.
But right now we are seeing some interesting weird phenomenon.
Basically, Diesel is a less refined (and cheaper) kind of fuel than Gasoline, and it also has lower taxes in Germany.
Yet, these days at the gas stations 1l of Diesel costs on par or 1-2 cents *more* than Euro95 Gasoline.
So i guess there's some price gouging going on, probably due to the fact that in the last years most people have been buying diesel cars due to the better mileage/€.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/4/2008 3:28:32 PM , Rating: 2
At most gas stations here in the US, diesel has always been 10 cents or so higher than premium gasoline, and Jet-A (diesel) is more expensive that 100LL avgas. Thats been established here for a long time, so don't know what is behind it, but I doubt 'price gouging'.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Schugy on 6/4/2008 3:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
Taxes on Diesel are about 0,22 Euro (0,33 $) lower per litre (not gallon) in Germany but it is often even more expensive than Eurosuper. It's definitely an extreme situation here.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Penti on 6/5/2008 5:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
Jet-A is Kerosene though. Similar but diesel has longer hydrocarbon chains.

Here in Sweden Diesel for cars are taxed less then Gasoline. However diesel-cars have generally been taxed higher, thats not the case with newer fuel efficient small diesels with particle filters. So they have been getting more popular here. As it's taxed lower it means the price jump is high though, it costs $4.5 USD a gallon before any taxes at all. Gasoline costs like $3.5 USD before any taxes (95 Octane). A year ago it must have cost like $3 USD a gallon for Diesel. So the price has really gone up 50% if it weren't for that its mostly taxes. So for the consumer it's only a 31% rise. Gas before taxes has only gone up 20% or 12% with taxes.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By root mean sq on 6/9/2008 12:37:19 AM , Rating: 2
diesel more expensive than gas? whoa.

Premium gas here (Trinidad & Tobago) is TT$3/litre here, which works out to abt US$2/gal roughly, if my math is right. (exchange rate; 6.21). diesel is half the price of gasoline, TT$1.50 a litre.

gas satations have long since been nationalised, and i know we enjoy heavy subsidies on gas, but im really curious to know what causes such a disparity in diesel prices. it's definitely something i want to look into...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By 16nm on 6/4/2008 10:29:58 AM , Rating: 2
Also, a stronger Dollar would make it more expensive for Europe.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By walk2k on 6/3/2008 5:59:21 PM , Rating: 2
Problem with $5 gas is it affects everything you buy. Everything is hauled around on a truck (and/or plane) at some point and they all use gasoline.

I'm happy if the trend is toward smaller fuel-efficient vehicles, sad that it took $4-5 gas to get people to wake up, and sorry for US automakers who were too stupid to see this coming like... 20 years ago.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/2008 6:44:58 PM , Rating: 4
> "sorry for US automakers who were too stupid to see this coming like... 20 years ago. "

20 years ago, US automakers were producing plenty of small, fuel-efficient vehicles. The 1985 Ford Escort, for instance, made 34 mpg on the highway.

Problem is, American consumers wanted large, powerful vehicles...so they didn't buy those small, fuel-efficent models.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By walk2k on 6/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/2008 7:27:56 PM , Rating: 1
Companies exist for one reason and one reason only -- to sell products consumers want to buy. Not to forcibly indoctrinate us with political philosophy. If you don't like that setup, perhaps you should emigrate to the booming economies of Cuba, North Korea, or one of the former Soviet Republics.

Now that we want to buy small cars, you'll soon see Ford and GM both churning them out in large numbers.


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/3/2008 7:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
They're on the way. Ford is bringing the Fiesta here for 2010:

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/05/30/ford-confirms-f...


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By walk2k on 6/3/2008 8:02:22 PM , Rating: 1
So basically, "love it or leave it Commie"??

Wow what a great comeback.

Anyway I'm pretty sure that even in the capalist pig country of America we have government regulations to protect the general health and well-being of the population.

You're right, companies exist for one reason - to make a profit. Sometimes the gov't has to step inbetween their purely for-profit motives and the general population who is too dumb to know what's good for them sometimes.

Radical socialist idea, I know.... :rolleyes:


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By masher2 (blog) on 6/3/2008 8:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
> "the general population who is too dumb to know what's good for them "

Unfortunately, the above seems to be the mentality of every socialist, who just adamanantly knows he could spend our money for us much better than we can ourselves.


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By Ringold on 6/3/2008 8:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
Caveat emptor, not only from a dead language, but a dead theory apparently as well. :P


RE: SUV owners are stupid.
By baseball43v3r on 6/3/2008 8:27:20 PM , Rating: 1
if you are going to take his statement out of context at least do it correctly.